Have you seen those large play mats that kids can sit on while they play? The mat usually has features that resemble a town: roads, buildings and other objects printed on the mat. You can make something similar from a plastic shower curtain and your kids will have hours of fun!
Recycle an old shower curtain or buy a cheap one from a dollar-theme store. The best type is one that is a solid color. Cut straight across the top area to remove the strip that has the shower curtain ring holes. Use the remaining piece of the curtain or cut off a section to make the play mat.
There are lots of different things you can use to create the roads, homes, businesses and other items on the mat. Permanent markers or paint markers make it easy to draw roads, sidewalks and more. It’s helpful if you create the roads first so that you’ll know where to place the buildings.
Colored tape is another way you can make various images on the play mat. Create fake bricks for houses by cutting rectangular shapes of brown, red or gray tape. Create roofs by cutting longer rectangles of tape.
Craft stores feature many stickers that can help you create the town your child will love. Use house stickers, kids, pets, trees and flowers, airplanes, clouds, rainbows – any number of stickers to make the scene you want for the play mat.
Print out images from your computer to make street and building signs. Use this technique to print out mini images of family members. Print out shapes of cars, busses, taxis, trucks and other vehicles. Use the paper printout to draw the vehicles on cardstock. Kids can push these around the play mat streets.
There are lots of stand-up accessories you can easily make for the play town. Fold a rectangle of cardboard in half and glue a pet shape on one side. Do the same to stand up people, light poles and more. Glue straw sections onto squares or circles of cardboard to make signposts. Signs can be made out of cardboard or cutouts and attached to the signposts.
Your kids will have a lot of fun helping you make the shower curtain play mat and they’ll certainly have a blast playing with it! It’s cheap entertainment that’s perfect for the younger crowd!