A New Reason to Love Place Mats

If your family is anything like mine, dinner is a busy time of day.  Maybe even the BUSIEST time of day.  You can usually find me running from the refrigerator to the stove and back again trying to whip something together before my two boys lose interest in whatever they happen to be doing and decide they cannot wait another second before eating.


Believe it or not, as busy as the end of the day can be, it’s a perfect chance for you to give your child a little literacy practice (and buy yourself a few minutes of prep time too).  Print out the Place Mats download (here).  I uploaded them as a Word document so that you can insert your child’s name into the name mat (like the one above).  Choose one mat and set it aside.

Give your child practice tracing the lowercase letters using this snack mat.


Use this mat to help your child practice retelling important events – a crucial skill he’ll use when he retells stories he reads.

Cut a piece of clear contact paper that is large enough to cover the paper completely and leave a thick border.  Lay the placemat you selected face down on the sticky side of the contact paper.  (You are attaching the mat to the contact paper.)  Press down the edges so that they seal firmly to the table.

Cut a piece of contact paper large enough to cover the mat and leave a thick border. Lay the mat face down on the contact paper.


As you prepare dinner, invite your child to use a basic Crayola marker or (if you don’t mind stained hands) a Vis-a-Vis pen to work on his new snack mat.  When he’s finished working, clean off his mat using a damp paper towel or baby wipe. Easy peasy. Grab your copy here.

Get More!

Look through all of our free printables here.


Malia Hollowell

Malia Hollowell

Malia is a National Board Certified elementary teacher turned stay at home mom to three young kids {5, 3 and 1}. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education {go Stanford Cardinal!} and spent seven years teaching in a classroom before taking time off to raise her little ones.
Malia Hollowell

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  2. Hi, I am trying to find the link to the name mat. Is it still free or is it in one of your TPT packages?

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