Ball and Tube Play

Ball and Tube Play for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Pebble and Rocky have been having lots of fun playing with balls and tunnels at our house. This ball and tube play, with nursery rhyme sing-a-long, is awesome fun for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. This is how we did it.

Looking for more baby play ideas?
Get your copy of Zero to Two: the book of play.

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

Ball and Tube Play

You will need:

  • one large cardboard tube (we recycled an old post tube)
  • wrapping paper (optional)
  • sticky tape (optional)
  • <scissors
  • string or ribbon
  • a large cardboard box (we used four smaller boxes stuck together)
  • small balls (tennis balls are great – remember not to use anything too small or baby might eat it!)

To make:

  1. Wrap the cardboard tube in the wrapping paper and stick it down using the sticky tape (optional).
  2. Make four holes in the bottom of the cardboard box, ready to thread your ribbon through to secure the tube. We figured out where to make our holes by holding the tube up against the box first.
  3. Thread your string or ribbon through the holes to create a loop for the cardboard tube to sit in. Put the the cardboard tube into position as you do this, so that it becomes secured in place.
  4. Start playing!

Tip: If you don’t have a cardboard box you could try securing your cardboard tube to a fence or gate outside.

Sing a long

While we were playing we were singing this little song.
(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Roll, roll, roll the ball
Push it through the tunnel
Roll, roll, roll the ball
Push it through the tunnel

Ball and Tube Play for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Ball and Tube Play for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers

There was so much learning going on during this little play scenario.

Pebble (aged 3 years, 9 months) was learning:

  • estimating measurements when wrapping the tube and securing it to the box
  • sharing and turn taking when playing with her baby brother
  • making meaning through music when singing about rolling the ball
  • patience for her little brother’s efforts at getting the ball into the tube.

Rocky (aged 7 months) was learning:

  • to pull himself up while reaching up to put the balls in the tube
  • grasping small objects while grabbing the balls
  • investigation through play – what happens when I put the ball in the tube?
  • sharing and turn taking when playing with his big sister
  • perseverance when trying to get the ball into the tube while balancing

Fisher Price Giveaway

Giveaway - Fisher Price Prize Pack

The awesome people over at Fisher-Price are big advocates of baby and children’s play, and as their Play Ambassador they’ve given me the chance to giveaway two of their most popular toys to Australian Octavia and Vicky readers.

  • Prize 1: Laugh & Learn Apptivity Story Book – This sturdy case (that looks just like baby’s favourite book!) will protect your iPhone (3GS, 4 & 4S or iPod touch 4G) from dribbles, drool, teething and sticky little fingers. Baby will love unlocking never-ending content at the turn of a page – just open and close the case cover to advance app content!
  • Prize 2: Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car – put your little one in the driver’s seat of a fun-filled stationary vehicle with all-around learning and play. The interactive lights and sounds dashboard of the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Crawl Around Car keeps your baby busy with a light-up baby “GPS”, horn to honk, gears to shift, and more. With over 75 sung songs, tunes and phrases, and three modes of play, there’s plenty of fuel for learning adventures and fun!

Christmas is coming up, these toys could be a great way to help Santa fill those stockings and sacks this year.

To enter simply leave a comment answering this question:

What is your child’s favourite nursery rhyme?

This giveaway is now closed.

Zero to Two - The Book of Play

32 Replies to “Ball and Tube Play”

  1. Both of my girls always loved Row, Row, Row your Boat. It’s always fun because you face each other to do the actions and you can see such delight from their faces.

  2. My little girl loves twinkle, twinkle little star when she keeps laughing and points to the glowing stars on the ceiling and tries to do the hand actions with the song.

  3. My 20 month old son love Humpty Dumpty and acts out the rhyme with his Humpty toy and his horse/men figurines. Though he did it with himself the other day, falling off the coach and got a bump on his head.

  4. I don’t know if it’s technically a nursery ryhme but my baby girl, just 8 months giggles so hard when I do this little piggy in her tiny toes…
    My sons favourite that he is teaching her is the Elmo ‘clap clap clap your hands, shake them in the breeze, put them up, put them down then put them on your knees’ & she’s starting to clap along now. Very cute

  5. My 8 year old loves reading to my 8 month old baby girl my favourite is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star the actions she does is the sweetest and my 8 month old watches with her big blue eyes and adorable smile it melts my heart they are going to be the best of friends

  6. My son has had lots of favourite nursery rhymes – he changes his mind every few months! His favourite at the moment is “Open, shut them”, especially the second verse because of the actions.

  7. Our boys love twinkle twinkle little star so much love singing along and doing the actions. Just when mummy tries to sing along with the wiggles I get told “no mummy, no sing.” From our 2 year old and when I ask our 5 year old why his brother says that he just says “You can’t sing, but I still love you” bless him.

  8. Maddison’s eyes go wide with excitement and she’ll give a huge smile;
    Also works for toys she hasn’t seen in a while

    1. Sorry on iphone and submitted before completing. Pls ignore first comment.
      Maddison loves all nursery rhymes but I think her favourite is Hey Diddle Diddle as its the only one mum can stay in tune for

  9. My 12 month old giggles something silly when she sits on my knee and we sing the rhyme ’”Little robin redbreast sat upon a pole, wiggle waggle went his tale,…and pop down the hole!” At which point she falls down between my knees and cracks up laughing.

  10. We all know frogs go “La De Da De Da” they don’t go “Glumpf Glumpf Glumpf” !!!!

    not so much a nursery rhythm but when i get a singing and a dancing my little one can not resist the laughter and dancing with mummie me. I can be silly but it makes those moments so special and worth wild :)

  11. My 8month old twin niece and nephew love sitting on your knee and ‘trotting’ along to a little rhyme that I did not know until they made an appearance into the world. “Mum and dad and uncle john went to town trotting along. Mum fell off, dad fell off but uncle john went on and on and on and on and on.”

  12. There favourite nursery rhyme should have t be row row row your boat! When we had our new bub we would sing it to him, while rocking him back and forth for some strengthening activities, our toddler saw this and. Wanted t get in on the action, sitting behind him and rocking back and forth, while trying to sing! 7 months on we still play this game!

  13. I like the items used can be gathered at no cost. I am glad for the idea to use a preschool program where I am working. Thank you

  14. My daughter likes when I sing this French song ” C’est la poulette brune qui a pondu sur la dune…”. She laughts when we try to find funny new rhymes.

  15. my son is 8 month old and i dont actually sing the common nursery rhymes.. he loves listening and singing with me those bible songs that ive learned during my vacation bible school when i was little, he loves the “read your bible and pray everyday” and the song “ive got joy down in my heart deep deep down in my heart”

  16. My 1 year old loooooves it when we do Hickory Dickory Dock when getting dressed after bath time and Handjies klap in the car on our way home from creche

  17. Whenever my year old is upset and can’t calm down, I sing where is thumbkin. It snaps him right out of his fit, puts him in a trance lol…I have no idea why, but I’m so grateful it works. Especially in car rides where I can’t hold him.

  18. my 8 months old baby loved itsy bitst spider with all the actions, she just can’t stop laughing when im singing it to her

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