Let Them Grow: Tape Town
Now I am stretched thin as the tape. A sticky waddling baby slowly swaggers around looking to get into everything that his three-year-old sister is into. The challenge becomes affording both age groups an opportunity to play without shorting my infant of a great art experience or ‘dumbing down’ the project for the preschooler. Here is a fun and easy activity to try out!
Masking tape is a fun and easy way to engage any age group’s fine motor skills and avant-garde art intuition. Masking tape from school suppliers peels easily from surfaces, has good rip-ability, and comes in every color. Pulling, peeling, and tearing the tape exercises little fingers and makes a beautiful temporary work of art. Use a plain wall surface or a large blank table. Let the children tear and pull and put on and take off the tape. The goal is not to keep a beautiful piece of art, but rather to inspire and engage.
The teachers in my daycare often use masking tape to create fun ways to engage in large motor play – taping out obstacle courses on the floor, with lines to balance on paths that cross little magical rivers or wander under tables.
Create a course that is easy to understand visually. For instance, “follow the yellow road to the blue river and jump over so you don’t get wet. Then follow the yellow road again into the tunnel (under the table). Crawl on your knees until you reach the other side of the tunnel.” Explain the course, map it out, and let them go!
Creating a city on the table with tape is a fun way to engage the vehicle-minded. A quick think by a teacher this week led to a fun morning of imaginative play. Create a train track, car lot, or airport. Build a tape city with roads and tunnels. Allow the children to help build the city’s infrastructure and let their imaginations do the rest.
Finding ways to engage multiple age groups with simple supplies makes for an activity that is fun and easy to assemble and disassemble. It also allows time for the preschoolers to have access to free-form art, while we have time to chase the baby!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Candice Chouinard has worked with youth of all ages and backgrounds, creating and implementing programing for children. She revels in hand-on, long-term, messy projects that are both fun and educational. Candice comes from a background in creative writing, as well as, child development and psychology. She owns and operates a day care in Northampton, MA.