I was completely inspired by the felt dinosaur and car mats I ran across at Serving Pink Lemonade. Fair warning, what I am about to show you doesn’t compare with what those practically professional ladies achieved, but it worked for me, and my two little ones were still thrilled, even though it wasn’t [at all] perfect. Take that, perfectionism :).
With that inspiration and a 30-minute trip to the zoo planned for today, last night I whipped up these two lovely play mats. Here’s felt creation number one:
Trains! What little boy doesn’t love trains? Really, what did little boys play with and obsess about before the invention of the steam engine? I can’t imagine. I still, regrettably, have not hauled out my sewing machine to finally figure out how to thread it and make it work, so I did a no-sew version.
I simply glued one piece of felt to a piece of thin cardboard (cut from a used Fed-Ex envelope – fair warning, that writing will show through lighter-colored felt, don’t ask me how I know…), and then cut out some engines and wagons. I added some pieces for coal, windows to make passenger cars, and gravel (or snow), as well as some boxes that could be placed in the train cars. I glued three black strips for the rails, and cut out lots of little circles for the wheels. The end! My 4yo loves it. So does my 1.5yo girl! Fair warning, these small pieces of felt are choking hazards. Please don’t use them with children under 3 unless you’ll be supervising them very closely.
I made several cars of each color so that he can practice making patterns. He just wasn’t inspired by the leaf manipulatives we made yesterday, so I thought train wagons just might be more fun!
Then, I was inspired to make one for my little girl. A dress-up person would be perfect! So I made a template, traced it onto another piece of felt glued onto more envelope cardboard, and made eyes, hair, clothes, etc. Admittedly, this is one of those projects that looked a LITTLE better in my head than it actually turned out…but, it still serves the purpose, and they loved that I made these for them. They also kept them occupied in the car, so I consider it a complete success!
Now I’m thinking of making some with space shuttles, Saturn V rockets, castles, and definitely a set of animal habitats. You can make these for whatever theme your little one loves, and all for the cost of felt and an hour of time! Please, make some, and link so I can see your creations too!!!