Did you ever play "Hot Lava" as a child? You run from object to object, making sure not to touch the floor. Well, I was at the dollar store the other day and they had these little rugs. That's where my mind went - hot lava. However, we're taking it up a notch and adding some educational value.
First I'll show you how to make them and then I'll tell you a billion different ways to use them. Okay?
While you could free hand the numbers, I chose to make a freezer paper stencil. I used my Silhouette to cut the numbers out, but they wouldn't be that hard to cut by hand. (If you haven't tried freezer paper stenciling or if you've never heard of it, you can watch my video tutorial HERE to answer all your questions.)
Now I was extremely careful when I ironed the stencil to the rugs. Why? Because carpet can be melted really easily. I put my iron on medium heat and only blotted it on. I never left it on more than a half a second. I wasn't super picky about the stencil adhering perfectly, because it's textured carpet. It's not really possible. However, ironing it on will be enough to keep it in place like you need it to.
I got out my Tulip fabric paint and a sponge brush. You need a fair amount of fabric paint because the carpet sucks it in a bit. I went through a little over a bottle of paint.
You can't really paint it on. I used a stipple movement, pouncing the brush everywhere. Then I peeled off the stencil. Because I used fabric paint, the rugs still feel quite soft. They aren't crunchy under your feet.
Now, how can you use them? Well, there's the basic hot lava, of course.
However, I gave them numbers so that my boys could learn as they played. Here are some questions/games I play with them (in order of easiest to hardest).
1) For my youngest I call out a number and he stomps on it.
2) Put the numbers in order.
3) Make bigger numbers. I ask my older child to make twenty-four or thirteen.
5) Simple addition and subtraction. I ask what's five minus two? He stands on the correct rug.
I think there are endless possibilities and I love an inexpensive project. Even with the paint the whole project is about $6.50. (Obviously you could make more, but my dollar store only had 5 left.)
Visit us on Facebook!