Painter’s Tape Activities for Babies to Big Kids

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One Simple Material, Endless Possibilities

Ah, the humble roll of Painter’s Tape. Such a simple utility item can bring endless hours of fun and activities! At the start of quarantine, when many basic art supplies were sold out, I had to get creative. One of the supplies we had in bulk around the house was rolls of bright blue Painter’s Tape. Fortunately, there is a multitude of things kids can do with this material as a jumping-off point. Here are some of our favorite Painter’s Tape activities, for babies up to big kids!

Tape Peel

Sounds straightforward, because it is. When your precious babe is starting to work on those fine motor skills, Painter’s Tape can be your friend. Simply lay a few strips down on the floor and let your baby try to pull them up. This is an easy and entertaining way for them to hone their pincer grasp. Just make sure to keep a close eye on them that they don’t try to eat the tape!

Practice fine motor skills with a tape pull.

Window or Sidewalk “Stained Glass” Painting

Sidewalk chalk gets a modern geometric upgrade with Painter’s Tape! You probably saw your friends posting pictures of this activity on social media this spring. A similar take is to do this on windows! During Lent of 2020, my daughters and I painted our glass front door in preparation for Easter. The activity was one of our favorites of the spring, and we got so many kind comments from neighbors and passers-by who appreciated seeing something bright and beautiful! We used regular Crayola washable paint mixed with a few drops of Dawn dish soap. We left the paint on the door for about 8 weeks (way longer than I anticipated doing so!) and it came off easily. As with anything, make sure to test a small area first before committing to painting an entire window or door.
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Tape Resist Art

If you’re looking for a unique way for your child to paint, try tape resist art! Lay Painter’s Tape on top of a regular piece of paper, cardstock, or canvas, and simply paint over it. Peel the tape off and voila! You’ll be left with negative space where the tape was and a truly stunning effect! Use this method to make creative seasonal paintings (trees and snowflakes are popular with this method), design homemade cards, or make a sign with your child’s name. One of my daughters calls this method “opposite painting,” and it’s definitely one of our favorite Painter’s Tape activities. (Hint: make sure that you remove the tape when the paint is mostly dry—don’t leave it too long! Also, to ensure minimal bleeding, press the tape down firmly on the painting surface before beginning.)

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Race Track

Probably one of the most universal ways to incorporate Painter’s Tape into play is by creating roadways or racetracks. What I love about this activity is that it’s great for solitary or collaborative play. Whether you use a large piece of cardboard, the floor, or even the sidewalk, this activity is great for vehicle lovers from 1 to 10 (or beyond!) years old.

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Toys on Parade

I remember seeing this on one of my favorite sites, Busy Toddler, and thinking “Ahhh! My kids already do this!” When my eldest was a toddler, I was confounded by her fascination by arranging little toys in lines across the floor in her room. Turns out, this is a very common and developmentally appropriate phenomenon. Enhance this already natural inclination by adding a parade roadway of Painter’s Tape. It’s a simple, open-ended activity—the very best kind for fostering independent, imaginative play!

Obstacle Course / Doorway Web

This one isn’t for the faint of heart (or mess!). Get your kiddos practicing some gross motor skills by creating a “web” of Painter’s Tape in a doorway. There are a few ways you can vary this.
  1. Make gaps large enough for a child to climb through and challenge them to see how well they can wiggle through without breaking the web.
  2. Roll up little balls of newspaper to throw at the web and see who can get the most successfully stuck…
  3. …or see how successfully you can throw the newspaper wads through the web!
  4. These require a lot more tape than the other activities so make sure you have a full roll on hand!

    Painter’s Tape “spider web” makes for a fun physical challenge!

Bean Bag Toss

A bean bag toss is a great rainy day activity for working on hand-eye coordination. As it is easy to customize for difficulty, it’s a versatile activity for all ages! For younger kids, it’s an interactive way of practicing shapes. Make various different shapes out of tape and ask corresponding questions: Can you toss it into the square? The triangle? If you have different colored Painter’s Tape, elevate it further to challenge your kiddos. Toss into the blue oval. Toss into the red diamond.

If you are a fan of painter’s tape activities, let us know some of the ways you like to play with it in the comments below!

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