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Preschool Counting Activity using Toilet Paper Rolls

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Preschooler counting with toilet paper rolls.

I have a new activity for you today that is admittedly a little wacky, but I did it with my own twin preschoolers, and it was a roaring success! I recommend you give it a try. You probably already have all the materials you need, and it takes just seconds to set up. Today, I’m sharing a preschool counting activity using…you guessed it, toilet paper rolls.

Counting is a very important early math skill, and one that we parents can teach in so many ways! Additionally, counting from 1-10 without skipping numbers is part of kindergarten readiness.

Pinterest pin of the preschool counting activity with toilet paper rolls.

Start this preschool counting activity quickly and easily

To start this activity, just grab some toilet paper rolls. We used 12 rolls total.

Before you get worried about wasting toilet paper, the rolls were still perfectly useable when we finished. Some rolls got a little smashed, but I just squished them back to their normal shape and they were as good as new. Use your best judgement here. Although we didn’t lose any rolls, I wouldn’t have tried this with my very last ones.

Once you have your toilet paper, explain to your preschooler(s) that you’re going to call out a number, and they will build a tower that many rolls high. Then, find a comfortable seat and start calling out numbers. It’s that easy!

I recommend calling out numbers 8 and under. Beyond 8 rolls, they had trouble building a steady tower, but they still had fun trying.

Preschoolers building towers 5 toilet paper rolls high as part of the preschool counting activity.
My twins building counting to five by building a toilet paper roll tower.

If you want to teach counting higher numbers, I recommend building several shorter towers and then counting the total number of rolls.

After the towers are built, the kids can enjoy knocking them down!

Kids love learning with toilet paper rolls!

My kids had so much fun with this! They thought that building with toilet paper was hysterical. We’ve never done anything like this, so it was new and exciting for them.

This activity had them up and running around, allowing them to learn and move at the same time, which is always a bonus.

Toilet paper roll tower as part of the preschool counting activity.
Toilet paper tower 4 rolls high.

The toilet paper rolls are soft and wide enough to make great building materials. If they crash down, there’s no loud noise or hurt body parts.

My kids came up with several creative ways to knock their towers down, including running through them and throwing stuffed animals at them. As you can imagine, this is how the rolls got a little smushed.

Toilet paper rolls can also be used to teach patterns!

My four year old son is obsessed with patterns recently. I decided to take this activity a step further and create patterns with toilet paper rolls and ask my twins “What comes next?”

Preschooler practicing patterns and counting with toilet paper rolls.
My son finishing a pattern with toilet paper rolls. This is the first example pattern.

They loved it!

I set up the rolls in a pattern (like 1 roll, 2 rolls, 1 roll) and then asked them to use more rolls to continue the pattern.

Examples of the patterns I set up included:

  1. 1 roll tower – 2 rolls tower – 1 roll tower –
  2. 1 roll tower – 3 rolls tower – 1 roll tower –
  3. 1 roll tower – 1 roll tower – 2 rolls tower – 1 roll tower –

The possibilities of different patterns are endless and can be made more or less difficult to suit the child.

I hope you enjoy this preschool counting activity!

I sincerely hope you and your preschoolers enjoy this activity as much as we did. It was so fun that it didn’t feel like “learning” for my kids.

Please let me know if you try this with your kids! I would love to hear about it. Leave me a comment below.

Pin this preschool counting activity for later!

Toilet paper counting activity pin for pinterest. Users can share this activity or save it for later.

Other resources for preschoolers

Check out my other resources for preschoolers. Most recently I have created two, 25 page printable workbooks for Preschool Math and Preschool Patterns.

Check out No Mess, No Prep Activities for Preschoolers, and Easy Rainbow Craft for Young Kids.

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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational and educational purposes only. I am not an expert and nothing on this blog is expert advice. Readers should consult real experts before making decisions in their lives. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information on this blog. All activities should be done under adult supervision, and caretakers have full responsibility for the safety and development of their child(ren). I am not responsible for damaged toilet paper rolls. For further information, see the Disclaimer page.

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