I am sure there is someone out there that has written a post called “101 Things You Can Do With Toilet Paper Rolls” so I am not even going to go there. But, I am going to share with you my new favorite toilet paper tube activity. I have said this before and I am sure I will say it again, this is not something I invented, but I have put our own twist on it and would like to share it with you.
Yesterday we took out all the toilet paper rolls we have been saving for the last month or so. I also took out our marbles and told the boys we were going to make a marble run. We love the marble runs you find in the store. My boys will play with them for as long as I let them, but we haven’t taken the plunge and bought one yet. So many times lately, I think a toy purchase is going to be a huge hit and it is for about 5 minutes and then it sits and sits. So, we made our own. I really left most of the creating up to my older son. My younger son was perfectly happy dropping the marble in the tubes, watching it go, picking it back up and doing it again and again. This was actually quite helpful because it gave my older son and I a chance to brainstorm, plan and create.
We began with a simple set of three tubes taped to some wooden blocks, then graduated to a longer set of tubes, to a putting some space between the tubes and adding “walls” to block and bump the marbles. My son was full of ideas. Some of them I knew would flop (I kept my mouth shut) and others I was thinking, “Bingo!” but again said nothing and let him experiment, redo, rethink and then succeed–on his own! We then went to a more complicated plan which was hanging the tubes vertically on the back of a chair. We then added one more tube with about 4 inches of space between that one and the one before. It was so exciting when he figured it out and it worked! After that I just stepped back and watched the boys play and experiment. It was a great learning experience for my sons and for me as well. A great lesson in listening and sitting back and letting learning happen.
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