I was inspired by the DIY car, Play mats around the blogger world.
Felt car mat from the Iowa farmers wife
DIY create play mat from Shower curtain @ Ready set Read!
But the above car mats take few days time to create and crafts have been scarce. While the mats are in my to-do list, recently found this great idea of Tape city from Not Just a Housewife. It just takes few hours to construct and lots of fun guaranteed.
Being inspired by the Tape city we created a tape road map on a Multipurpose blanket(Play mat, Picnic blanket). We got the Multipurpose blanket from ToysrUs shop. You can also use a less expensive shower curtain. Using our toy collections, we created a Play city.
We used Sticky tape to create the road map (Make sure that the sticky tape will come out good without leaving stains). The sticky tape we used was not quiet sticky for the regular use but was useful for the tape city. Yahoo! we found a way to recycle it! Masking tape works better. We created this play mat in an hour time. CJ was of great help. She did have fun creating the city. We made the width of the roads small because our cars were small
The advantage of using Blanket is after the hours of play we can roll it up or fold it and organize it in a place accessible to the kids and get it out of the way temporarily. Especially for the people like us who leave in apartments and have space constraints. When the blanket gets dirty, you can peel off the tapes, wash it and make a new one.
CJ has a Percy's day at the farm Train set.
We started the structure of our city from the center of the blanket. The train tracks were arranged at the center of the play mat and from the Train arm we created road maps. We also built a tunnel over the track with building blocks.
CJ has a Moon dough Barn. Though I threw all the Moon dough because of the messy nature. The Barn building came handy for the road map.
The Barn building was placed at one corner of the blanket. From Train Farm station CJ would unload the cow and take her to the Barn. From the Barn she will load the cow and drop her at the Train Farm.
Garage play set took position at one corner of the blanket.
When we checked our vehicles collection, there were lots of airplanes too. So the Idea of creating an Airport, airplane run-away flashed and we created an Airport building with the Building blocks. CJ played take-off and landing.
C wanted to construct her home and park her car in the front
C has two princess wagons and a Pretty Princess Busy book(that comes with a play mat).
We set the Busy book play mat in one corner and placed the wagon near the Play mat. From the Play mat, C took her princesses to the Airport and to her home. Her Princess fantasy made her feel extra special giving ride to her favorite princesses.
Complete view of our Play city:-)
We played spot the things. I gave her a set of alphabets. She had to spot items that begin with the letter E, W, V etc...
Finally after all the fun was over, while removing the building, I labeled the locations. Main idea behind labeling was to encourage CJ to read. I'm trying to add word labels wherever possible so that she will learn words and recognize them. After few times of play, labeling also helps her arrange the buildings, play mat without help.
For the labels I used sticky tape and a Sharpie pen.