The magic of tape

Somewhere towards the middle of the school year, I put all of our colored tape on a paper roll holder for our preschool class to use for a project that I can’t even remember. I hadn’t intended to keep the tape on the holder but my students used the tape every day in all different kinds of ways so when you have such interest, you stick with it…

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

On our last week of preschool, I moved the tape holder to our outdoor classroom and set it out with a bunch of sticks. There was no agenda here, just an invitation to explore the tape in a new way…

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

Being surrounded by woods, there is an endless supply of sticks so my students used the tape to wrap the sticks. None of my students asked me what they should do or what this was for or what they could make – they just jumped in and went to work wrapping their sticks…

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

Some of my students still prefer to use a pair of scissors to cut the tape and others have gotten quite proficient at tearing the tape from the roll. The tape used here is a paper tape that I purchased from our local school supply store at the beginning of the school year. I will have to restock for next year…

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

Some of my students wrapped four or five (or more) sticks to take home with them by the end of the week. I was given the scoop by one little girl that her sticks were actually “magic wands.” …

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

So what benefit is wrapping tape around a stick? Well besides all the motor skills development involved (twisting, pinching, pulling, cutting) and the eye-hand coordination involved (getting the tape stuck where you want it to stick and keeping it going in the right direction) and the decision-making (choosing colors) and critical thinking (regulating how much tape to tear off the dispenser, calculating how much tape is needed to fully wrap a stick) and the concentration it takes to completely wrap a stick – the children are also exploring the freedom of creative expression and the use of their imagination. After all, a stick is not just a stick if you use your imagination!…

The magic of tape by Teach Preschool

So I thought I would look back through my archive of photos and put together this little collage of our tape dispenser in action. As the year progressed, my students learned to master the use of our tape and enjoyed the creative outlet that our colorful tape provided…

Using tape in preschool by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On…

Tape activities on Pinterest

Large Motor Fun with Tape Shapes by Teach Preschool

It’s not a stick by Teach Preschool on No Time for Flashcards

By |2013-05-31T06:00:33+00:00May 31st, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Cheryl Golangco May 31, 2013 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Where did you get the tape rack?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 31, 2013 at 9:56 am - Reply

      The dispenser shown in the photos is actually a paper dispenser. You can find them on Amazon or through most school supply stores. And they actually make something just like it that is called a wooden tape dispenser. My paper dispenser was given to me.

  2. Oh thank you so much for this idea.

    My pre-schooler is going through our stash of sticky tape so quickly, and we have a spare paper holder in our cupboard.

    She’s going to be so excited when I set this up. Thank you.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 31, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      Yay! It will be easier for you too!

  3. Malke May 31, 2013 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Thank you for this! I have added this post in my new (but humble) project I’m calling the Tape Chronicles. Here’s the description:

    Tape! The ultimate open-ended, the world is your oyster, creative, hands-on learning and making supply. Check out the endless ways tape can be employed in the interest of math, art, kinesthetic exploration, invention and education. The project can be found here:

    If you have any other examples of how tape is used/played with in your classroom or know of anyone else who loves to use tape in this way, please do let me know. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 31, 2013 at 9:58 am - Reply

      I will check it out! How fun!

  4. Scott May 31, 2013 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Love the wrapped sticks, Deborah. It’s great how your kids developed their own ideas about what to do with the tape.

    And you know how much I like colored tape.

  5. Trisha May 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    This is making me “homesick” for my own children when they were young! My 7 yr. old still loves tape. Sometimes we would give them office supplies in a plastic tote as gifts…including lots of tape! What great ideas for my preschool…definitely something I will try. Thanks for this post!

  6. I JUST ordered a tape dispenser and it should be arriving soon! I can’t wait to see the amazing ways the kiddos come up with to use the tape! I love this idea, unfortunately, we’d have to go on a serious stick-hunt around here!!

  7. Kate Lloyd May 31, 2013 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant (and simple) activity for children! I loved reading this and the pictures are fantastic. I’m sure the children had a wonderful day making these.

  8. jackie May 31, 2013 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I just love this post, Deborah. The paper roll tape holder is brilliant, and once again, I love how such a simple activity provided so much learning and creativity for your students. Pinning this now. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 1, 2013 at 11:50 am - Reply

      Thanks for the pin! Your a doll!

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