Incredibly Simple Play Bandages with Masking Tape

Incredibly Simple Play Bandages with Masking Tape

I’ve started going through some of my earlier ideas that I’ve had for my website and I came across this incredibly simple pretend play and art idea. I used this idea years ago with Ada and, after remembering it again, I pulled it out again a month ago for both kids. Basically all you need is masking tape and, optionally, markers. That’s it. With it you can create simple play bandages for your toys or even, if they’d like, your children themselves. Since it’s masking tape it can easily be peeled off most toys and be reused. I did make sure to warn my kids about placing the tape on their doll’s hair just in case it might get pulled out.

Pinterest geared image showing several photos from the blog posts, all shown below, along with the blog title and my main URL. Specifically the images shows the masking tape on a bench being decorated (three images along the top) and as bandages on a plastic toy (two stacked images below).

I created this idea, probably, when I was looking for fun but quiet things for Ada, then a toddler, to do while Zoey napped so by default I wanted this to last as long as possible so I ended up creating two elements to this idea. This meant when Ada got tired of the first she could easily go onto the next part and it kept her interested for longer. With my kids now older I gave them the whole picture, from the start, and they had greater agency over their play.

The Setup

The first part of this craft was simply decorating masking tape that I had already attached to the bench so I setup the craft by simply cutting lengths of the tape and sticking it to the bench for Ada. I chose to use the bench as Ada could use it as a standing table, pull up a chair to be the same height as it, or sit on the bench beside the tape to color. I chose to pre-cut the masking tape pieces so they’d be easier to color than on the roll and Ada could peel them up easily and use them without needing any help. Additionally, I figured this would help the tape lose a bit of it’s adhesive power by attaching it first to the bench and then, hopefully, there would be less of a chance of a stuffed animal loosing patches of it’s fur. Anyway, I started out by attaching strips of the masking tape and, for wider bandages, overlapped two of them together. I also cut out some smaller ones and, with my pen, added heart outlines so Ada could easily color them in.

Image shows the end of the bench from above. On it is three strips of masking tape and one strip (second from the right) with two strips overlapping slightly.
I started out by ripping apart long strips of masking tape and attaching them to our bench. I thought this would give Ada a longer surface to color and she could choose how to use them since they could be used as a long bandage, cut it into smaller ones, or wrapped it around a toy leg,
Image shows a closeup of the other end of the bench with five small pieces of masking tape still attached at the top. On them are one or two outlined hearts.
To change it up later I doodled some hearts onto the tape and cut them up smaller so Ada would have little bandages she could use.

Part 1: The Art

Now that the masking tape is set out I had Ada grab her markers so she could start decorating them however she wanted. When Ada was younger I limited her to just the markers as they were washable and I didn’t have to worry about the wax from the crayons or something wrecking a toy.

Image shows the bench with Ada sitting in the center reaching over for markers while a stethoscope hangs from her neck. There's tape stripes on either side of her on the bench.
Ada immediately hopped up on the bench with her doctor’s stethoscope and markers and started ‘making’ bandages.
Image shows Ada sitting on her chair in front of the bench wrapping a decorated masking tape bandage around her arm. In the background are the other stripes of tape and the felt pens.
Surprisingly, she used the bandage on herself before using it on one of her toys.

When I pulled this out last month my kids were much older, at four and six, so I just gave them the masking tape, told them they could decorate it, and that they could use the decorated masking tape strips to make bandages for their toys. It was up to them to figure out the details and they immediately and excitedly pulled out their art trolley to begin.

Image shows two chairs pulled up to the bench. Ada leans over her strips of tape while decorating them with a stacked crayon while Zoey is crouched in her chair and turned away from her strips as she peruses the art trolley for supplies.
They immediately got to work pulling strips of masking tape off of the roll and cutting it to size. They then grabbed whatever art tools they wanted and started decorating them.
Image shows the bench festooned with many masking tape bandages. Closer to the camera are Ada's patterned strips while, in the background, you can see Zoey's hands and feet while she leans over to cut the tape smaller.
Ada quickly finished making patterns on hers while Zoey took the time to cut hers into small bits.

Part 2: Pretend Play

Once the kid(s) are done decorating their bandages it’s time to doctor their toys. I love how open-ended this can be. If they’re having difficulties you could always grab a plastic toy and have it tell them what’s wrong and once they get going back carefully away to relax or work on something else. Back when we first did this Ada ended up doctoring her elephant by fixing it’s leg, tucking it in to sleep, and taking it for walks.

Image shows a large plastic elephant pull toy being tucked under a blanket carefully with a masking tape bandage applied to it's foot.
The photos I had saved from this experience were mostly blurry so this one of Ada tucking the elephant in seemed the best to share.

More recently, when we pulled this out again, the kids had just set up a fort so they ended up turning it into a hospital and moved all of their bandages over from the bench to the more portable wobble cushions. They had a blast and later, once they were done, it was easy for them to pull the masking tape bandages off of the toys and throw it out.

Image shows a ball and stick fort mostly covered in a top sheet. Inside are two wobble cushions covered in decorated masking tape bandages. You can see parts of one kid's nightgown as she doctors her toys.
They turned their fort into a hospital and used the wobble cushions to transfer the bandages wherever they needed to doctor their toys at.
Image shows most of two dolls with Anna's foot bandaged and Belle's leg and both arms.
At the end I found both dolls sitting on the couch so I quickly snapped a picture to remember their injuries and bandages. Looking back they aren’t bandaged anymore but I can’t remember exactly when the masking tape may have been removed.

Both times my kid(s) did this they started out with the art side of the activity and ended with the pretend play; however, I could see this becoming a revolving circuit of play as the kid(s) use up the bandages and make more. We haven’t watched it in forever but I could see this being the perfect activity to combine with watching Doc McStuffin’s or some other doctor or vet related show.

I figured this was an incredibly simple idea that may keep your kids entertained for a little while, or days, depending on what they’re interested in. Let me know if you pull this idea out for your kids and, if so, what’s the coolest or weirdest thing they bandaged? Feel free to share in the comments below. I hope this made your life just a bit easier and your day is going well.

If you’re interested in getting any of my future blog updates I currently come out with a new one every Wednesday and share them to my Facebook page and Instagram account. You’re also more than welcome to join my email list located right under the search bar or underneath this post.

Related Posts

Latest Posts