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.
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.
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.
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 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.