What do you think of playmats? True to their name, playmats are those comfortable and safe play spots for your baby. It’s where they can play on their tummy and get used to a lot of rolling over. However, these mats have a more significant purpose than you might think.
A baby playmat is a great way for your baby to learn and grow. This is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a helpful tool to ease your child’s development. Here are some tips on how you can make the most of a playmat, which will help nurture your little one’s healthy growth.
5 Different Ways to Use Play Mats in Nurturing Your Child’s Development
Whether you already have a playmat at home or are still planning to buy one, now is the perfect time to know the benefits. Maximize the benefits of this must-have baby accessory—here are five ways you can use it as an instrument to nurture your child’s development.
#1: Repeating Actions Done by Chance
How to Do It: A baby mat is a good space to place or hang baby toys that encourage interaction. Dangling toys are a good example. At first, the baby might only touch or hit them accidentally. As time passes, these mobile toys stimulate the baby’s curiosity and encourage them to respond and have fun. A baby playmat with a big size is safer and provides more space for the baby to happily play with these toys.
Developmental Benefit: Playmats trigger primary circular reactions. It’s when the baby keeps repeating the action done by chance the first time (e.g., pulling, touching, grabbing, pushing, or kicking objects). Consequently, it enhances their cognitive function, allowing them to learn the basic logic of things.
#2: Expanding Visual Skills
How to Do It: Place colorful and visually appealing objects on the baby’s play mat. You can also buy a playmat that incorporates child-friendly and educational prints (e.g., different animals, cartoons, shapes and patterns, textures, and food).
Developmental Benefit: This activity can help develop your baby’s visual skills as they explore different shapes, colors, creatures, and sizes. They’ll learn how to differentiate blue from yellow, circle from the triangle, cotton from plastic, and many more. It also plays a significant part in their independence and safety in the long run.
#3: Encouraging Large Body Movements
How to Do It: Allow your child to use their arms and legs to crawl, roll, walk, and kick on the mat to their heart’s content. Help them explore the new space around them while monitoring and ensuring their safety.
Developmental Benefit: This activity stimulates gross motor development. The large body movements strengthen their neck, back, arms, legs, and other body muscles. In addition, it enhances hand-eye coordination, agility, sensory skills, and feeding skills.
#4: Promoting Self-Discovery and Awareness
How to Do It: Let your baby play on a mat for a considerable amount of time. Encourage them to explore their space and discover things around them independently. For example, use babyproof mirrors and see how they slowly notice their reflection.
Developmental Benefit: The attention that the baby develops toward themselves and their surroundings contributes to self-awareness. They react to their reflection in the mirror by making various expressions, touching the material, looking closer at the objects around them, and many more. This usually happens when the baby reaches their third month.
#5: Nurturing Independence
How to Do It: Redirect your child’s attention to activities that won’t require close supervision and motivation. You can do this by simply putting safe toys on the mat; the mat will help keep them safe no matter what position the baby might come up with. However, you must not leave them completely unattended.
Developmental Benefit: Allowing your baby to play with the mat without your participation helps them develop independence. While parental intimacy is vital for their growth, you should know how to draw the limits. As a result, your baby can discover more about the world little by little without you having to guide them through everything. Moreover, this will give you more time to work on other things.
How to Choose Your Baby’s Playmat
Now that you know all the amazing benefits of playmats for babies, it’s time to get one for your child. Keep in mind your baby’s developmental stage and choose a mat that helps them grow. Here’s a quick guide for your purchase decision.
- Non-toxic – Ensure that the mat doesn’t contain toxic chemicals such as phthalates, latex, BPA, lead, formaldehyde, PVC, and flame retardant. They trigger damage to the baby’s health, leading to brain, lung, kidney, and liver diseases. Look for a clear safety label on the product.
- Sizeable – It is best to have multiple measurements ready before looking at baby care playmat sizes. Why multiple, you ask? It’s because different activities vary in size coverage; large body movements like rolling or crawling, for instance, may require a baby playmat with a larger size.
- Cushioned – Playmats for children should be soft and cushioned; otherwise, they would be useless and harmful. Your child will hit, bump, and roll over the material, so it shouldn’t cause them any accident as much as possible to avoid injuries. Foam mats, for instance, are great examples of soft and cushioned mat material.
- Waterproof – You can’t separate babies and mess. Some of their activities involve liquids that are hard to clean and can even be dangerous for your child. To avoid this kind of accident, ensure to look for a waterproof and easy-to-clean playmat.
- Portable – Need to change the playroom location at home? Or do you need to bring a playmat on your next trip? A portable playmat is the best option for you; it will be easier to move it from one place to another.
AshtonBee’s BabyProof Tools That Make Parenting Easier and More Enjoyable
In some ways, the playmat serves as a second home for your child. They will spend most of their time there, especially in their early months. For this reason, you have to ensure that it’s safe and helpful: free from toxic chemicals, feels comfortable, and most importantly, a stimulating environment for the baby’s development.
Make your parental duties easier and the baby’s learning experience better with Ashtonbee’s Baby Foam Playmat. It incorporates a large, thick, and soft padding to ensure the baby’s convenience and security. Additionally, it has a reversible pattern filled with lovely and educational prints to stimulate interest, curiosity, and learning.
Want more? We also have other tools such as baby mats with fences, playpens, and balance bikes to help your baby’s development. We look forward to the lovely memories you will make with your little one!