Thursday, November 15th, 2007
Oops Mat for Easy Cleanup of Craft Projects
Oops Mat is a heavy-duty vinyl mat designed for children’s art and craft projects. It’s sold in two sizes, 18"x24" and 24"x26" and comes with a storage tube.
The premise is simple. Lay out the mat, let the mess commence, then wipe off with a sponge. If needed, remove a tough crayon stain with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Let daubs of Elmer’s Glue dry, then just peel off.
Our daughter has been getting by with an ordinary vinyl tablecloth available at any K-Mart, Target, you name it. We bought it to slip between our wood table and our fabric tablecloth to protect from frequent baby food spills. It now doubles as a functional surface for art projects.
However, there are still advantages to the Oops Mat.
1) Easily Portable. We rarely use our painting easel for lack of handy floor cover. Laying down newspapers gets old quick. The mat would also go well on our hard floors for any cutting or coloring project.
2) Reusable. Cheaper mats can be had, but they’re often thin plastic and marketed as disposable. I couldn’t support such willful waste.
3) Easy Cleaning. Hey, all vinyl surfaces wipe off the same, but I could fold the mat in half to dump paper scraps into the trash or bring the mat to the kitchen sink. I wouldn’t do that with a large table cloth.
4) Made in America. Remember that phrase? Buy a competing product and you’re likely supporting a certain overseas country known for overworked, underpaid employees and an almost complete absence of product safety enforcement.
I’d be tempted to not clean the mat. The more paint, pen and crayon covering the mat, the prouder I’d feel. Having my daughter use a clean mat would be like me painting a room in my home while wearing a clean white undershirt because I don’t have a veteran shirt stained by previous paint projects. Let the mess commence.
[Link via Bay City Times: Area couple hopes to clean up with Oops Mat]