SparKits On Demand

Pat Mat

Companion Page

To avoid choking hazards, only use items that cannot pass through a toilet tissue roll.

Age Group


Infants (4-8 months)

Skill Builders


Science Concepts


Math Concepts

Skill Builder - Language Development

Language Development

Skill Builder - Expression of Emotions

Expression of Emotions

What You'll Need

Gallon Resealable Bags (2)
Sponges of different shapes/sizes
Jumbo buttons
Duct tape
Tray (e.g., cookie sheet)
Optional: Objects that float

Let's Begin

  1. Fill one resealable bag half way with water
  2. Drop in sponges or other easy to see objects that float
  3. Seal and tape the bag
  4. Place the taped bag into the second bag
  5. Seal and tape the second bag
  6. Place the bag on the tray

Encourage your child to touch the pat mat to make the objects move.

CDC Milestones

Curious about your child’s development? All children develop at their own pace, but the Center for Disease Control’s developmental milestones can be a helpful guideline. Here are a few examples:

  • Shows fear in some situations
  • Puts things in a container, takes things out of a container
  • Looks at the right picture or thing when it’s named
  • Explores alone but with parent close by
  • Can follow 1-step verbal commands without any gestures
  • Drinks from a cup
  • Shows more and more independence
  • Knows names of familiar people and body parts
  • Might use one hand more than the other

Additional family resources

Early Childhood Alliance Logo
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Early Learning with ECA

Learning begins at birth. ECA provides foundations for learning, starting with age-appropriate experiences for infants, toddlers, and preschool. ECA also offers a range of family support programs that encourage family involvement with children’s learning.

Free tips and learning games

This free texting service provides quality, developmental information for parents and caregivers of children prenatal to age eight right to your phone. Messages include research-based, age-appropriate content from national experts, along with local updates of events and resources.

Free resources at your library

Your local library has many resources for you as a parent as well as for your child. We encourage you to take advantage of all they have to offer. For an online list of libraries by city, go to

Find help in your community

Dial 2-1-1 or 1-877-502-0700 for free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral assistance. Trained 2-1-1 Specialists can connect you to local organizations that can assist you with food, housing, health care, transportation, education and more.

Use of the materials described above are done so at your own risk and any children interacting with these materials should do so only under close adult supervision.

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Any unauthorized copying, alteration, distribution, transmission, performance, display or other use of this material is prohibited.