Tag Archives: Pipes


It has been nearly two weeks since I added the pipes to soften the corners of the items attached to the loft.  These pipes have been very popular – the children usually refer to them as some type of ‘machine’.

It has been somewhat difficult to get pictures of the machine ‘in action’ because there are usually so many children crowded around.  I have managed to get a few – here they are using the pipes as a ‘drink machine’;


Which was expanded to include the tubes under the loft too;


We discovered that some of the milk containers are too tall to fit in the space between the floor and the bottom of the vertical pipe.  There was a bit of panic when they realized they couldn’t get the container out of the bottom of the pipe and none of us could reach it from the top either.

After some trial and error we learned that if several smaller containers are inserted into the bottom of the pipe the ‘too tall’ container is  eventually pushed all the way out the top of the pipe.  This was how the ‘elevator’ was invented.  Since then many of the little people toys have taken a ride in the elevator.


Add a bin at the lower end of the diagonal pipe and you’ve got ‘the clean-up machine’;


Sometimes one child will look through the upper end of the diagonal pipe while another child sits under the loft and places various items under the lower end of the pipe.  This creates a microscope/telescope/I Spy game.

It has also been used as a x-ray machine or laser to diagnose and treat injured stuffed animals.  So far I’ve been unable to get a decent picture of the children engaged in this activity – threre is no room for reporters in the emergency room.

Two simple pipes and plenty of open ended creative play 🙂



Adding Parts

Years ago I began trying to eliminate much of the plastic in the program.  I’ll admit that there are still plenty of plastic items both indoors and out but whenever possible I will choose items made from wood, metal, or cloth over those made from plastic.

Our playspace contains a lot of loose parts – items that don’t have a specific purpose and can be used in a variety of ways. Sure, some of the items really do have an intended purpose according to their manufacturer but once I toss them into the playspace there’s no limit to what they can become.

The conduit pipes for example as a building supply product have a specific purpose but in a children’s play area imagination takes over.  Yes, I know that they have metal conduit too but in this case I did choose plastic instead – easier for me to cut up – safer for the children to play with;


Notice the conduit in the top left corner of the storage shelf – it was just added this spring and has quickly become the children’s favorite.  It is more flexible than the other conduit and it has ridges which give it additional play value.  I didn’t tell the children that – they figured it out.

Of course at first they used it the same ways they used the original pipes;


Then they discovered that when you tapped on the ends of these pipes they made a noise;


And if you took two of the pipes and rubbed them together the resulting sound was fabulous;


We have some other new loose parts too.  Some old bowls I found taking up space in the back of my cupboard – now are used to hold miscellaneous small items in the yard;


We’ve had some pieces of pool noodles for years now – here they are being used with the conduit as drum sticks and boat oars;


This week I added some more pool noodles that I cut up into small pieces.  My husband says it looks like a rainbow exploded in the yard.  The children have been collecting them sorting them and tossing them about;

NP07They’ve recently started putting several of the small foam pieces onto the conduit and making  patterns – I haven’t yet had my camera handy when they’ve been doing this so I haven’t got a picture.

There are some new toys in the houskeeping area too.  These ones are not plastic – hooray – and I think they are the most adorable things.  I found them in the housewares department at Superstore.  I included the soup can in this picture for size comparison.


And just in case you think these toys have a specific purpose I’ll also mention that the babies think these are the greatest musical instruments.