Kids crafts with toilet paper rolls, brilliant or disgusting?

toilet paper roll

photo credit: Jessia Hime via photopin cc

My mom still has a Santa Claus I created using a toilet paper roll when I was about 6 years old.  As long as I know, toilet paper rolls have been used to create timeless treasures.    Well, timeless until they get smashed in a box, but you know what I mean.

I never thought twice about the rolls being used.  I thought it was a great way to reuse them and make something cute out something that would otherwise go to the landfill.  It never even occurred to me, that, these.things.come.from.the.bathroom.  Yep, that’s right.  Toilet paper rolls are all up in the bathroom before they are used for crafts.  I know, I know.  This is a shocker.

So you might be laughing, of course it comes from a bathroom….it’s TOILET PAPER.  But do you know what else happens in the bathroom?  Yep, you know.  Those grubby hands are the same ones that touched that toilet paper roll before it was handed over to sweet little Sally to create a project.

Did I grab your attention yet?  Yeah, I know, germs are everywhere.  What if little Jimmy didn’t do the best job wiping and then ran out of toilet paper.  What if Jimmy got his hands dirty then just switched out the roll?  What if Jimmy dropped the empty roll on the germ infested floor that he may or may not have peed on the day before and it hadn’t been cleaned?  I know, Jimmy changing the roll out is beyond hilarious, what kid does that?!?!  Stick with here.  Unless the roll comes from your home, where you know how clean and sanitary it is, how do you know it hasn’t been all over urine and feces?  You don’t.

You might think that’s a little over-the-top…and maybe it is.  Maybe a quick spray with some Lysol and they will be good to go, but many schools disagree.  Many schools are banning the use of toilet paper rolls due to the fact that they are unsanitary.

What do you think?  Are they a great idea for kids projects or should we toss them and use something different?  


  1. Beth Copland says

    I feel sorry for today’s kids that they are so over-protected that they are not even allowed the simple pleasure of making a toilet-roll man! Any germs on an old toilet roll are also going to be on the toilet seat, the taps, the flushing mechanism, the door handle…and the kid! Unless you are one of those crazy people that runs around the house all day spraying everything with antiseptics, your kids are going to get germs…and give germs. Let them make big people with the tubes from lunch wrap and little people from toilet rolls. And let them live in the world and deal with everyday germs, after teaching them the basic rules of bathroom hygiene that kept so many earlier generations alive and hardy.

  2. Leah says

    I too believe that children should experience the world, germs and all! BUT I must relay an experience I had that changed my use of TP rolls in my classroom. One family had donated a large bag full. YES! Awesome recycled materials! We used them for all sorts of projects. One afternoon while we were making instruments, I looked down inside of one…yes…a magnificent crusty dark brown smear…
    This may have been the only one…but I was not about to risk turning the others into didgeridoos ! 😉

  3. Juanita says

    As a seasoned adult & nurse I have seen through the years that children whose parent over did it with prevention were the ones sick all the time once they started school. Their little bodies didn’t get enough exposure to build the antibodies needed. That being said we do have to be cautious today due to the super bugs. Also, studies have shown that the toilet is cleaner than the kitchen sink because we clean it more often. And parents what about the phones you give your children – do you ever clean them? Their desks, door handles, car door handles, etc

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