A DRIVING instructor has made play mat to encourage children to learn about their city, Jan Edwards reports.

Marcos Millet hopes the initiative will help youngsters learn about road safety while developing an awareness of their surroundings.

The 24-year-old owns Brighton driving school U-Drive.

His play mat features lots of road signs as well as Brighton’s most prominent landmarks

Marcos said: “I know the area inside out, so the sites are situated where they’d be in real life, in relation to each other.

The Argus:

Children enjoying the Brighton play mat

“Our kids are taught local geography in Key Stage 1, so they have background awareness of them.

“I hope my game helps them build an internal map of the area.”

He was inspired after reminiscing with a friend about his childhood exploring his home town and playing with generic mats.

“I thought a Brighton version would be cool and unique, just like the people who live here,” he said.

“We have so many historic attractions.”

“Creating useful things and seeing ideas come to life is rewarding. I love this city and want people to share my passion.”

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For research, Marcos asked children, parents and online parenting groups for their ideas about the best sights in Brighton.

He then approached Brighton designer Lisa Holdcroft to help create the mat, which is made with child and eco-friendly materials.

It includes the railway station, the Royal Pavilion, The Lanes and much more, along with plenty of road signs to ensure children become aware of road safety.

The Argus:

Marcos Millet and Lisa Holdcroft

Lisa said: “I know Brighton really well and have drawn it from lots of angles.

“I also love creating maps.

“We are so lucky to have so many brilliant icons in town.

“I hope children and families have fun finding their way around them.”

Some schools are receiving free mats and they have praised the design and its educational benefits.

Kirsty Cargill, early years leader at Downs Infant School in Brighton, said: “We believe in a play-based curriculum and celebrate our wonderful city wherever we can, so this sounds perfect.”

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Marcos said: “The reviews are great.

“I’m incredibly proud that it’s not only being enjoyed by children but is helping them learn.

“Knowing they’re reinforcing these memories when they’re physically at the Amex or Pavilion, for example, is just brilliant.”

The mats cost £29.99 and delivery is free for all Brightonians.

You can order it at https://store.udriveonline.co.uk/brighton-car-play-mat/