C now has an Underwater Felt Play Mat.
Materials I used:
1 Piece of A4 sized Green Felt (seaweed)
1 Piece of A4 sized Tan Felt (sand/ocean floor)
1 Oversize (roughly A3) Piece of Blue Stiffened Felt (ocean)
Iron On Fuse Webbing (from the sewing department)
1 Tube of Ocean Life Creatures ($10 from Toyworld)
Not picture but also required:
** I chose stiffened felt simply because that was all they had in the size I wanted. It easily slides into the cupboard, but if you would prefer to roll it away be sure to find regular soft felt for this.
Putting It All Together:
This didn't even take half hour to do!
1. I roughly drew the sand across the bottom of the Tan Felt. Since it was A4 I needed to do this twice, one piece slighlty shorter than other. Be sure they are the same height so that once they are attached the sand flows evenly across the ocean floor. You will have a join in your sand doing it this way, but I didn't mind.
2. Cut a piece of Iron On Fuse Webbing as close to the same size as the sand you just cut as possible. Place the sand onto the webbing and iron carefully with a dry iron so it attaches. Peel the backing away and place sand into position on the ocean floor area of the large bule felt piece and iron once again.
Do the same thing with the 2nd piece of sand, you will need to be a little more careful with the second piece, ensuring that your joins match up and that you are covering to the edge properly. You can use the iron to 'spread' the felt a little, mine was actually a couple of millimetres too short but I pushed the felt with the iron to move it across.
3. With the Green Felt piece roughly draw a few pieces of Seaweed and cut them out. You could fuse these into place but I chose not.
4. Add your animals.
5. Introduce your child to their new world of fun.
C played with this all day on and off the first day I put it together. I love that for now it is as simple as just as a play mat but it will grow with him. For now we can tell stories, sing songs with and about the animals.
Later on I will be able to put together 3 part cards for these creatures for him to first learn their names, label them and then go on to learn more about the individual creatures themselves.