As we all know, most of the baby stuff can be garish. Even though bright colors and astonishing designs stimulate your child’s development, they might not fit into your home’s design scheme. And baby mats can be the one of the primary offenders. To help those parents who are looking for kid’s play mats or floor mats that are padded, good looking, and safe for your child to spend plenty of time playing on it, we have spoken to editors and bloggers. They told us about their favorite cloth and foam mats for children. Their suggestions will perfectly fit in a nursery, as well as you living room.
You have definitely heard about so-called activity gyms, the mats produced for little kids that come with a base made of fabric with the overhead ‘gym’ attached to it. However, if you are looking for a regular play mat, Matt Berical, the deputy editor at Fatherly recommends this mat, manufactured by Tiny Love. This extra-large sized mat has several built-in activity functions and comes in various textures as well. As Berical says, this is a large quilted mat, which can be used as a compact play space for babies. It is designed to help them play around and interact with each other. Being machine washable, it can be folded up really small, therefore, is easy for parents to pack and take it with them wherever they go.
Berical recommends this circular mat from Pehr for those of you who are looking for subtle design. This option is very plain and design-friendly, and comes without those bells and whistles stuff. It has a really nice design and comes with hand-screen prints. Made of cotton this mat is very gentle and is available in several different colors. It can fit in everywhere, therefore, many parents choose it. This circular mat is quilted and has delicate line drawing featuring sea creatures on one side. The reverse side is patterned with stripes. Another expert, Ashlee Neuman, who is an editor at Bump, recommends Pehr’s option with Noah’s Ark and colorful animals on one side, and stars on the other.
Skip Hop’s Baby Treetop Friends Activity gym is the next suggestion of our experts. Berical recommends trying out this mat, which is a very popular choice among parents. Its round, soft, as well as machine washable surface has a couple of activities, as well as an overhead gym. Various dangling toys can be installed and removed within a couple of minutes. So, it is a really cool activity mat with the additions that all children really like a lot. Most parents agree that there is a use for it even their kids have passed that stage of their lives. It can be easily packed and is manufactured from friendly materials. This mat is a great choice for parents who want to combine both the activity gym and play mat in one thing.
Check out this Lovevery’s play gym. This option comes with an overhead gym made of sustainable wooden legs, and it is removable by the way. It also includes several washable accessories like a Montessori ball, a teeter, a wooden batting ring, and was created by child development experts. As Berical says, this mat is very comfortable for the kid, and, at the same time has many smart developmental aspects. Simply saying, this mat is a well-designed and nice looking gear for your baby.
As kids grow older, they need some protective surface to play and crawl on. Therefore, foam floor mats are the perfect solution. But you, as a parent, have to make sure it is made of eco-friendly materials and have no chemical odors. El Abad, who is our expert and the founder of several child related blogs, emphasizes the necessity of doing that. However, the design is also important for Abad. As he says, he likes having baby things, but when it comes to home design, he wants those things to fit into the home décor, as well as furniture, rather than stick out. Even in the play area, he likes neutral things and doesn’t want anything extremely colorful or busy-looking. Therefore, he ended up selecting the play rug form Ruggish, a company based in LA. This rug is made of non-toxic memory foam and doesn’t contain any BPA, lead, latex, formaldehyde or any other dangerous substances. It features a double-sided design that looks like the rug on one side, and has the interactive toy car track on the other side. As Abad says, his little sons just love driving their little toy cars there. As kids grow older, the mat can be flipped over to the rug side, and you will get a perfect play space in your room. Neuman also recommends mats produced by Ruggish, calling them ‘splurge, but so cute’.
This foam mat is another great reversible recommendation of Neuman. Of course, it is non-toxic. As Neuman states, this is a super-chic reversible mat made of foam, which comes in neutral colors and is decorated with high-contrast geometric ornaments.
Rebekah Otto, the chief editor at Babylist, suggests trying out the Lollaland mat, made by Shark Tank. This is a big BPA free roll-out mat, which is perfectly cushioned.
Little Nomad is another company that manufactures play mats resembling rugs. However, instead of being one piece their mats are made of two-foot-sized square jigsaw tiles that interlock seamlessly and can be expanded. Otto and Neuman both recommend these mats describing them as durable foam mats that look like beautifully decorated rugs. One more great choice for parents who are looking for subtle mats in their living rooms. And of course, these mats are manufactured of non-toxic premium quality EVA foam.
Otto and Neuman, as well as Kate Schmitz, the owner of Flying Squirrel store, recommend this Skip Hop’s Geo Foam floor tile set. It is another jigsaw style play mat very popular among parents. Instead of being of boring primary colors, these mats are very tasty, says Schmitz, as well as very adaptable and come in various muted colors. Since the pieces are not square shaped, you can arrange them to create a pattern of your choice, like chevron stripes for example, says Neuman. Otto adds that these mats can be easily reconfigured and their look can be changed as well, according to your kid’s needs or your own fantasy. You can arrange them into a longer piece to create a hallway for your kid to crawl. Due to the wide range of colors, you will definitely find something to match your home design.
The tumbling mat that resembles the folding mats we can often find in gymnastic studios is a good and safe choice for older kids. As Otto says, these mats are much more durable, so your kid can do some simple acrobatic trick on it pretty easily, while the floor mats are more adapted for kids of 2 years of age and younger. Although many of them come in primary colors, Berical recommends the Design Skin option featured in a pastel palette.