Lesson 5 of 9
In Progress

Play Mat & Maker Cards


Play mats are so beneficial to a child’s play and subsequent learning. They inspire creativity and imagination, incorporate social skills (like sharing and collaborating), and working with play dough strengthens the fine motor skills that are a precursor to a child’s writing development!

Before presenting the mat, we encourage your child to take her magnifying glass on an outdoor adventure and observe the variety of life found near a special tree. What types of creatures can be found that live among the tree’s branches, rest upon its trunk, hide on the underside of its leaves, or dig below its roots?

After time spent exploring, head back inside, offer play dough, and create some of the creatures that she found near the tree. You might even want to put out a set of woodland cookie cutters and a few tools for her to use. Then browse through our sweet little Maker Cards, follow the step-by-step directions to build a nest, a bird, a ladybug, or a squirrel, and place them on the mat.


From Your Kit:

  1. Play Mat (printable version)
  2. Maker Cards (printable version)
  3. Magnifying Glass

You Provide:

  1. Play Dough

Optional Add-Ons:

  1. Cookie Cutters
  2. Wooden Tools
  3. Woodland Animals


Books to Inspire

  1. The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward
  2. A Tree is a Home by Pamela Hickman 
  3. Tree Hole Homes by Melissa Stewart