Why do it?

  • Posting items down a tube provides opportunities for children to strengthen their hand–eye co-ordination.
  • When they repeat the activity, it strengthens their problem-solving skills.
  • Sharing an activity and attention with their parent strengthens the relationship between them both.
  • It’s also an opportunity for strengthening language by using language-building strategies — parallel talk, self-talk and stretch talk — as parent and child explore and talk about the activity together.

How to do it

  • You’ll need a cardboard tube (like a cling wrap roll), some pegs and other objects that fit down the tube such as a pencil, a small car or a small ball.
  • Make sure you supervise this activity closely, as small items are a choking hazard, and your child may still want to mouth them.
  • Sit with your toddler and invite them to post the peg down the tube. You could say, ‘Pick up the peg and put it in the tube.’
  • If they do, that immediately tells you they understand a two-step instruction.
  • They may need you to show them first. Do so, and then give them a peg and say, ‘Your turn!’
  • Ask them, ‘Again?’ and see what happens.
  • Try posting other objects down the tube.
  • If you have a fat tube, try cutting it in half long-ways to make a half-pipe, and they can let an object go down and watch it slide.
  • Supervise your toddler — they may try to walk around with the tube in their mouth, which could be dangerous if they were to fall.

Using more te reo Māori

Release, let go Tukuna
Put in Purua
You go first Ko koe te tuatahi
I'll go second Ko au te tuarua
Your turn Nōu te wā
My turn Nōku te wā
Collect some... Kohia ētahi...
Give/pass me the... Hōmai te...
Bring me the... Mauria mai te...
Pencil Pene rākau
Car Motokā
Again Anō
Peg Mātiti
Pick up the peg Tangohia te mātiti
To slide, slide down Whakaretiretitia
Drop out Ngakuru
Going down Haere ki raro