Play mats entertain while encouraging your baby to learn and are good for brain development. They also aid eye-hand coordination and are important to have in the house for the healthy growth of the baby. But with the many types to choose from, it would be hard to tell which one to buy for your little one. If you are still in this dilemma read my reviews below for more information.
82.7 x 0.5 x 55.1 inches
70.9 x 0.8 x 59 inches
ProSource Kids Puzzle Alphabet
25.2 x 12.7 x 7.2 inches
12 x 12 x 6 inches
12 x 12 x 6.3 inches
Baby Care Play Foam Review
This one is large and cushiony enough to be comfortable for your baby. It's waterproof, so you do not have to worry about liquid spills. It's made from safe materials that are BPA- free and therefore won't harm the health of your baby. The vibrant colors attract and maintain the baby's interest to play with it without getting bored.
Being made from plastic, this product will emit that distinctive PVC smell when new, but which clears within a day or two. You only need to keep it in the open and allow the odor to disappear.
Hape Reversible Review
This mat is large enough for your baby to play on it without slipping, having dimensions of 70 by 59 inches. It's double-sided, which means you can turn it over and have your baby play with a different design or theme on the other side. On one side, there is a colorful landscape and on the other an educational letter and number grid, useful to encourage your baby to develop learning skills.
The materials that make it are safe, being BPA-free. And it's light enough to carry around so you should have no reason to leave it behind when traveling.
The only problem you might have with this is that it slides too easily. It would have been better if its floor grip were firmer.
ProSource Puzzle Alphabet Number Tiles Review
It comes in the form of tiles that have numbers and letters on them to stimulate a learning curiosity in your baby while at the same time entertaining them. The tiles are foam-filled and brightly colored to create interest in your baby. This product is useful to toddlers who have graduated from being babies who cannot recognize shapes and colors. It's made from safe materials that present no health risk to your baby, and the material is soft enough to touch.
While the tiles effortlessly snap into place, the side tiles do not fit easily. They give the baby a hard time trying to figure out how best to do it.
Alpine Neighbor Non-toxic Interlocking Review
This one comes with a pack of 16 tiles that are soft and colorful to get your babies attention and interest. It's not hard to play with, and your child will have no trouble arranging the tiles. The tiles are made from a non-toxic material, and you shouldn't worry about the health of your baby when they play with the mat.
You will find this one easy to clean and store; it comes apart so easily. But you will find that it slides too easily, which isn't desirable when your child is playing with it.
Elogio Piece Puzzle Review
It consists of 16 tiles that interlock and your baby tries to figure out how to take them apart. It's a great way to aid your baby's brain development and motor skills from an early age.
The tiles are BPA-free and pose no health risk. The colors are bright so as to attract your baby's interest and the tiles soft enough to be comfortable to his soft palms.
It's easy to clean and light enough to carry around. However, you may find it too thin which is one disadvantage this colorful puzzle mat has.
How to buy
A good play mat should be able to rouse curiosity and interest in a baby. When buying, go for those with vibrant colors, cute designs, and have educational factors too. Educational ones will have either numbers or letters on tiles. Or they may be puzzles that are easy enough for a baby to solve, usually fixing the tiles together to achieve a shape. These puzzles entertain, help with motor coordination and make the brain to develop and are the best for your growing baby. Some have flat surfaces on which brightly colored designs of letters or numbers are printed. They are equally good for your baby to play with.
They should also have ample space to allow your baby to play freely, but not too big as to be cumbersome to carry. There are times you will need to take it with you when traveling, so, portability should be in your mind. The mat should be easy to roll up and light enough to carry.
Ensure the materials that make the toy are not toxic. The plastic should be labeled as BPA-free. The mat should not slide along the floor too easily as it may cause injury when your baby slips from it. You should consider foam mats as they grip the ground better and are very light. They are mostly safe health wise and can last for a long time. Foam is also soft and will not injure the delicate hands of your baby. It also should be thick enough to cushion against hard ground.
Because it will need to be washed, you should choose materials that are washable. Products made from fabric would be, for example, difficult to wash compared to rubber or foam.
Another factor to consider is age. If your baby is only just a few weeks old, it would be useless to buy them an educational mat. A simple one with thick cushioning would suit them. If yours is a toddler, a complex one would be the best, the one with letters and number and interlocking tiles.