A survival guide to everyday motherhood

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I am a photography fanatic. I love taking pictures, tweaking pictures, and finding the beauty in every day items

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time Out Mat

Ahhh the lovely sounds of tantrums and whiny... what parent doesn't love to hear their child scream "Nooooo". But, surprisingly, there are a few of us parents who don't enjoy the blubbering sobs and fits that some parents do... and for us there is a magical, wonderful place called Time Out.
Time out can be a hard thing to get your child to agree to though.... shocker, I know.... who would have though that getting your child to sit quietly in one spot for a few minuets would be hard? :) But if you are starting with time outs or have a child that fights the time outs or you just love time out and want a better way to have them; I would suggest making your self a time out mat.

I got the idea from Lucy's development specialist a while ago (Lucy was behind when she was a year and our state provided a personal therapist to come over and make sure she was on track and that it wasn't something more serious) But she suggested that when we use time outs, that there be a designated area... that kids will be able to relate to time out betters and will then know their boundaries and the seriousness of the time out.

Well, I thought it was a little odd (and hippie-ish), but sure enough, it worked... like a charm. I made a Time Out Mat and soon as we started using it Lucy would not get off the mat and knew she had to stay there and would stay quiet.
All you need for a Time Out Mat is...
2 squares of fabric (large enough for a child to sit on)
4 buttons
Thin batting

You are going to want cut out 2 squares of fabric, mine were about 21 1/2 by 18 inches. Turn the 2 squares of fabric to face each other (pattern side together) and sew 3 of the sides together (you will want to leave 1 side open so you can slide the batting in). Then remeasure the size of your square because you will have lost a little length with sewing the edges... measure how big the squares are now and cut your batting to almost the same measurements. Turn the fabric squares right-side out and slide in your batting through the opening. Now close up that last side, either by hand or by machine.

You now should have one square mat with batting inside. Now you will need to secure the batting in place with the fabric. Take the whole mat and sew a line, about an inch or 2 inches from all 4 edges. This will keep everything nice and in place.

Now for the final step... sew your buttons on. The buttons are just decorative, so sew them on if you wish or find something else that is more to your liking. And now you should have one portable Time Out Mat.

These are really great. Since they are soft and small you can easily throw them in your diaper bag and take them with you places. We take ours to friends' houses and on trips, this has truely been a life saver.


  1. I love it! We use a stool and a timer.

  2. What a great idea. I will be trying this out with my little one, I am just sure!

  3. That's a great idea! I love that it's portable. Right now, we use the bottom step. But I like the idea that you can take it with you!