For this activity, you'll need to gather several large and small craft rolls. Using whole paper towel rolls or ones cut into smaller sizes can be a great way to use recycled materials. You'll also need tempera paint and paint brushes to decorate the craft rolls and a meter stick to practice patterns.
Have a painting party and have the children paint all of the empty rolls that you have collected. Make sure to use several colors.
After the rolls are dry, have the children sort the rolls into sets for each color. You may stack the rolls together, or simply group them together.
If the children are able to recognize repeating patterns, have them thread the rolls onto a meter stick to create a repeating pattern.
If you are discussing animals in science or want to add a fun twist, have children paint stripes, spots or hair lines on the rolls to represent animals and repeat the sorting activity.