When I saw Abby's supply list for Kindergarten this year, all the supplies I needed to buy were pretty standard with the exception of a cloth rest mat (not to be confused with a beach towel or blanket). I asked a few other moms whose kiddos went to Kindergarten last year, and they hadn't ever seen one either. I asked a "Target team member", and she directed me to the traditional vinyl rest mats we all dreaded laying on back in the day. (I sure didn't appreciate nap time back then like I should have. What I wouldn't give now for a nap in the middle of the day!) Of course, now these mats are treated with an antiviral, staph-fighting formula which is a plus. Still, even when I was teaching a few years back and subbing just a few months ago, I don't ever recall seeing a "cloth rest mat".
Amazingly enough, as I was driving down the road, I saw a sign outside of a local baby and kids boutique that said, WE HAVE CLOTH REST MATS! I pretty much slammed on my brakes and skidded into the parking lot to get a look at one of these mysterious mats. Lo and behold, it was the same size as a standard mat, but was covered with a heavy kid friendly fabric, had a pillow attached, and even had straps for carrying.
Perfect if you can shell out $49 for a rest mat. YIKES! I did not see that coming.
The online retailers I found weren't any cheaper, if not more expensive. If only I could sew! Racking my brain to come up with a more wallet-friendly, sewing-free alternative, I came up with this idea -
A hot pink, microplush body pillowcase from Target for $9.99 plus a standard-sized vinyl rest mat...and VOILA!!!!
A soft plush, machine washable, cloth rest mat for @ $16.00 (including cost of the mat)!
What a relief! And I didn't have to do a thing to it except slide the mat into the pillowcase. It fits perfectly width wise and has a couple inches of extra fabric on the end making it really easy to fold.
The color even matches the cute backpack and lunchbox that Abby picked out. Bonus! (Noah wanted to sport his new Lightning McQueen backpack in the picture too.) It didn't shrink up in the wash either and came out just as soft.
Abby loves it, although she did recently ask me about having a pillow...
Back to the drawing board!
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