Placemat Schooling

When my girls were little they had a number of different so-called educational placemats.  Some had world or Canada maps on them.  Others had letters, numbers and math facts.  Still others were full of pointless movie-character fluff but gave the kids great joy nonetheless.

While I wouldn’t suggest that the placemats turned my kids into little geniuses, they did pick up a fair amount of world geography.  As with most things handled by little hands on a regular basis, the placemats eventually got mauled beyond usefulness.

During a recent family mealtime conversation, we realized a need for a handy Periodic Table of the Elements. (Doesn’t everyone?)  I briefly entertained the possibility of looking online for a premade Periodic Table placemat.  Then I had a thought:  Why couldn’t I make a placemat that has a clear window and a pocket to put anything I could print on a normal sized page? 

The result of my creative energies:


I tend to be a bit of a hack sewist.  I like making neato things, but find all the measuring and exactifying incredibly tedious.  I’m sure if you make one of these, it will be much prettier with perfectly mitered corners and nary a wrinkle in sight. 

The girls do love them though and have since spent a joyous dinner trying to decipher the Table. 

“Hey Mom, why isn’t Bronze on there?” 

Ah yes, the potential for teachable moments has been expanded satisfactorily.  For now.


  1. LOVE this idea Lady!!! Where did you get the plastic/vinyl stuff?

  2. I got mine from Jysk. They sell it by the metre to use for table coverings.

    My first idea was to cut up one of those clear, zippered bags new pillows or duvets often come in but alas, it's been so long since our last bedding purchase that we no longer had any.


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