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Seven Crafts/Games Inspired by the Empty Toilet Paper Roll

It can get overwhelming keeping up with all the new toys and gadgets out there today. Sometimes we need a reminder that our little ones can have fun even when playing with the simplest household item, even an empty toilet paper roll.

Empty toilet paper roll on white table with small children scissors and colorful art paper
A fun puppet, a bird feeder, a set of binoculars... the ideas are endless!

So instead of tossing it out right away, check out some of these ideas to creatively play with your kiddo:

Make a puppet: Your little one can draw their own face (or instruct you) on the toilet paper roll. This is a great opportunity to practice body parts. They could be a person, an animal, or whatever creature your little one can imagine! Once your puppet is complete, use your puppet just like an action figure or doll. For other ideas on how to play with your toilet paper roll puppet, check out our blog post on puppets.

Binoculars: Grab two empty toilet paper rolls and glue/tape them together. Let your toddler decorate their binoculars with stickers or markers. You can play I Spy or even engage in pretend play and go on an adventure with your little one around your place.

Echo games: When you turn the toilet paper roll into a microphone and talk through it, your toddler will likely want to give it a try. If your kiddo isn’t using words yet, use goofy sounds into the roll like “ahhh”, “woah”, “oooo”, or any other goofy sound you can think of.

Noise makers: Put some beads, rice, or corn inside. Close off both ends with plastic wrap and then show your child how they can make their own music. Now is a great time to teach the word “shake”.

Add to a sensory bin: Grab a container, some rice/corn, and a few empty toilet paper rolls and show your little one how to scoop and pour with your toilet paper roll. Poms poms are also a great material to play with toilet paper rolls because they’re easy to put in the rolls. If you’re curious how to create your own sensory bin, check out our sensory bin blog.

Bird feeders: Spread peanut butter all over the toilet paper roll and then let you little one roll the empty toilet paper roll over bird seed. Once it is covered, either tie a string to hang outside or slide your bird feeder on a tree branch. You can talk about birds and the sounds that birds make during this activity.

Create a tree: Go on a walk with your kiddo and during the walk, collect leaves along the way. When you get home, encourage your toddler to color the toilet paper roll brown for the trunk of the tree. Then tape the leaves on the top of the roll to make your kid’s own tree!

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