Pop tubes are a fantastic, inexpensive toy that I have found to be an exciting addition to my speech therapy sessions. Not only are they fun for kids of a variety of ages, but pop tubes can be incorporated into lots of different play routines. Want a few ideas how to play with these?
Make silly sounds: Put the tube up to your mouth and make a silly sound! You can just say “ah” or your child’s name or whatever goofy sound comes to mind. Then offer the tube to your child to see if they will copy you!
Add to a sensory bin: If your kid loves sensory bins, these tubes can be a great addition. You can scoop rice/beans into them, see if water will slide down the tube, or push the contents of the sensory bin to one side using your pop tube. If you are new to sensory bins or are curious if they might be a good fit for your family, check out our blog about how to create your own sensory bin.
Stretch it out: This is one of the most obvious ways to play with pop tubes, but you can work on both fine motor and speech skills in the process! The stretching of tube is working on your little one's fine motor skills and you can model simple words or sounds while stretching. In my speech therapy sessions, I usually try to say “stttreeeeetchhhhhhhh” really dramatically while stretching out the pop tubes. Or you can let out an audible grunt while pulling it a part to see if your little might copy you.
Create: Put your pretend skills hat on and see what you can create by combing tubes together or by shaping the tube. Just like play doh or building blocks, you can create a fun imaginative world by shaping your pop tubes. Some of my favorites: crown/hat, bracelets, tunnel for cars/trucks, alphabet letters, snakes/worms, binoculars, telescope, shapes.
Pop tubes can be a fun addition to your play and can be a fun standalone toy as well. What’s your child’s favorite way to play with pop tubes?