Last year about this time, I remember reading a post on the local Mom's site about a mother who felt she was going slowly insane playing play dough and painting over and over and over again to the point that if she had to sculpt one more play dough ball she was going to scream. She was begging us other mom's for other ideas on how to entertain her toddler during the winter....which always about this time, seems as if it has lasted forever and will never end.
Yes, the downside to living in a place with four seasons is the long winter days. The days where it is too cold, too wet, or too windy to venture outdoors with the little ones. The days that seem to last forever. I had responded to the mom with some suggestions on getting out and about or some new craft projects she could do, while sympathizing and agreeing with her.
Of course, like any public forum, there is always someone out there who disagrees with you, someone who likes to provoke discord. In this particular case, it was a woman who decided I should be eligible for the world's worst mother award for saying that I "felt the mother's pain" of bordom . While I wanted to respond, I knew that the posts back and forth would continue, so I took the high road and just told her that her comments were "meant to provoke" and that no further response would be coming. Other mothers jumped to my defense, but I was really angered by this person's comments, and decided to start blogging. While it took me a while to really start my own blog, the idea was planted....mostly because of my playgroup friends, but really I needed a place to put down my thoughts and vent.
So in honor of those housebound mom's who are feeling a bit stir crazy, the following project is for you. Cookie and I started making place mattes this year for Thanksgiving and now we haven't stopped. I had recalled sitting at my Grandmother's kitchen table as a little girl and eating on her place mattes. The one's she created from old greeting cards. I am not sure if they were actual cards she had received or cards she had acquired while working at the gift shop at a hospital, but I loved to look at them. I remembered them when wracking my brain trying to come up with new projects for Cookie and me to create this winter. The best thing is....you can make them to any theme you want. Lately we have just been printing out coloring pages from Cookie's favorite shows' websites. She colors them, I cut them out, she pastes them to a large piece of construction paper, and finally I cut and peel the contact paper and voila, place mattes that will please any toddler.
Contact Paper Roll
Coloring Book pages (or any other themed pictures)
1. Color and then Cut out Color book pages
2. glue to Construction paper. Let Dry
3. Cut Contact Paper to Construction paper size, leaving an inch to two inches around edges. Cut two sheets. Start to peel paper off Contact paper, then place finished construction paper face down onto Contact paper (leaving about an inch edge) gradually peeling the contact paper and smoothing out. Do the same to the other side. Cut edges to be even.
Handy Manny, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Mickey Mouse and Friends. One of our Thanksgiving Mats. We cut out leaves and Cookie glued them down.
Christmas Card Mats. If you don't see yours then we got it after New Years.