Monday, April 16, 2012

Roll-up Car Play Mat

Boys are different.

I keep hearing this again and again when I talk with other Mothers. As if I didn’t know there was a difference. Nonetheless, when I bring up something like potty training or how they communicate or play, the other Mom will almost always come back with “Boys are different”. I guess having two daughters first is what is throwing me off from understanding his thought process from time to time.

So, I’ve learned that I need to find other ways to engage him in activities. The girls were happy with a pen and paper or a book and they would sit in church or at a doctor appointment and wait quietly. They were content while I talked to someone. He needs entertainment and paper and pens aren’t cutting it for him. Several months ago I made an activity mat for him to drive his cars while we were at church or during the girls sporting events/practices. It works as long as I remember to always provide different vehicles. ;)

After seeing what a success it was for him I made one for for my Etsy store. That first one sold fairly quickly so I thought I would make another one and share the “how to” with you.

You will need
1 sheet Black felt
2 sheets dark green felt
2 sheets dark grey felt
And some pieces of lighter green and brown felt
Fabric glue
Ribbon and a sewing machine

First set the machine on a wide zigzag stitch. Stitch the two pieces of green together using green thread to make a large play area. After I sew it on the machine, I go back over the area wider with a needle and embroidery floss to make it more durable. (This will be hidden under the road later.)

Cut the black felt in half lengthwise.
Then cut one half into two pieces. These will make the pockets for storing the cars.

Pin down the pockets and add small pleats to the bottoms and sew them onto the remaining black piece.

Sew the pocket (garages) onto one end of the grass area.

At the other end sew a piece of ribbon so that when the mat is rolled up you can tie it closed.

Using some paper I sketched out the plan for my road, cut that out and pinned it to my grey felt.
Once the grey felt was cut out I set my machine on a straight stitch but on mine I set it to run a triple stitch. This was to make the stitching stand out more so it would be more visible.

First I used white thread to mark the linen for the parking spaces

Then I used yellow to mark the dotted lines on the roadway.

When sewing the yellow dotted line, I just moved the felt and continued my sewing. After around the whole road I went back and cut the treads but only on the top.

After all the stitching is done you are ready to glue the road down to the grass.

While I’m waiting for the glue to set I work on a few other details. I used some white fabric paint to make bumpers for each parking space. I also added a few other details like thicker grassy areas, a few trees and a stop sign.

Allow the glue and the fabric pain to dry at least overnight and then you’re ready to play.

If you’re not ready to make one yourself you can check to see if I have one listed here.

Drive safely!!!


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I wish I'd had something like that for my kids when they were little. That is terrific!

Intense Guy said...

I must be a big kid... I wanna play on this mat!!


Alexis AKA MOM said...

As always my dear you just freaking amaze me! I love love this idea. I so need to do it!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I came back to let you know I pinned it :). Plus tweeted ... lol. love ya