Thursday, April 12, 2012

Giant Squishy Sensory Mat - A Total Backyard Win

Have I told you lately how much I love Pinterest?

Well, I do.  

And so does my mother-in-law.

While perusing Pinterest one day, she saw a picture of this giant squishy sensory water mat/bag thing (also called a "redneck waterbed" by Play at Home Mom) and decided it would be just perfect for the Bird.

The Saturday before Easter, she and my father-in-law put it together and Lily dropped by the house to try it out.

Can you tell from the pictures that she loved it?

And just in case you're not 100% sure how much the Bird liked it, click here to watch a little video.

If that wasn't enough, on Easter Sunday afternoon, we doubled the fun factor by placing a kiddie water sprinkler right alongside one of the edges of the mat.  So the mat itself was squishy AND the top of the mat was wet.  

Lily thought she was in heaven.

She would step off into the grass then come running back onto the mat like it was a slip and slide.  

She must have played on it for 30 minutes, which is quite a feat.  I'm pretty confident she would've played even longer but I was afraid she was going to get sunburned.  The Rush Family is not made up of "bronzed beauties", unfortunately.

I don't have any pictures or videos because last year's bathing suit was a little snug so Lily spent the majority of that 30 minutes topless.

Now, I'll be honest and tell you that our mat ended up leaking some.  But with the water on top of it, too, Lily didn't mind at all.  

Needless to say, this squishy mat is such good, clean, cheap fun, that we'll definitely be using it again. And again. And again.

If you'd like to make one yourself, click here for directions.

Also, if you have any ideas for making the mat just a bit more sturdy, feel free to pass them along! Two things we thought of:
  • Rolling some large beach towels along the inside edge of the mat to help "reinforce" the duct tape.
  • Placing some good sized PVC pipe or pool noodles along the edge of the mat to create a "frame" to also help "reinforce" the duct tape, removing some of the pressure.
Score one for Grandma and Grandpa!


  1. The video was great! I got a much better understanding of what it's like and Lily does look like she is having a great time! Is it cold water from a hose that you used to fill it up? I'm sure Tootles would have a blast with that too. Great mother-in-law idea! :)

    1. Yes, you use the water hose to fill it up - which makes it nice and cool on a hot day! But it also gets warm sitting in the sun. The sprinkler helps it stay cool, too. I think T will love it!

  2. Oh wow, looks like sensory heaven! I'm surprised you managed to prise her away at all, she really looks like she's having fun. He may be 12 but I think my guy would love it too!

    xx Jazzy

    1. I think you're right - age doesn't matter that much for this. I liked laying on it myself! :)

  3. I'm thinking pool noodles so there are no PVC edges to crash on. I'm thinking this is the perfect weekend project for my hubby to put together!

    1. That's what I was thinking too, Allie. PVC would make to much of an edge to trip over or fall on. Pool noodles would give it some structure without interfering with the play.

  4. Lovely....We have a slip and slide but this seems so much better from a sensory standpoint. I'm going to have to try this out. Did it burn the grass though??? We had the slip and slide out and it burned a nice rectangle in the yard......

    1. I wouldn't leave it in the yard - I'd hang it over some lawn furniture to dry out and then fold that baby up until the next time!

  5. Replies
    1. Make it, girl! You'll love it! You can lay out on it by your pool, then when you get too hot, just jump in the water. Perfect!


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