12 Ways To Play With A Roll Of Tape

May 17, 2016

Whenever I need a quick quiet time or boredom buster activity for my kids, I inevitably end up with a roll of tape in my hand.

It's cheap, versatile and my kids just love it! So here are 12+ fun ways for kids to play and learn with a roll of masking tape.

1. Tape Roads

For this activity, you will need tape, toy cars and some imagination! Simply make roads out of the tape. We also made a parking lot because my youngest son really likes parking cars.

Kids will love driving the cars up and down the DIY roadways. For extra play, you can add additional details, like houses made from wooden blocks or LEGO. 

A kid plays with a toy car on a road made out of tape.

2. Tape Peeling Races

Place long strips of tape on a clean surface, such as a table or countertop. Each player gets their own piece of tape to peel. The objective is to be the person who peels the entire piece of tape off the fastest! 

Peeling tape is great for working on fine motor skills development and kids will love racing to finish first.

3. Pick Up "Sticks" Inspired Tape Game

I loved the game Pick Up Sticks as a kid, but I know my kids would get frustrated playing it at their current ages. As a variation, try playing it with tape.

Start by layering multiple pieces of tape in different directions on a clean surface. Take turns peeling the layers of tape off without removing or ripping other pieces of tape. This activity is great for working on social skills such as turn taking, but it also targets fine motor skills.

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4. Tape Tic-Tac-Toe

Try making a giant tic-tac-toe board with tape. You can use toys to play the game, but we prefer to turn this into a gross motor game using our bodies. This game gets the kids moving, stretching and, most importantly, giggling.

Using only hands, feet and the occasional head, two kids can easily play a game of tic-tac-toe! Just be sure to put only one body part in each square. This activity is like a combination of Twister and tic-tac-toe.

Two kids play tic tac toe with their bodies.

5. Movement Races

You'll need a lot of open, obstacle-free space for this activity.

Mark one end of a room with a piece of tape to create a starting line and mark the other end of a room with a second piece of tape to create the finish line.

Encourage your kids to try some of the following gross motor ideas:

  • Run back and forth from line to line a certain amount of times. Encourage kids to bend and touch the lines with their hands.
  • Roll like a log from one line to the other.
  • Try wheelbarrow races. One person holds a person's ankles up while that person walks to the other side of the room using their hands.
  • Experiment with different animal walks such as: hopping like a kangaroo, walking like a crab, galloping like a horse, etc.

6. Tape Letters & Numbers

Practice making letters and numbers using only tape. Depending on your child's age, you might have to help cut or rip the tape into different sized pieces.

A child writes the word

Some fun extensions on this activity:

  • Experiment on a vertical surface, such as a window or wall.
  • Trace the letters with fingers to practice handwriting skills.
  • Draw on the tape letters with a marker to again practice handwriting skills.
  • Practice writing your child's name in tape.
  • Depending on how big your letters are, your child could walk along the letters like a balance beam.
  • Practice sight words.
  • Make tape resist crafts (see next activity) using letters or names of people.

7. Tape Resist Crafts

To make tape resist crafts, you will need tape, paper and something to colour with (you could use markers, paint, dot markers or crayons).

Create a design on the paper using tape. Then colour the entire paper with the chosen art supplies. Let the paper dry completely if you are using paint.

When dry, peel the tape off to reveal the hidden design! Some ideas for inspiration:

  • Make a heart for Valentine's Day.
  • Write MOM or DAD for a simple Mother's Day or Father's Day craft.

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8. Tape Balance Beam

Encourage your kids to work on their sense of balance and gross motor skills by making a balance beam. Simply place a strip of tape on the floor.

You can also create fun-shaped balance beams for specific holidays, such as a spider web for Halloween or a heart for Valentine's Day.

9. Tape Hopscotch

Create an indoor hopscotch game using only tape. It's a great way to work on number recognition, counting and gross motor skills!

10. Tape Mazes

My oldest son is a bit maze-crazed, so together we created a large floor maze using only tape. And he absolutely loved it!

It takes a lot of planning and creativity to create a maze that actually works, but my son was up for the challenge. Once the maze is built, let the kids run different toys or even their fingers through the maze.

A child plays with a maze made from tape.

11. Zigzag Tracing

Zigzag tracing is a great prewriting activity for toddlers and preschoolers. Simply use the tape to create different zigzag-like designs. Then encourage your child to trace the designs with their fingers.

Be sure to try this activity on a vertical surface such as a window or wall.

12. Tape Math

For this activity, you will need tape and a permanent marker.

Rip small pieces of tape and label them with numbers, as well as an addition sign, a subtraction sign and an equals sign. Encourage your kids to solve math equations, appropriate to their skill level.

Numbers drawn on small pieces of tape.

Some other variations to try:

  • Put the tape numbers in order from smallest to largest or largest to smallest.
  • Create a matching game using numeral form and written words (e.g., match 2 with two).
  • Use tally marks or Roman numerals instead of regular numbers.
  • Try letters instead of numbers and practice spelling sight words or your child's name.
  • Try an uppercase and lowercase letter matching game by labeling the tape with both the forms of the letters (e.g., H and h or A and a) and encouraging your child to match the pairs.
Article Author Dyan Robson
Dyan Robson

Read more from Dyan here.

Married to her high school sweetheart, Dyan is mom to two boys, J and K, who also teaches piano out of her home. On her blog And Next Comes L, Dyan shares her story of raising a child with hyperlexia, hypernumeracy and autism, amongst a variety of sensory activities for kids. You can find out more about their story on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Google+.


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