Friday, January 14, 2011

DIY- Create a Playmat from a Shower Curtain

One of Logan's favorite bedtime books is The Fisher-Price The Great Big Word Book. It's an old book that we picked up a yardsale. But it is similar to any word book- similar to a Richard Scarry book. He loves books that have a lot of detail in the pictures. He loves books that use illustration to tell what people are doing. He is so familiar with the "town" in this book that I decided to use it for my inspiration in creating a playmat for him.

I used this page of the book which depicts the town and the surrrounding countryside.

On a plain white shower curtain (new), I drew out a basic sketch of the town. Iam in no way an artist so I just tried to keep mine very simple.
I painted it pretty plain. I wanted him to be able to use this playmat to drive trucks and cars to the town, but I also wanted him to be able to play farm or dinosaur train without the permance of painted on buildings.
I used a lot of different paints because I was trying to use up what we had around the house. I used tempera paints, acrylics, and finger paints. They all seemed to work about the same- they sometimes flake a little bit. The mat has stayed painted but after we finish playing I see little paint flakes on the floor.

I used tape to create roads markings.
I was going to just have him make buildings for the town out of blocks and then The Activity Mom reminded me of these "buildings". This paper bag town activity was in a recent High Five (Highlights) magazine.

Another thing I wanted to add to my road map was a parking lot. The Activity mom had also had an idea a few months ago about creating a parking lot to help your child follow directions. Now, I can tell Logan something like, "Park the green car on the number 2." It's a fun way to practice listening, colors, and numbers through play.

I put this out at our recent Transporation Birthday party. It was a hit with my nephew who is a kindergartner.He just jumped right in- without any direction from the adults.  Logan has gotten more interested in playing with the playmat after a little modeling from mommy!
These fold up really small- they will fit into a large ziploc bag. You can throw a few small cars into the bag and you have a take along activity!

I'm linking this post up:
Kid's Get Crafty
Play Academy

Also, since it's Friday, I'd like to say a BIG hello to new friends from- leave a comment and I'll come follow you back!
Smart and Trendy Moms



  1. Oh, this is adorable! Even my older children would love to do this.... I homeschool them and this would be such fun. You are very creative! I'm here from Mama to 4 Blessings and I am your newest follower!!


  2. Wow, this is fantastic! I love the parking lot and the shops made out of brown paper bags:)

  3. Oh my, cannot believe you made this out a shower curtain! How clever and I love the paper bag houses. Just too cute!

    Thank you for linking up to Kids Get Crafty! Great to see you there!!


  4. ooo I love this!!! What an awesome space to play and imagine!

  5. What a GREAT idea, my boys would love this!!!

    I'm your newest follower :)

  6. That is so great! Love the playmat.

    Following from

  7. Very clever and creative! I know some kids who would go bananas over this. I am from Fridays' Blog Hop. I am a new follower and hope that you can follow me back. Thank you for sharing.

  8. very cute idea! I was a reading teacher also. I'm now following from I hope you'll come by and check it out sometime. BJ

  9. That turned out great! Thanks for the link. =)

    Love the idea of having that out at a bday party.

  10. Very cool idea!

    Thanks for following me! I'm following you back!

  11. What a fun project! We started that paper bag town too, but I haven't stuffed them yet. Have you read In the Town All Year Round? My son has loved it for a long time.

  12. This is such a great idea. I like that you've left the design open to lots of different kinds of play - and those paper bag houses are fab. Thank you so much for sharing this with our Play Academy idea swap.

  13. What a creative and clever idea! I love it and I know my children would love it even more!