How to make toddler tubes

Being a fairly new grandma, I find that I am constantly having to come up with toddler toys when my grandson comes over to play. My grandson and I had a little fun making toddler tubes and here is how you can make them too…

First you need roles of duct tape.  Duct tape comes in lots of colors now so choose the colors you like best.  I picked up my tape from Walmart and chose red, blue, yellow, and green. I tend to like the basic colors for really young children…

After your toddler is done stacking or rolling the rolls of tape around the floor, then you can use the tape to cover the paper towel tubes…

My job was to wrap the tape around the paper tubes. My grandson’s job was to test out the new toys as they were ready to go. Our toddler tubes passed the toddler play test with flying colors. Duct tape really can fix just about anything.

I made two toddler tubes of each color…

Once our tubes were all set to go, I played with the toddler tubes too!  I arranged the tubes on the floor in different shapes or patterns while my grandson ran around and watched me…

Then I would get out of the way and see what my grandson would decide to do next (mommy came and joined us too!)…

It is always interesting to observe toddlers at play. With each change of the toddler tubes, my grandson would find a new way to play with them…

And of course, we had to see if our cars could drive through them…

It was VERY hot outside today so our little adventure making and playing with toddler tubes was a good way to keep us busy indoors…


Available on Amazon


Links to Grow On

Learn with Play @ Home: Baby Play: Post the Blocks

The Iowa Farmer’s Wife: Baby and Toddler Sensory Bottles

Mom Tried It: Motor Skill  Activity for Toddlers

Janet Lansbury: Ten Best Ways to Encourage a Toddler to Talk

By |2012-06-28T22:32:21+00:00June 28th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Ness @ One Perfect Day June 29, 2012 at 8:23 am - Reply

    These are so fantastic. What a wonderful open-ended activity. There’s nothing more wonderful than watching a little one creating and exploring with something like this. I’ve pinned this!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Thank you for the Pin:)

  2. Ana Zambrana June 29, 2012 at 10:18 am - Reply

    This is so great! I have a 2 yr old so I am constantly having trouble coming up with things to do with him while we’re indoors. It’s been pretty hot where we live so I am definitely trying this with him. Thanks for sharing! xo

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2012 at 11:40 am - Reply

      It has been so hot here too and coming up with ways to keep a toddler busy is a job in itself! Thanks for your kind comment Ana and have a great summer!

  3. Malia {Playdough to Plato} June 29, 2012 at 11:03 am - Reply

    My 1 year old is going to LOVE this!! I’m adding it to this week’s to-do list and am pinning it (so other people can fall in love too). Thank you.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

      Thank you for pinning Malia 🙂

  4. Gianne June 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    You are so awesome!!! Thanks for this!

  5. Trisha June 29, 2012 at 12:15 pm - Reply

    These are great! I bet even preschoolers would like these in a block center with cars or trains. Thanks so much!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      For sure Trisha! I am making a set for my preschool class too. I am excited to see what we can do with these at school:)

  6. Diane June 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I have used paper towel tubes with my preschoolers in the block are but they don’t last too long. These are terrific. I’ll have to start making some so I have a supply ready in the Fall!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2012 at 6:25 pm - Reply

      That duct tape really helps make the tubes durable! Don’t you love Duct tape?

  7. Lisa Marie Mary June 29, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    That’s a really good idea! In fact, I’ve been saving a tube (can’t even remember now where I found it, what it came out of…) but it’s thicker so it’s nice and sturdy. And I’ve been wondering what I’d make with it – this would be perfect for that.

  8. sherri June 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    These are awesome!!!
    My older girls love duct tape….and my little ones would love these….so it’s a win win for everyone! 🙂

  9. Ashley June 29, 2012 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks! I really enjoyed this idea. And we go through paper towels like candy, so I’m hoping to be able to make some soon! Can’t wait to see what my girls will choose to do – not driving cars through them… maybe the dolls will “play” with them somehow!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      It will be fun to see how your girls choose to play with the tubes – even if they might not drive cars through them! LOL!

  10. Rachel July 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I’m loving your summer posts for younger kids.

  11. The Iowa Farmer's Wife August 11, 2012 at 12:23 am - Reply

    LOVE this idea!!! and he is just the cutest! Thank you for also linking to our sensory bottles! I am definitely doing this with my 10 month old when we get home (we’re on vacation right now!).

  12. Bonne Maman August 11, 2012 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Awesome idea. I am just starting to really try and teach colours to my 21 month old and always looking out for innovative ideas like this one. This is the first time I have seen your blog (u came across it on Pinterest) and I will be following you from now on 🙂

  13. […] then turn your two-year-olds loose to create floor art, tunnels for cars, and music with them. Teach Preschool has great suggestions for this […]

  14. […] then turn your two-year-olds loose to create floor art, tunnels for cars, and music with them. Teach Preschool has great suggestions for this […]

  15. Kate September 10, 2018 at 1:50 am - Reply

    Beautiful toy DIY project. I love love love it.

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