When I first started to crochet when Oliver was a baby I remember coming across a pattern for an Island Play Set which I thought he would love. I was still fairly new to crocheting and it took me quite a while to make for him but he really enjoyed playing with it. I was certain that I could probably make it much better if I tried again but I didn’t for a while.
When Lily turned 1 last summer in decided to try again but with a woodland theme this time. I used a similar idea crocheting in the round but used 2 strands of Wool together to create a different effect. I also added a couple of trees and mushrooms as well as a bridge and butterflies to make it a bit more interesting for the animals to go on. I much prefered this than the single palm tree on the island. I added 6 animals for the woodland playmat (I prefer even numbers) some I made up as I went along, like the bunny and owl, whilst I used others patterns for the deer, hedgehog, Fox and squirrel.
For Oliver’s birthday I made another theme, underwater with a centre of coral. Again I crocheted a large circle of blue and then made up the coral parts in the middle. I added a dolphin, turtle, clown fish, manta ray, seahorse and octopus. I added magnets to the top of the sea creatures so my son could go fishing for them with a magnetic fishing rod we already had. He really loves this aspect!
The final playmat I have made to date was for my niece Holly’s second birthday. She had a rectangle jungle playmat with animals from Look What I Made blog. You can find all but the monkey in her blog, the monkey I combined a couple of the patterns to get the effect I wanted. I really enjoyed making these animals and I learnt new techniques and stitches which I have implemented into other areas of my crochet since! This playmat is comprised of three sections, short grass, long grass and sandy area with a winding river across the whole mat plus a few trees. I didn’t end up making the trees as sturdy as I would have liked but I can work on that for next time!
One asepct I really liked from the original island playmat was that it folded up to allow storage for the toys although that does unfortunately leave a long cord which meant I couldn’t leave the kids alone with it. I therefore tried to add handles and use poppers to fold it up although that wasn’t entirely successful. The next playmat I secured it with buttons which was slightly more successful. However, I am most pleased with using zips on the rectangle shape to make it into a bag. They don’t come undone like the buttons and poppers and there are no longer and dangerous cords. It was definitely more work but worth it!
Most of these playmats I made up as I went along, but I have tried to work out what I have done for each playmat and written out the instructions as best I can. They can be found by clicking on their names here; jungle playmat, woodland playmat and coral playmat.
I hope you have enjoyed this week about playmats. I would love to see any that you make!