By

S LOVES dinosaurs.  So very much.  I had some felt scraps from working on another project (a doorway puppet theater for her school auction) and so I thought I'd try making a felt playmat.  It turned out great and though it ended up being a little time consuming because of the details we added, it could be a pretty quick project - and felt is certainly cheap!  I'd recommend taking a trip to a fabric store to get a yard or two of the main color you want to be using - for all the other parts we were able to use the smaller felt squares from Michaels.  To make ours extra thick, I did a layer of off-white (which became the beach sand) and layered green "grass" over the top.  This gave it a bit more structure.  My husband ultimately cut a piece of cardboard to go underneath the mat to make it easier to move (it will really grip the carpet).  All you need other than a larger piece (or pieces) of felt to get going is a glue gun, glue sticks for said glue gun, scissors, and felt squares in various colors.  

I wanted to make a multi-featured playmat, so ours did take a few hours to make, but you could always take a simpler approach by eliminating some of the features, or making them less detailed.  This was a weekend project - my husband watched the baby while S and I worked (OK, she worked a little, but mostly played on the playmat while it was being built - she just couldn't wait!)

I knew I wanted a volcano.  I was hoping to make one that was big enough that dinos could "fall" inside and be rescued.  It was actually a lot easier than I though it would be!  I just took two pieces of felt and sort of made a cone shape.  I made sure that the top was big enough for her hand and then started gluing and shaping as I went.  After it was all glued, I trimmed the excess with scissors - and voila!  Since it is not stuffed/stitched, it does require some puffing from time to time, but overall it holds its shape remarkably well.

 Rescuing T. Rex from inside the volcano.  He falls in a lot.


We asked my friends for input as we were making the playmat and someone suggested a tar pit.  I did two layers of felt on top of each other with a slit in the middle of the top layer.  This way the littler dinos can completely hide, but her bigger dino bones can peek out a bit in a rather dramatic fashion.  Haha.


I made the cave the same way as the volcano.  I laid out a single sheet of brown felt the way I wanted it, and then glued and shaped as I went.  I trimmed the excess.  And just like the volcano, it does need to be puffed occasionally, but generally holds its shape.


We also made a beach with swatches of different textured sandpaper (just glued it down) and various shells that we had left over from X's beach discovery bottle.  At the recommendation of another friend, we added some loose sticks and S has since taken some pieces of moss and some pine needles from the nature sensory board and added those as well.


I made the coconut trees by rolling tubes of felt, gluing them, and then stuffing the insides with polyester stuffing.  I think if I were doing it again, I'd also throw in a pipe cleaner to make it easier to position the trees.  The leaves are just felt pieces and the coconuts are brown pom-poms.
All in all, it was a very inexpensive project, and though it took several hours to make, it has gotten SO much use, I feel it was really worth the time it took to make.  S has come up with several scenarios, and spends several chunks of time each day quietly playing with her dinos...who have been joined by a penguin, sting ray, and goat.  Because they also wanted to play.

For even more dinosaur fun, be sure to check out our Dinosaur Fossils and our Dinosaurs and Sticky Mud Small World!



Follow along with Fun at Home with Kids on FacebookGoogle+Pinterest or Subscribe by Email or Bloglovin'!

All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children.  As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family.  I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision.  Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies).  Observe caution and safety at all times.  The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Tots last week! I'm featuring your post this week on In Lieu of Preschool: http://www.inlieuofpreschool.com/rainy-day-activities/ Please feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Off to pin...again! Thanks for sharing! :) ~Genny

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the feature, Genny!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love how your playmat turned out. I have been trying to figure out the best way to make a similar playmat for my daughter. You gave me so many ideas. I am pinning this and will link back to it after I complete our playmat and post it on my blog. ~I followed this link from The Weekly Kids Co-Op.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Katie! Ours is all done with hot glue. I'm happy to share any other details that I might have forgotten - so just let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for linking back when you're done - I'm excited to see what you come up with! Oh, and hooray for girls who love dinosaurs! :)

      Delete
    2. I finished my playmat's in April but I just posted. I'm blaming the new baby but really I was just slow getting the post up. :) Thank you for the great ideas. Here is a link to my post incase you want to see how ours turned out and check the link back to your post. http://schoolingatplay.com/2013/08/01/felt-playscapes/

      Delete
    3. Oh my gosh, Katie Q - those are AMAZING! I am pinning them all. I especially love your forest trees in the camping felt playscape. AWESOME!!!! And thank you so much for the link back! :)

      Delete
  4. seriously brilliant. It just makes me want to jump on ebay and buy up all the felt so I can make one too. My son would also be dropping the dinos in the volcano a lot
    Do you have a facebook or G+ page. Having discovered you I really want to be able to follow your posts but I can't find a link to any social media or RSS feed? I'm so bad at remembering good blogs without a bit of a prompt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the dinos spend a lot of time getting dropped into the volcano. And the goat. And the sheep. And lately, we've found some Easter eggs there (from the Easter playmat, hahaha).
      I have both a Facebook (www.facebook.com/FunAtHomeWithKids) and a Google+ (plus.google.com/u/0/b/103070429642461526081/103070429642461526081/posts) account. I can't get the buttons to work with this blogger template. I just started blogging about three weeks ago, so still figuring everything out. Oh, and I think you should be able to subscribe to my RSS through Google Reader using that orange icon on the left of the address bar? Thank you!!!!!

      Delete
  5. Awww, so cute! I don't blame S, I love dinosaurs too ;) Great job with this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachel! :) Dinosaurs are awesome, I agree!

      Delete
  6. What an awesome craft. I've hit a wall waiting to finish a pony play mat for my girls. I may fire up the glue gun instead

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh! A pony play mat sounds SUPER fun! Yes, I love my glue gun. I've found if I do the no sew thing, it looks slightly less polished, but my kids don't notice, and it saves me hours and hours of time!

      Delete
  7. I JUST finished making mine! took about four hours (I have a love/hate relationship with my glue gun), and I still have to add the beach section and add texture to the river. I'm wondering, how do you store yours? My kittens have decided it's THEIR playground, so I don't want to leave it down all the time. By the way, thank you so much for this! I know my kids are going to love it when they wake up tomorrow!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OOHHH! I am so excited for your kids tomorrow! The beach and the texture on the river aren't too bad - as long as you're past the trees, you're totally in the homestretch. :) We just fold ours in half twice and keep in on a living room chair. When S wants to play, I just need to re-fluff the volcano, the cave, and straighten the trees. It's worked well for us and may be enough to deter kittens...though I don't know...kittens can be pretty determined when it comes to play. :)

      Delete
  8. This is just plain AWEsome! Love that it's homemade, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Kristina!

      Delete
  9. You know I love anything made of felt. This is awesome! Thanks for linking up to Discover & Explore this week!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a terrific play mat! I used it as inspiration to make a smaller portable version. I hope my nephew likes it as much as your daughter seems to like hers! http://a-little-crafty.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/dinosaur-carry-bag-play-mat.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love it, Sally! And thank you so much for linking! I just pinned yours - so fun that it's portable. And I hope your nephew loves it too - he's a lucky little guy!!!!

      Delete
  11. Any chance you have a step by step to make this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry Hnaba1981 - I made it before I started the blog, so I didn't take any photos of the process. But also, I am historically pretty terrible at writing tutorials anyway. Felt is SUPER forgiving and easy - I think you will be fine if you give it a go sans tutorial!

      Delete

Well, hello there!



Welcome to Fun at Home with Kids! I'm Asia, a teacher (M. Ed) turned SAHM mom to two young kids: X and S. Around here we like to do a little bit of everything - science, art, crafts, sensory play, and small world play. Click here to read more about us!
Powered by Blogger.

Translate