DIY Interchangeable Play Traffic Mats

lego town

About a month ago, The Bean started crawling. One day she was popping up and rocking on all fours. The next she was trekking in 10 foot spurts. The poster board of roads The Bear was using to layout her Lego towns was the first casualty of her baby sister’s newfound independence.

poster board roads

This was completely unacceptable. My three year old would be lost without her people and vehicles and set ups—she literally spends hours a day engrossed in the happenings of her imaginary town. Going forward, I realized we needed a more durable solution, and I immediately thought of the carpet road rugs that I’ve seen before.

My original plan was to find some carpet squares or maybe small mats at The Dollar Store and use paint to draw the roads. But I struck out. Instead, I found a four pack of these vinyl placements at Home Goods on clearance for $3.50. I’m psyched because these will be easy to clean if something spills on them or we take them outside, unlike the carpet.

traffic mat

Using duct tape, I laid out roads on both sides of all four placemats for a total of eight different traffic patterns. In order for them to be interchangeable, I marked off six 2” wide road access points around the perimeter, two each on the longer sides and one each on the shorter sides. Those have to be in the same exact place on all the mats in order for them to be placed together in any combination.

play road mat

Here’s what the reverse sides look like. (The pool/lake was born after I used up the entire 10 yd roll of duct tape on the other seven sides!)

diy roads

Besides just flipping the mats over, there are many possibilities in how the mats are laid out.

lego town

The best part? These mats are small enough that they are easily stored away at home or packed up to take with us on vacation or out to dinner!

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