Monday, August 20, 2012

The Ultimate Drop and Dump Toy

Here is another activity I created, this time with Bam Bam (14 months) in mind for our loooooooooong trip to Taiwan in the beginning of September.

My desire was to find something with an opening large enough for Bam Bam to drop things through that were not choking hazards. Dropping things into a tube and watching them come out the other side can keep a baby/toddler entertained for quite some time, and the upcoming plane ride is quite some time long :P I wanted the tube to be durable as well. Basically, I was looking for a wider, plastic toilet paper tube. Hubby-Man looked at Lowes, but the largest clear vinyl PVC pipes were still too small for the largest pom poms in my stash, and that was what I had in mind for Bam Bam to use. Enter necessity, the mother of invention, and close cousin of desperation. When the PVC pipes fell through, I moved on to my back up plan, which was to find a way to attach 2 Parmesan cheese containers together. The added bonus of using that kind of container rather than a PVC pipe is all the different kinds of openings, which work a ton of different fine motor skills, 1:1 correspondence, and hand-eye coordination. Win win win!

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All you need to DIY is 2 Parmesan cheese containers (sprinkles and sesame seeds often come in the same size containers but Parmesan cheese is a bit more household), an exacto knife, some kind of adhesive, and things for your baby or toddler to drop, dump and shake.

To make the tube container, cut off the bottoms of the 2 containers. Cut as much or as little as you want to make the tube the length you would like it to be. Attach the two containers with your sticky substance of choice. I tried crazy glue, which made a huge mess but didn't stick right, so I used hot glue next, then put a layer of clear packing tape around the outside as well. That's all there is to it!

There are SO many different ways Bam Bam can play with this. I think he and Boogie will both love dropping anything they can find into the top and watching it come out the bottom. But, we can also put one of the tops on the bottom when I get tired of fetching pom poms. The boys can put pipe cleaners or coffee stirrers through the holes for some 1:1, fine motor practice. We can also use this for color recognition and tell Boogie to put a certain color in, or tell Bam Bam the name of the color when he tries. Using the larger opening of the lid, the boys can dump several thin objects through, or work with their fingers to stuff the large pom poms in. They can practice twisting the tops on and off. We can put things inside the tube, put both lids on, and shake the contents. Nothing too noisy on the plane, of course, but when we are at the apartment in Taiwan, they can be noisy :)

I love the versatility of this "toy", as well as the fact that I already had everything on hand so it was FREEEEEE!!! :)

I hope the boys will find even more than 4 ways to use this and that it will keep them busy for more than 4 minutes :)

Linking up to these great parties!


  1. Wow, this looks like a really fun, easy to create toy! I know the kids will love it. Thanks for sharing at Thinky Linky Thursday!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  2. such fun and a great way to practice small motor skills! thanks for linking it up to tip-toe thru tuesday!

  3. Very cute idea and looks like hours of fun. Great way to keep small hands occupied and interested.

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!


  4. What a great idea!! It looks like so much fun and learning going on. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  5. This is definitely a versatile toy ... and a great DIY project, Sierra! I love that it works on so many skills. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and pinned it to my Traveling with Kids Board at


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