Engineering Activity With Recyclables

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Use old cardboard tubes & rolls and other recyclables to build. STEM activities for kids.

Last weekend, I threw my sister a baby shower. I had been planning it for months. I made diaper cakes for every table with small woodland stuffed animals on top of each. Each diaper cake was built around a paper towel roll. I made nine cakes in all.

See how to build a diaper cake at My First Attempt At A Diaper Cake.

Woodland diaper cake centerpiece. An adorable idea for a baby shpwer for boy or girl

When the shower was over, I was left with a lot of empty boxes & a lot of empty paper towel rolls.  I wanted to put these to good use. My daughter loves to build, so we decided to turn our recyclables into a colorful engineering activity.


Use old cardboard toilet paper tubes & rolls and other recyclables to build. STEM engineering activities for kids.

I cut the cardboard into different sized rectangles & painted them in different colors. I painted the paper towel tubes & let them dry.

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I cut the tubes into different lengths. To ensure that they would lay flat, I flattened the tubes & cut a straight line across & then put them back into their original shape.


Once all the pieces were painted & cut, my daughter was ready to build.

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She happily built up a whole village & even added in some egg carton pieces.

She built, tore down & built up again until bedtime. “Mama, maybe you can make me more tomorrow & then I can make a bigger village.” Luckily, I still have a lot of cardboard & paper towel tubes.

Use old cardboard tubes & rolls and other recyclables to build. STEM activities for kids

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