Nigel’s Baby Club Diaries – Playing with Cardboard Tubes

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The Baby Club – Episode 9

Playing with Cardboard Tubes – Parenting Advice

In each episode of The Baby Club we have a ‘What’s in the bag?’ section, and in episode 9 we were playing with cardboard tubes. When we were playing with them, you may not have been aware of how much thought had gone into how and why we used them. Also you might be interested to know how these items have inspired other parts of that specific episode. For that reason and to provide tips for new parents and more seasoned ones too, I have written Nigel’s Baby Club Diaries. Hopefully they will help you see:-

  • How important your interactions with very young children are.
  • Why they can help with learning.
  • Ideas for verbal interactions you can have with your baby.
  • That you are not alone in your thoughts.
  • That dad’s shouldn’t be embarrassed about getting involved too.

The information you will find here draws on Peeple’s Learning Together Programme. Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust charities were consultants on The Baby Club. As with anything regarding your baby, if you have any queries you should speak to your health visitor. They will be able to provide help and support with questions you may have.

Things you can do with cardboard tubes?

During episode 9 we were playing with cardboard tubes. You may have seen us using them like telescopes to look through, tapping on things with our tubes, and even playing with them as shakers. All of these help develop different aspects of your baby’s basic skills, and I will discuss these in a moment. But first I would like to give you a couple more ideas and things to look out for when you are trying this at home. These ideas are good as your baby gets older and you want to develop more complex skills.

  • You can use your tube as a chute, maybe passing other toys or socks down it. This is a great way to learn that things can be hidden inside or underneath something, and can reappear later.
  • You could play a game of ‘Where has it gone?’. Hiding things inside the tube in an obvious manner while encouraging your baby to look for it.
  • Use the cardboard tubes to make noises. This will encourage your baby to make sounds and will in turn help with communication as they get older.
  • Use the cardboard tube during nursery rhymes or songs. Words like ‘Look’ or ‘See’ can be emphasised and acted out well using this object.


What areas does this activity help with?

Rhythm Coordination

Turning your cardboard tube into a shaker or a drum is a great way to help your baby get involved with music. It will teach your baby that their actions can cause sounds. Plus when you start making sounds to music a child’s coordination and muscle tone will improve.

Sensory Development

Learning that things can disappear and reappear or be underneath something is a stage of development that babies don’t reach until they’re about four to seven months old.  It can take a little while to grasp but using your tube as a chute is perfect for demonstrating this. Once understood it opens a whole new world for a child’s sensory development.

Language Extension

Most activities are a good opportunity to develop language and understanding. The ones described here are good for learning phrases like ‘Where has it gone?’ or ‘Can you see the ball’. The more repetition, encouragement and smiles that you use, the more your baby will get involved and develop.

Icons made by Freepik from is licensed by CC 3.0 BY

Songs and Nursery Rhymes

Songs and nursery rhymes are a huge part of The Baby Club and a fun way for babies and young children to learn. You’ll be surprised how well babies remember information that is delivered in a song. When we were playing with cardboard tubes we sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’. But there are many nursery rhymes and songs that involve looking or seeing things. ‘A Sailor Went to Sea’ and ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ are a good place to start.

What other objects can I use?

Want to learn more?

If you have found this helpful and want to find out more about supporting your child’s learning, please check out Peeple’s Facebook page. If you’re a practitioner, you can find out about the Peep Learning Together Programme and training on the Peeple website, or email Charlotte on

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