March 26, 2010 by Shannon
Okay, moms. So you know how sometimes you need something – anything – to keep a kid’s hands and mind occupied? And you know how sometimes a coloring book and crayons just doesn’t quite do the trick? Here’s a quick and easy option: the crazy activity tube. This craft requires just a few simple supplies, is totally portable, and will keep your kid busy long enough for you to whip up a quick dinner or make an important phone call.
I took a crazy activity tube along with us during our very loooong roadtrip last September, and although I didn’t end up having to bust it out of my bag o’ tricks, I think it’s a perfect roadtrip project. This activity helps kids develop their imaginations and fine motor skills and is probably best suited for children ages 2-6 years old.
What You’ll Need:
- Empty paper towel tube
- 8-10 chenille stems
- crayons or markers
- sharp knife or scissors (for adult use only)
Using the knife or scissors, carefully punch several random holes throughout the paper towel tube. Give the child the tube, crayons or markers, and the chenille stems. Not the scissors! (Note: If you’re taking this project on the road, you could let your child color the tube before you leave, so you don’t have to worry about him or her “decorating” the inside of your car or the doctor’s office when you’re not looking.)
Then explain to your child that the tube is his or hers to decorate any way they want. Point out the holes, and explain that they can thread the stems through to create antennae, legs, or any sort of crazy wire contraption they desire. The possibilities here are endless. Kids could create anything from multi-legged insects, to aliens, to giraffes. Kellan’s tube didn’t end up looking like much of anything, but he had a blast weaving and twisting all the stems together. And I was happy that he was totally and utterly occupied by something other than the TV for about 25 minutes.
One more quick tip: if you’re using this as an on-the-go activity, just slide the chenille stems inside the paper towel tube and stick it in your bag or purse. The tube will help keep the stems from getting bent when you’re out and about.