DIY Educational PlacematsJuly 13, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToPlay #CollectiveBias Thank you Back to Nature Macaroni & Cheese for sponsoring this post. Try the new Back to Nature Made with Organic Macaroni & Cheese Dinners!
As a busy mom of two young kids, keeping the kids entertained while I prepare dinner often requires some creativity! Back to Nature Mac & Cheese lets me take care of both mealtime and playtime! I use the noodles as play pieces on a pair of DIY Educational Placemats that I made for the kids. Then, when the kids are done playing, I can serve the Back to Nature Mac & Cheese, which is definitely a delicious family favorite around here. I love that Back to Nature Mac & Cheese lets me provide exactly what my kids crave: comfort and creativity! Want a sneak peek at the placemats I made? Here they are!
DIY Educational Placemats
The placemats are very easy to make. I simply made a printable that features two entertaining & educational activities for kids: counting & sorting. This placemat totally lets the kids use their noodle to play some fun games! For the counting activity, the kids can use the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Macaroni & Cheese Dinner noodles to place the correct quantity of noodles within the numbered circles. For the sorting activity, the kids can use the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Silly Sea Life Macaroni & Cheese Dinner noodles to sort the aquatic animals (fish, seahorse, dolphin) into the designated zones (the zones are delineated by the silhouettes of the animals). You can even make your own placemat with other creative activities and use some of the other varieties of this pasta. Other varieties of this pasta include Made with Organic Pasta Spirals & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, Organic Crazy Bugs Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, and Organic Shells & Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.
So, let’s get right to the tutorial now, shall we?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Placemat Printable (click here for the file)
- Scrapbook paper, 12″x12″
- Back to Nature Mac & Cheese
- Clear contact paper
- Paper cutter
- Double-sided tape
Download and print this printable. Next, use some scrapbook paper to frame out the placemat. I cut my scrapbook paper to approximately 9.5″x12″ and used some double-sided tape to adhere the printable to the scrapbook paper.
Now, it’s time to laminate the placemat so it’s a bit more water-resistant. You can get it professionally laminated or just use some clear contact paper. I decided to use contact paper. I cut a piece of the contact paper that is slightly larger than the placemat on all four sides. Be sure to keep the paper backing on the contact paper for now.
To neatly transfer the contact paper to the placemat, start by peeling back only a small section of the backing paper from the contact paper. Center the contact paper on the placemat and adhere the small section of the contact paper that was just exposed. Then, continue pulling the backing paper off the contact paper, while smoothing out the contact paper as you proceed. You can see in the next picture how the contact paper is being applied to the placemat, while the backing paper is being pulled off.
Now, use a paper trimmer to trim all four sides of the placemat to remove any excess contact paper from the edges. Here’s what the placemats looked like at this point!
I love that these placemats are protected with the contact paper so they’re ready for plenty of pre-dinner play time with Back to Nature Mac & Cheese!
You can easily customize this project in so many different ways. You can use different scrapbook paper, create your own placemat activities, use other varieties of Back to Nature Mac & Cheese, and so on.
Just the other night, I needed something to keep my daughter occupied while I prepared dinner! So I set her up with this placemat and two small bowls of the noodles: the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Macaroni & Cheese Dinner and the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Silly Sea Life Macaroni & Cheese Dinner.
She blazed through the sorting activity and really loved playing with all the different aquatic animals! She took her time with the counting activity and really enjoyed placing the correct quantity of noodles within the numbered circles!
By the time she was done with the placemat activities, dinner was ready! I served her a bowl of the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Silly Sea Life Macaroni & Cheese Dinner. This is a food I feel good about serving to my daughters, since it has no artificial flavors, preservatives, synthetic colors, and is non-GMO! The animal-shaped noodles are so much fun for her to eat as they totally encourage creativity! I really love that it’s a quick, convenient meal that I can prepare in under 10 minutes!
Macaroni & cheese is a comfort food that my kids really enjoy! Another thing that they adore is spending time outdoors! Ever since we purchased a single family home one year ago, we spend all our free time outdoors! Whether we’re dining al fresco or simply letting the kids run around the yard, we adore being outside. We love everything about it: the blue sky, fresh air, warm sun, and so on. When we’re in the yard, the kids always seem to gravitate toward their swing set! 🙂
Did you know that June was Get Outdoors Month? Getting outdoors is a surefire way to entertain my daughters! Whether they’re chasing butterflies, collecting rocks, playing tag, or just blowing bubbles, they love being outside.
Just like my daughters, I enjoy spending time outside. A few days ago, I made myself a bowl of the Back to Nature Made with Organic Pasta Macaroni & Cheese Dinner! Made with organic pasta, this meal is creamy, cheesy perfection! This dinner is also a good source of calcium & protein. With summertime in full swing, now is the perfect time to get outdoors and celebrate the everyday moments with some delicious comfort food.
In fact, dining al fresco is one of my favorite perks of having a backyard! Sometimes I like to eat on the patio. Since July 14 is Mac & Cheese day, head to your local Stop & Shop now to pick up a few boxes of Back to Nature Macaroni & Cheese Dinner so you can enjoy this classic comfort food today and over the next few weeks!
Don’t forget to take your Back to Nature Mac & Cheese outdoors. Whether you enjoy it on the the patio, on the deck, or around the campfire, this meal is simply delicious! I’ll often take my meals inside the gazebo. The shade in there makes it such a pleasant environment, even under the mid-day sun.
Each bite is cheesy, creamy, delicious and simply good!
Look for Back to Nature Mac & Cheese at your local Stop & Shop store!
Now, learn more about what makes Back to Nature Macaroni & Cheese Dinner unique and tell me: Do you spend a lot of time outdoors during summer? How do you keep the kids entertained while you prepare dinner? How do you combine meal time & play time?