Nothing beats seeing your baby play and hearing them laugh when they pick up a toy. Of course, what they do looks silly to adult eyes, but it is the best moment of the day for them. Playing is an important activity for an infant’s physical and cognitive development. Additionally, encouraging them and engaging with them during their playtime is essential for their social skills.
Your infant will enjoy playing with common objects even if they are not specifically toying for infants. For example, they could pick up a small box and have fun, so it may not take much for them to enjoy their play. However, safety should still be a priority. Infants especially need a safe, clean, and soft surface to crawl on. Playmats have a light cushion and easy-to-clean surfaces that are optimal for babies. In addition, they provide a comfortable space for your child to play in.
So, for your baby to have the best time during playtime, be sure to get the best playmats for babies.
Why Do Babies Need Playtime?
Early childhood is an important and delicate stage for an infant’s development. Part of early childhood is engaging in fun activities.Playing is essential for all ages, but its effects vary depending on which stage we are in our lives. For infants, playtime is an opportunity to interact with objects and people, and experience what the world can offer.
As a breakdown of the important developments for infants, here are the reasons why babies need playtime.
For Cognitive Development
At the early age of three months, babies can recognize different shapes and are interested in fun colors and prints. For example, when your infant picks up a wooden ball, they aren’t just curious; they are also examining the shape and color. Cognitive development starts with curiosity and exploration. If you introduce more objects to your child over time, their brains will retain memories and effectively understand how things function.
When you place a baby on a playing mat, they will try to wiggle and flip around until they find the right position. Then, they will reach the toys closest to them, grip, and let go. Even when they act silly and throw stuff for seemingly no reason, they practice being dexterous. Dexterity also extends when your baby tries to crawl around the assigned play area.
Social-emotional development happens when you sit down and interact with your child during play or allow them to socialize with other infants or toddlers. Therefore, developing social skills needs to be practiced when they are young. Not only will their cognitive functions develop, but they will also learn how to get along and behave around other people. Additionally, a great parental-child relationship can start from the earliest stages of childhood.
For Physical Strength
Children are still developing their bones and muscles. To avoid future physical complications, they must move around to the best of their abilities. Children should be supervised and guided when they try to engage more muscle than usual. For example, when they try to stand on their own and take their first steps, a parent or a support railing should assist them. For infants who can’t stand yet, be sure to get the best play mat for crawling babies. The cushion will help them crawl without using too much strength and avoid skin burns.
For Emotional Strength
During playtime, your child may laugh or cry at the smallest thing, or maybe without reason at all. Toys and other toddlers can help your child feel new emotions and properly express them. Emotional strength can also be developed when the child sees the parent actively participating in toddler games too. You can learn what level of emotional strength your baby has through observing during interactions.
A sign that a child is developing is when they show signs of being creative. The child can express creativity through role-play, writing, drawing, singing, dancing, and storytelling. Imagination is their best companion when you can’t personally entertain them. Encourage creativity by letting them try different activities.
But of course, in the adult’s point of view, we see all these as healthy development. Science aside, playing is simply part of creating memories of their childhood. Infants and toddlers may not replay the exact memories they make, but the positive emotions they gain from playing have long-lasting effects. To give them a lasting positive impact, you need to provide the best play mat for baby development. The mat gives them a safe space for their creativity to shine and generally have a fun time.
Is It Safe for My Baby to Play On the Floor?
From the moment you can take home your little bundle of joy, you can gently put them on the ground for some tummy time. Tummy time for infants is as essential as playtime for toddlers. For a newborn, you should occasionally let them on their stomachs on the ground or top of you so they can exercise their muscles and let them feel the sensation of interacting with things they can reach. Around three months old, they can have tummy time up to one hour a day.
Letting your baby play on the floor is safe and encouraged as it is a form of exercise for them. However, the floor should be a clean surface for them to lay on. Put the best floor play mats for babies that you can find to assure your baby’s health and safety.
Parent’s Role in Child Development During Playtime
A study on the Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds suggests that decreased free play may affect the children’s ability for information storage and overall academic performance, even in kindergarten.
Some surveys show that kindergarten and elementary schools allocate less time for playing and instead do more academic activities. If you can’t avoid this kind of institution, you can always create your child’s recess at home or in your neighbourhood.
Effects of parent-child interaction during playtime:
- Develops a long-lasting bond between parent and child.
- Reduces the risk of anxiety and depression when they get older; secures the emotional strength of your child.
- Encourages a balanced lifestyle with pre-school and play.
- Creates wonderful memories you and your child can look back on.
So, why don’t you try and be active during their playtime? Sit down on the baby activity mat with them and see the world through their small and fresh eyes. Build a strong bond with your little one.
How to Choose the Best Playmat for Crawling Babies
If you’re thinking about laying down a carpet or a cloth and calling it a playmat, you might want to think again. Baby playmats are made with functions that aid infants and toddlers specifically. Your cloth or carpet might protect the hard surfaces like the hardwood floor, but consider the limited mobility your baby can perform using those. Not to mention the bacteria regular cloth can harbour.
Playmats should have the following features:
- Waterproof – Children can be messy, so it helps to have a non-absorbent material that’s easy to wipe clean.
- Anti-microbial – A baby’s immune system is still developing, so be sure that their playmats don’t allow for germs and bacteria to grow.
- Foldable – It should be compact so that you can bring it anywhere and use it anytime.
- Non-toxic – Babies grab anything and will attempt to eat it, including corners of the foam mat. Be sure it is a non-toxic play mat for when you can’t stop them from placing their mouths on the mat.
- Fun designs and colors – Babies are attracted to fun prints and bright colors. A bonus would be finding a reversible mat that has different colours and designs on each side.
- Soft – Since your child will be crawling, walking, or sitting down on the mat, look for products that have cushioning or soft support to ensure the baby’s comfort.
- Anti-slip – Many products out there are indeed waterproof and easy to clean. However, they can also be dangerously slippery. So always check if it is an anti-slip baby mat.
Fun Time With Your Toddler by Using the Best Playmat for Babies
Playtime is an important part of everybody’s childhood. It’s when babies develop motor, sensory, and social skills. But, unfortunately, it can be difficult to provide a safe place for your infants or toddlers to play at home because any space you want them to access will also need to be cleaned regularly.
Baby foams are great investments for these reasons:
- They’re constructed with clean materials that won’t harbour bacteria like other surfaces might.
- With anti-slip features, your baby can move freely and have the best time.
- A puzzle mat with fun prints and reversible features can encourage the baby’s creativity.
Ashtonbee offers a baby foam play mat at affordable prices, so you don’t have to break the bank to purchase your child’s safe play space—worry about providing your child with the best memories instead. Get one today!