Most kids love homemade toys since they are usually the best. The pat mat is one of their favorites and making it is quite easy. A play and pat water mat is an exquisite sensory toy for kids that often gives them an object to explore with their tiny hands. You can use a pat mat with babies who are still learning to walk and during tummy times as well. Plus, there are different variations on these mats ideal for pre-school kids.
Here are some of the things you’ll require:
- Heavy duty, large baggie with a zip lock. Try finding a plain one and not those with writings and complicated designs.
- Hair gel – should be clear or clean water
- Confetti in different colours – you can get them in a party or card supply store
- High-quality tape
Put some hair gel or water into your zip lock. It should be enough to squish around when laid flat on the surface. Three to five tablespoons will work perfectly well. Put the mixture into the confetti. It would be best if you used the shaped confetti often used in decorating birthday and valentines’ tables.
Confetti comes in different shapes such as dogs, boats and hearts among others typically adding a richer language element to the activities. Remove all the air inside the bag before zipping it. Use a heavy-duty tape to seal it tightly so as to prevent any leakages. If you are still worried about the baby poking holes in it, the double bags come in handy in such instances.
You can tape your pat mat on a levelled cookie sheet that has no edges if you are concerned about the little one’s safety. This way, you will have no worries about the baby chewing on the bag when it picks it up. Besides, it also makes the surface harder enhancing the motion of the things placed inside. It additionally makes the toy flexible ideal for babies on the move.
You can also come up with your own pat mat as it encourages motor development in children. Tape down the mat on a small table where toddlers can reach to motivate them to keep standing for an extended period.
The Magic Paint Bag is another variation of the same idea perfect for preschool kids. The activity is highlighted in the First Art book that most parents highly recommend.
The idea here is similar to the magic slate. Below are some of the things you’ll require for this activity:
Thick dark coloured tempera paint
- A measuring spoon
- A heavy duty, large zip lock bag
- A white piece of paper measuring 8⅟₂ × 11
- A heavy-duty masking tape
- Blunt tools for drawing such as spoons, fingers, and popsicle sticks
Get ready by placing at least three full tablespoons of the dark-colored tempera paint in the zip lock bag. Squeeze out all the air inside the bag before closing it. Place the white piece of paper on a cookie sheet or lower table. The paper should be a bit smaller than the bag’s size. Then put the bag filled with the tempera paint on top of the sheet or paper. Tape the bag on the sides onto the surface.
Have your little one smooth out the tempera paint into thin layers in the zip lock bag using their fingers. They can also rub their fingertips on the bag where it’s a bit flat to scribble or draw some lines. Let the baby experiment with different blunt objects such as spoons and popsicle sticks. The idea here is for the child to displace the dark paint in the bag by whatever means, that is by using their fingers or blunt objects provided to expose the white piece of paper underneath. Gently rub your hands over the zip lock bag to get rid of the designs and do it again.
You can also help your preschool kid draw shapes and write letters. It’s an excellent hands-on literacy activity for the young ones and it also encourages motor development. Just like all the other activities, you should ensure that the little ones don’t throw the zip lock bag into their mouth. You should try it out, most children love this activity.
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