Move Over Duct Tape: Fun and Kid-Friendly Ways with Masking Tape
By Shannon M. Medisky
Yeah, yeah, duct tape is great. It’s strong. It can fix nearly anything when you’re in a pinch. And, well, it’s just cool stuff. But it’s inexpensive counterpart, masking tape, is pretty cool in its own right too, at least when it comes to entertaining kids!
I happened upon the following ideas out of sheer desperation. At the time, we were living in a (very) small condo and it was 110 degrees outside, and had been for several days. I was trapped inside with two young boys who were absolutely dying for some active play. And, frankly, I was too. What to do? Masking tape to the rescue! Whether it’s rain or shine, I hope you and your kiddos find the following ideas just as much fun as we did.
Depending upon how much you want to challenge your child(ren), create a straight or a zig-zag virtual “balance beam” by placing strips of masking tape on the floor. Enhance the fun by creating stories about what might happen if they fall off the “beam.” There could be hot, bubbling lava or perhaps hungry alligators waiting to swallow them up!
Got one of those inexpensive, vinyl bouncing balls and a roll of masking tape? Then you’ve got a nearly instant game of indoor 4-square just waiting to happen. Use the masking tape to tape off 4 squares (all touching) and just recall the rules from your own childhood or make up your own as you go along. Even better, you can strategically size the tape squares to match that of your child’s size and/or ability.
Why not get everyone jumping? Use masking tape to create your own hopscotch boards. Got more than one kiddo? No need to take turns! Create several different hopscotch board designs and rotate through all of the different ones.
My own sons personal favorite is design your own track for their toy cars. Simply hand your child the roll of masking tape and invite him or her to create it themselves. Truth be told, we’ve even had a masking tape runway created in the past for toy airplane takeoffs and landings!
Whenever possible, I like to engage my children’s brains AND bodies in an activity. It keeps them active and creative. Another fun favorite is simply raiding the recycle bin with masking tape in hand. Invite my boys to become inventors. They take a look at what “supplies” we have at their disposal, talk about what they might be able to make and then I let them have at it. They enjoy the complete freedom to create. They appreciate the instant satisfaction of using the masking tape (as they don’t have to wait for things to stay like they do with glue). And I always appreciate watching their minds and little hands at work.
Target practice is another great way to use masking tape for fun. Create either squares or simple Xs right on the floor and equip everyone with a rolled up socks, a small ball, a coin or a small button. (Be careful, though, that small items aren’t placed into their mouths!) Stand back, take a toss and see who can hit the mark! When you’re through, simply peel the tape and toss it in the trash. Easy, peasy clean up and fun was had by all!
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