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Okay, I will admit that at first when I thought about doing toilet paper roll crafts, it was a little bit tongue in cheek because of the shortage of TP everyone has been dealing with during this Corona Virus self quarantine. But, if you have kids at home and you are trying to keep them occupied and educated at the same time, I realized that I do have some ideas that will allow you to put those empty toilet paper rolls to good use in your child's education. Let me explain where I am coming from.
About a hundred years ago, when I was in the 5th grade, (it was in the 60s), we were studying about Japan in social studies. We learned about their traditions and about Mt. Fujiyama and all kinds of things. Our teacher, Mrs. Hill, gave us an assignment to make something that depicted something from the Japanese culture. I think that there were various choices, but my friends and I chose to make little dolls showing traditional dress. I remember that my older sister suggested that I use a TP roll for the body of the doll. I remember that assignment and those days so clearly and I think it was because of the hands-on approach that our teacher used to teach us that unit. In today's classrooms, it seems that there is very little time for these extra projects that reinforce learning. But to me, my experience with this little doll is a testament to the importance of learning through many methods, including craft projects.
No, that isn't my original doll. I decided to make one to show you an example of what it was like. I think my grandchildren will get a kick out of it. Click on the pictures for a description of what I did.
I didn't give you very detailed instructions because the beauty of these types of projects is to let the kids have free rein to create it how they want to create it. We learned about the obi, etc when we studies Japan. So, of course I was careful to include it on my doll when I did my school project. It is great to see how kids will incorporate what they have learned into their projects.
There are a ton of other educational ideas that you could incorporated toilet paper roll crafts into. I thought I would share a few of my favorites in the hopes that they will help you come up with ideas to do with your kids during this time at home.
Units and Ideas to Enhance Them:
Outdoor Science-Make binoculars with 2 tubes, or cut a paper towel tube in half. Decorate them with paper, crayons, stickers, paint, etc. Then go on a nature walk. You could be looking for specific things, such as types of plants like cacti or flowers. You could be looking for certain bugs or birds. Whatever you are studying. If you only have one tube, make a telescope. Look at the stars and study astronomy! Make a paper journal to record your student's findings.
Biology or Botany- I've seen some awesome ideas for using the toilet paper tubes as a place to start seeds! Just smash up the bottom so the soil won't fall out! It will be easy to tear away the cardboard when you are ready to transplant! If you are studying a certain animal, there are a ton of ideas on Pinterest for making various animals. There are some adorable owls that I think I might make next. Owls are such a great animal to study. You can probably go online and find owl pellets to dissect! You could also choose bees or butterflies! The possibilities are endless!
Social Studies-Just like Mrs. Hill had us study Japan, there are a myriad of countries that you could choose to learn about with your children. Perhaps you could learn about a place that is part of your heritage! I can just imagine making a little British or Danish Doll from my heritage!
History- My granddaughter recently did a report on Harriet Tubman. Creating a historical figure could be a great idea to use these TP tubes for! But you don't have to stick to just human figures. How about making a ship or a space shuttle. Or, build a fort or castle!
Community- Studying maps and your community are good skills for kids to learn. You could talk about transportation and make vehicles from cars to trains and planes. I saw these cute little houses that could be decorated as schools, churches, libraries and homes and placed on a large butcher paper map that you draw. Then the kids could drive their cars and trains around on the map!
Pre-school and Kindergarten- For really young kids, use the tubes to drop pom poms through and count them. Then, as they learn to recognize numbers, number the tubes and have them drop that many pom poms or balls inside them. You can also do this for color recognition. Of course, the binoculars and telescope are perfect for this age.
Stem-If you have multiple tubes, your little engineer could create a marble maze. Or, like my brother and I used to do when we were young, we would create miniature mini-golf courses that we played with marbles! We came up with some great obstacles and courses that kept us busy most of the day.
I hope these suggestions help you while you are schooling at home! I think they will help your kids have fun while learning and they will be lessons that they will never forget! Let me know if you have some ideas that I haven't thought of. If you make any cool things, please tell us about them and add pictures in the comments!
Check out these other educational posts that can help you out at home!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!