Friday, January 23, 2009

City Play Mat from a Shower Curtain

Using a shower curtain, from the Dollar Store, we made a city play mat of the places we often go to in our city. Although I would like to make a really cute canvas play mat, a new play mat is always fun, and this one did not take long to make at all- a few hours tops. Plus, this play mat cost ONE DOLLAR! Talk about affordable fun! ;) My son gave me lots of input so it was a joint effort :) He even colored a little for me!
Here is what you need if you want to make one of these at your house:
*Shower curtain from the dollar store (some are really flimsy, but it works)
*Clear wide tape- (any kind will do but packing tape is the strongest. We used packing and sealing tape. Both worked fine.)
*Card stock and a printer
*Markers, crayons
First, draw some roads and boxes. I just sort of followed the folds on the shower curtain. A permanent marker works best so that it does not rub off.
Next, use your computer to print out signs of familiar places you often visit, from your own photos, or using google images. Doing this will help your child learn some environmental print.
NOTE: Images off the computer are usually copyrighted, so don't use them for anything else. I think it is fine to print one copy for your own use in your home-but don't quote me on that- that is my understanding of the law. You can also take photos of places you visit and use those photos too. That way- you took the photo- you can do what you want with it ;)
We used crayons and markers to draw the buildings on cardstock, and put the signs on the buildings.
Next cut and tape the places to the shower curtain. Cover them with the tape so that they stay on well. Use toy cars, people, animals, for your play mat.
Since the shower curtain is flimsy, (hey it was only one dollar;)), use some books or weights to hold the sides and corners down when the children are playing on it.

Enjoy your new play mat! Visit all the places you love to go around town, without ever leaving your home! ;)
**My son kindly reminded me that we did not put "Trader Joe's, JoAnn's, or the Craft store- Michaels." Guess we will have to add those places too!


Sandra said...

Love it!!! Your baby is growing! :)

Julie Baldwin said...

Another great idea! I can't wait until Anna is old enough to do this kind of thing. I'll keep your idea on file for when she gets older.

Young Family said...

What a great idea.

Stacie said...

You are so creative!! And it's cheap--even better!! I love your site!! :)

Cami said...

Cute! I love it. Ethan would use it as a Mario Party course. :)

jennwa said...

That mat is terrific.

Jane said...

Love the IN & Out Burgers! Too cute!

Selena said...

Great IDEA! I need to make one for my grandkids. (you forgot the MMU scrap store on the corner of Broadway and Alvernon). I will have to add Michaels and Joanns adn Costco to mine as no trip to town is without the full menu.
Great Job.


Heather - - said...

Thanks for linking to your post on Dollar Store Crafts.

Swedie said...

Do you live in Tucson? I recognized the Reid Park Zoo. I saw it grow from scratch!


Bethany @ The Paper Pony said...

I LOVE how you used the actual business logos. Great idea!

Anonymous said...

For a DIY Road Rug, I love the print outs. Even I can do that!

Jen said...

VERY cool idea!

Shaper of Little Souls said...

This is perfect! I just bought the book, "Me On the Map."

I will use this as one of the activities to go with making a map of our own neighborhood!

How cool!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I just made one for my daughter using monopoly boards. I posted about it on my blog Coupons, Crafts and Kids! Oh My! and linked back to this page to show others where I got some of my ideas. Thanks again for sharing!