I have seen all these playmats on the net. They all look cute and wonderful. But they all had a major problem. They all involved a lot of intricate work. All made out of cloth, and involved stitching. And me? L.A.Z.Y. Plus, my son just can’t play with same thing for long. He can play with anything – including the smallest bit of paper or a piece of string. But he just can’t play with it for long. Whether it is the most expensive toy known to man, or a stone picked up from the ground, he spends the exact same time on it. I don’t know if that is true about all kids – These days I am finding out that whatever I thought are my son’s quirks, there are so many more behaving the same way.
So I made this play mat for him. It was super easy to make. All you need is some chart paper, a pair of scissors, some oil pastels, and clear tape (for longevity). I used the clear tape for laminating the whole thing. You can laminate it, or use any other substitute, or even ignore it altogether if your kid is on the careful side, or if you are sure (s)he wouldn’t play with it for more than a couple of hours.
I started out with two sheets of chart paper, the same size. It doesn’t have to be, one could be half the size of the other. One was light blue, and the other a darker shade of blue. I used the darker chart paper for the water, and the light one for the sky. Since the darker one I used was thicker (and therefore tougher to cut, plus would strengthen it), I cut the light blue one to make the sky. I also made the wave pattern when I cut it. I then stuck it on the dark blue chart paper. Then, I drew some white clouds, black birds and the sun in the sky part. I drew some sand, sea weed, a sunken ship and a treasure box (with some spilled treasure) at the bottom of the sea. I laminated the whole thing with rows and rows of wide clear tape. I didn’t worry too much about getting the lamination proper – the imprefections look like water moving 🙂
I added some plastic sea animals. plus, I made some out of felt. Just cut out some shapes and glued them together with a hot glue gun. The black ship sailing on top is his favourite. He likes to make it go over the waves, and back into the water. And trust me, I felt like he played more than usual with this 🙂