Tape Art

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We are a tape-loving house. You?

Tape art with colorful tape, clear tape, paper tape: young children will enjoy using tape in this process-based design activity that encourages fine motor skills, compositional choices, creative thinking, and more.

tape art

Have you seen this colorful paper tape at Target? It’s from the Kid Made Modern line and you can find it in the art supply section. I’m not an affiliate — just a happy customer.

It’s not washi tape, in case you’re wondering. Washi tape is traditionally made from rice paper and has a transparent quality to it. This tape is fairly heavy; I think you can tell from this photo that it’s got some body to it, which makes it easy for little hands to manipulate.

The tape comes on a long cardboard roll, so I fashioned a make-shift tape dispenser from PVC pipe and connectors that came with our Fort Magic kit and it works like a charm at keeping it organized on the table.

tape art

After watching my children use this fancy tape for a couple months I’ve come to see it as the love child of stickers and wrapping paper. It’s useful for adhering one thing to another, but my kids mostly use it as a form of decoration.

On this particular day I cleared our art table, cut brown paper bags into 6″ wide strips, and presented my kiddos with paper tape and brown paper bags. They loved it.

tape art

My 4-year old likes to cut her own pieces of tape and focused closely on building coordinated horizontal lines across the paper.

Oh, that and covering her fingers with tape.

tape art

My 2-year old is barely getting the hang of cutting (we practice a lot, and I recommend cutting playdough if it’s something you’re working on too), so I pre-cut lots of pieces for her to tape at will. She spent the whole time piling one piece of tape on top of another.

Remember, it’s the process, people, not the product!

tape art

I also pulled out our office supply store dot and garage sale-style stickers, which 2-year old R added to her tape pile.

tape art

This is my 2-year old’s completed piece, which is wildly different from my 4-year old’s interpretation of the materials…

tape art

So, what’s your design material du jour?

Since this colorful tape bonanza, we’ve moved on to clear Scotch tape, a new stash of stickers, mylar, and alphabet stencils.

More tape art inspiration from Tinker-past…

What’s On Your Creative Table?

creative table

Where do your creative explorations take place, and what do they look like?

what's on your creative table at tinkerlab
On my journey as a blogger, I’ve become a prolific picture-taker and the majority of my photos are of my kids’ art/science/tinkering/cooking explorations. Obvious, I know.

Our experiments and projects take place everywhere, from the kitchen to the back yard. My children have a beautiful, kid-size table where most of their explorations take place, but that doesn’t stop them from taking over the dining table or kitchen floor when inspiration strikes. The kids and I are visiting their grandparents on the East Coast, so picnic and coffee tables are where it’s happening for us this summer.

Do you enjoy peeking into other people’s lives? It’s so interesting, isn’t it? I don’t get too personal on my site, but I do try to share parts of our creative journey because I hope it will inspire you to give some of our ideas a try. I’ve been inspired by enough images to know how easily one picture can pop me out of my seat and get me into a creative mindset.

Enter stage right: Instagram. I’ve become a huge fan of Instagram, where I’ve been able to witness the creative journeys of old and new friends from around the world. I’m riveted by all the cooking projects, in awe of how long it takes someone to knit a pair of socks, and enjoy the camaraderie and support of the almost daily sketches in the devoted tinkersketch group. These Instagrammers are awesome.

Yesterday, I put out a call for images on Instagram. I invited my IG friends to share a photo of their creative table. Whatever they were making, I wanted to see it. Within minutes I saw gorgeous tables full of leaf rubbings, fabric, bottlecaps, pony beads, tea-stained paper, and paper dolls. Special thanks to my lovely Tinkersketch friend Angela, Kara of Simple Kids, Jen of Paint Cut Paste, Amy of Maker Mama, and Jena of Happy Little Messes for jumping right in and showing me that this idea is worth pursuing.

What kind of pictures can we share?

Images shared with the #creativetable hashtag should document a creative project at any point in the creative process. Here’s what works especially well at inspiring other people:

  • An invitation to create: Show the set-up before you start working. Here’s a great example. 
  • Overhead shots: These images show all of the materials well and are easy to understand. Like in this example.
  • Action shots: Show how to use a material
  • After-the-fact: Share how the project turned out
  • Materials: Share all the materials used for the project

Here’s how it works:

  • Two Ways to Play: You can add your Creative Table to Google+ or Instagram, and add the hashtag #creativetable to your post so that everyone can find it easily.
  • Photo Guidelines:
    • Take a picture of your creative table (or floor, garden, etc…anywhere that you and/or your kids create) at any point in the creative process.
    • This can be a close-up of just the materials or of your children engaged in a project, as long as the materials are the main focus. Think of how this table could inspire someone else.
    • Consider the angle and lighting of your shot. Natural light or room lights are better than a flash.
    • Please only submit photos of projects in process, rather than completed projects. The picture does not have to reflect a perfect set-up, and can show your table just as it really is.

So, what do you think? This is all really fresh in my mind and maybe I’ve missed something or there’s a better way to do this. I’d love to hear your thoughts.