February 15, 2011

Who says cars are just for boys?

I am the youngest of three girls. Our house was full of dress up clothes, dolls, and all-things-girly, but we also had tonka trucks, legos, and even remote-controlled race cars. I love that my parents didn't limit our play options simply because there weren't any boys in our house. Now that I'm the parent of all-girls, I'm attempting to do the same.

This fall, I bought A a set of Playskool Chuck cars having been inspired by a Busy Bag activity I saw on My Delicious Ambiguity. I started off creating roads for her cars using strips of masking tape on the carpet, but that got old quick. When I saw this great fabric at a local fabric store, I snatched it up and sewed a simple playmat for A's automotive adventures.

I also snipped squares of felt fabric in matching colors to create parking spots for the cars. A loves matching each car to its corresponding spot, and it provides an easy lesson on colors. It's such fun to see my little girly-girl vrooming and zooming her cars on the mat and off the mat and all over the house! Of course, she also occasionally wraps them in a pink blanket and rocks them to sleep.

My Car by Byron Barton

My CarBarton is one of those author/illustrators that I fell in love with through my kids. I'll admit I'm not immediately drawn to his primary colored, block illustrations, but toddlers can't seem to get enough. Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs was our first introduction to Barton's simple drawings and sparse stories. After a few readings, each of my girls could easily tell the story themselves.

This book is much the same. Sam is a simple fellow who loves his car and follows the rules. He keeps his car clean and stops for pedestrians. If only all drivers were so courteous! The book makes good use of primary colors and will engage boys and girls alike.


  1. I grew up with a brother one year younger than I, so we constantly "intermingled" our play, such as I always got the purple and pink Matchbox cars and Princess Leah when we played Star Wars.

    That Playmat is the perfect addition to a household of bows and dollies!

  2. So cute. My son is perfectly content playing Barbies with his sister, and she is just as happy to play superheroes with him. My husband, however, prefers that Barbies stay in his daughter's hands. It is SO much more acceptable for girls to play with trucks and other such boy toys than it is for boys to play with dolls. Yet, when I walk into my daughter's preschool, I often see boys playing with the "girl toys".

  3. Our son is in love with cars...but his sisters like playing with them too. Great job on the play mat! That fabric is the perfect print size to be roads to drive on. We have that same set of cars too :)

  4. Love those books, and Bp loves them, too. The simplicity calms their brains in a world full of over-indulgence and chaos. The mat is awesome, too. We have a few boy toys if you need more inspiration. Ha.

  5. My girls love cars...but my boys play dolls too...we are just one big get along family...it all goes!!!
    Love the mat! =)

  6. What great fabric! I only have one child (a little girl) and she loves cars. I am totally with ya.

  7. I'm really jealous of your sewing skills to be able to make your own car mat! And I love the individual parking spots - awesome! Thanks for inspiring a new blog post too - I've been thinking about how much more normal it is for girls to play with cars than it is for boys to play with dolls, etc I linked to you:


  8. I like this fabric you found! What a great idea to make a mat with it. Maybe I will have to try something similar. My youngest is OBSESSED with trains and cars.

  9. I absolutely am in love with that fabric - do you know the brand of it? (its usually on the bias - white strip).

    I love that you're using cars for your girls too! I only have boys... and cars is ALL we have! lol - I like this idea for a road map.

    I've decided to feature this on this week's High Five! on my blog - check it out at :


    Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

  10. Love the fabric! Makes it so much easier. I made a really tiny felt one over the weekend but doesn't compare with yours! Take care, Kerri

  11. I tried unsuccessfully to find this fabric as well. Brand? Where did you find it? Thanks for the great idea (for my GIRL)!


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