Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes – Crafty DIY Infant Entertainment

Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes – for babies and infants


sensory activity with baby - tactile/vsual entertainment tubes - - Psychology resource and perspective on babies and motherhood

Toilet Roll Fun - Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes - home made fun with baby. Ideas from


  • What was the idea originally supposed to be? – A baby play station (click on link for what the activity was originally meant to look like). I changed the idea slightly
  • Where did I get the idea/activity from? – This website called Kids Activities Blog 
  • Why did I make it? – I thought it would be a fun, creative thing to, and something that would entertain the Little Lovely and also allow tactile and visual stimulation

The original activity is to make a baby play station using toilet paper rolls, wrapping different fabric/materials around each roll, attaching rolls to a curtain rod and then watching them roll as baby plays/spins them around. I decided to attach them to some string and attach the string to the play gym for the Little Lovely to play with.


Here’s the steps I took to make it:

material/paper scraps: sensory activity with baby - - Psychology resource and perspective on babies and motherhood
Step 1: I found some materials to use that were visually stimulating and/or tactile . I used old wallpaper scraps that were bumpy and had a nice texture, and some shiny material.

sensory activity with baby - tactile/vsual entertainment tubes - - Psychology resource and perspective on babies and motherhood

Step 2: I carefully cut to size and glued the paper/material scraps onto toilet paper rolls, folding any excess fabric or paper into the inside of the roll.
sensory activity with baby - tactile/vsual entertainment tubes - - Psychology resource and perspective on babies and motherhood  Step 3: Leave to dry
Step 4: I threaded the tactile and sensory rolls onto thick string but you could attach to a rod as in the original idea, or something safe for your infant to play with. I then attached mine to hang between two poles of the play gym. 


….and voilà! Here are some pictures of LL enjoying his new toy


Toilet Roll Fun - Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes - home made fun with baby. Ideas from Roll Fun - Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes - home made fun with baby. Ideas from Roll Fun - Tactile and Visual Entertainment Tubes - home made fun with baby. Ideas from





















Safety first:

  • be careful of choking hazards when choosing materials and don’t chose things to wrap around the rolls that have little parts that could fall off or be pulled off easily.  I supervised play to ensure safety and the rolls were tied up so that LL could not get them down or his mouth around them easily
  • I am wary of using string with babies because of any risks they could get caught up it in. Therefore, always attach safely so that there is no string or materials free for infant to injure self on and only allow play in your presence and under adult supervision. Take the string down after use and put away safely. Do not copy random pages/blogs on the internet. I bought some child-friendly white craft glue for this activity, however all of the glue remains under the paper/material and so does not directly touch little hands or mouths.

Day Time Schedules

Thinking more about him sleeping through the night, I was thinking about schedules. ???????????????????????????????

I’m attempting a better day time schedule (maybe this will positively impact on night time?). So far we don’t really have one. This is terrible I know because in my work I am all about behavioural interventions and working with people to log their activities and create meaningful activities and some structure to their day. In my depression related work with adults this can be fundamental and people often see an increase in mood with an increase in meaningful activities, good self care and better sleep at night. At the moment with LL we just do what I think he wants to do when he wants to do it. It’s probably an extension of the feeding and sleeping on demand that was present from birth. But now I’m wondering if the lack of structure and routine is just not very containing or predictable for him, or for me. Naps and feeds then get thrown off and can occur at any time. He doesn’t know what to expect and neither do I.

In another attempt to break the eat-sleep association, I’m trying to not feed before naps and instead to do a feed, wake (inc. play/activities/baby classes etc) and then sleep kind of structure. I just need to work out how long each cycle should be. Some say 3, some say 4 hours at this stage (e.g. Baby Whisperer; LL is 4.5 months). The eat-sleep association just kind of arose because it was difficult to get LL off to sleep initially and that seemed to work. Rocking him while singing row your boat also seemed to work for day time naps and although I knew that in the long term these methods might not be great because he was reliant on my rocking or feeding, I didn’t mind because at least he was getting some sleep and not cyring about being tired. I thought – well I’ll just have to make changes to any habits later on because at this point (first few weeks/months) any sleep is better than no sleep, and I don’t care how we achieve it! And the longer the sleep, the better.

Ok so plan for next few weeks is to start more of a day time routine! Consistency and predictability is really important.

Tooth for the Price of One!

Two for the price of one!

There’s two teeth there not just one! ogre tooth two

The Little Lovely’s daddy noticed another one coming in right next to the first. Poor boy. I wonder if it’s confusing for him to have these things suddenly appear and hurt in his mouth. No calpol, granuals or teething gel today. I did get another teether though in case it helps him. He doesn’t seem to be too interested in them though and prefers to chew on his or my hand instead.

Although he’s been drooly for a while, teething symptoms apparently occur significantly more frequently in the days before, during and after the tooth emergence (an 8-day teething period or “window” – says a recentish study (1)). Might explain some irritability and poor sleep we all had recently.  The study didn’t find high fever to be associated with teething, something that I was looking out for and relying on to confirm teething! Although a mild rise in temperature was associated.  Some infants had no symptoms, but they do helpfully highlight “mild symptoms” found to be temporally associated with teething including increased biting, drooling, gum-rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, ear-rubbing and facial rash. Although, no particular cluster of symptoms were found to reliably predict the imminent emergence of a tooth — so poot if I was looking for a predictive formula. oh well, only one study.

Note though symptoms are not necessarily caused by teething (they are only associated) – for example, this study (2) writes that  “during this same time period of an infant’s life, passive immunity due to maternal antibodies wanes and exposure to a wide variety of childhood illnesses occurs. Due to this temporal relationship, teething often is blamed for symptoms such as changes in sleep and eating patterns, rhinorrhea, drooling, rash, fussiness, and diarrhea.”



(1) Macknin et al., (2000).  Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study. Pediatrics, 105 (4), pp. 747 -752

(2) Markman, L. (2009). Teething Facts and Fiction. Pediatrics in Review, 30, pp. e59 -e64 

Is that a tooth?

small chair LL  The Little Lovely (LL- as pictured) is teething!

He’s been drooly for a while now, and could get quite irritated, so we suspected It could be teething but then we also weren’t sure as he can get slobbery and annoyed at other times as well. He gets particularly drooly before his bedtime feed; I started singing the song “truly scrumptious” but replacing “truly” with “drooly”, until the song got stuck in our heads and LL’s daddy banned the song. In fact I’m singing the song now. I just googled it and found this website, so I’m apparently not the only one making that association. Unfortunately for me the site is American, so I can’t buy anything there. Too bad, this one looks quite nice

ogre tooth

Anyway, he has one little toothy peg coming in on the bottom in the middle. He’s going to look like a ogre with one little tooth sticking out, but it appears that he is “normal” in terms of this tooth coming in first according to info on order of tooth appearance.

I was sitting next to a nanny at a baby class, and she told me that when the front and bottom teeth come in the baby looks like a rabbit – nice! She said she has nannied 7 babies so far and has her own children, so I suppose she should know.

I was recommended those chamomile teething granules so we used one today and a bit of teething gel. LL didn’t seem at all concerned that we were putting strange stuff in his mouth. I don’t know if they work yet for him, it’s only been used the once.

I was a bit upset when he first started drooling and I suspected teething. And now he actually has one coming through it means he’s not a baby anymore and and a reminder he won’t need milk forever. He’s on the way to chewing and munching through his own foods. He’s only 4.5 months old, it all seems a bit early. My little baby is no longer so little.

I need to find a gum massager and other teething tools. We have some teethers that I bought a few weeks ago, but he is not very interested in chewing on them. I got a chewable toothbrush but I’ve seen some that you can put on your finger for babies to chew. This might be a better idea because LL is a big fan of hand and finger chewing, both his own and anyone else’s.



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