I'm hoping these will be another great toy for our trip to Italy. Here are some pictures of the mats that I made, including some ideas of my own:
I made 5 mats, 2 for girls and 3 for boys. In the future, I would not make them so gender-specific, probably, and I also would use a blue felt background for all of them. It makes for a more realistic background, and the other pieces look better and are easier to see because it's more contrast. Here is a little dress-up person with some clothes. I still want to do a few more clothes, including some dresses. I've found patterns for making these people and their clothes on various sites and blogs, but I actually made these myself:
Butterflies - I'll probably cut out a few more body pieces. I got this idea from the second link above. These were a bit time-consuming with all the extra cutting and gluing (I used a hot glue gun).
Here are a few trees, plus some weather pieces, which are always useful to throw in for use with various other pieces and scenes. I also have stars and a moon, which I didn't picture here. The Christmas tree ornaments are not glued down - the kids get to decorate the tree themselves.
Another tree and some flowers. Would like to do more of these.
Houses! These can be a lot more creative and fun, but I made these a while ago when my kids were pretty little, so I just did the basics. You could also make other buildings like a church or a store or a school.
Cars and other vehicles! I could get a lot more creative with these now, too. Nothing is glued together here, the kids have to assemble the cars themselves, but if I made something more elaborate (like the tractors that Turtle is currently obsessed with) I'd probably have some pieces be fixed. And see what I mean about the weather pieces being useful?
Pizza! I've actually made a whole variety of fruit and vegetable pieces for our big feltboard, but I don't know how much fun they'd be for travel play:
And there you have it! A nice mix of ideas from the internet plus my own ideas. Have fun! And let me know if you have other ideas, too, I'm always looking for more.