One activity, four ways: Tape It Up!

One activity, four ways will be a new, regular feature on Childhood 101. I am often asked how to modify an activity idea or resource for children who are younger or older than Immy, or how to involve children of different ages in an activity. One activity, four ways will take one idea (or resource) and present ways to engage babies, toddlers, preschoolers and bigger kids with it. And today we are starting with … TAPE!

Sensory experiences are such an important part of baby play and loops of low tack masking tape can provide for fun, exploratory play for babies who are sitting up independently. Lightly stick the tape loops to a toy, the high chair tray or your baby’s hand or foot and watch them explore the stickiness.


tape sculpture

Line lengths of masking tape or coloured electrical tape along the edge of the table and let your toddler loose with a collection of small boxes, cardboard rolls, lids and other items from your recycling tub. Let them create whatever they like, however they like. Extend the experience by adding felt tipped markers or collage materials such as feathers, popsticks, foam shapes and stickers.


preschool tape activities

Thanks to the ‘big reveal,’ tape painting is an activity enjoyed by preschoolers. Apply lengths of tape to the surface (low tack masking tape on paper or card/masking or packing tape on canvas) and then paint over with child friendly acrylics. Remove the tape to reveal the design left behind.

Tape Painting

A tape monogram of your child’s initial is also lots of fun.

Older children are capable of creating really interesting and detailed artwork using this same method. Provide them with scissors and tape or self adhesive book covering (Contact paper) to cut shapes from.

Bigger Kids

Bigger kids may enjoy the challenge of creating whole pictures from rolls of coloured electrical tape onto cardboard. For those more construction minded big kids who like building things, why not set them the challenge of creating an animal, building, bridge or vehicle using rolled up pages of newspaper and masking or electrical tape.

Another fun idea for bigger kids is the challenge of creating a working marble run from cardboard rolls and tape.

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  1. I love these ideas Christie. It’s interesting to see how one activity can be modified to suit different ages and even, interests. I’ll look forward to more of this series.

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Gill, I am hoping readers find the ideas useful.

  2. I’m going to be looking forward to these regular posts. It’s a great idea modifying an activity for different ages. I know for sure that my youngest would love the baby activity and my eldest would love the “big reveal” craft. I had to gasp though when you let the kids play with your washi tape – that’s Mummy only tape in this house!

    1. LOL Brooke, I know what you mean about the washi tape 🙂 Immy has one roll that is hers, the rest of my stash is hidden away!

  3. Great ideas, thanks. I’m definitely looking forward to more in this series.

  4. Chrissy @ The Outlaw Mom Blog says:

    Love these tape ideas. My daughter has an obsession with tape, so I’m sure she’ll love these. Her usual favorite is taping her own legs so she looks like a mummy, but that means I need a bottle of olive oil on hand to loosen it up to take it off painlessly, so I’m happy to see these ideas!

    1. Immy went through a stage of dressing herself in tape too! Her obsession with tape has been ongoing for about two years now!

  5. What a great post – love the idea of one activity that you can tailor for the different ages. It’s always hard to please all of them at the same time and with more rain forecast, we’ll be looking for some ‘creative’ options to keep the troops happy!

    1. Thank you for the feedback, Rebecca. I hope you find the ongoing series useful. And good luck with the rain!!

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