Thursday, February 24, 2011

Toilet Paper Tube Tinker-Like Toys



I mentioned in an earlier post, that we've moved back one book, in our family reading of Blue Balliett's art based mystery series for children.

The Wright 3, centers around Frank Lloyd Wright, and more specifically the Robie House, in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. We've spent quite a bit of time walking past it, and around the area, on Google Maps. I think I've mentioned before too, how much I love the "street view" feature on Google Maps. It's just great for virtual field trips.

We've also been learning about the architect from a number of sources (more on these later)...




...but I will warn you, if you're studying Frank Lloyd Wright with children, proceed with caution. He was not at all a moral individual, and his life was touched by some very violent tragedy.

Also, you might want to have some building toys ready for your children to experiment with, after reading about his architectural career. The Froebel Gifts (or building toys), that he held dear as child, would be fun to have around, but they are quite expensive, as far as wood blocks, and colored paper go.

I found an alternative, in the recycle bin.


Using a hole punch, I made holes all the way around both ends, of a number of empty toilet paper tubes.


Then, I enlarged the holes, by pushing a sharpened pencil through them, until they were big enough to easily fit unsharpened pencils through.


Straws, or wood dowels, or even rolled up tubes made from scrap paper would work equally well, we just happen to have a large number of unsharpened pencils handy.

I also took some of the tubes, and made four slits into the bottom end, and holes on the top...


...just to mix things up a little.


It's great to be a homeschooler.

27 comments:

Christy said...

Brilliant! I don't even know how you come up with these things. I would never think of using toilet paper tubes in this way. By the way, I'm with Christianne in her comment on an earlier post - you should write a book!

Hannah said...

Great idea!

And I would totally buy the book. :)

Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree said...

This is fabulous! So creative and inventive!

Michelle Willow said...

This is totally awesome! Trust me, I know... I'm toilet paper roll geek... although one lady called me queen instead of geek! LMAO

Anyhow, shared your post on our FB wall: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Best-Toys-for-Toddlers/111748248841298

And I'll be adding link to my all time growing collections of ways to reuse tp rolls: http://www.squidoo.com/reusepaperroll

One more thing... trust me, we'll be doing this at home! :)

learning ALL the time!!/Susan said...

Super idea...love it! We have a ton of toilet paper tubes collected because we hate to throw them away, just in case we need them for a project just like this one :0)
Thanks, once again, for sharing!

Kylie said...

Ok you are fabulous, you really come up with the best ideas!

child central station said...

LOVE this frugal and fun option! I bet my son will be on this the second he sees the pictures!

Raising a Happy Child said...

How ingenious! You find uncommon uses for most common things.

Debbie said...

I love this idea!

love2teach2day said...

That is VERY cool!

soknitpicky said...

Hi. I've been lurking here and wanted to say I love your blog. Our backgrounds are different, and I don't homeschool, but I love finding interesting things to do with my kids. You always have such good ideas and good book suggestions. We've been enjoying Grandfather Tang, and my little one has taken off with the tangrams! Your one-cut post reminded me that we did the fold-and-cut examples from Erik Demaine's site some time ago (he was in the documentary). You've probably already found it, but just in case...

http://erikdemaine.org/foldcut/examples/

The one that creates a whole tangram set from one cut ties it in :-)

Thanks again for all the inspiration

Ticia said...

Ooohhh, and these are tinker toys that wouldn't drive me nuts.

Scott said...

Wonderful. My class of builders will certainly enjoy this.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

soknitpicky - I hadn't found that site yet - thanks!!!! Things tend to swirl, and move around here so quickly, I don't often get to research everything as completely as I'd like.

Obnoxious Sister-In-Law said...

If this gets published, this is a note from Leah's sister-in-law to the many followers of this blog: Leah is NOT--I repeat--NOT a hoarder. Sure, she has a lot of toilet paper rolls and a vast, almost disturbing collection of plastic bread bag fasteners. But be assured, her house is very tidy; in fact, it is one of the cleanest and most sanitary homes I have ever visited. I would eat food off her floor well beyond the 5-Second Rule. With Love from Leah's S-I-L Who Has a New Respect for Used Toilet Paper Rolls.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Laura - Some day I'll have to show you my collection of milk caps :)

rachelle @ tinkerlab said...

What a brilliant idea!! My daughter would LOVE to play with these tinker toys. If you're interested, please consider adding this to the Creative Experiments section of my site: http://tinkerlab.com/2011/01/creative-experiment-1-toilet-paper-roll/

Anonymous said...

What a creative idea!

Another Froebel building idea:

toothpicks & peas (we use minimarshmallows)


http://www.froebel.ca/about-us/gifts-occupations/

Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families said...

Hi there,
I just featured your tinker-toy toilet paper tubes on my first ever "Links of Light Bulbs" post...(a collection of great ideas)

I included a link to your great post...hope you check it out!
http://www.equippingcatholicfamilies.com/2011/10/links-of-light-bulbs-1.html

Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families said...

PS...I love the obnoxious sister-in-law post. I wish my sister-in-law could say that about me. I don't think I'm a hoarder, but I'm not sure I would eat off the floor beyond the 5 second rule. =)

Taryn@pinsandprincesses said...

Love this! Shared a link/pin here

http://pinsandprincesses.blogspot.com/2012/04/toilet-paper-tube-extravaganza.html

Mr. a-go-go said...

oh! this is absolutely BRILLIANT! i am enormously fond of Froebel's theories and love applying them to our everyday pbjects. Thank you for sharing!

Bargain Babe said...

LOVE this! I can't wait to do this with my daughter when she's a little older.

Shaunna Evans said...

I love this idea and all of the play and learning it inspired. My girls would love building with these "tinker-like toys." This week's theme for the Discover and Explore Linky is Earth Day activities. If you're interested in sharing it, your post would be a great addition. http://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/earth-day-song-discover-and-explore.html

Katherine Collmer said...

This is an amazing blog! I, too, am enthralled with Frank Lloyd Wright and I agree that his life was quire, well, let's say, interesting! We visited his house here in AZ in December and learned quite a bit about him. As a pediatric OT, however, I am enthralled with your toilet paper tube construction set!!! It's awesome! Thanks for sharing. I will do the same.

. said...

I love this idea! I will be doing this with my preschoolers soon.

Anonymous said...

Loved this idea. The my hole punch didn't leave holes big enough for pencils to fit through so we used small paint brushes and long nails we had left over from a previous project. The school age kids loved this just as much as the preschoolers.