Recycled tubes – Playgroup

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

Did you know?

Posting objects down tubes can make a fun activity at playgroup.

Post office, lunch wrap tubes or PVC pipes can be poked through a box for children to post balls into (see image above). Plastic golf balls are an easy size for small hands to manage.

Babies and younger children will enjoy watching and chasing the balls as they pop out from the end of the tubes. While older children enjoy the mechanics of tube and ball play.

Add language

Adding conversation to any activity is a great way to help children’s language grow. With this activity you could introduce new words by describing what the children are doing as well as engaging them in conversation by asking occasional questions that require some thinking and reasoning e.g. “Where does the ball go?” and “Why does it come out there?”. Remember to pause and give them time to respond or initiate themselves.

Talking about speed, position, direction and numbers helps to introduce maths and science language.

Other development

Group play is a great way for children to practice taking turns and sharing with others. Working out who will post the ball through the tube and who will collect it when it pops out the end helps develop social and cooperative play skills.

Early science skills are also introduced when kids experiment to find the fastest tube. Cause and effect is explored when they work out that tubes angled higher make the ball shoot out faster.


You can paint the end of tubes and use them as stamps for a fun painting activity. Or, let the kids imagination run wild as they turn old tubes into didgeridoos, binoculars or rockets!


Be mindful of small parts which could be a choking hazard for babies and toddlers.

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 children.


Activities listed under “playgroup” are suitable for groups of children of various ages. They provide opportunities for early learning and social play.

Play ideas

flower craft

Flower stamps

Sandpit cars

Sandpit play