Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Wesselman Woods Nature Preserve

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Habitats Play Mat

When I saw this idea from one of the master naturalists who works with the nature center, I took a bunch of pictures and had to make one of my own.  It is a simple project to help little ones learn who lives where in nature. 

The play mat is made of felt.  It is simply what leftover from other projects.  I sewed the scene onto the large piece of green felt including the sky with clouds, a pond and shore, and a large tree as part of the forest.

The rest is up to the kids.  The images are all pre-painted wood pieces from various crafts stores.  We enjoy checking out the selection in any store we are in and add to our menagerie. 

The forest section includes additional trees, a bear, an owl and bird in the sky. 

The prairie portion has a flower, insects and a bunny. 

The wetlands include a duck, fish, salamander and turtle. 

The woman who gave me the idea actually had the outlines of each piece Sharpied onto the play mat more like a puzzle, but I wanted to leave it a little more creative by allowing the kids to decide where things should go. 

When we are finished, all the pieces go into the large pocket on the back

And the entire mat tri-folds closed and is easily stored.  It is held closed with a simple button and elastic system. 

It is a really fun piece we enjoy at home and with our friends at nature class and preschool. 

Storytime Katie is hosting this week's Flannel Friday.  Visit the Flannel Friday blog for more information on our group.


  1. This is a great idea! I'm always spotting this wooden creatures and not knowing what to do with them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. My daughter had to buy a PINK flamingo which is not exactly native to southern Indiana. Oh well! We may have to do an Everglades scene next! :o)