Recycled tubes – Child

recycled tubes childCardboard tubes offer a huge variety of creative play opportunities for children.

Did you know?

Children often value toys they have made with you, more than those bought from the shops.

Recycled tubes provide endless craft and pretend play options. Binoculars and telescopes, people, penguins, rockets, castles and marble runs – the options are only limited by imagination.

When children create something it really doesn’t matter what the finished product looks like, it’s the process of creating that matters.

Add language

Chat with your kids about what they want to make with the tube, how they are going to make it, what else they might need, etc. Encouraging language is useful for developing both expressive language skills and thinking and reasoning skills. You could also make comments and ask occasional questions as they create.

As a guide, most children will happily engage if you make 5 comments for every 1 question – this keeps them from getting overwhelmed.

Other development

Adding sticky tape or glue provides opportunities to develop fine motor skills including hand dominance – this is where children begin to prefer one hand over the other, over time becoming either ‘left’ or ‘right’ handed.


With the festive season just around the corner, cardboard tubes can be turned into pretend candles or other decorations.

Attach a cardboard tube to the wall and encourage children to post small pompoms through the opening. You’ll be surprised how much kids love this simple activity, it’s also a great way  for children to practice their fine motor skills (or pinch/grasp).


If you are creating marble runs or using pompoms, be careful to keep them out of younger children’s reach due to the choking hazard.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how playing with recycled tubes can be a great activity for babiestoddlers and playgroups.


Activities listed under “child” are suitable for children 3 years and older.  Children of this age enjoy more complex activities where they can develop their skills and use their imagination while playing with friends.

Play ideas

flower craft

Flower stamps

Sandpit cars

Sandpit play