Archives for category: Uses for Cardboard tubes

Day 2 of being a house wife! My youngest has started full time school and my days between 9 and 3 are now all mine and mine alone. What to do?

Anyway I am very, very good at procrastinating so I will decide on an answer to that later. Right now I am going to show you the half finished robot we made in the holidays and post a picture of my two children ready for school yesterday so it’s captured forever in t’internet land.

Not sure what order wordpress will display them in, but it should be obvious which is which.

I think the robot is destined to always be half finished, as the children lost interest after we added the jousting arm,and they realised he wasn’t going to be quite as good as they imagined. He now stands in the corner of the playroom slowly falling forward as his legs aren’t strong enough. Sure this is a metaphor for something, not quite sure what though.



Bizarrely I have been getting a few ‘real’ hits on here, mainly people wondering what to do with yogurt pots. I now don’t have to worry about yogurt pots the toddler group has found a way to raise money by recycling them through Terracycle- so as long as I buy Danone yogurt (as that is the type they take) I no longer have to bin them. A good start to reducing rubbish.

That aside I thought I would post a couple of the things we have done so far in the holidays. I know we’re only a week in.  My two children were playing schools on Tuesday so desperate are they to go back…..

My son discovered from somewhere (I have no idea where) two large cardboard tubes that were immediately imagined into horses and ridden around the house for the evening. The next day we got some cereal boxes, kitchen roll inners and pink wool and created unicorns.

This pretty unicorn has only one horn, my son wanted to go bigger and better and has a 4 horned beauty. I suppose this means it’s not a unicorn anymore?  No pictures of that one as when I took  the photos  he had just taken all his very muddy clothes off ( where he got mud from when it hadn’t rained for four days is one of those mysteries that children create).

Yesterday we visited a National Trust property where there were sculptures made out of twigs and pine cones hidden around the garden for the children to spot. We tried our own versions at home.  If you look carefully at the photo below you may spot a pine cone caterpillar on the purple table and a pine cone spider dangling near the entrance of the den.


I guess the Rubbish Crafting is still going on, I just don’t have any toddlers to craft for anymore.

This week’s craft was designed with one aim in mind- to use up as many of the things that I had been collecting as possible. I have recently realised I have far more craft rubbish in my kitchen and office (and under pinball machine and in my greenhouse) than I have need for at toddlers. The sensible thing would be to bin it as soon as toddlers has finished but somehow that seems wrong.

Anyway, this week I have managed to use up all the toilet rolls,  the strawberry boxes (left over from the Easter baskets a few weeks back), some card I have had for a while and the tops of washing liquid bottles I collected just in case. Pretty good going really.

Using these 4 things, a lot of masking tape and some paint these dumper trucks or diggers (depends which way you drive them) were made.


A tiny bit of imagination is needed (the bottle tops are supposed to be drivers or chimneys ( according to my daughter)). But you get the general idea.

I guess this idea can easily be adapted for any box, just remember to fold the cardboard so that the truck can tip the rubbish out.

Well that’s it for this week, I found this photo on my camera of my 4 most favourite people (my husband’s knee is just to the edge of the picture, probably better than having all of him in the photo).


On the face of it this week’s craft looked very simple.

Turn a cardboard ring like this (from a roll of gaffer tape or a ball of knitting wool):

Into a bracelet like this by gluing on sweet wrappers:

Unfortunately it turned into a very frustrating activity for my 3 year old who did not like having to wait for the glue to dry. I had many complaints of ‘They keep moving around’ and ‘The glue isn’t sticking’, which wasn’t really helped when he decided that the way to improve it was to put more glue over the top of the sweet wrappers like we do with paper mache.

The end result is still very nice, but I think in his head he wanted a smoother finish.

 It was a very frustrating morning for the poor lad as he then went to build a duplo tower which got knocked  over by someone else, then another child pulled all the bricks away and as he was getting those back some other child banged into the tower he had just started to rebuild (this last one was on purpose I’m sure). Much crying, shouting  and brick snatching then followed (from my son) and we soon left. It took him half an hour to stop sobbing . It would be nice for him to be able to build a tower in peace at toddlers.

I know it’s all part of learning social skills but as I was the only parent that reacted to the mini event I think my son was probably the only one that learnt anything. He was supposed to learn that he shouldn’t make such a fuss and just wait until the younger ones have got bored with destroying his game. I think he probably just learnt that life’s unfair.

Hmm, patience and control, all this perceived unfairness will be worth it in the end, isn’t that why I’m stricter on my children than anyone else seems to be?

Here is a picture of a tall flower and a small child. what a seamless link.

Fairly straight forward this week.

The children loved it.

Now we are all ready for the RSPB Big Birdwatch weekend- how many sparrows and wood pigeons do you think we’ll spot this year?

1. If you are going to hang them on a tree thread the string through the hole before small children paint it. They will paint over the hole.

2. One shape is never enough.

3. Small children love painting salt dough, but then small children love painting anything.

4. Mums and carers of  small children like painting salt dough.

I still have  a tub of shapes left here so I think my children and I will be doing some more painting over the next couple of weeks.

As it was the last toddlers befoe Christmas today I also set out these to make:

The photo really doesn’t do these justice, I love these. From left to right are my effort, my daughter’s effort  (by far the best I think) and my son’s effort.

In case you can’t work out what these are let me tell you.

I have called them Springy Santas.

You will need:  toilet roll inner or cardboard tube, scissors, red paint, glue, pink paper and cotton wool.

Cut around the toilet roll inner so that it makes a spiral (you need to cut at angle to the base).

Paint it red.

Cut a face (half oval shape) out of pink paper, add cotton wool to make a beard.

Stick on painted toilet roll inner.

Add a little bit of cotton wool right at the end of spiral to make a bobble on his hat.

Hope this is clear.

I think cutting up the toilet roll inners satisfies the mathematician in me, the spirals you can create are very nice!And the Father Christmi look quite sweet too- the possibilities for these spirals are endless, no doubt the  basic idea will evolve into something else on here next year.

Wow this feels like a very long post- no more toddler craft until next year now. Have a very Happy Christmas.

Well here we are again, camera, lead, computer and time!

Here are some photos

These are the snakes made by stamping a selection of bottle tops onto paper. Messy, fun and allowing a lot of creativity!

Last week’s craft was a shaker, a toilet/kitchen roll  inner filled with pasta and covered in paper. A bit too complicated. Originally these were going to be lighthouses with yogurt pots on for the light until I realised under 5s wouldn’t really know what a lighthouse was. So the idea evolved to a noisy toy.

This is my son’s shaker, looks a bit like a firework.

And then this week’s craft:

 Which is just Muller Corner yoghurt pots with eyes and hair stuck on to make puppets. Easy with a lot of scope for personalisation.

Well managed it, all updated- Ok until next week.

This is todays effort, sports cars made out of toilet rolls, bottle tops and washing liquid bottles. Wheels are stuck on with double sided tape and there is a big hole  for the ‘driver’ to sit in.

Fairly simple really like allof these. My example is below on the left, my son’s is on the right.

 Most of his (and the other childrens’ )time was spent cutting the florist ribbon and gluing on to the toilet roll.