Let’s make a paper placemat for your kids to love and use all year long. These are perfect Thanksgiving activities and crafts and are an ideal way to create a Montessori placemat to help your child set the table.

How to create a Montessori Paper Placemat

A Montessori placemat is meant to encourage children to set their own tables, a skill that will carry them far in life. Set these out before mealtimes and encourage your children to gather their utensils and set the table on their own.

Gather your paper placemat materials

Purchase your materials

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Paint your paper placemat

Something about using q-tips to paint just spices up the creative process. Select a few colors that blend well. I like to use white, pink, blue, and orange. Place a small dab of each color on a kid-friendly paint palette. Then encourage your child to dot, paint, and decorate a construction paper. You could also use cardstock or printer paper, but I love the large size of construction paper. Allow your artwork to dry completely before continuing.

Trace your silverware and plate onto the placemat

To provide the guide for your child and complete your Montessori placemat, trace a place and silverware onto the construction paper. Keep it simple with a fork and spoon, or add a knife for older children. You can also add a spot for napkins or cups, depending on your needs.

Create your background

Most placemats are 12×18″, so to add depth to the construction paper placemat, measure out a 12×18″ square on your kraft paper or simple wrapping paper. Then connect the dots using a wavy line or whatever pattern you want. I used this shape as a template, which helped me immensely, but you can also freehand it! Once finished, cut out your shape, creating a sizeable wavy placemat.

Add your construction paper

Glue your construction paper in the center of the kraft paper and then cover your entire placemat in contact paper. Cut out a sheet that is a little longer than your placemat and lay it flat on the ground. Place your paper placemat facedown on the contact paper. Seal it with a second sheet of contact paper on the back, or leave it open. Trim the excess contact paper and enjoy your DIY Montessori paper placemat! Once covered in contact paper, you can easily wipe it clean with a damp cloth after use.

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