Day At The Beach: Quiet Mat

Hey Guys!!! This is going to be my first kids post! Every two weeks (maybe more often..I do what I want) I will be posting a craft project that can be made for your kids or that your kids can make. I do appreciate when you comment and share my posts!

Ok, now let’s get to business. If you love pinterest like I do then you know about Quiet Books and if you don’t you should check them out. Quiet books are hand made books with different activities that help your kid build sensory skills and learn almost anything you can dream of. This can be from tieing shoes, to matching, to braiding hair. Just trust me and look them up. The problem is that these are really expensive. I have researched them and they seem to average about $40 a page on Etsy. I think its worth it but honestly I can’t afford to spend the money on it as a gift and don’t have the patience to make it. Soooo I made a “Quiet Mat” instead.

This is a great project for parents with toddlers and the pieces are easily replaceable if lost or destroyed. The mat in this tutorial caters to shapes, numbers and a child’s name.

This tutorial is a bit long but you can skip through the reading and follow the steps in the pictures. I do think that you may need the combination of both! Mostly because I want you to read this.

For this project you will need

  • 27×40 White Felt (buy this by the yard. We will use the left over white from cutting it to size)

  • Assorted Felt squares (3 sky blue, 3 ocean colored, 1 yellow, 4 other colors of your choice)

  • Glue (I recommend something like gorilla glue but I used a glue gun for lack of patience reasons)

  • Approximately 1 yard Hook and Loop (velcro is the most well known brand)

  • Fabric Paint (I used black and white but this is totally up to prefrence)

  • Scissors

  • A Pen or marker that works well on felt

  • Ruler

The first step is to cut all your shapes. I will list each shape and what it is used for so you can decide which colors to use.

The Sun- 1 5″ Circle
Shirt- 1 5″x5″ Square
Beach Bag- 1 2.5″x5″ Rectcangle
Beach Ball- 1 3″ Circle
Umbrella- 1 Crescent approx. 5″ across
Kite- 1 Diamond 3″-4″ tall
Star Fish- 4″ star
Turtle- Oval about 4″ long

Ok now we still have more cutting to do..I’ll admit that I took a few breaks.
Next we need 10 fish. These will be used for numbers. I drew a 2″ triangle and an oval together. Then I cut about three at a time. I used 5 different colors of felt and made two fish out of each color.

Let’s write their name in the clouds. Literally. Using the left over white felt draw two parallel lines 3″ apart. This will help you to keep the letters a reasonable size. Then sketch out block letters. Because “Kharis” is a short name I was able to fit her first and last name (I will only show her first name in the post). You can def adjust the size to fit your needs. Once done, cut those out. Don’t stress about markings from your pen you can cover those with paint later.

Below you can see a sketch of everything before I cut them. The oval is the only shape missing. It was an after thought, sorry!One.png

I also learned that even 3 year olds know that its a “crescent” and not a “moon” shape. I thought that they had to level up in life to learn the real name…I should also note that this post was done when I was given this news sooo….two.png

Lay your mat out and place your 3 sky felt squares at the top and 3 ocean ones at the bottom. Glue these down. Now place your items on the mat to play around with placement, Keep in mind that the square and triangle will be people. After playing around I decided on the layout you will see in the following pictures.
Trace each shape on the mat putting your pen just under the edge of each shape. That way the shape on the mat will be a tiny bit smaller than the loose shapes. At this time sketch the line for the kite, umbrella handle, and heads and arms for your figures. Don’t forget to include some little arms and a head for your turtle.

three.png

I did NOT trace those letters. I just drew a blank line under each letter with white paint. If you are up for it though go for gold. Obviously you have to have top notch artistic skills.

four

Ok! Now let’s break out the paint. Label each shape and number your fish 1-10. I wrote in pen first and then went over with the paint. I also used this time to outline each shape and the letters. I recommend using green or brown felt for the oval instead of white so you dont have to draw the shell.

five.png

Use your black paint (or whatever color you like) to trace the lines you drew on your mat. You can write the names of the shapes in them as well if you like, I didn’t. Keep in mind hook and loop will go in the empty space though. Wait a few hours for the paint to dry. During this time you can cut your hook and loop to fit the various shapes.
If you trust yourself you can glue one half of the hook and loop to the mat while the paint is still wet.
When everything is dry glue the other half of your hook and loop pieces to your shapes. I chose to glue the sun in place and considered gluing her name in place but decided on velcro so it can be an activity.

six.png

Your mat is done! You can hang it on the wall, place it on the floor or let the child drag it around the house!
Feel free to let me know if anything neeeds to be clarified in the comments.

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