Felt Play Mat

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Felt play mats are a great way to occupy the kids while you’re getting work done around the house or cooking dinner. Set out a large sheet of felt for each child, along with customizable mix-and-match pieces, and let the entertainment begin!

My original plan for this game was to set Travis up with a Medieval castle scene, but he wasn’t that interested. Instead, we recreated objects from his current favorite show, Fireman Sam.

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I let Travis decide which pieces he wanted, and cut them from corresponding felt colors – red firetrucks, yellow houses, green trees (“and we need brown trunks!” Travis made sure to add), blue water etc.

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Kids who are 5 and up should be able to cut out their own felt pieces, but Travis was excited just watching me to so!

Forgive my lack of artistic skills, but here was our mountain rescue center with a radio and “flares.”

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Once we had enough pieces, the play began! We had a little orange “fire” that could be moved around the scene, and his firetruck rushed in to the rescue.

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We decided we did need a few people, so added Playmobil figures.

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As he played, I added further shapes like a castle, a pond with fish, and a few more nature elements.

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Now he could mix and match games and create imaginative tales to his heart’s content!

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Forced Perspective Photos

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For kids who love playing with cameras and learning about photography, this nifty trick is a great way to sneak in learning with the fun. Stage photos with one object near the lens and one person far away for a lesson on perspective!

The idea is to show your child how something close to the lens looks giant, and something further away looks smaller. You can have lots of fun with this, holding up your child’s toys near the lens, and staging various scenes, as with Travis blowing up a giant balloon, above.

And here he is hoisting a whole helicopter!

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Here’s one that didn’t work quite so well, trying to push a police car out of the way:

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He got such a kick out of seeing the photos as we scrolled through after, and wanted a chance to try as well.

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I can’t say that his snaps with the Instax instant camera came out perfectly, but he sure had fun trying!

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What silly scenes will you capture to show perspective? Please share ideas in the comments!

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