A new playmat for Alexandre…

habit :: 15 august

Friday morning we woke up to a surprisingly free day and decided to head into town to my favorite natural fibre shop Wabi-Sabi to select wool for a new playmat for Alexandre. Most play things in our home are not specifically one child’s – but this one was to be different, and especially for Alexandre*.

Alexandre LOVES playing with cars, trucks & tractors. He can honestly spend a whole day doing just that. The problem is that he’s taken over the long sofa in our living room as his. Nobody can sit on it. There’s typically a blanket on it and if it isn’t just so for his cars to park in, he gets upset. Friday morning I said “why don’t we get wool to create you a playmat for your cars?” he LOVED the idea. So on we went after our morning walk to pick up wool to felt. He chose the colours. We discussed fields and rivers and caves — he wanted no caves though I convinced him to add one and when it was done he said that he loved the cave. We discussed a road and since by his requirement it had to be windy, I decided to needle felt it on later, together – so that he can decide on actual placement knowing that if I tried to wet felt it it would shift too much and I wasn’t ready to have it not quite right for him…

When we got home we started working on it. The kids spent a good hour and a half with me, placing the wool, deciding on field sizes, judging the height of the wool on the mat. Then the fun part began… the soap and warm water — the hands on stuff, the messy (though incredibly clean!) stuff. I swear wet felting is the BEST craft for kids. The most you can get is a little bit of soapy water on the floor and wet clothes. Nothing messy. beautiful.

wet felted playmat

wet felted playmat

wet felted playmat

wet felted playmat

habit :: 13 august

wet felted playmat

wet felted playmat

Saturday morning he woke up to a mat that was ready for him. He loves it. It’s still taking up the space on the sofa, but we’re working on that… and in the next few months the toys will be moving from our main living area to their playspace down stairs, so for now it might have to do. The best part is that the blanket has not created any issues since he started playing with it. Success.

We’ve discussed car barns that we’re going to create together with wool and twigs (when nature dries up a bit from all this rain we’ve had today) that are similar to pepère’s machinery barn at the farm. He was happy with that solution.

Adam had to help me with the ‘hard’ felting after the kids were in bed on Friday (because pregnancy has made it difficult for me to do some parts of the felting process!) and he said “you know, you can buy car mats all ready made…” I answered “yes, I know — but think of the experience and day Alexandre had today. You can’t buy that.” and he agreed that ours was indeed much cooler.

* and since we were making one specifically for Alexandre, Elizabeth and I decided that it would be nice to make one specifically for her and she loved the lili pond one in the latest Living Crafts, we we got supplies for that, too. That’s our next wet felting project.


5 thoughts on “A new playmat for Alexandre…

  1. What a lot of fun! You’re right, you can’t buy the experience of Alexandre making his very own playmat. I did get a chuckle about your couch problem! I hope the playmat solves that eventually.

  2. Hello there,

    I just happened upon your blog quite by chance and discovered that you are a fellow felter. Love the mat and the little gnome house you did.The gnomes bring back memories of when my son was little. We had a little fairy garden right by our front door. I miss the times. If you feel like it you can check out my etsy shop and see some of my felted items.It is very small.

  3. Boys and their cars! Andre likes to turn over the farm and river felted playmat and play parking lot, traffic jam or crashup derby on the neutral backside. Dual purpose.
    And as far as all art projects go, soap and water spread all over our house will only do more good than harm, versus paint or crayons.
    Love it!

    • ah yes… the ‘other’ playmat… the problem is that he had taken that one over as ‘his’ and it was REALLY annoying Elizbaeth because she couldn’t play with the animals on it. That’s why we created a new one! 🙂

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