Activity mat: How to choose the best in 2021?
Today we will help you choose an activity mat, the perfect item to help your baby develop motor and cognitive skills in the first months of life.
Versatile and portable, the mat can be easily disassembled and transported anywhere. In addition to promoting development, the activity mat entertains and entertains babies and children, protecting them from direct contact with cold floors and ensuring magical moments of peace and tranquility for parents.
In this article we will introduce you to the best activity mat options available on the market, in addition to the features and functions that you must pay attention to in order to make the most appropriate choice for your family’s needs.
First, the most important
- The market offers several activity mat models, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, with different accessories to stimulate the baby. Choose based on your child’s age, design and where the rug will be used.
- Model, material, age indication, forms of assembly, accessories included, extra features and dimensions of the product are some characteristics to be considered at the time of purchase.
- There is a lot of price variation for the product, depending on the brand, model, capacity, etc. It is possible to find simple versions from R $ 100 and the most sophisticated and with different activities can cost up to R $ 1,000.
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Best activity mats: Our favorites
A comfortable and safe toy, capable of distracting and keeping your baby quiet for hours while he develops sensory and motor skills. It looks like a dream? But that’s what activity mats promise! In this section we will present the coolest models of the product available on the market. Check the list:
- Bubble Gym Gym Mat – Chicco
- Activity Mat – NUK
- Monstrinhos Gym Activity Mat – Fisher Price
Now that you have checked our Ranking of the coolest activity mats on the market, it’s time to take the next step and follow our Buying Guide.
In this session you will have access to the most relevant information about the activity mats, such as models and indications of use, advantages and disadvantages, values, where to buy, etc.
But remember, the best and most complete product on the market is not always the most suitable for you, your needs and goals. Therefore, we will introduce you to topics on the characteristics you should pay attention to in order to choose the activity mat that best meets your expectations.
What is the activity mat?
An activity rug is basically a rug-shaped toy. Padded, it can come with bows where toys hang to form a kind of a mobile (Gym model) or with textures and activities at the very base of the rug.
Colorful, they have different materials and textures, and can emit lights and sounds to attract the attention of the little ones.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the activity mat?
The main advantage of activity mats is that they are specially designed to arouse curiosity and is to stimulate the development of babies and children through sensory activities. They can be used to play with the child lying, face down or sitting.
In children under the age of one, the shapes and colors of carpets develop visual perception. Toys hanging or attached to the base promote the tactile and muscular development of the baby’s arms and legs. The models that emit sounds are allies in promoting hearing development.
Another advantage is that the rug, whether simple or with bows, promotes comfort during play, keeping the child comfortable and protected from direct contact with the floor and its low temperature.
The collapsible or collapsible models also have the advantage of being compact when disassembled and can be easily taken on trips and trips. In general, even simple models are capable of providing stimuli to babies.
But there are quite sophisticated models on the market, with an MP3 connection option and other features. However, these models can be very expensive.
How can I provide security for my baby with an activity mat?
As the activity mat is a product intended for babies and children, it must be evaluated before purchase in all its aspects much more carefully than other products. This assessment can make all the difference to ensure the safety and satisfaction of the little ones who will enjoy it.
The first item to be observed is Inmetro’s quality seal, which certifies that the product was approved in all tests to which it was submitted by the regulatory body.
The dimensions of the product must also be taken into account. Check the measures to ensure that it will fit in the space available for installation, taking into account that circulation space around the carpet will be necessary for the child to be well accessible in case of emergencies.
In addition to the material, which must be non-toxic and preferably hypoallergenic, check the thickness of the carpet. It should be thick and soft enough to provide comfort to the child and cushion impacts in the event of a fall.
Also pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and washing the carpet. Prefer waterproof models to avoid accumulation of moisture that can generate fungi and bacteria.
It is also important that the carpet is non-slip, to prevent it from moving with the child’s movements, causing scares and even accidents. Never use the carpet on raised surfaces such as beds, tables or benches, as there is a risk of falls.
Finally, check the reputation of the brand and manufacturer of the chosen model. See the online comments from the owners of the chosen model to ensure they meet your expectations. Also check if the product has a warranty.
Children can become very attached to certain objects. So it costs nothing to check if spare parts are available for the product, in case of loss or breakage of some elements.
It is possible to find activity mats in the market with wide price variations, especially during the promotion seasons. The values change according to the brand of the product, model, material of manufacture, the accessories included and the extra features that it offers.
The more basic the rug, the lower the price. There are models up to R $ 1,000, but it is also possible to find simpler types for less than R $ 100. Evaluate the prices of the chosen model in the different brands available in the market to ensure that you make a purchase with the best cost benefit.
Where to buy?
You can buy your activity mat at physical stores that sell children’s products, It is also possible to find the product in hypermarkets.
However, where there will be greater availability of established brands and models it will be in online stores, such as Amazon.
Buying online you find more varieties and better offers. Not to mention that you don’t even have to leave the house and still receive the product at the door. All products mentioned can be found on Amazon.
Purchasing criteria: Factors for qualifying activity mat models
The average consumer has no obligation to be a specialist in the product he intends to purchase. But of course, if you have followed this article so far, it is because you are interested in making the right purchase, and choosing your activity mat like a professional.
Below we will present some characteristics for which you should be aware when comparing models, types and brands of this product. And never forget: the best product for you is not always the best on the market, but one that does what you need, the way you want it efficiently and cost-effectively.
After defining your need, consider the following aspects to choose the product that will best suit you:
- Age indication
- Cleaning and hygiene
Below we will explain each of these points and you will be able to reflect the importance of each one of them in your reality.
As the activity mat is a product intended for babies and young children, attention must be paid to the materials used in its manufacture. In children’s products, all the material used must be non-toxic and, preferably, hypoallergenic.
Generally, carpets are made of natural or synthetic fabrics with a soft touch, with padded core or rubberized materials, such as EVA. Choose the material according to what you consider most comfortable for the child, after all, he must spend long periods using the product.
The quality of the material is also important, as it will be decisive for the durability of the product. Therefore, give preference to models of more resistant and waterproof materials of reference brands in the market, which use raw material of good quality and origin.
As the product will be on the floor, it is important that the material is thermally insulating in order to prevent the cold from the floor being transmitted to the child.
Observing the size of the carpet chosen before purchase is essential. The mat must be of adequate size to comfortably accommodate the child or baby and their toys during the period indicated for use in the three possible positions: lying, sitting and prone.
The dimensions of the product also need to be compatible with the space available in your home or baby’s room to place it. Models that are compact when disassembled are great if you plan to take the rug for walks and trips.
The activity mats can be of the models:
- Gymnasium : Composed of carpet with attached arch structure, where the toys are hung in the arrangement that resembles a mobile. Ideal for babies who can’t walk yet, it allows playing in the lying, sitting or prone positions.
- Carpet : It has all its structure close to the floor and is usually bigger than the gym. It can be rubberized or made of quilted fabric, colored and with visual stimuli with drawings and fitting pieces for older children or with sensory components such as mirrors, reliefs and textures for babies.
Of course, the baby will not be left on the activity mat without adult supervision. But even so, it is important that the product has items to ensure the safety of the baby.
If the rug is to be used on very smooth surfaces or floors, choose models that have non-slip material on the bottom, to prevent it from moving with baby’s movements.
The thickness of the pad is also important for safety, as it will cushion possible falls.
Activity mats, especially those of a mountable or gym type, have loose parts, toys and other structures. All of these components must be firmly attached to the carpet. In addition, they should not have points or materials that could injure the child.
In gymnasiums, toys that hang from bows must have reliable attachment mechanisms to eliminate the risk of them falling off and falling on the baby.
Check the age indication of the chosen model. Carpets, in general, can already be used by children from 2 months of life, when they start to have a better perception of the environment around them.
Give preference to more versatile models, which will adapt and offer attractions during more than one phase of the child’s development. They must allow her to play in various positions.
If you choose a Gym type rug, prefer the ones with removable bows. Thus the base can be used for a longer time, even when the child has already learned to walk, to support toys and other games.
Cleaning and Hygiene
Before purchasing, check the manufacturer’s indication for cleaning and sanitizing for the chosen model. Give preference to models that are easy to wash or clean, as this will need to be done very often.
Prefer materials that do not absorb liquids. Thus the interior of the toy will be safe in case of accidents with the contents of the diapers or baby bottles, avoiding the accumulation of moisture that can cause the presence of fungi or bacteria.