I’m not much the home reno type so had never even heard of painters tape until two years ago.
I was reading a blog post on suggested items to pack for entertaining children on long haul flights and saw this tape recommended. It peaked my interest, I bought a roll and have since fallen in love with the stuff!
There are loads of fun activities kids can do with painters tape which, unlike regular masking tape, will not leave a sticky residue or be hard to remove. Here are a few winners:
Letter or number writing – Write numbers, letters and words on any surface, practise making sums or spelling key words.
Make a bridge – Your child might like to take up the challenge of creating a bridge using only painters tape. The challenge can be extended by testing the load limit of the bridge.
Create a road on the floor – Use the tape to draw out a road along the floor, you could include round abouts or make a whole town. Use toy cars to race or drive along the road.
Draw shapes on the wall – Young children can learn about shape properties, older kids might like to measure the perimeter and area.
Maze – Older children might like to plan out then create a maze using the tape. You might like to make a maze for younger children to drive cars or walk toys around.
Races- Instead of a maze, your child might like to create a race track. They could then use a straw and pom-pom, blowing the pom-pom around the race course.
Marble/rolling – As a children, my brothers and I would play marbles in the hall way room. Painters tape is handy to draw a circle and lines.
Create an obstacle course – Tape some kitchen or toilet rolls to the wall and have a marble race through the course.
Tape painting – There are so many options here, just search on Pinterest. The idea is that you stick tape onto a canvas in order to create blank space once it is removed. You may like to creates a geometric pattern or write your child’s name, they then paint, splatter or colour all over the canvas. When the artwork is dry, the paint is removed an voila! Masterpiece!
For many more great ideas and links to all the above activities, head on over to Flying Sprout’s Pinterest Board dedicated to all things painters tape.
I’d love to hear your experiences and suggestions, do you use painters tape with your little ones?
Picture this for a minute. Your phone battery is dead, the kids are getting restless, you’ve left their toys and books at home and all you need is something, anything, to occupy your rowdy offspring. You search in your bag and find a pencil and a single serviette. “What the hell am I supposed to do with that!?” you ask yourself in despair.
Well, I’m glad you asked! Here are a few ideas of how those two simple objects can stop your head from exploding and the children from tearing each other apart…..
*Play Scattegories – list a variety of categories e.g. food, animal, colour, cities. After the list has been completed name as many items as possible for each of the categories OR choose a letter and think of an item for each category beginning with that letter.
*Play Ladybird (A child-friendly version of Hangman) – choose a word and draw a dash for each letter in that word. The other player/s must guess the letters of the word. Each correctly guessed letter is written in the correct position. For each wrong letter a part of the ladybug is drawn. The aim is for the word to be guessed before the ladybird is completely drawn.
*Write a story with each person contributing a sentence at a time.
*Write down the alphabet and as many items you can see that start with each letter.
*Retell/write a traditional fairy-tale or fable such as Cinderella or The 3 Little Pigs
*Play boggle – draw up a 3×3 grid and think of a 9-letter word. Place the scrambled letters of the word into the grid and challenge your children to create as many words as they can from those letters.
*Choose a number (whole number, negative number, fraction or decimal) and write as many sums with that number as your answer as you can.
*Play Bingo. Tear off a piece of paper so each person has enough space to draw a 3×3 grid and place a number in each box. Call out sums for them to work out. If the answer is on their grid they can cross off the number. The winner can be the first to cross out three numbers in a row or all numbers in their grid.
*List as many different coin/note combinations you can think of to total $10.
*Place the numbers 1-9 in a 3 by 3 grid, one number per box, so that the vertical, horizontal, and diagonal sums are all the same.
*Use the numbers 123456789 in that order, add in any combination of + and – to see if you can create an equation with the answer of 100.
*Fold a paper plane and have a competition to see who can throw it the farthest.
*Play Pictionary – draw something for the other players to guess
*Fold a fairy sized hat.
*Sketch a portrait of the people around you.
*Create a Snap Dragon-remember that old future predicting, origami-inspired entertainer?
*Play naughts and crosses – take it in turns to draw either a circle or cross in a 3 x 3 grid. The winner is the player who has three of their symbols in a row.
*Play paddocks- section off a section of paper and fill it with a grid full of dots. Take it in turns to draw a small line from one dot to the next (either vertically or horizontally) with the aim of forming as many squares as possible. The player who completes a square (by drawing the forth line) writes their initial in the middle of that square. The winner is the player with the most completed squares one the whole grid has been completed.
If you don’t trust that you’ll always have a pencil and piece of paper handy or you think you may not remember all these simple activities to entertain your kids, head on over to Flying Sprout’s Etsy store to purchase your own Mini Kit with a notepad, pencil and activity booklet. Next time you’re out with the kids and your phone battery dies, at least you’ll know how to pass the time.
Travel is fun…but not always with a toddler, especially a bored, restless one. Keeping your little one entertained and engaged will make travelling more relaxed for you and more fun for your child.
It is super important to keep your child amused and entertained while flying, or on long journeys by road, rail or sea, but it also pays to think about what they’ll need when you reach your destination. You might plan to be on-the-go most of the day but in those moments when you need some quiet time or your child needs to wind down before a sleep, having a quiet, independent activity on hand can be invaluable.
You want to choose a range of activities and toys that will hold your child’s interest, are age appropriate, versatile, are lightweight and also compact so they don’t take up too much room in your travel bag.
Here’s a selection of great toys, books and activities to give you inspiration when it comes to screen-free travel entertainment for your child.
Educational Busy Bags
Busy Bags are the perfect way to keep your child engaged and learning while travelling. These Toddler Busy Bags are colourful, compact and provide different task options in one little bag. You can select activity bags to target specific skills and concepts such as numbers 1-10, making patterns, colour awareness and threading.
Keeping little hands and minds active is made easy with stickers. Peeling the stickers builds fine motor skills. If you choose reusable stickers with background scenes, like these offered by Tiger Tribe, they can engage your child’s imagination and be used as inspiration for story telling.
Puppets are a wonderful way to encourage your child to tell (or listen to) stories. They can be used to perform puppet shows or as little companions that can easily fit in a pocket. This set of 6 finger puppets come in a handy storage bag.
Activity pads and colouring pages are an easy way to occupy your child’s concentration. If they have the dexterity; colouring within the lines, tracing and completing mazes are small, satisfying challenges they can work on. This activity book is made especially for younger children.
Magnetic Drawing Pads
These are a fantastic, clean, all-in-one way of drawing. Magnetic sketching pads can be used for drawing or playing games like tic-tac-toe. Having the drawing instrument attached means there is no risk of misplacing a lid or even a whole pencil or texta, plus they won’t mark the furniture! Quack makes this compact magnetic drawing pad.
Interactive books are always popular with little ones. The joy of lifting a flap, opening a door or peeking behind a window means they are likely to want to read one book over and over again. Spot is a classic lift-the-flap series. Spot Goes on Holiday is perfect to take traveling.
These are not traditional books in the sense that they don’t tell a story, rather each page has a simple activity to entertain and build fine motor skills. Quiet books are fabric, often felt, and stitched to include things like buttons, laces and velcro shapes. A great deal of work goes into the creation of these books so they are not cheap but are a worthwhile purchase. This one is made in the Philippines and money raised from it’s sales helps the local women.
Look and Find Books
Exploring all the details in a densely illustrated book is like a visual treasure hunt. Collections like Where’s Wally and Seek and Find are full of amusing and surprising illustrations while books in the I Spy collection contain photographs of many items on each page.
A Favourite Story
Having a favourite book on hand can provide your child with a familiar comfort when their surroundings are not so familiar. Reading a story can have an instant calming effect and help transition your child to sleep time. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favourite of many children and parents alike.
If you’re not sure about letting your toddler loose with pencils or crayons, drawing with water is a fantastic idea. Add a little magic into the mix with these mess free water pictures by Melissa & Doug.
A Favourite Toy
Taking a favourite toy along while travelling can be really reassuring for your child and can providing them with entertainment as well as comfort. Just don’t lose it!
Often when travelling there are unexpected delays or unavoidable queues. In these situations it is not always convenient to search through your bag for something to entertain your child. Here’s a great idea from @critterz_, a wearable toy! The necklaces each include a toy figure so your child can wear their entertainment.
There are many, many great toys and activities to keep toddlers entertained while travelling. When shopping for items to pack on your next adventure make sure your choices are appropriate to your child’s age, will hold their interest for more than a few minutes, are lightweight and compact and will also provide them with entertainment once you reach the destination.