Overcoming frustration through creative art – tape activity

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on February 22, 2010

in Creative Art, Tape

On occasion, my daughter invites several young families to my house for a life group meeting. The families bring their children and when I think about it, I try to provide an activity for the preschool age children to do.

On this particular evening, only two young boys came. Having seen all the wonderful ideas on tape creativity by Teacher Tom and others, I decided to try it myself. I set out several rolls of colored tape, some paper, and some crayons on the dining room table. I left the paper and tape there to see if the boys would notice it – kind of like setting up an interest center.

Eventually the boys wondered in the room and inqured about the tape and paper. I didn’t give any specific directions, I just helped the boys pull out a strip of tape and they began to stick the tape to the paper.

The younger of the two brothers became immediately frustrated because his tape got all tangled and he wanted to quit. I said, “let’s try again only this time, you pull on the end of the tape.” He pulled on the end of the tape and then looked up at me. He then pulled a little more and looked at me again…  then a little more… and a little more… then he said “I’m finished.”  I tore the end off and he worked to get the tape stuck to the paper but once again, it got rather tangled.

This time, however, instead of getting frustrated, he quickly asked for another color of tape. Again, I held the end, and he pulled… and pulled.  Then he discovered that if he stood still and I walked backwards, he could even get a longer strip of tape. He directed me around the room and then would eventually say “stop.” After a few times of this, he decided that he rather have shorter pieces of tape so he could stick them to his paper.

Meanwhile, the older brother caught on quickly. I started to show the older brother how to tear the tape with his fingers but he found out that if he pulled really hard, the tape would snap apart. He wasn’t interested in hearing about my two finger tearing tape apart technique:) Both of the boys discovered something about the process that interested them and both of them were engaged in the process.

I want to make sure that everyone understands the key point here. It wasn’t making the picture that was fun at first. What made this activity fun was manipulating the tape. Once the boys figured out how to manipulate the tape, then they began to have an interest in creating their picture.

The younger brother no longer became frustrated with the project once he was given freedom to just explore the tape. Now it was a fun idea and in the process he began to learn how to manipulate the tape. The younger brother went from giving up to being engaged – from having a lack of tape handling skills to being quite proficient – all in a matter of 20 to 30 minutes of time.

As we manipulated and created with tape, the parents came upstairs that they got involved too. In the end, both brothers made a wonderful tape picture and gave it to their dad as a present.

I enjoyed the process too. I learned that I don’t need to teach kids how to create. Instead – I just need to facilitate the opportunity and then take note of what types of learning are taking place as the process unfolds.

Deborah

View more on what kids learn from experiences with tape….

International Early Childhood Education Tape-off Challenge

Casa Maria

Bakers and Astronauts

Leaves and Branches, and Trunks and Roots

Check out the McLinky over at Mom Tried it and see her fabulous Tape Dispenser!

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

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Comments on this entry are closed.

1 Diana (Diane) Maria February 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hi Deborah!

Today is a ‘snow day’ for me. (Hooray!)
I had the wonderful opportunity to sit and peruse your site without interruption or time restraint. I love your ‘tape’ activity and I especially love your blog. I’m including it onto both of my blog rolls. (I write two blogs.)

Happy Monday! ?

2 Kim February 22, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Love it! Thank you for linking up another tape story. My son’s preschool teachers tell me that the girls have no real interest in the tape. Just the boys. Mostly because my son started them on it. But we go through at least a roll of tape a week at our house, sometimes two.
Thank you so much for linking up to Try and Tell. I love all of the ideas you share and your amazing songs. :-)

3 Deborah J. Stewart February 22, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Thank you for letting me be a part of your Try and Tell day! I really enjoy it!

4 Adventure Mom Janna February 23, 2010 at 12:38 am

It’s so true! 9 out of 10 times they come up with something better than we can think of.

5 Deborah J. Stewart February 23, 2010 at 1:03 am

I keep having to remember to wait for them to show me the way instead of always wanting to do things my way:)

6 Jessa Irene February 23, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Great post especially with this link up. Loved how you described the process. Tape wasn’t a big thing when my older two were little (at home or in schools), I will have to get some to see if it might interest them now.

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