Starfish Therapies

March 7, 2012

3-D Masking Tape Maze


I have to admit, I’ve been waiting to try this idea, that I saw in not one but two places on pinterest, out for a while and I had the perfect kiddo that I wanted to be the one to test it.  This kiddo has developmental coordination disorder and so I really wanted to see how she was able to navigate the through the tape blocking the hallway.  I made it simple because I wanted her to have some success with the task, allowing her to have fun while doing it, and ultimately working to improve her mobility skills.  I only had two levels of tape, one a few inches off the ground and one about 2 feet above that. I kept them at varying distances from each other (and a few going diagonally) as they made their way down the short 3-5 feet of hall that we were going to traverse.

It was a great activity for her to practice and for me to observe and assist.  It also helped that we were getting through it to get to the Wii at the end of the hallway.  I let her get through the first time on her own.  Then of course I had to go through it as well.  She knew exactly what she needed to do although being able to do it was a different story.  I will say, we never once made it through without getting tangled up in the tape somehow.  I think I would try to figure out a different tool to use to create the maze as the tape falls down quickly and all of a sudden you are caught in a cocoon of tape rather than working your way through the spiderweb!

The problem was that as long as she could see where she was placing her hand or foot she was able to clear the tape successfully.  However, as soon as she moved an extremity that she wasn’t watching she couldn’t judge where to place her foot or hand, or how high to lift it to clear the obstacle.  And when she was focusing on her extremities she forgot about the rest of her body causing her head or shoulder or back to bump into the tape.  This was true even as I provided verbal cues and then added in assist at a leg or a hand.

This activity has great potential for helping kids with body awareness, motor planning, coordination, and problem solving.  I think if I could use a heavier barrier such as poles it would help to provide limits for body placement and provide more cues as to body awareness.  (I’m not sure how I would rig this up but I will give it some thought).  Pool noodles would also be a great way to create the maze.  If you make it into a game and make a buzzer sound whenever they hit the barriers it could provide an auditory cue as well.  As they improve you can make it more challenging or change the maze materials and eventually bring it back to tape.  It’s a 3-D way of playing a version of limbo!

Who else has tried this activity and what have you learned from it?



  1. Now you have my mind going…I have to think about what you could use besides tape. What if you put small eye bolts in the wall (from hook and eye locks) at various heights and then loop theraband through so it has some give? Pool noodles with yarn through them to hang them up? Line up chairs and tie throughout the back of chairs? Will continue to think on this.

    Comment by Margaret — March 7, 2012 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. I LOVE this idea! Bungee cords- with or without pool noodles? They make very long bungee cords that should span the width of a hall. I was thinking some kind of metal/plastic grid that you could mount on the wall-like what you see in home depot for closet renovations. You could mount that permanantly, it would give you flexibility to move the cords in any diagonal, up or down, etc. and they are easily removed when not in use, or moved during a session to up the challenge (or decrease it).

    Comment by Heather — March 8, 2012 @ 2:17 am | Reply

  3. I love all the great ideas! I will have to try some of them and see how they work. Thanks for all of your creativity!!

    Comment by Starfish Therapies — March 8, 2012 @ 2:21 am | Reply

  4. What about using curtain tension rods? I picked one up this past weekend for a couple of bucks, so it might be a little more costly, but totally worth the investment!

    Comment by Connie — April 4, 2012 @ 3:24 am | Reply

  5. […] knocking the bar off.  It is a great way to work on body awareness and is a step down from the masking tape maze we tried a while ago, however the kids will get more feedback into their body when they bump into […]

    Pingback by Limbo Limbo « Starfish Therapies — May 31, 2012 @ 4:01 am | Reply

  6. A great idea I would use string and tie bells onto it. You would hear the bells and not get all sticky see how far they can go with out making a noise. Hope it helps!

    Comment by Amber — August 15, 2012 @ 12:50 am | Reply

  7. i saw this done with streamers. simple 😉

    Comment by tobey — September 27, 2012 @ 3:03 am | Reply

  8. […] Here are some great T Blog Posts: True Aim – Tissue Dance Go Kid Yourself – Tennis Tyke Teach Preschool – Tape Line Preschool Express – Toddler Gross Motor Activities Starfish Therapies – 3-D Masking Tape Maze […]

    Pingback by ABCs of Gross Motor Day 4: P-T | 3 Dinosaurs — January 10, 2013 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  9. Try using tension rods or different colors of heavy twine. The further spaced out the easier. It’s like to try those with my kiddos!

    Comment by amanda — July 28, 2014 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  10. […] You can also use an agility ladder for this activity, or create a grid with tape. (we have done a similar activity with tape across a hallway but made it more of a […]

    Pingback by Jungle Vines | Starfish Therapies — August 20, 2017 @ 12:52 am | Reply

  11. […] tape challenges their awareness of their body in space. Here are some posts on painter’s tape spider webs, and jungle vines (just adapt for painters […]

    Pingback by Fun with Painter’s Tape | Starfish Therapies — September 4, 2017 @ 7:32 pm | Reply

  12. […] Filed under: Developmental Milestones — Starfish Therapies @ 12:00 am Tags: balance, games, gross motor development, Halloween, kids, Motor Smart Kids, physical therapy, play Looking for some fun things to do with the kids that are Halloween Themed and will work on those gross motor skills? Check out these games! Pumpkin Bowling: You can literally use a small round pumpkin or you can use a ball that is orange (if you don’t have one – get creative and make one to look like a pumpkin)! Have your kiddo stand at the designated spot (you can literally use a spot if you want), if you want to get really creative you can make it a gravestone or something else Halloween themed! This is where you can challenge their balance. Have them stand on on one foot, in tandem stance, or stand on a balance board or dynadisc, have them stand backwards and roll the ball through their legs – the point is get creative and have fun! Have them roll the pumpkin to knock over the ghosts. This can be paper towel rolls or white cups with ghosts faces drawn on them. You can stack them in pyramid style or set them out in traditional bowling pin formation. We’d love to see pictures of your set up! Spider Web Walk: We’ve talked about this one before and there are lots of ways you can make it more or less challenging for the kids. Use tape to draw a spider web on the floor and find challenging ways to walk around the web. Read more here. Witch Hat Ring Toss: Buy some witches hats or cover athletic cones in black construction paper to make your own. Same as with pumpkin bowling (read above for ways to work on balance) create a starting point and then have your child try to throw a ring onto the witches hat. You can have one hat that they have to get multiple rings on, or have multiple hats set out that they have to try to toss towards. Let’s see how many ringers they can get! Pumpkin Patch Stomp:  Blow up some orange balloons (you can draw on them if you want to make them look more like pumpkins) and try to stomp on them! To make it a little easier you can put some sand or water in the balloon so they won’t move away as easily. The more air in the balloon, the easier it is to pop, but if it is less full, its easier for the child to get and keep their foot on it. You might want to have a mix of balloons to vary the difficulty. Pumpkin Walk: Have your child try to walk across the room, or on a balance beam while balancing a baby pumpkin on their head. You can also change this to Witches Hat Walk and make a witches hat out of an athletic cone and do the same thing (the hat might be easier for the little ones because it has a flat bottom) Spider Web Crawl: Use toilet paper or white streamers to create a web across a hallway. Have your kids try to crawl over and under without breaking the web! For some other ideas read more here. […]

    Pingback by Halloween Inspired Gross Motor Games | Starfish Therapies — October 15, 2017 @ 12:01 am | Reply

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