I was at the market the other day and saw some parents at a stationary shop buying big sheets of cardboard…. I liked it a lot but was unsure of what I could do with it for a toddler. Nevertheless, as I liked the sheet, and since it was very cheap (Rs. 50) I bought it.

I came home and started searching the internet for what can be done with it… there were many ideas but I wanted something that would not take too much space in my kiddo’s room (as their room keeps becoming smaller by the day with so much stuff adding on and on …!!!) and would entice him into free play and pretend play!

Then something just clicked!!! I took the cardboard sheet, a black chart paper, pair of scissors and glue and set to work. As you can see in the picture, I made a car track with black chart paper strips all around and criss-cross too!!

The resultant 4 brown patches can be used to create different places. Here we have a mall, jungle, houses and railway station. We spent some time creating the perfect mall. The the boy took his time in deciding which animals to put in the jungle… since its too small for all of them … then we placed the stacking blocks in line to create a residential area. Lastly, we couldn’t think of what to do in the fourth block. It should be easy for him to relate to… then I saw some track pieces and the train and thought of a train station..

Well, for good 30 minutes (its too much for a toddler to stick to one thing) he was stuck up with the thing!!

Another way to play with this playboard (and why i call it that) is that it was used for various pretend plays – doctor patient, housie housi, zoo etc. The only common thing was the track around. But the main forcus was on the brown patches – what and how they are used for !!

You can create something new in the brown patches, everytime the kids set to play – a petrol pump, zoo, market area, lake, etc and use blocks, animal figures or any other toys u feel fit. You can even use crayons/paints to color the patches, craft paper for creating something, stickers, etc to mark the areas if you like. It started as a car track but became a complete city.

Imagine, be creative!

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