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brown paper packages: {back 2 basics} oopsey daisy

Friday, September 2, 2011

{back 2 basics} oopsey daisy

Day 2...Please welcome Alison from Oopsey Daisy!  I've fallen in love with her blog and all of her great ideas.  Today is no exception, take a look!

Hello! My name is Alison, and my blogging home is Oopsey Daisy.
I am thrilled to be here because Brown Paper Packages really is one of my favorite things!

Once upon a time, I taught first grade. I taught oodles of adorable kiddos and loved every minute of it. In fact, I miss it. Sometimes I want to walk through elementary schools and look at their bulletin boards just for fun.
Although I don't have any children in school yet, I do teach Mommy School at home to my little toddler. For me, back to school definitely means back to basics!

I created this ABC mat to help my son learn the alphabet!

We are enjoying this ABC mat so much! In fact, Little Man begs to get it out each and every day. We play all kinds of games so that he can stretch, run, hop, and jump all over the alphabet! (Think hopscotch mat for ABC's!)

I whipped up this ABC mat in one afternoon. Want to make your very own?
Let's get started!

Last year, I made a quiet book, and I still have plenty of felt to go around! So I picked out some of my favorite colors to highlight each letter. I wanted the mat to be bright and colorful.

I purchased 2 yards of turquoise felt on sale at JoAnn's. I cut out a large rectangle that was approximately 43" x 73". This would be the main base of the mat.

To cut out the circles, I traced several tupperware lids that were all different sizes. I used disappearing ink to trace them. I wanted a variety of colors and sizes to make it interesting.

Here is my stack of 26 circles (one for each letter of the alphabet), ready to go!

I wanted to space out all of the circles in an interesting way, so I pinned them roughly where I wanted them before sewing. I was also careful not to pin them too close to the edge so I could add a border later.

Then I got to work sewing all those circles on! It became a little cumbersome to sew circles in the middle of a lot of fabric. I was careful not to let the felt bunch up as I was sewing along!

I love polk-a-dots! So I hot glued this polk-a-dot ribbon as a border all the way around the entire mat.

Now for the letters!!
I cut the letters out of fabric using my Cricut. To make the cutting process easier, I had already ironed on Heat 'N Bond and peeled away the paper layer.

Then I ironed each letter on a circle. Because I had already ironed on the Heat 'N Bond, they ironed on very easily. I was sure to spend plenty of time ironing the letters on. I wanted these to stand the test of time!

I really love that I didn't have to sew these on. They have held up just beautifully!

And that's it! Fold it up, roll it up like a sleeping bag, and you can store it away and pull it out for special occasions.

Here are a few ways that you can use an ABC mat:
* Ask your child to find a letter and perform an action. (Hop on the letter "J")
* Ask your child to put a different body part on a specific letter. This ends up looking a lot like Twister! (Put your nose on the letter "N")
* Play a "Simon Says" game. (Simon says to hop to the letter "B")
* Play music and let your child hop from letter to letter to the music. Stop the music and ask child to identify what letter he/she is standing on.
* For more advanced children, hop from letter to letter to spell out entire words.

Little Man loved playing, and putting his hand/foot/nose, etc. on different letters! Here he is with his ear on the Letter J!

I have a feeling that this ABC mat will be getting lots of love! And I can't wait!

TIP: If you prefer a no-sew version of this project, no problem! I used a shower curtain liner as a teacher. I drew the letters and circles on the mat with a sharpie. The children in my class could slip off their shoes and spell out their spelling words on this spelling "mat." It was one of their favorite activities.

Good luck with all of the back-to-school bustle in your own lives!
Kierste, thank you for inviting me to be a part of this fun series!


{LOVE} this! My girls would too.  It's now on the list...

Thank you so much Alison, so glad you were here!



Blogger L2L said...

Very cute!!! I am teaching in our Pre-k room for our homeschool group!!! Love the idea of already ironing on the heat and press!!!!! One thing I would suggest is if your child does not know their abcs start with lower case first!!! Just by looking at this comment, how many more lower case are there compared to upper case? Happy sewing or no sewing, lol!!!!

September 2, 2011 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Becky said...

What a wonderful idea! Fortunately, my kids all know their alphabet. (They better, the youngest is a senior in high school.) However, they're beginning to give us grandchildren. This looks like a perfect gift idea for our new toddlers. Thanks so much for sharing.

September 2, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Super cute idea - I've been meaning to crank out some letters with my cricut and the heat n bonded fabric! This would be a great project!

September 2, 2011 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Thank you for this! My 2 year olds are obsessed with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom right now and the alphabet. I am definitely going to make this! Am I wrong, but I thought you could not iron felt? This is nice to know!

September 2, 2011 at 9:32 AM  
Blogger Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

Super cute idea! Way too many ways to play with this fun mat. And what a fabulous learning tool!

September 2, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger The Miller Five said...

Love this idea! You could even do numbers and shapes or something on the other side. I love that you made it an active game and a learning game. Fun fun fun!

September 2, 2011 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Great idea! Thanks for the tutorial!

September 2, 2011 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Kim @ Cheap Chic Home said...

This is such a cute idea, Alison. It's an easy way to learn while having fun. Now that I'm so old, I'll have to keep this idea in mind for my future grandchild (due in Apr.!) Blessings, Kim

September 2, 2011 at 5:58 PM  
Blogger Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

This is beautiful!

September 2, 2011 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Cicilia said...

That really is creative! Thank you for inspiring me.

Do check My Memories scrapbooking software giveaway here:

September 4, 2011 at 12:25 AM  

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