Tape Art for Toddlers

We are a tape-loving house. You?

Toddler and Preschoolers adore tape, so today I’m sharing how you can set up your own simple art provocation: Tape Art for Toddlers.

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…


  1. Oh I’ve got to add that tape to my target list and I love your holder, my husband is a plumber so PVC is easy to find around here!

  2. We love tape! No matter what kind, they can create beautiful compositions easily! Good job!

  3. I saw a set of colorful tape at Target a couple months ago and bought it. I didn’t supervise as closely as I should have and my girls ended up taping my kitchen cabinets! But it looks like what you did with your kids is fun.

    • Yikes, Becky. It’s sort of sticky tape, too, so I can only imagine how annoying that must have been! But I bet your cabinets looked pretty 🙂

  4. Oh we love tape here and have even created wall art with it. I recently bought this printed tape set from target. Funny that I have a similar picture of Putti with tape on all her fingers lol
    We even used it decorate a gift for her little friend’s birthday 🙂

    • Isn’t tape the best?! I would love to find some research on why kids love it so much. It must be, at least in part, that it gives them so much control over a material in a really immediate way. Tape goes on absolutely everything in our house — no holds barred! 🙂

  5. My two year olds artwork turned out so, so similar to your two year olds! Thank you for the inspiration.

    I discovered you via pinterest.

  6. I really love tape art…and my 2 little sons are doing it on their wall, very often.
    We are lucky becaue we have friends they are doing tape art – they are called TAPE OVER (https://www.facebook.com/TAPEOVER) and my boys love them 🙂
    They say: “Our room looks sooo cool when Rob and Lamia play taping with us!”

  7. I have been completely unsuccessful in finding the tape you mention here, so I’m wondering if you could give me a brand name or suggest other places I might look for it. Our Targets have some tapes, but nothing like this (unless I’m looking in the completely wrong place, which is always a good possibility). Thanks! Hoping to do this project with a bunch of little kids for our library’s “March Youth Art Month” cebration.

  8. I absolutely love this! I wish my preschooler would get more into the tape play/create! I could sit and do this for hours myself but, she’ll leave me sitting there alone to do it?! What do I do then? I keep bringing it out over the next months and wait to see if something changes…Maybe i’lltry it this week!

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