10 Bilingual Learning Activities with Painter’s Tape for Home or School

Bilingual learning activities with painter's tape

We’re obsessed with painter’s tape and use it almost daily for practical purposes and playful learning! Since we’re raising bilingual children, painter’s tape activities have been useful for making the minority languages extra fun.

For reference, my children speak Mandarin Chinese, English, and Korean. I am focusing on teaching my kids Mandarin, so most examples feature this language!

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6 year old girl writing Chinese characters on painter's tape
daughter writing Chinese characters on painter’s tape

Ways to Use Painter’s Tape to Teach Chinese, Korean, and English!

I recommend painter’s tape of various colors for fun for these activities!

We have the Scotch Expressions Washi masking tape at home. In our experience, the tape has been easy to reposition the tape and does not leave a sticky residue.

We have used painter’s tape/washi masking tape on our walls, floors, containers, tables, playmats, and rugs without issues! However, if you have any concerns, test a small piece before committing to large-scale use.

Benefits of using painter’s tape for teaching activities

Medicine cabinet in pantry with bilingual labels (English and Chinese) written on painter's tape
Bilingual painter’s tape labels for medicine and medical supplies

Painter’s tape labels

I’ll start off with the “boring” but most practical use of painter’s tape!

With a black, fine-point Sharpie marker, we use painter’s tape to label everything in our pantry, art/school supplies, and storage room.

Rainbow stickers in our art cart
Stickers in our art cart with painter’s tape label

In addition, we label dinner leftovers with our kids’ names on painter’s tape.

To turn this into a language-learning activity, my kids help me label things and run back and forth to each object.

Since Chinese is the minority language that I try to reinforce with my kids at home, labels promote familiarity with Chinese characters.

In addition, since my husband often forgets where things are in our home, English labels help with organization!

The rest of the idea focuses on Chinese and Korean to encourage these minority languages at home. However, you can adapt them to any language!

Try this: Create a Print-Rich Environment with Labels that Promote Literacy

Create, trace, and match Chinese and Korean words with painter’s tape

I’ve seen teachers and parents use painter’s tape to create words and letters since I was a kid! This classic activity is a fun way to get kids to build while intimately learning word shapes.

Build Chinese characters with painter's tape and trace with blocks!

Show your child how to trace the texture of the painter’s tape with your fingers. If they like to play with blocks or Legos, you can use these open-ended toys to trace over the painter’s tape words!

Chinese stroke order flashcards and Chinese numbers with painter's tape
Chinese stroke order flashcards; Chinese numbers with painter’s tape

Here are some examples of matching painter’s tape with our free printable Chinese numbers cards and Hangul Korean alphabet letters!

Korean Hangul alphabet with painter's tape
Korean Hangul alphabet with painter’s tape

And here’s a Chinese character hopscotch from @our_learning_attic!

Painter's tape hopscotch with Chinese characters

Indoor games with painter’s tape

Here are some games my kids and I have played over the years when we’ve been indoors!

hopscotch with painter's tape


My daughter came up with the idea of using painter’s tape to create a Chinese hopscotch grid!

To encourage speaking the minority language, we talked about jumping, standing, kicking, and crawling into each rectangle.

My daughter also wrote Chinese color names on each rectangle so her little brother could learn to read the Chinese characters.

Color sorting cars in painter's tape rectangles
Color sorting cars in painter’s tape rectangles

Color sorting

My toddler is very into color-matching these days, especially with his cars! The colorful painter’s tape is perfect for making parking lots!

He’s also matched other toys in these rectangles! This is a perfect example of incorporating our kids’ passions into learning. He’s more willing to talk to me in Chinese about his beloved cars!

Making shapes with painter's tape - indoor learning games for preschoolers and toddlers

Shape creations

We’ve also made shapes with painter’s tape. This is a great way to integrate simple math by feeling and talking about:

  • Number of sides on each shape
  • Number of corners of each shape
Line jumping indoor game with painter's tape

Line jumping

My kids like seeing how far they can jump, so we tape outlines for 1 foot (一英尺 (yī yīngchǐ), 2 feet (兩英尺 / liǎng yīngchǐ), 3 feet (三英尺 / sān yīngchǐ), and 4 feet (四英尺 / sì yīngchǐ)!

This idea is simple, but it’s probably my kids’ favorite!

We later moved the lines to our soft play mat (similar here) for a softer landing.

Painter’s tape resist art

Tape resist painting - Chinese characters

Use tape to create words on paper; then have your child paint over in any way he or she wants! As the tape is gently removed, the words will be revealed!

This has been a fun activity that both of my kids could do together, even when they were little toddlers. They have used dot paint markers as well as regular washable paint!

Tape up other activities with painter’s tape!

Painter’s tape is also perfect for hanging up learning activities on the wall!

Vertical surfaces are great for strengthening upper body and core muscles while getting kids active on their feet!

Can you think of other learning ideas with painter’s tape?

If you try any of these activities, please let us know in the comments below!

We’d love to hear about your learning experience! Please share what language(s) your child(ren) is learning!

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