Top 3 Benefits Of A Baby Play Mat
Baby play mat is probably the most versatile and practical baby product on the market. Not only it can be used in a number of different ways, but it also provides a few very important benefits regarding proper baby development.
Baby play mat is a soft covering which features two arches that hang overhead atop and support toys, is suitable from birth. Some models come with baby-safe mirrors, lights, music and/or a variety of textured material, others provide a simple, safe space where your baby can lay, observe and play.
Although suitable from birth, at early stages, babies are only able to focus on the nearest toys. As they grow and their eyesight develops, the colours become more clear and their focus sharper. Moreover, play mat ‘forces’ babies to use hands and feet to explore the mat what contributes to their physical development. There are additional benefits of a play mat.
Baby play mat allows babies to learn the basics of cause and effect. The mat stimulates ‘primary circular reactions’, meaning it encourages babies to repeat an action they did by chance (for example, hitting a toy by mistake). As babies grow, they pull on, grab or kick a toy intentionally (secondary circular reactions) and repeat them because they find them fun. Simply put, baby play mat in some sense ‘forces’ babies to interact with dangling toys.
Baby play mat supports baby’s visual perceptual skills. This is because babies prefer objects with highly contrasting colours and baby play mat design usually is a contrast of bright colours.
Gross Motor Development
Baby play mat stimulates a baby to crawl and use legs, hands and arms, which helps build muscles. More importantly, it encourages laying on stomach which strengthens neck, back, and arms and also supports development of gross motor skills (rolling, crawling, walking), hand skills, visual skills and even speech and feeding skills (stronger neck better supports the jaw essential for talking and eating).
Baby play mat is very easy to use, to clean, it is portable (you can easily fold it and take with you on a vacation) and can also be customized (you can always hang extra or different toys). Although designed for babies, play mat is suitable for toddlers as well.