In keeping with my original plan to try and create an environment that can spark imagination, I've been thinking a great deal about the toys in our home. Because play is Pete's full-time job, it's important that he is surrounded with things that nourish his creativity. In brainstorming what to get him for Christmas, I kept thinking about a large canvas playmat that my mom made for my siblings and me. She still has it, and it continues to enchant any little visitors. It has no batteries, no small parts, and my mom's playmat still looks great after 30 years. I made one for Peter this year for Christmas and was really happy with the results...
Our playmat is set in New Haven, with our favorite spots: Modern Apizza, the medical school and hospital, our house and courtyard,the street carts where we eat our quesadillas, Lyman Orchards (which is great for the farm tractors and farm animals), our favorite beach, the Peabody Museum, Yale Art Gallery, Beinecke Library, and the theatre. We have the Bronx Zoo and Hartford Airport (which we know about really well) on the sides. There's also railroad around the periphery for trains, an ocean for ships, and a construction site for tractors.
This was a very time-consuming project, but I really loved every minute of it. This mat really captures my love of this place we live in and is both a fun thing to play with and a momento of our time here.
And Pete was ecstatic when he opened it up Christmas morning! Yay!