How To Choose A Playmat

A playmat has shown to help with the development of your little one's education, imagination, visual and hand-coordination. It can be daunting for first-time parents to find the perfect playmat that is not only safe but entertaining too.

Read our guide, which will explore the variety of sizes, shapes, themes and safety features, and make the best choice for your child.

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What Safety Features Does a Playmat Need to Have?

  • First thing you should do is research into the different retailers that you might be purchasing a playmat from. Do they have an excellent record when it comes to baby products?

  • Have a look at reviews from previous buyers regarding the safety of the product.

  • Check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for product recalls.

Depending on the age of your child, you can choose different materials to ensure their safety:

  • Foam or quilted playmatsare a great option for babies and young toddlers because they are soft, spongy and comfortable enough for them to take a nap on.

  • Fabric mats are a better choice for older toddlers due to their tougher material, which does not crumple up or move around the floor when used by a pro-active child.

  • Double-sided silicone playmats have recently been introduced on the market. They are rollable and flexible but are as equally robust. You can even find ones that have additional features such as soft protruding dots on the surface, which allow Lego and Duplo pieces to be attached.

  • Choose an organic baby playmat that is made from organic and non-toxic materials. They will often include cotton covers and have plant-based foam interiors, such as Natural Cork and Bamboo fibers.

  • A playmat should be free from Formamide, PVC, BPA, PBS, Formaldehyde, Fire-retardants, Phthalates, Lead, and VOCs.

  • Keep in mind there are mats that claim to be eco-friendly and non-toxic, but still include PVC, and PVC is not really considered non-toxic.

Simple Grey Geometric Foam Playmat
Road Style Oversized Fabric Playmat
Portable Building Brick Silicone Playmat
Large Colorful Two-Sided Cotton Playmat
Town Styled Vinyl Playmat
Pink Waterproof Decor Playmat

What Kind of Mats are There?

  • A popular pick within the parent community is a play mat that has a detachable toy, which the child can take everywhere.

  • Interlocking mats that feature jigsaw tiles is another great option for your little one. They can dismantle all the pieces and then built various 3D objects such as cars, boats and trains. Many of the puzzle mats are machine washable for when an accidental mess occurs.

  • Infants and younger toddlers can have the time of their life with a themed play mat such as one with a farmyard scene or town setting. They can push toys around and interact with different illustrated objects.

Baby Play Mat with Detachable Toy
Play Mat with Detachable Toy
X and O Foam Interlocking Play Mat
Colorful Foam Interlocking Play Mat
Clock Themed Soft Play Mat
  • An activity gym is yet another popular choice for babies since it a type of play mat that provides a stimulating environment. For example, they might incorporate a theme such as a forest, where the toys hanging from above play relevant animal sounds and a pillow for your little one to rest on.

  • Another option that is suitable for both infants and young toddlers is a play mat that can be turned into a ball pit. Look for one that offers storage space, multicolored balls and additional toys such a rattle, textured teether or peek-a-boo mirror.

  • Playtime teepees are growing in popularity since they are multi-functional gyms that can be play mats for babies at first and then as they grow it can be turned into a fun teepee for pretend play. They can have musical toys hanging to encourage the infant's reaching and grasping development. As they begin to crawl, the tepee might have a feature that closes one side to create a crawl-through tunnel. Toddlers and young kids can enjoy the tepee as you fully unfold it.

Baby Gym Play Mat with Hanging Toys
Blue Baby Gym Play Mat with Toys
Active Gym Play Mat Set
Paintable Graffiti Play Teepee
American Flag Styled Play Teepee
Colorful Indian Styled Play Teepee
  • Tummy time mats are mats that help your baby warm up to the idea of tummy time. They can include detachable plush toys and a padded pillow, so your baby will feel at ease.

  • Similar to a tummy time mat, an activity blanket is yet another option for infants. They are often textured quilts that include different points of interest like pockets and pictures.

Multi-functional Baby Tummy Time Mat
Mickey Mouse Baby Tummy Time Mat
Forest Animal Theme Baby Tummy Time Mat
Cuddle Plush Folding Nap Mat
Grey Elephant Baby Play Mat
Bear Baby Fabric Play Mat

How to Pick a Playmat that is Both Fun and Encourages Child Development?

For toddles that have begun developing learning skills, you can choose a play mat that incorporates the alphabet or numbers, or both. A child should always have a lot of fun, but it should be combined with personal mental development.

Colors play a vital role in developing your child's visual senses. Bright colors attract attention and are easier for babies and toddlers to comprehend. Choose a play mat that has at least one or two of these colors- blue, green, yellow, red and purple

How Big and Thick Should a Playmat be?

Your baby might be small now, but it will grow and will start crawling soon, so it is important to have this in mind when choosing the size of the mat.

  • If you have the living space for a gigantic mat, you should get one because not only can the baby enjoy a lot of space to explore but you can join them as well.

  • Do not rely on retailers that have S, M, L and XL markings since such marking can vary with different suppliers. Make sure to confirm the dimensions with the retailer.

  • A space folder mat's thickness can be up to 42 mm, which offers the most security. However, you can go lower and still be safe. A mat that has 15 mm thickness is a general standard.

  • The size and material will also determine the weight of the mat. For example, even though a soft mat is 40 mm thick, it is two times lighter than a PVC mat with 15 mm thickness.

  • A playmat should be travel-friendly, which means you can fold in nicely and quickly without trouble and fit it comfortably in your car.