The Aquarium is currently open to the public. In response to COVID-19, we’ve made some essential changes to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Reuse the Tube

Don't toss paper tubes in the recycling bin (yet). Try these kid-friendly activities.

Seed Starting Pots

For seed starting pots, you just need some empty tubes, scissors, soil and seeds. Cut one end of the tube into one-inch strips. Fold the strips inward to form the bottom of the pot (fig.1)

Fill each pot with soil and a seed and set in a warm, sunny spot. Before planting, loosen the cardboard so the plant's roots can expand and then put the whole thing (tube and all) in the ground (fig. 2)

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Bird Feeders

To make your own bird feeder, punch two holes on opposite sides of the top of the tube. Thread some string through and tie it to make a loop for hanging.

Cover the tube in peanut butter (fig. 1), roll it in bird seed and hang it outside on a branch—then watch to see who comes by for a snack (fig. 2). Your kids can even make their own bird-watching binoculars using two empty tubes taped or glued together!

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Sea Creatures

Use empty tubes, construction paper, paint or markers, stickers, and whatever else you have on hand to create as many animals as you can. One of our personal favorites might be a TP tube squid. Paint the tube and attach paper cut in a rounded triangle-shape to one end. On the other end, create arms and tentacles by cutting the tube into thin strips, or punch holes around the tube and attach fabric ribbons or yarn. Paint eyes right above the tentacles.

At-Home Activities

If you're looking for creative ways to fill these at-home days, we have some kid-friendly, National Aquarium-approved ideas for crafts and activities that use upcycled and recycled materials.

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