Tape Drawing

Materials: Paper, colored tape

G has been enjoying her tape so much (and so often!), but she was willing to share it. So on a recent snow day I asked the boys if they’d like to do some tape drawings.

“How can you draw with tape?” they asked when I mentioned the idea. “The tape is the line,” I told them, “instead of a crayon or a marker… you use the tape.” N wanted to know how to make a circle with tape, because it’s straight, so I sketched a curve made up of short straight lines. “Ohhhhh….”

I threw out some ideas. “You could draw a landscape or an animal or a building or a scene in outer space or an ocean scene…” For close to an hour and a half they worked. At the beginning, my oldest went to get a pencil and began sketching out shapes. “No,” I said, “put that pencil away.” (He looked affronted.) I explained that the tape was the line, that we weren’t using it to fill in a drawing, we were using it to make [eta: and then fill in!] the drawing. And at the end, I complimented him on the way he stepped out of his comfort zone and got used to a new material. Drawing with tape presents some different challenges, and we had to accept that it wasn’t going to look just like a line drawing, because it’s not.

My oldest received a DVD set of Looney Tunes cartoons for Christmas, and the boys recently saw Duck Dodgers in the 24th 1/2 Century. A little bit of obsession with Planet X has ensued, and both boys asked for black paper so they could create outer space scenes.

At some point they requested clear tape, too, which accounts for the shiny bits.

An hour and a half. Interested, engaged, involved, and creating.

And yes, I tried this activity too.

I think I am tired of snow…

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5 Responses to Tape Drawing

  1. yaga says:

    it’s an interesting idea to use the tape as paint instead of as the line too!! your youngster has quite an inventive little head there ;o)

    • Yes, we were using it as paint, too. I didn’t want him to fall back on the easy familiarity of the pencil to draw, though. I wanted him to experiment with using this material in a different way, and he adjusted to that fabulously. I think he is always glad, in the end, that he stretched himself, but the convincing to stretch is not always easy. ;)

  2. Jill says:

    Squirty paint girl didn’t do for 90 minutes, though, I bet, what did she do and/or how did you manage that she didn’t get in their way? Yes, we have that problem a lot, how did you know?

    • Well, she started out with tape. Then she probably painted at the easel, because that always has to be in the rotation. Then she might have just gotten down to play or draw on the chalkboard, and at some point she and I came upstairs. She was down there about an hour, though. This sort of project is a little easier because once the boys had their materials, they needed very little help from me. N needed some help starting the rolls of tape at times, but that was about it.

  3. donna lee says:

    I love Duck Dodgers! The boys’ pictures captured the feel of the cartoon.

    And I’m tired of snow, too. And it’s snowing hard right now with over 8 inches more to come.

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