When the weather is gloomy and cold outside, often the last thing you want to do is venture outside, especially if you have a little one in tow. Looking after a young baby or toddler is a joyous and exciting time, however many parents struggle with what to do during the winter months.
Getting out and about in the cold weather often means you have to get your baby in lots of layers, including vests, sleep suits, socks, pram suits and hats. As a result, actually getting out of the house can be a mission in itself! Therefore having lots of fun activities to do at home on the playmat can help while away the day with your little one, keeping them entertained and making life that little easier.
It doesn’t matter if your baby is only a few months old, or approaching their toddler years, playmats are a versatile and fun addition to a nursery or playroom, with lots of different activities you can enjoy together.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of our favourite things to do using our playmats for babies and toddlers, and sharing some of our top tips for getting the most out of your playmat during the colder seasons.
How Can I Support my Newborn’s Development Using a Playmat?
Although it is important to get out and about with your new born as soon as you feel ready and comfortable, there is a lot you can do with your baby during their early weeks and months from the comfort of your own home.
A playmat provides a soft and comfortable surface on which your tiny baby can enjoy tummy time and sensory activities. You’ll be amazed to see how much fun you can have even when they’re super tiny.
Sensory play mats are incredible at helping young babies develop their range of senses. Very young babies can’t see colour – in fact your baby only sees in black and white for the first 2 to 4 months of its life. As a result, sensory playmats are usually monochrome with bold contrasting patterns which can help catch your babies eyes as their sight is developing.
Try popping your little one down for some tummy time and watch their face as they track the contrasting patterns and practise their eye movements.
Playmats are also a fantastic way to help aid your baby’s muscle development. From a young age, tummy time on a playmat can help strengthen their core muscles as well as their neck, arms and legs. This is all brilliant practice to aid crawling, sitting and walking as they get older – in fact it is recommended that babies have 2 to 3 sessions of tummy time per day from a very early age.
What can I do with my 6-9 month old on a playmat?
By the time your baby is 6 to 9 months old, they will likely be sitting up unaided, rolling from front to back, and they may even be starting to try to crawl. At this stage a crawler mat can be ideal!
This is a wonderful age when their development really speeds up, they start to get their own unique personality and they’re fully discovering the world around them.
As a result, this is an amazing time to enjoy having fun on a playmat when the weather isn’t great outside.
At this age, babies are starting to interact with different toys, including cuddly animals, stacking cups and even colourful books. These toys are all great ways of supporting your child’s motor skills and language skills. They’ll start to pick and choose what they want to interact with and will reach out and grab toys which take their fancy.
Reading a book together on your playmat is not only a great way to teach your child to talk, it’s also a fabulous way to spend some bonding time together. Perfect for those wet and windy days when you just want to stay comfy and cosy at home!
How can I entertain my one year old?
By the time your little one turns one they’re probably toddling around and starting to learn key skills such as their ABCs, numbers and colours. To help aid these skills further, there is a range of playmats which include things like the alphabet printed on them.
These educational playmats are ideal to help your youngster learn whilst playing and having fun. Plus their bright and bold colours help to develop their different senses even further. They are the perfect addition to your child’s nursery.