I have long lusted after some of the gorgeous felted play mats like the ones you see on Etsy or in Steiner/Waldorf shops. But felting is not my thing so I’ve just admired from afar, until I got the crazy idea to make a printable one!
I started with two very simple scenes – sea, sand and forest, and a garden with a pond and path. These are very simple play mats, with the idea to spark imagination rather than really direct play.
Of course my printed play mats are not nearly as beautiful as the felted version, and since I only have a regular A4 desk jet printer they are limited in size, but that didn’t seem to bother Noah when I set them up for him to explore.
I taped the sea sand and forest play mat to a larger sheet of paper and taped that to the table, just to give it some more stability. Then I collected a few bits and pieces such as wooden trees, blocks, stones, and shells and hauled the huge tub of animals out next to the table. The rest was up to Noah
At first he hunted for all the Australian animals (don’t worry, kangaroos are not really fluro orange!) and then looked for animals that could live in the water.
After a little while he wanted to try out the second play mat, this time with dinosaurs! And later he made the busiest zoo I have ever seen, with animals crammed in everywhere!
You can download each of these simple imaginative play mats so you can play too.
If your printer has the ‘borderless printing’ option, you can use that to print these play mats so that they fill the whole piece of A4 paper.
Download the sea, sand and forest play mat here.
Download the garden path play mat here.
We’ve had so much fun with these simple printable play mats that I will have to make some more. Noah wants a ‘bolcano with lots of lava’ (???) I was thinking more along the lines of a river??
I’d love to hear your ideas for more printable play mats or any other printables you’d like!
For more great ideas for preschool aged kids buy this great ebook!