Cardboard tubes from bathroom tissue, paper towel rolls and shipping mailers can be repurposed for fun crafts, including binoculars, gift boxes and animals. Faux binoculars are made by decorating two short tubes and attaching them side by side. Using a band of construction paper, kids can hold the tubes in place and attach string to the binoculars' two sides, making them easy to wear during backyard adventures.
For mini gift boxes, kids can paint the outside of a tube or use glue to cover it with construction paper. Once the gift is inside, the ends can be folded inward and held closed with a string or ribbon tied into a bow.
Cardboard tubes of all sizes can be used to create upright rockets and spaceships. Kids can draw the rocket's three fins on cardboard and cut them out. By cutting three evenly space slits on one side of the body tubing, kids can slip the fins in place and use glue to secure them. The rocket's nose can be made by cutting a half-circle out of cardboard and folding it to form a cone. Kids can glue or tape on the nose and use paint and glitter to give the rocket a metallic-inspired finish.
Kids can make cardboard snakes by cutting a tube into a coil. Before cutting, the tube should be painted and decorated first with details, such as craft eyes and spots. Another quick animal craft is an octopus, which can be created by making evenly spaced cuts on the bottom of a tube, forming slithering legs.