Improvised Caution Tape

My daughter is FASCINATED by caution tape. It all started about a month ago when we walked past a building that was surround with the stuff, and I was barraged with questions like: Why is there caution tape there? Who can go over there? What happened? How did the fire truck get in the building? Why is that man behind the caution tape? Why can’t I go behind the caution tape? And so on. And ever since, her radar is attuned to caution tape like mine is attuned to drive-through coffee shacks (which are way too few and far between!)

So, one fine Sunday morning, she and my husband decked out our house with their version of caution tape. While I bought this tape with more traditional art projects in mind, I’m impressed with how they interpreted it as a medium for blocking off areas of our home. When this all got underway I was thankfully on the right side of the tape, as I was told that the other side was only for “workers only” and I wasn’t permitted to pass. Toddlers and their rules!!

In case you’re wondering, this is what she was stockpiling on the other side of the tape.

This simple play-acting game kept her entertained for close to an hour, which I attribute to paying attention to her interests, one of the first posts I wrote about back in May. While we could have purchased a head-to-toe construction worker kit like this, she got into the spirit of it all with simple yellow tape and orange paper repurposed into caution tape and cones, and it didn’t cost us a dime. Kids are awesome like that. And who needs a yellow safety vest when you can wear a pink tutu? (Bet you didn’t realize you bought her a construction outfit, Auntie Danielle!)

With rainy (and maybe where you are, snowy!) days ahead, I plan to look for opportunities to support my child’s interests using materials that we already have on hand. Or none at all. This afternoon we laughed through an improvised outing to a friend’s house to pick up stickers, using nothing but our bodies and voices. What a great way to pass an otherwise dreary afternoon!

How have you supported a child’s interests with a creative use of materials? What improvisational games have you found yourself playing?

Comments

  1. says

    I can’t recall if I’ve posted a comment on your site before…I think I did! I’m a relatively new reader. Last night, I bookmarked your post about tape yesterday, because I plan to buy some colored tape, too!

    I am constantly looking for ways to support my daughter’s interests and promote creative, open-ended play. She wanted to play “Kohl’s” the other day, and wanted us to have “Kohl’s cash” so, we got out some paper and she went to work on making the Kohl’s cash. She then used whatever was in the house to be items for the store.

    An improvosational game of sorts that we’ve done in the past, is building structures with cups, and then taking turns using cars to knock down the buildings. You can find a picture here:

    http://joytoyouandme.blogspot.com/2010/07/joy-in-summer-pictures-part-3-joy-in_23.html

    We use these cups all the time, for all sorts of things. We will use them to make “Igloo” structures this winter.

    She also uses our Christmas tree for a setting for her dolls to play. Here are pictures from last year.
    http://joytoyouandme.blogspot.com/2009/12/joy-in-tree.html

    I’ll share this post with my daughter–she loves stuff like this! So do I! Thanks for all the tape ideas : )

  2. rachelle says

    Hi Lisa! Thanks for the comment, and for sharing the ideas for imaginative play. I had a chance to poke around your blog, and I’m glad to have another use for picnic cups. How fun :) This activity will be good for teaching patience, as my daughter is currently in the practice of toppling my block structures before they’re even three pieces high. Cheers!

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for sharing the link! I especially love that they’ve included images of work by children. I read that they take these down the NEXT day — what a shame since so much work goes into creating each piece.

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