My little N. is 3 1/2 years old!
It's such a fun age with surprising sassiness, amazing displays of love, and a whole lot of "growing up" behavior. Seriously. I can't blink and she's developed beyond what I thought was possible at this age.
One thing I've tried to do is to leave some Montessori inspired activities and materials easily accessible for her to use. This particular project came about because she likes to help me get dinner ready. I obviously can't let her do a whole lot when I'm cooking, but she does help setting the table. And I like to encourage her to help and to do it independently.
I saw these adorable Montessori placemats for sale at A Bit of This and a Bit of That, and it inspired me to make my own. Jo is much better at making them, so check out her shop to see them! But I'm such a diy person that I wanted to try it myself. I'm sharing the process for those of you who want to try it as well. Mine came out a bit bigger than what it needed to, so feel free to decrease the overall dimensions.
- fabric for the top (22 in x 14 in) - I used pink checkered cotton
- backing (22 in x 14 in) - I used muslin
- fabric scraps in coordinating colors for the utensils, plate, and cup.
- Thread and sewing machine
1) Cut the fork, spoon, knife, plate, and cup out of the scraps of fabric using the templates (link above). The chopsticks were at my husband's request, and for us it's useful. You don't actually have to use the templates. You can take some silverware and place it on the fabric, trace it and cut it.
2) Pin them on the right side of the top fabric. Sew. I used both a straight stitch and a decorative one of top (for extra support and extra fun).
3) Pin the backing to the top, right sides together.
4) Sew around the edges leaving an opening (~3 inches) to turn it over right side out.
5) Iron the opening, folding the edges to the inside. Sew the opening shut.
6) That's it, you're done! So quick right? And now, just put it on the table for your little one to help you set it.