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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Traveling Activity Map!

I've seen activity place mats in stores before but I never liked any of them. I have been thinking of making my own and I wanted it to be: Small so it could travel to restaurants, educational, able to grow with the boys, sturdy, and interesting to both of the boys. So this is what I came up with:

(Be sure to read the bottom of this post to see variations for kids who aren't into cars or letters:)

I decided to play to Caden's two favorite things Cars and Letters. I used construction paper to create a little roadway scene and then cut out letters and numbers from construction paper as well. I loved using the primary colors! It turned out so pretty!

I cut the green papers to 81/2 by 5 inches so that they would fit in my laminator with out wasting any laminator sheets.
Once I lightly glued everything down I sent them through the laminator in the positions that they would need to be in to fold properly.

For the middle fold I used clear packing tape(Tip: Make sure to fold the packing tape over the edge, don't cut it. It makes it very strong and very unlikely to rip at the seam.)

Here is what it looks like when it is folded and unfolded.




I let Caden play with it for a little while but I am going to save it for restaurants and church from now on. I like to save things like this for those times because then they are more exciting.
I did the car side because that is Caden's favorite thing but if he liked:
  • Horses-I could have done a little pony farm
  • Farm Animals- a Farm:)
  • Dinosaurs- A Jungle with a volcano!
  • Princesses- A ball room??
  • Bugs- An ant hill with a little under ground maze
I can't think of what else kids would like:) Caden has loved cars since he was 12 months old so I have that on the brain:)
I think every mat should have the letters on the back and here are the activities that I am going to do with Caden while we are at a restaurant:
  • Find things on the table and talk about what letter they start with, then place them on that letter (ex. Salt, Pepper, Jelly, Water, Ketchup, Honey, Crayon)
  • Simple Finding Games (Ex. Can You find the letter...A? Can you find the letter that says Ssssss? Can you find the first letter of the word Boat? Can you find the letters of your Name?)
  • Have them drive the car to different letters (ex. Can you drive your car to the letter... P?)
  • You can also use the sides of those cheap crayons they give you to make rubbings of the letters. In the picture I used a colored pencil but I think a crayon would work a lot better.

3 comments:

  1. What a good idea! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wonderful idea, and so easy to make! I love that you suggest different activities to do with the map and ways to customize it to your child's individual interests.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just found you via Pinterest. You have some great ideas I may be borrowing. I'm wondering how long it took you to realize your "Z" was backwards. :)

    ReplyDelete

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