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Saturday, January 2, 2010

The value of tape in the preschool classroom

I missed the memo several weeks ago or so that said all early childhood bloggers are supposed to write about tape. So I am now going to jump on the band wagon!

The value of tape
My fellow bloggers have provided beautiful examples and illustrations of the value of tape. I encourage you to read each of their posts on this topic but here are a few highlights.

Teacher Tom shares his "tape machine"  and the beautiful tape sculpture that was created on his classroom door.  As two students tried to stretch a long length of tape across the floor, the tape kept sticking to the floor and Teacher Tom observed, "They were performing these experiments simultaneously, both making similar discoveries. Neither seemed frustrated, just deeply engaged in the process of problem-solving."

Preschool Daze also shared pictures of their classroom tape ball. Another beautiful illustration of children being given the opportunity to explore, create, and work together.

Brick by Brick shares awesome illustrations of how the tape was used in the block center to create roads and in the art center to create pictures and books. He also discusses the need to help students be successful: "If you are using tape, remember to provide scissors to cut it. Tearing tape is a difficult skill and you will be tearing a lot of tape if you don't give them scissors to use..."   

Let the Children Play also shared photos of how her students used a variety of tape to create tape pictures.

Key Points

Allowing preschoolers to freely play and manipulate tape can lead to new learning and developmental growth.

Fine motor skills are strengthened as the children work to pull, tear, stick, and manipulate the tape.

Eye-hand coordination is promoted as the children try to keep the tape from sticking to the wrong surface to soon and as they work to apply the tape successfully to the surface they have chosen.

Critical thinking skills are being challenged as children try to decide how they will be able to keep the tape from falling to the ground or stick to itself when they tear off a long strip.

Mathematical thinking is challenged as the children determine what length of tape is needed to accomplish their goal or as they create various shapes on the floor or on paper.

Creative skills are fostered as the children use the tape to make a giant tape ball or use the tape to create a picture or book.

Social Skills are promoted as children communicate, collaborate, and cooperate together to make a tape creation or keep the tape from sticking incorrectly or even when someone needs help tearing a piece of tape off of the role.

Make a tape donation box!

You might be thinking, I just can't afford to let my students use up all the tape - it simply isn't in the budget. In that case, make a tape donation box. More than likely your preschool parents have tape they don't need collecting dust somewhere around the house or in the garage.

Set out a decorated shoebox in a prominent place and label it as your "Tape Box" Tell parents that if they happen to have tape they can donate, just drop it in the box. Any type of tape will do - colored tape, masking tape, clear tape, painter's tape, and so on. Parents are often happy to donate simple items for the classroom and tape is an easy request.

Perhaps if you feel like you have a constant and plentyful supply of tape, you will feel more relaxed about letting your preschoolers use the tape as often as they like.


Christie - Childhood 101 said...

My toddler has recently discovered tape, I buy packs of multi-coloured electrical tape from the discount store and she loves it!

Teacher Tom said...

Thanks for the reminder! I need to order more tape.

I love how you've broken down the benefits here. I hadn't even thought of most of them. What a fantastic resource you are!

Scott Wiley said...

I must echo what a great job you did here in listing benefits. While cutting and sticking tape is fun, kids are also developing important skills. Thanks for listing them here.

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

I love colored tape - I was going to add a picture of a roll of tape but I couldn't find a single roll around the house! Looks like I need a tape box:)

jenny said...

Thanks from me too for listing the benefits - a great resource to pass onto the parents to help them see the value in amongst the mess and random heavily-taped objects in the classroom :) Jenny

kristin said...

i love the idea of a "tape donation box." that would be handy. i went into preschool today and there is not one roll of tape to be found. yikes.

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

It might be all used up in that tape ball:)

Tami said...

I'm going to set up a tape donation box! it is amazing at how fast they can go through it but what a need it is to have in the classroom.

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