At the heart of every roll of toilet paper is a cardboard holder that usually ends up in the trash. Keep all that perfectly good cardboard out of the landfill by recycling it in a children’s craft project. Children can transform those plain brown tubes into playthings or decorative, yet functional items for a party table.
Bowling Game - Gather 10 cardboard toilet paper holders. Cut ten 6-inch by 4-inch rectangles from decorative scrapbook paper. Lightweight paper is easiest to wrap around a tube. Secure the wrapped rectangles around the tubes with glue; let the tubes dry completely. Set the decorated tubes up in a pyramid formation. Use a tennis ball or softball to bowl the tubes down. Get a group of kids together to play a game of bowling, taking turns trying to knock down as many pins as possible. If you wish, mark out the gutters of the bowling lane with masking tape.
Puppets - Entertain the young guests at your child's birthday party with puppets made from toilet paper tubes and a few inexpensive craft supplies. Give the children yarn, construction paper, scissors, craft glue, craft eyes and stickers. Have them dress the cardboard tubes as little people, animals, monsters or other imaginary creatures. Help the children glue jumbo craft sticks inside the bottom ends of the decorated tubes to turn them into puppets. Divide the children into small groups and have them come up with short puppet skits for hours of entertainment.
Napkin Rings - Children can create colorful napkin rings out of cardboard toilet paper holders. Cut cardboard tubes into 1-inch sections. Give the children markers, crayons, decorative paper, buttons and other embellishments, scissors and craft glue for decorating the tubes. Once the children have finished, have them neatly roll up napkins and tuck them into the homemade rings. Ask the children to show off their colorful napkin rings by helping you set the table. Use festive papers for holiday parties such as Christmas or birthdays.
Party Favors - Fill the toilet paper tubes with small prizes and candies. Cut a piece of decorated paper 4 inches longer than the tube. Tape one side of the paper in the center of the tube. Wrap the tube in the paper to cover it completely. Fasten in place with another piece of tape. Be careful not to let the candy and toys come out of the tube. Crinkle up the extra ends of the paper. Tie with a ribbon so the whole thing looks like a big piece of hard candy.
Musical Instruments - Toilet paper rolls make great musical instruments. Cover one end of the tube with heavy masking tape. Put a handful of dried beans or rice in the tube. You can also add small bells. Cover the other end with more tape. Let the children decorate the outside by gluing on colorful tissue or wrapping paper. You can also use fabric, lace and ribbons to decorate the outside of the tube as well. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly. Shake the tube to make music.