Here’s a simple activity that our toddlers love. We’ve found some long cardboard tubes. They are a little longer than wrapping paper tubes, but twice as wide. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures. We had one teacher sitting holding one end of the tube and the other end was slanted down to the floor. It looked like a ramp. Then the toddlers rolled balls down the tube and chased them across the room.
One toddler wanted to see what would happen if we held the tube straight forward with someone at each end. One person to put the ball in and the other to catch it. We found out that it the ball still would role down the tube. Next, he wanted to see what would happen if he held the tube closer to his face. He’d laugh whenever someone dropped a ball in the tube. One little girl experimented with putting a dish at the bottom of the slanted tube. The balls would role down, but the toddlers couldn’t see them. A couple of them weren’t sure where the balls were going so we asked them to peak inside the dish. They laughed when they discovered that the balls stayed in the dish.
The new teacher has several of these tubes and she’d like to add them to the gross motor room. She wants to mount them to the wall at different angles so that the children can experiment with the balls moving in different angles and directions. She also wants to try tennis balls with the tubes so that Crawling Baby can use them. The small ones that we are using now can be a choking hazard for him. He spent some time in the toddler room today and he was very interested in the tubes and balls, but didn’t understand the rules of our game. At one point, he wanted to drag the tube away. I wanted to see how he’d use the tube, but the other teacher brought it back to the group to continue the game.
I have a feeling that the children will do lots of experimenting with these tubes and that we can use them for a variety of activities.