Playmats or baby gyms are amazing tools to stimulate your baby’s senses, entertain them during play time and develop those all-important cognitive functions like logic, co-ordination and self-awareness.
Why are playmats good for babies?
Learning about ’cause and effect’ – Activity mats can help your baby from when they are first born. At around 6 weeks, they will help your baby start to develop ’cause and effect’ as they realise if they push the toys on the hanging mobile, they will move.
Developing your baby’s vision – Your baby is born with pretty blurred vision, meaning they can only see a few inches in front of their face. As they grow, they’ll start to take an interest in different shapes and colours, which means most playmats are designed with a variety of bright, eye catching toys for your baby to focus on.
Developing grasping skills – You’ll already have noticed your baby’s grasping skills – reflexively grabbing onto anything in their palms. As your baby grows up, you’ll notice your little one reaching and grasping at the toys hanging on the mobile, even if they aren’t interested in them when you first introduce the mat.
Developing self awareness – Another feature you’ll spot on a lot of play gyms on this list is a small mirror. Your baby probably won’t notice herself in the mirror until shes around four months old, when you might notice her starting to reach up at it. As she grows, your baby will interact more with her reflection in the mirror, making faces and smiling at herself.
Developing motor skills – Stimulating toys from activity gyms are great for your baby’s development, but also for use during tummy time. You should always use a playmat or blanket for tummy time, not a sofa or raised surface. Tummy time is important for helping your baby develop those all important fine motor skills. Lie with your baby and encourage her too look up at you, or the toys hanging over the mat.
Hug and Kiss Him Bond with your baby by touching him. Give him hugs and kisses and blow raspberries on his stomach. Physical contact builds a connection with your child, and it also stimulates him to move those parts of his body that you touch. Smile at Him Smile at your baby. Look into his...