I love repurposing household objects into open-ended play items. You may have noticed. One of my very favorite baby toys is… the paper roll! Whether the paper towel or toilet paper roll, I honestly cannot tell you how often I repurpose these with my infant and toddler. They can become garages for matchbox cars, bracelets, stencils, drum mallets, shakers, or, in this case, a microphone! Though the options for how to use this in play are truly limitless, I want to give you a few ideas for using paper rolls as instruments.
On the corresponding podcast episode, “Play With Words,” we focus specifically on the creation of a paper roll microphone! Microphones are a wonderful way to encourage vocal play or imitation, and are great for calling attention to vocal turn-taking.
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Materials to create your DIY paper roll microphone:
- Toilet paper roll OR Paper towel roll
- Optional: Aluminum foil, washi tape, stickers, markers, double-sided tape other decorating materials
Instructions to create your DIY paper roll microphone:
- Once toilet paper has all been used, save your empty roll and offer as an item to be decorated (or decorate yourself!)
- To make it look more “micophone-y” while retaining the actual amplification effect, attach (I used double sided tape) aluminum foil on one end of the roll.
- Encouraging your little one to feel the reverberation effect against his lips and mouth as he vocalizes can be a nice (and immediate!) sensory reward!
- To replicate the actual look of a microphone, you may place a ball of aluminum foil inside one end of the roll.
- You can model using the microphone yourself (heightening the silliness factor to increase the allure!) and offer it to your little one to encourage him to:
- Imitate a specific sound or word
- Take a conversational turn
- Finish the line in a familiar song
- Engage in pretend play
- Around the 12-18 month age range, first words typically start to appear. Typically, older babies are playing a lot with their voices, and making “talking” (whether it is taking turns babbling, singing, or verbalizing) into a play activity can be a nice way to encourage vocal turn-taking.
This post contains affiliate links. All activities described by Strength In Words assume close and continuous supervision of the child by an adult.
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