Cut & Paste City Car Mat

Cut and Paste City Car Mat | Mama Papa Bubba
Deep in a bin of secondhand Duplo I picked up yesterday, Miss G discovered a tiny little Lightening McQueen car and immediately fell in love.  Though she’s not really watched any movies yet, she and Brad have watched bits and pieces of Cars on their special days together and she adores the characters.  Upon discovering him, she suggested that we build him a track to drive on.  She most likely had our painter’s tape roadway in mind, but when I suggested a cut and paste city with lots of roads for driving, she was more than game.

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While she had some quiet rest time after lunch (naps sadly seem to be a thing of the past), I covered our coffee table using a roll of art paper and then cut out some very simple shapes out of coloured paper.

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I included some black road pieces, some green triangles to serve as trees, a couple of blue lakes/ponds, a handful of red octagons to serve as stop signs, and some squares and rectangles to represent buildings.  Along with the set-up, I included some glue and a just a few markers.  My original idea actually involved drawing a city roadway on our art paper using markers, but after giving it a little bit of thought, I knew Miss G would probably feel overwhelmed with the task of drawing a large-scale city, which is how the cut-and-paste part came to be.  Cutting and pasting pre-made pieces in order to create a giant cityscape seemed more manageable for a 3  year old little lady.

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When she was done resting and having some quiet independent play time, we got started on our project.

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First, we decided to layout the roads the way we wanted them.

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When Miss G was happy with the configuration, we began gluing them down {with a whole lot of glue in this particular instance}.

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Next up came our lakes and trees.  Grae decided that we should have one lake on either side of town and that there should be a lot of trees near the lakes.

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‘You know why, Mama?  Because ducks live near lakes and they really, really like trees, so we need to give them lots of trees, okay?’  Okay, sweet girl.

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As I added a few buildings here and there, Gracen fetched Lightening and a few other goodies from her Duplo box, then got started on adding stop signs around the city.

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With the stop signs in place, Lightening needed a parking lot next.  {Naturally.}

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Then it was time to add a few finishing touches around the city.  Using a white crayon, we added road lines, then we set to work adding a few details with our markers.

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Our parking lot got a little upgrade…

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Our city acquired a zoo…

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And our lakes filled with creatures too.

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I’m not sure which part was more fun – the process of contracting our city, or playing with it afterwards.

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Without a doubt, Brad and I will need to set our tea somewhere else at night, because this city car mat is here to stay for a while.


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5 thoughts on “Cut & Paste City Car Mat

  1. What a lovely activity, I made this for my son, but now I think letting him do the construction would have been a lot more fun! I am going to add this to one of our afternoon activity :)

  2. I really like this idea…of letting her do her own designing of roads and waterways, trees, etc. I will do this for my preschool class for sure!

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