Sunday, September 28, 2008

Totally Tubular

So, we've been collecting paper towel tubes for a while. Like, a long long while. And we had a BIG pile of them.

Yesterday, when Tater looked at me and said "What are we going to DO today?", we decided that something with tubes was the way to go.

There are many options with tubes - an excellent recyclable craft supply. In the past, we have built castles from them, and pilgrims for Thanksgiving. Mike has also built a very impressive device (dubbed "the McGuyver Tool") which incorporates several tubes and a pasta fork, and is quite useful for fetching things that get stuck on the roof.

This time, we found a picture in a book of a marble ramp made with paper towel tubes. So we went for it.

Materials: Big pile of paper towel tubes, duct tape, scissors and stuff to prop the ramps up on. We used a shelf, a puppet theater, a picnic basket on a chair and a table. I think the more interesting things you can use, the more entertaining this whole project could be.

The tubes are taped together with the duct tape (duh). To make some angles and turns, we cut a bit off of the ends to sort of make mitered corners (but much less precise). At the end of the ramp, the balls and marbles fall into a toy kettle. We had it dumping directly in, but you could make it a little less direct and then there would be more challenge to the whole thing.

I know it is difficult to fully appreciate the full glory of the ramp in the midst of the playroom wreckage. But it is cool. And the kids played with it for quite a while yesterday.

And, since they were down in the basement and reminded that there are toys down there...the wreckage increased (yes, these pictures are before the true wreckage ensued)...

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