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Toddler Crafts for the Non-Crafty: Paper Roll Projects 101

These toilet paper roll butterflies are super cute and colorful!

I’m going to just put this out there: I did not inherit the craft gene.

(Can we still be friends though?)

In fact, my crafting crowning glory was the magazine collage I made for my locker in 9th grade. I don’t mean to brag, but it featured some very profound decoupaged Dylan lyrics that deeply resonated with me even though I had never experienced a vagabond 1960s lifestyle as I was a 14 year old girl in Huntington, West Virginia. But I digress.

For most of my life I’ve been able to avoid the whole craft thing because I was too busy 1. thinking deep thoughts (see above) and 2. watching Friends reruns. But since I’ve had kids I’ve learned that crafting isn’t just a great way to kill a little time on a rainy day, but it’s also a wonderful way to support my toddler’s development in many areas.

From fine motor skills to color recognition and beyond, simple craft projects can be a fantastic way to spend time with your little ones.

I am particularly partial to projects that don’t require a trip to the store. Some of my favorite crafting items are egg cartons, shoe boxes, and things found in the yard (Except for dog poo. Do not use dog poo).

Today I thought I’d tell you about some fun things you can do with another item that’s readily found in your home: toilet paper rolls. Here are some of my favorites.


  • A Kingdom of Toilet Paper Tubes! 1 of 8
    A Kingdom of Toilet Paper Tubes!
    I love this castle and people made from toilet paper tubes. I know my toddler would love helping me paint, and it would be so much fun playing with it after our work was done.
    Photo Credit Red Ted Arts Blog
  • A Paper Parking Garage 2 of 8
    A Paper Parking Garage
    How cool is this?
    Photo Credit Family Fun
  • Flutter By, Butterflies 3 of 8
    Flutter By, Butterflies
    This butterfly project would be a great way to use up some extra scrapbook paper, wrapping paper or stickers.
    Photo Credit Bo Bunny
  • Hoo Loves Crafting? 4 of 8
    Hoo Loves Crafting?
    I love that your toddler could play around with sizes and colors to personalize these t.p. roll owls.
    Photo Credit Inner Child Fun
  • Curly TP Snake 5 of 8
    Curly TP Snake
    Lay down some newspapers and get out your paint brushes! Your toddler will love helping you make these little paper snakes.
    Photo Credit DIY Crafts
  • Octopus! 6 of 8
    Octopus!
    I think this is adorable. This happy little octopus would brighten Grandma's day!
    Photo Credit Crafts-N-Things for Children
  • Homemade Kazoos 7 of 8
    Homemade Kazoos
    This homemade kazoo is going on my to-do list this summer.
    Photo Credit The Craft Nest
  • What Time is It? Potty Time! 8 of 8
    What Time is It? Potty Time!
    Another great use for toilet paper rolls, these watches make for a great way to introduce the concept of telling time to your toddler.
    Photo CreditRed Ted Arts Blog

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

More from Mary Lauren on Toddler Times:

Why Putting Yourself First is Impossible

Toddler Fashion File: Pillowcase Dresses

The Search for Hair Accessories that Stay Put

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