I think this is possibly the easiest Montessori-inspired placemat ever. I have had a pattern for a beautifully embroidered one cut out for over a year! But you know how it is, other things get in the way and the project ends up on the ‘when I have time’ pile.
The Montessori placemat is such a valuable tool though in guiding children towards independent purposeful activity. I had to pull it out and have another go at making some for Jack (3.5yrs) and Sarah (15 mths).
Then I saw this one that Kylie had made for Otis. Instead of stitching on the place settings, she simply stitched the outline straight onto the fabric – she’s a very clever cookie. Well, I could definitely do that. But then I procrastinated again and a month later they still weren’t done.
Then I thought, what if I made it even simpler? I could stitch the outline straight onto a simple cotton placemat. We have plenty of those and I wouldn’t have to stitch binding around the edge (which I am completely hopeless at).
So, there you have it, possibly the easiest Montessori placemat ever. I guarantee these took no time at all to make. Just trace around the utensils with a dark pencil (it’ll come off in the wash) and then sew with some contrasting thread. Easy!
As it turns out by complete accident, I really like these placemats. They match our placemats. So at meal times, we all use the same placemats. Also, Jack and Sarah make such a mess of their placemats that they get washed everyday. I don’t think my sewing would stand up to that amount of washing.
Sarah’s placemat has a spoon, fork, cup and plate. Jack’s also has a knife. We use the placemats when we are at the dining table. They don’t generally use utensils for snacks (like in the photos), just a plate and cup, but they do at dinner time.
The placemats have made such a difference. Jack is really enjoying setting the table, and the placemats help him know where to put the utensils. He knows to get the utensils out at dinner time and will happily set the table. We also haven’t had a single spilt drink since he has been very conscientiously placing his cup on the circle.
So, give it a go. It couldn’t be easier.
Oh, I really want to show you some new additions to Jack & Sarah’s kitchen utensils which I happened upon this week. I’ll take some photos of Jack using them and put them up tomorrow.
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