paper play activities

Kids Play with Anything #9: Play with Paper Tubes and Rolls

Play today is rolling along. Does your child play with paper tubes and rolls? Whatever you do, don’t throw them out ‘cuz they are treasure.

This is yet another example of how kids will play with what adults consider trash. To a child, a paper roll or tube is a magic wand. Only the magic word Imagination-cadabra is needed to turn it into a lightsaber, a tunnel for cars and trucks, a sword for a knight or a pirate, a tree, log, cane, bridge, witch’s broomstick, galloping horse, or whatever else is wanted for play. Little Sister created art-on-the-move as she colored on one roll after another after another.

play with paper tubes and rollsShe’s done other art with them too. A paper tube has been used as a custom paintbrush for stamping hearts and fireworks. After painting a tube one day, she also tried rolling it on a paper to see how that would work. To her delight, she could paint the tube over and over and cover several pieces of paper. She was in paint heaven. Hy herself she extended her play with paper tubes and rolls.

elsa toilet paper roll castle craftOne small tissue roll can be turned into a kazoo with a piece of waxed paper and an elastic band. Many rolls together can be assembled for a variety of projects. Big Sister spent an entire afternoon building an Elsa castle. Really long tubes are fun to make tunnels for cars. In order to get a car to roll down and shoot out the other end, the tube has to be held at just the right height. Too flat and the car is slow, too high and the car turns over and just crashes. In the video below, this child engineered a marble run. This undoubtedly took a lot of experimenting to find the best slope so the marbles would have enough speed but still stay in the run.

paper roll lightsaberPaper rolls and tubes are more than a wardrobe accessory for dress-up play. Armed with these trusty weapons, children practice being brave and powerful. Maybe it’s a good thing that cardboard and paper tubes and rolls can’t be purchased on their own. Part of the delight is in finding them.

As kids claim and transform a paper roll, they are making it their own, and in a way, isn’t the purpose of play to create and transform ourselves?

Kids Play with Anything #4: Child’s Play with Paper

Paper isn’t a toy, but it’s playful. These ideas for child’s play with paper are another way that kids can play with ordinary, everyday non-toy items. While we buy toys for children, they make April Fools of us by playing with anything.

play with paperUsually, when we think of activities with paper, what comes to mind is drawing, coloring, cutting, and gluing but paper is also fun to rip, crinkle, bend, fold, and throw. However kids play with paper, they are problem-solving, experimenting, discovering, creating, communicating, organizing, planning, interacting, sharing, negotiating, and more. Paper is stacks of fun and learning and suitable for kids of all ages as long as they don’t eat it.

play with paper airplanesOne of the first things that kids discover with paper is that it makes sounds when scrunched up or torn. They soon figure out how they can tear it. Paper can be rolled and thrown to be a ball that doesn’t hurt. A paper ball won’t float in the air like a sheet of it. A paper airplane not only floats, it flies. Older kids and adults will fold paper to see which kind of paper airplane will fly the farthest. Sometimes, airports will have paper airplane contests and give with paper snowflake Paper can also be folded into easy shapes like tents or incredible origami ones shaped like animals, birds, and baskets. Holes add a whole new dimension to paper, turning a piece of paper into a mask or a lacy science fun with paper

Kids play with sheets of paper and tiny little bits. It behaves differently when it’s wet than when it’s dry. Does paper float or sink? If we fold paper to make a boat, what happens?

play with paperPaper comes in different sizes, colors, thicknesses, and texture. It’s easy to accumulate lots of paper for playing by saving it in a basket or box. It can be used for countless art projects and other play activities. Big Sister noticed some tissue paper was orange like fire. The recycling had some other colors too. Using colors she saw in flames, she scrunched them into a box for an imaginary campfire. A cotton ball and chopstick made the marshmallow for roasting. Imagination can turn paper into restaurant orders, post office letters, messages in secret codes, and play money.

Even without words, paper can tell a story. Child’s play with paper is quite a story, isn’t it?

Science Play with Paper Tubes

Science kits and tools for kids do not need to be expensive and elaborate; science play with paper tubes is easy, simple, and very inexpensive. Paper tubes and rolls are often just thrown in the recycling or trash but they can be fun for kids.

One of the first things that kids learn with tubes is that they roll. They are fun to roll over the floor or with a big piece of cardboard propped up against a sofa, kids can let the tubes, and the science, roll on down. Up doesn’t work at all, when tossed, the tubes won’t fly. They don’t stack very well fun with paper tubes

Big Sister made her own exploration to see what paper rolls would do in water. She stood the rolls in the sink and squirted soap inside. She discovered the soap stayed there until she lifted up the rolls when she could see it then spread out.

Long tubes are also fun to roll stuff down, like cars, marbles, little bouncy balls, or rocks, but that’s best done outside. It’s obvious to us, but kids are testing over and over the idea that objects will go down. There’s lots of experimenting by holding tubes almost flat and at different heights to see how much slope there needs to be for things to keep rolling. Older kids can make their own marble mazes or runs and make the marbles or other objects drop and change directions. The little boy in this video (38 seconds) used an acorn.

Long paper tubes make great swords and kids learn from experience that even though they are light and made out of paper and can be squished flat when stepped on, they will still knock big things over. This is the science principle of cause and effect.paper roll kazoo

Short paper rolls can be used for kazoos. Wrap a square of waxed paper over the end with an elastic band. Near the end with the waxed paper, adult hands need to make a small hole but kids can do the humming.

Kids will come up with their own ideas of what to do. Do you have a suggestion to share for science play with paper tubes?

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ with more ideas for science fun and play on 123 kindergarten’s blog.

Abracadabra: Change Paper into Snowflakes

Did you ever fold and cut paper into snowflakes? Making paper snowflakes does seem magical and the activity has lots of kindergarten readiness learning and fun. Paper has been around for more than 2,000 years; I wonder how soon people began cutting holes in paper to make snowflakes. And how many generations have been doing … Continue reading Abracadabra: Change Paper into Snowflakes

Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness & Paper Airplanes

During the summer, most communities have festivals and other fun events; many of these are for kids with a learning component as well as fun. Sometimes, these activities will also support skills that help children with kindergarten readiness. Just today, I heard of a new one, a paper airplane festival that will last 3 days. … Continue reading Summer Fun, Kindergarten Readiness & Paper Airplanes

Kindergarten Readiness: Playing with Paper

Have you ever had a terrific activity planned (with lots of kindergarten readiness fun and learning) and thought it would turn out one way only to have the kidlets do something quite different? That’s one of the possible outcomes when play is child-led instead of adult-led. Plays-of-the-day this month all start with a p–April starts … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Playing with Paper

Kindergarten Readiness: Kids’ Science Fun with Paper

Questioning and observing are skills needed for both science and for kindergarten readiness. Instead of using paper for coloring, cutting, and creating, here’s a fun activity that uses paper for dropping. For this activity, two sheets of paper or notepaper are needed. Ask your child what might happen if you drop a sheet of paper. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Kids’ Science Fun with Paper