I am lucky enough to have a client who is a mechanical engineer and another who does CAD drafting, along with another that has a brother who is an engineer. So, I have a ready supply available of these HEAVY duty cardboard tubes that drafting paper comes on.
Any architecture or engineering firm will most likely be willing to give you these for FREE, just call and ask.
These come in various lengths and are thick and sturdy, so they can stand up to the very destructive 2 year old boys I currently have with me.
I took the tubes and cut them with a standard saw blade on my chop saw at 1 inch intervals. I think I will color code them by size and mark the inches on each one. I think they will take earth tone natural stains well, to keep with the Reggio philosophy of more natural elements.
I purposefully did 20 units at 1" for numeracy teaching and exploring.
How many did you get on your arm?
I did 1"-10" for counting and graduating, matching, estimating, unit measuring, and graphing teaching.
Which one does that match?
I did more 2" and 3" for skip counting, fraction and multiplication teaching.
I cut several at 45 degrees and they really seemed to like those for toppers.
They started to figure out the logic/reasoning and physics pretty quick.
I kept the length at a max of 10 inches. This makes them difficult to use in any "stick" manner like a sword or bat. Not that they can't be used to hit, but it would be awkward and lack force.
A finer saw blade or slower cut would have made them less ragged. I didn't clean up the edges. You could with a wood rasp, but I found that the rough edges helped the pieces to stick together better. It also provided an extra sensory experience and fine motor activity as they picked at the edges.
6 tubes provided enough to fill a laundry basket. I will probably add an extra 2 tubes worth, but want to see how they play with them to determine the sizes we need before I make any more.
And if they get mutilated, well, there are plenty more where these came from, for FREE. Yay!
Tags: blocks, tubes, toddlers, preschool, daycare, child care, gross motor, fine motor, center, kindergarten, homeschool, frugal,