Fun With Toilet Paper Rolls: Marble Run

I've had my eye on this little craft/activity for a while now. I was planning on making it for the kids and giving it to them as a Christmas gift. But it's pretty much impossible to get anything secretive done during the day and by the time they're asleep at night I just want to cuddle up in bed with my laptop. I realized it was never going to happen without the kids around, so I pulled out the rolls I'd been hoarding and we did it together.

  • toilet paper rolls and/or paper towel rolls
  • colorful tape
  • scissors
  • magnets
  • hot glue gun (a strong glue would probably work but I'm always looking for excuses to pull out my gun)

Start by taping around each of the rolls. I used painter's tape for this part. (I LOATHE painting. Especially the taping part. Or really the pulling the tape off and finding a big huge mess part. So I quite happily used up as much of my painter's tape as possible since I have no plans of ever painting again.) If you have tape in other colors you can use it to add some designs to the rolls. Or let the kids color on them or add stickers. Finley had a lot of fun adding the colored tape. I'm sure you can tell which one is hers. :)

Next I took the rolls and cut out little notches on each end with scissors. You can also use a craft knife to cut out windows. I decided against this due to the 4 grabby hands pawing at me.

The last step is to glue the magnets on the rolls. I got this package of magnets at a craft store. (This is just the tag from the package. I forgot to take an actual picture of them before I glued them in place. Sorry.) They're round little magnets but pretty thick. After gluing them all on I realized that thinner, lighter, and stronger magnets probably would have been better. The Family Fun website suggests using self-adhesive magnetic strips but I didn't have any of those on hand.

Instead I found some little word magnets that I picked up at a museum recently and tried them on a new roll. So far those are working a bit better. Whatever magnets you use, they need to be pretty strong to stay on the fridge.

And look at that, a marble run! Wait a minute, we need a marble. Unfortunately, we have toddlers in the house and we try to follow the "Toilet Paper Roll Rule" so we don't actually have any small marbles.

We do however have a set of toys we call the "little pieces." Finley gets to play with them when "the boy who puts everything in his mouth" is napping. So I pulled out a few of those to use with our new marble little pieces run.

And it was a hit with both Finley and Grady! Finley had fun letting the little piggy fly down the tubes. Even Grady had a great time dropping the toys down the chute over and over and over again. We'll see how it actually holds up under the stress and destruction of two toddlers. But so far it has provided a bit of entertainment for them so I call that a crafting win!

1 comment:

  1. Katie,

    This is so much fun! I featured this lovely craft in my post on 20+ Crafts for Kids to Make from Recycled Items on FaveCraftsblog.com. You can check it out here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/crafts-for-kids-to-make-from-recycled-items/

    Feel free to share it with your readers!


    Editor, AllFreeKidsCrafts.com