For Parents

For Parents


To adults a roll of tape can seem about as ho-hum as it gets, but for a toddler it is exciting stuff.  Tape is sticky, makes cool noises when it’s pulled off, and can be rolled across the floor. You can find a list of general play strategies here to help you discover what level of play your child is currently enjoying.  Included in italics are words and sentences to use while playing.


  • Roll the tape across the floor back and forth to one another. (Tape. The tape is rolling.)
  • Send the roll of tape down a ramp, such as a hard cover book or puzzle back. (It went down. It’s under the couch).
  • Pull the tape off the roll. (You pulled it. The tape came off.)
  • Rip the tape and make a tape ball. (You ripped the tape. We’re making a ball. You’re squeezing it. The ball is squishy.)
  • Play a social game of peek-a-boo when looking through the hole in the roll.
  • Spin the tape roll when it’s standing up on its side. (The tape is spinning.)


  • Give your child pieces of tape to stick on a piece of paper. (The tape is sticky. We’re pushing it. It’s on the paper.)
  • Use the roll of tape as a basketball hoop and toss or drop anything through it, such as balls (even balls of tape!), puzzle pieces, plastic food, pretend people or animals, anything you have around and your child likes! Sometimes it is helpful to have a bucket beneath the roll of tape to catch all of these items.  Once you put them all through, you can dump them out and start over. (The ball went in!)

Early Symbolic:

  • Use tape to help secure a pretend cloth diaper (paper towel or tissues work well) on a baby doll. (The diaper is on the baby).
  • Create roads for toy cars with painters tape on the floor, connecting different houses or toy sets. (The car is on the road.)

Advanced Play:

  • Tape can serve as a pretend band-aid while playing doctor. You can use a sock as a puppet doctor, or you and your child can take turns playing the doctor.  Talk about body parts as you give each other tape band-aids for all of your pretend scrapes and bruises.
  • Create a spider web with the tape. Make a home for the spider, and then have other animals accidentally get stuck in the web.  Then the spider can then gobble them all up (or let them go if he is a nice spider).