So, we all get stuck inside when Mother Nature decides to grace us with her presence. Whether it is rain or snow, extreme cold or extreme heat, reality is, sometimes we have to stay indoors. This can lead to the dreaded “Mom, I’m bored”!
The following Painters Tape Activities can help your children have some fun AND gain some necessary gross motor developmental skills. All this can happen for a low cost of $1.50 for a roll of painter’s tape. You may even already have a roll at home.
Now, I know you’re thinking, “Janice, can I use other kids of tape?”. Technically, yes, you can use sort of tape that you want, BUT, practically, NO, you shouldn’t! The reasoning is because you will need to remove that tape and NOTHING comes off easier, and without stickiness remaining on the floor, than painter’s tape. I learned this the hard way, take my word for it!
Alright, so let me describe activity #1.
In the picture below, I have placed 3 different tape strategies. A straight line, a zigzag line and a broken line. Can you guess how to use them? It’s pretty self explanatory. The object of the activity is to have the child walk on the tape. My tape lines are short, as they are simply for demonstration purposes. Yours can be as long or short as you want them to be. In a childcare setting, I have placed these in different areas of the room and the children would randomly “walk the line” spontaneously as they walk by.
So, these lines can just simply be to walk on or you can make it into a game by placing an object(s) and one end. This way the child would go get the the object, by only stepping on the line, turning around and returning it to the other end. The broken line offers a little more challenge because the child now has to hop from one line to the next.
Another variation is a double line, as seen in the picture below. In this example, the child would place one foot on each line. This could again be paired with the objects at one end.
Let’s move to activity #2. In this activity, you would place a square box and some objects that need sweeping up on the floor. The item in the example are random blocks. The object could literally use anything you have on hand. I have used things like leaves, pieces of paper and pompoms.
The goal of this activity is for the child to sweep all the objects into the box using either a regular or kid sized broom.
Activity #3 involves a painter’s tape spider web. I have placed mine in the doorway to my office (please ignore the mess). The spider web can be placed anywhere that you access from either side. If you have multiple children, place the tape from side to side or the door way, but also make them sticky from both sides by placing the sticky side in one direction and place some more facing the other direction.
You will need to crunch up some paper (newspaper, scrap paper, tissue paper). The kids should enjoy this part. Make as many or as little as you like and place them either in a basket or on the floor.
The goal of this activity is to throw the paper balls into the painter’s tape spider web and make them stick to the web.
These types of activities are a great way to assist in the development of gross motor skills. Gross motor skills are simply movement that involve the larger muscles of the body, such as the arms, legs and torso.
Balance is another skill that this activity fosters. To master balance, the child is required to maintain a controlled position. There are 2 types of balance, stationary and dynamic. Stationary balance is having the ability to remain balanced while in place, like standing on one foot. Dynamic balance is the ability to remain balanced while moving, such as dancing, running or riding a bike.
Coordination is also at play with these activities. Coordination is the ability to control all the parts of your body. Let’s use the broken line as an example. When the child gets to the end of the tape, the child will, most times, stop and reposition themselves so their dominant leg will land on the next piece of tape. This requires control, balance and coordination.
All of these skills being tested during the Painter’s Tape Activities! High impact activity for a low cost. COMPLETELY WORTH THE $1.50 wouldn’t you say!!
How many ways can YOU come up with?