Tape Play

This is what the breakfast table sometimes turns into in our home.

Pancakes, coffee, napkins, and, ahem…tape. Of course, yes, please pass the tape!

Tape has been a favorite medium since it arrived in our house a couple months ago, and it’s taken on all kinds of forms since. The colors are incredible, and full of tons of possibilities. You can find a set of ten colors here. Great stuff. Not only is it useful for adhering one thing to another, but kids catch on quick that it can be used to make lines, designs, and shapes. Sometimes on a large scale. And my 2.5 year old is really into cutting it right now. Something she’s working on, and by golly she’s determined to master the technique!

Nothing is safe when the tape comes out!

But why is tape fun for kids? It can be layered, twisted, and bent around the edges of paper (or objects!). It’s sticky! If you spend time around young kids, you’ve no doubt witnessed a near-universal adoration for stickers. And because the impact is immediate, it’s highly accessible. There are no questions about how bright the color will look (as there might be with paint), and the limitations of the medium give children a clear sense of what the material will do.

Children who haven’t mastered scissor skills shouldn’t be limited from exploring tape. I just peel off multiple strips and stick them to the edge of a bowl or table for my child to pull off at will.

Tape as an art medium has been gaining steam in recent years. Melbourne street artist Buff Diss makes large-scale tape installations (this is one of my favorites) and Philadelphia-based Mark Khaisman creates beautiful images with transparent brown packing tape. And that’s it…tape is their medium, and they’re really good at it. So, if you ever thought that your child isn’t artistic or creative because he or she doesn’t draw or paint, fear not! Creativity comes in many shapes and forms, and sometimes that form is masking, painters, or packing tape.

Tomorrow I’ll share another unexpected use for tape that came from one of my daughter’s current obsessions. Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. says

    When my middle child was two, he could entertain himself for hours with scotch tape, paper, and scissors. For years I had a little piece of paper with “H” written on it (the first letter he could write) taped to the wall with miles of clear tape. I couldn’t bear to take it down for the longest time! My current 2yo is also learning to use the scissors, and she drew with tape the other day on her piece of black paper. I like that multicolored tape… I’ll let Santa know about it!

    And I wanted to let you know, even though the gazillions of itty bitty Legos on my boys’ bedroom floors can drive me nuts, my 2yo daughter has been clicking them together and apart since she was 1ish–she started with the big ones, but she’ll play with the little ones when her brothers let her. I imagine it’s really fantastic for spatial relations and fine motor coordination–definitely not just for boys!

    • rachelle says

      All forms of tape are popular over here too, and scotch tape has been especially interesting! The last few days she’s been covering glitter glue with scotch tape, which is kind of cool. Thanks for the legos pitch :) We actually have a basket of legos, which she likes well enough, but they haven’t held her interest to the same extent that some of the other toys have. Maybe she’ll come around to them as she gets older!

  2. Kanda says

    Tape is great! what fun colors! this will be my next online purchase.
    thanks for the tip Rachelle!
    btw – Gotta love the universal adoration for stickers! JD went to bed last night with one on his hand and another on his forehead. He placed them there after we finished reading books :)

    • rachelle says

      I swear I’m not getting any kind of kick-back from Discount School Supply (although maybe I should — this tape sounds like it’s a popular item). Can’t believe JD went to bed with a sticker on his head!! He’s hilarious!

  3. Chelsea says

    Klutz.com (a local company I adore) has a tape activity book that comes with several rolls of multicolored tape. I’m sure that ordering giant rolls is more economical, but if you feel funny sending a far-off toddler friend or relative a big box of tape, it’s a great way to introduce the idea.

    http://www.klutz.com/Chicken-Socks/Totally-Tape?merch_location=Search%20Results%20Listing

    Meanwhile, I’m off to place an order for those rolls, as our blue painters’ tape is a little boring on its own.

    • rachelle says

      Such a good idea. Yeah, unless the cousins or friends happen to read this blog, a gift of 10 rolls of tape might be a little off-putting :)