Monday, February 6, 2012

Tubes of fun! Magnetic fun.

We saw this great idea using paper tubes that had been painted and had magnets attached and we decided we liked the idea of clear tubes so we made these. The tubes are plastic holders for Florescent light storage (I got them at Menards by the lights- about $4.00 for one 7 or 8 feet long) .
I bought the longest they had and cut them into various lengths with kitchen shears. The ends are not not sharp, but I just made sure they were smooth. We hot glued magnets (we found the best deal on magnets at a hobby/craft store) onto the back. Put two magnets on each tube, or they tip as the balls go through. The black caps you see came on the tubes and at first we were going to discard them, but they are a great addition-first they keep the balls from going all over and they can also create a challenge for the children in placing the magnetic tubes. We used a variety of small balls, and we put a tub to catch them when they went through. On another day, we added other types of balls, and we tried feathers with an air pump to push the feather through. We plan to try other objects as well, a square block, water, etc. This has been a great addition, and the children use some scientific reasoning to figure out placement. They also need to cooperate as there are usually several children working with them at once. I also think it would be a fun way to paint!

We have found the magnets sometimes pop off when they stick to another tube's magnets, so please use supervision to make sure no young child puts any magnets in their mouths


  1. How fun! I like this idea better than the toilet paper rolls, too, because they can see whatever they put in the tube travel down. Awesome!

  2. Looks fun! May i know the size of the clear tube?