Thursday, January 19, 2012

Crafty ways of learning.....Woven Place Mats

"The Woven Place Mats"

This craft kept my kids busy for a good 3 hours, and it also helped them practice their cutting skills along with introducing them to the concept of repetition.


*2 sheets of Large construction paper (12"x18") (different colors)
*Markers and /or crayons
*Small things such as confetti and stickers

*Old Magazines
*Dry erase marker
*Contact paper

Step 1
Take one sheet of construction paper and draw a line 1 inch from the top of the paper (on one of the 2 short sides). Fold the paper in half, short side to short side( like a book).

Drawing the first line.


Step 2
Using your ruler draw lines about 1 1/2 inches apart going from the top line down to the fold.

A tip to helping draw this set of lines:
*Before hand you may want to measure them out and draw them with a pencil, then let your little one trace over them with a marker.

For older kids you may want to measure out the distance and mark it with a dot so they fell like they are doing more of the "work"

Finished drawing the lines.

What the paper should look like unfolded after you finish step 2.
*Don't forget to fold it back before moving on the step 3.

Step 3
Cut the lines from the fold to the line at the top of the paper without cutting the fold or the top line. Set aside.

Start from the fold and cut upward toward the line you drew in step 1.

Make sure not to cut the line at the top of the paper.

When you are finished this is what it should look like.

If you have older kids instead of cutting straight lines they can cut wavy lines for a more fun look.

Unfolded after step 3.

Step 4
Using the second sheet of construction paper fold it in half, long side to long side (the opposite way you folded the first).

You should make 2 "towers".

Unfolded after step 4.
*Make sure you fold it back before going on the step 5.

Step 5
Draw 1 1/2 inch lines from the fold to the edge of the paper.

Very important, make sure that the way you fold the second sheet is the opposite from the way you folded the first one. The 2 long side must be touching.

Step 6
Cut the lines you just drew to form individual strips of paper as shown below.

Step 7
Use these strips to weave through the opening of the first sheet of construction paper.
*To weave means to take the strip under the paper, then over the paper at the next opening. Repeat this action from one side of the paper to the other.
*If you want, you can use several different colored strips of paper instead of one color through out the mat.

If you want to get really funky you can cut several different colors into strips and weave those in and out.

Remind your kids to go slowly. Thankfully if they accidentally rip the paper it can be taped back together.

Done with weaving.

Step 8
When you finish weaving the strips of paper, glue the ends down.

This keeps it in place so the strips do not fall out every time you pick it up.

Step 9
DECORATE!! Let your kids use stickers, confetti, and what ever else you may have laying around to decorate their place mat.
*If you want to drag this craft out a bit more you may also give them some old magazines and let them cut out pictures of their favorite foods to glue onto the mat.

Step 10

*After the mat drys take it to any office supply store and have them laminate it for you. This is super cheap and it keeps to mats protected so they can be used again and again.
*You can also use contact paper to do it yourself.....but I am just not that brave. One wrong move and Annabelle would have my head on a plate!

These can also be used on long car rides with older kids. Use Velcro to secure a dry erase marker to the side of the mat. They can play Tic-Tac-Toe and fun car games. Just pass around the baby wipes every now and then so they can clean it off and start having fun all over again.

Step 11
Set the table and enjoy!

I have to make one for Johnny because he isn't happy that he doesn't have one. He is using Annabelle's in the picture above.

I love this craft because once your complete it you can use it in so many different ways.

1.As a table top entertainer.

One thing I hate is having all the kids at the dinner table waiting on dinner and as I am plating the food I notice it is way to hot for them to eat. So as all moms know this is when you run around the kitchen trying to find a way to cool it off, or you put it on the table and tell the kids not to touch.............but lets get real when have they ever listened to good advice. That is where this craft comes in. This is a great reusable craft to make that will fill up an afternoon, and can even keep your littlest diners stay entertained while at the dinner table.

2. A car activity.

If you have a long trip coming up you may want to put names of states on the panels and make and "I spy License Plate" game out of it. You can use it as an "I spy mat" for younger kids. And the list goes on and on.

3. Need a nice night out or have a doctors appointment??? These things are portable!!!

Nothing like bringing your own entertainment.....right?!?!?

Well I think you get the point this is a great easy fun craft that has more uses then this mom can count!!!

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