With kids; outdoor activities have increased significantly. Since we are out and about so often, we find ourselves eating out more often than we should. So, I decide to try and pack lunches whenever possible. One of the hardest things for me was carrying utensils around. It seems something always falls to the ground or ends up loose in my lunch bag. Problem finally solved!! I put a zipper pocket on my placemat and voila, utensils and napkins are always ready to go. Also, the fact that my child will always have a clean surface to eat on makes me so happy :) I was surprised at how easy this project is. Yes, I will be making one for everyone in this house. LINK TO THE YOUTUBE TUTORIAL: DIY Picnic Placemat with Zipper Pocket Tutorial- Roll
I made this bag from scraps of fabric but thought it needed some decor. So, I tested out fabric paints on rubber stamps. I LOVE the way it came out ! It is also a great way to organize myself. I thought after my son turned 2 that I would not have a need for emergency change of clothes. It seems not to be the case, this kid finds a way to be messy! Especially with paint !
I have been making placemats for my son since he first began eating solids. Over the past few years with trial an error I have made quite a few adjustments to each placemat. This is my latest project, adding pockets to the placemats. First, I added it so it would hopefully entice him to eat more with a fork and spoon rather than his hands. Second, it looks so cute!!!
Here is a few things I have learned about kids and placemats over time, hopefully it will help some of you :)
1. Some kids are messy ! I suggest half a yard for non-messy kids and a full yard for messy kids.
2. Add pockets as early as possible... so they get use to always seeing a proper place setting.
3. I use cute kids fabrics on top and the back is a thick almost canvas like fabric.
My kid has knocked over countless glasses of water, smoothies and milk. Protect your table !! use a thick fabric on the back of each placemat to help slow down the fluid from seeping through.
4. Make sure part of the placemat covers the side of the table. You will not believe how dirty the side of the table can get.
5. They are washable! need I say more.
6. Make it educational at the same time by using alphabet, numbers and multiple color fabrics. Sometimes we need to wait for the food to cool. So having an interesting placemat helps. I can ask questions and keep him occupied without bringing toys to the table.