You know those rainy days when your kids are bored and driving you just a tad crazy? Especially the toddler/preschool age because it’s not as simple as threatening them with chores if they don’t find something to do.
You may read them a story and try to interest them in a toy. But they’re still bored and following you everywhere. And you have laundry. Or dinner. Or writing. Or blogging. Or whatever work you need to do. And as much as you’d love to be creative mom and do some super awesome activity like finger painting or homemade playdough, you simply don’t have the time. But maybe you don’t want to turn the tv on (again) either.
I’ve had more days like that than I can count. Just last week, the weather was yucky and my four year old, Luke, was tired of all the usual toys and activities. And I had to turn the tv off. But I had an idea. We went to the store and bought a couple rolls of masking tape.
At home, I started making a simple masking tape road on the living room floor.
- 1-2 rolls thin masking tape
- scissors (optional)
Luke figured out what we were doing very quickly and he came up with his own ideas, like a “BIG racetrack.”
Apparently the one I made (see below) wasn’t quite up to his grandeur idea so he was a little upset with me. But then we made more roads and he quickly forgot.
He also wanted “x’s” which I discovered meant intersections.
(That’s my five-year-old, Joshua, here):
You can make a small intersection and a couple roads in a few quick minutes or get the whole family involved with a big city. You can even integrate other toys, like a garage, store, etc. Or make your own out of boxes or other things.
One quick tip: I don’t recommend putting masking tape down on wood floors as it might get too sticky and damage the wood or just be difficult to get off. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a tape road. I’d try painter’s tape for wood floors – it’s much gentler and easier to take off later.
This simple masking tape road is a such a fun activity for kids – both small and big.
Let me share a secret: My 12 year old came home from school and quickly got involved in making the road bigger and more elaborate. He made hills and plenty of “x” intersections that Luke wanted. See him in the background?
That’s not to say that all big kids will want to get involved, but they just might! My 8 and 5 year olds had fun helping too and then of course trying out the roads.
Our masking tape road turned into not just a simple preschool activity, but an activity ALL my kids enjoyed. Sure, there was a little squabbling here and there over who put a road in a certain place or my two little boys arguing over who could play with a certain car, but overall they played nicely for HOURS.
Not too shabby for a boring ol’ roll of masking tape, huh?
Have you checked out these activities for kids?
Donna Ward says
Hi Erika, This looks like so much fun – I would have loved to play with this as a kid – and I know that my son (all grown now) could have had a blast! What a great idea and it can change easily!
Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says
Yup! I have done a million of those for my boys over the years. So much fun.
That is SUCH a cool idea! I should have done this with my son when he was in his Hot Wheels phase.
Dee Mauser says
What a need and affordable idea. I’m bookmarking this for my grandson. He loves playing with cars.
Me nephew would have loved this when he was younger. He had entire cities mapped out in his mind for his cars.
Stephanie R says
This idea is so cute! I can totally see my kids loving this whenever they were little.
Melissa Pezza says
I’ve got to do this for my son. He loves to play with his cars, and this would be so much fun!
Tammi @ My Organized Chaos says
Such a great idea, and way cheaper than buying the pre-made mats! I think the kids would love to get involved too and help build!
Jenna Wood says
My mother did this with painter’s tape, growing up. I always enjoyed building LEGO towns with the roads and grids.
Ann Bacciaglia says
This is an amazing idea. I wish i had of thought of it when my kids were little. I will have to share this my friends that have little kids.
Amber Edwards says
I’m sending my kids to your house! oh my goodness, this masking tape road would keep my kids (all of them boys and girls) busy for hours! I seriously love that you put it all over, on furniture and carpet. I can see all kids having a blast with this!
Kelly Hutchinson says
This is such a clever and inexpensive way to keep the little ones busy. I like that you included the furniture as well!
Mama to 5 BLessings says
What a cute idea. I so would do this for my younger boys but we have wood laminate flooring and boy that would be a pain to get the tape off! They would love this though!
Chelley @ A is For Adelaide says
This is such a cute idea! I remeber doing this for my little brothers! We have wood floors, so I don’t think this would work, though! Bums me out!
Liz Mays says
That is so clever. I can’t believe I never did this with my kids. My son played with hotwheels all the time.
This is such a fun idea! I’m definitely doing this with my kids!
This is a great idea! It looks like your boys had a blast, and talk about fun and affordable! Love that it works for all ages too!