A baby play mat is a safe and fun area for you and your baby to enjoy each other's company. By doing this simple activity, you are having fun and developing your babies' visual and cognitive skills along the way.
This article will help you understand the developmental benefits of using a baby play mat and how to make the most of you mat when developing these skills.
What is a play mat?
A typical play mat is a cushioned mat which provides a safe area for your baby on the floor.
Like a baby stroller, cot or car seat, most parents would agree that a play mat is an essential baby item.
As a play mat is an essential item, you will be pleased to know that there are some great play mats to choose from these days.
How do I choose the safest option?
As your baby and toddler will be using their mat daily, it is essential that the play mat be safe during play and do not contain any harmful chemicals or materials.
The link below is a good article on how to know that you are buying the best option.
How does a play mat assist in my baby's development?
A play mat is a simple yet effective, safe environment for your baby to explore the world around them. By doing their incredible brains are soaking up this vital information into four key areas outlined below:
Have you noticed that most baby play mats on the market are filled with bright and contrasting colours? The reason is to assist with their cognitive development. The bold colours help stimulate their brain and help them focus on one item and help them understand the world around them.
Your baby will come to recognise patterns and colours, which will stimulate their brain and eyesight. By getting down on the mat also and pointing out colours and patterns will help immensely whilst creating a strong bond will your baby.
Playmats filled with exciting toys filled with bright colours create a lot of enjoyment for your baby to look at, and these provide the ability to achieve the motor development milestone. Playmats with lots of imagery to look at are great also. This environment creates an incentive for you baby to get up and move around.
By doing this simple activity, your baby is developing its core strength which is vital at the early stages of learning to crawl.
A babies' vision is blurry at the start with their primary focus being 20 -25 cm in front of their face from birth. Over the first few months, their eyes start to develop and begin to work together. It allows them to perceive depth perception to form a three-dimensional view of the world and see in-depth.
An infant's colour vision is not as sensitive as an adult's and is most stimulated with bold and contrasting colours.
This is an offshoot of cognitive development, but it's important enough to mention on its own. When you take the time to interact with your baby and explore the mat, you teach your baby about two-way communication and improve their language skills.