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Friday, May 8, 2020

Tape Resist Animal Rescue Activity for Toddlers

Once my daughter was over 12 months old she developed a strong aversion to being strapped into her highchair. Toddlers short attention spans + disdain for being restrained means sooner or later the highchair is going to morph from a place of excitement to a place of resentment. Unfortunately for me the highchair was the only way I could keep her safely contained beside me while I prepped dinner during the witching hours. I used to give her some toys to play with on her tray, but she soon learned she could just chuck them on the floor and scream. So, I had to get a little more creative.

In order to keep her happily sitting in her highchair I started doing tape resist activities on her highchair tray. It was a great way to keep her occupied next to me while I got meals safely prepared. Her favourite was a tape resist animal rescue using our animal figurines. It's super easy to set up and as an added bonus it has loads of developmental learning opportunities.

Tape resist animal rescue fine motor activity for toddlers.
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SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED


- Animal figurines
- Washi tape {or masking tape}


You can use any animal figurines you have on hand for this activity, just make sure that they are large so that they don't pose a choking risk to mouthing children. We have an extensive collection of CollectA  brand animals so I picked out our manta ray, lion, tiger and zebra because they were easy to tape flat to her high chair tray. We also have lots of the CollectA mini figurines which would be ok for this activity if it's being done with a child over 3 years old who's no longer mouthing. Schleich, Wild Republic and Safari also make great animal figurines.

I used washi tape for our activity because we had it in lots of plain bright colours that I knew would draw her attention and it's relatively easy for her to peel off. Masking tape works just as well. Regardless of which tape you use, ensure this activity is always done under supervision as some children may be inquisitive and try to eat the tape once they have peeled it off.



Animal figurines taped down with washi tape for a fine motor rescue activity.



LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES


- Pincer grip
- Hand strengthening
- Hand/eye co-ordination
- Language development
- Colour recognition
- Cause and effect
- Animal names


This activity is great for helping younger children to develop pincer grip by trying to remove the tape and also when they grasp the animals to pick them up. Pincer grip is an important fine motor skill needed in order to pick up small objects and in order to hold a pencil properly later on at school. At first kids may just try and grab the animals off the table, however they'll soon realise that they're stuck down and they need to work at getting them free. 

This activity is also great for learning cause and effect and helping to improve concentration as they'll have to concentrate on picking up the edge of the tape in order to pull it all the way off to release the animals. You might have to pull up the very edges of the tape at first so that they can grab onto it, but once they've done it a few times they should be able to work it out themselves. You can also add in some language development by saying the animal names as they're removing them.
Fingers peeling green washi tape off of a plastic zebra animal figurine.


Don't be discouraged if your child pulls off a few pieces of tape and is then done with the activity. Remember that young children only have very short attention spans and often won't sit and concentrate on an activity for longer than five minutes, so this is totally normal. Even if they only remove one piece of tape it's still great fine motor practice.

You may be lucky however, and they may want to take the tape off and keep doing it over and over. My daughter took the tape completely off each animal and inspected it trying to figure out why one side was sticky and the other wasn't. She then stuck the tape back down over the animals and rescued them again. Sticking the tape back down was also great for hand strengthening as she had to push it down around the animals to get it to stick. She did this multiple times until the washi tape started to have trouble sticking down properly.

Child peeling washi tape off of tiger and stingray fingurines.
Child sticking yellow washi tape onto a plastic stingray animal figurine

The animal tape rescue activity was great for keeping her entertained in her highchair while I prepped dinner {she was always set up right beside me in the kitchen so I was watching her the whole time}. This activity can be done on any flat surface so you could do it on a table top or the floor. It can also be done vertically on a wall or window to help practice standing with younger children. You could also use other objects like foam letters or numbers, lightweight blocks or matchbox cars {always ensure children are supervised with small objects}.


MORE ANIMAL PLAY IDEAS






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