Tag Archives: baby playmats

Getting your play mat to settle

Australian alphabet sage green baby play mat

How to get your play mat to settle?

When your play mat first arrives you may find that you unroll it, and it re curls at the ends. This is totally normal as our play mats are stored in the rolled position in their boxes throughout the warehouse and shipping process. Play mats can take up to a month to settle. To help your play mat to settle into the flat position quickly, there are a few things you can try.

rolled play mats

Get your play mat to settle more quickly…

Make use of heavy items such as cook books

Positioning matters. Once you have unrolled your play mat, place it with the top of the curve up so the natural weight of the play mat forces the curve to flatten out. Then sit some flat heavy items such as cook books or wooden chopping boards on the curved edge to further flatten out. The longer you leave the heavy items on the curled edges the faster it will flatten out.

Re-rolling in the opposite direction to get your play mat to settle

If you are finding your play mat still hasn’t settled after having heavy items on it. Try “counter rolling” it by rolling it back up in the opposite direction so the curl is forced backwards. Put the straps back on and leave it over night or for a couple of days to ensure that your play mat has time to lose the curl.

round road car play mat

Finally, give it a good scrunch in opposite direction 

No need to be gentle. Hold the edge of your play mat with the curl forced into the opposite direct and give it a good scrunch with your hands. You are trying to warm up the material and help the foam to lose the memory of the curl. Once you have done this you can leave something heavy while its folded in the opposite direction for a short period of time. Then repeat the above steps.

To see these methods in action check out our youtube video and be sure to subscribe to our channel here.

 

When should babies start floor time?

Free the Babies – When should babies start floor time? It’s important babies start floor time from an early age. Babies are raised in a world full of capsules, prams, swings, bouncers, hammocks, docks… the list is endless. More and more parents look for items to support, hold, and comfort children that it is preventing […]

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Preparing for childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition. Preparing […]

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Pretend play

Pretend play – What is it? How do I do it? Why is it important? “Here Mum, I made you a coffee?” PJ announced proudly as he shoved a bucket full of sand in my face. The pretend play is strong at the moment in that one, and clearly I drink waaaay too much coffee. […]

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Sensory play: How to make a sensory hoop for babies

sensory hoop play

Lets talk sensory play….

Have you ever tried to describe the smell of wet grass as you walk across it, or the taste of a warm freshly baked biscuit? It is not just one sense that we use to describe these things, but a combination of many senses.

sensory play hoop

Ethan playing with his sensory hoop. His mum @thefoolishobsession was our inspiration to give this a go. Featuring our Roadtrip play mat with Blue Geo.

Today we are focusing on baby sensory play and the benefits on their brain development as they have opportunities to explore the world through their senses. Exposure to a range of stimulating environments allows babies to understand themselves in their environment.

So why is this important?  As babies move from the newborn stage into the infant stage, their senses continue to develop. Research suggests the sense of smell, taste, sound and touch all develop while baby is still in the womb; they taste what we eat, smell what we smell, hear our voices and respond to touch when pressed. It’s the sense of sight that undergoes the most significant change after they are born. Maybe this is why we tend to focus on visual stimulation for babies. However, it is important not to neglect the other senses.

What is sensory play? Sensory play is any activity that encourages your baby to explore the world around them using a combination of multiple senses. Finding materials around the house which have unusual textures to touch, make a range of sounds, and are visually appealing are important as their senses develop. Sensory play also encourages movement, balance and confidence to explore. As babies get older you can also introduce sensory foods to further develop these but today, we are focusing on infants so that one’s for another day.

Making a sensory hoop, for your babies sensory play:

What you need:

1 x hoolahoop

Sensory items: Here are some ideas to get you started but you’re only limited by your own imagination:

sensory play hoops

Some of the things we found lying around the house for a sensory hoop.

Fabrics such as tulle, silk, chiffon, corduroy, flannel, toweling – raid Nana’s scraps pile (most fabric stores also have remnants boxes).

Ribbons (of various size, colour and texture), sequin trim, pom poms, felt pieces, velcro strips

Toys, balls, dummies, teething rings, fabric books, fabric rattles.

Scarves, bibs, wool, bath mesh sponge, bath toys, gift wrap bow, cleaning cloth, bubble wrap.

What to do?

I purposely bought the $5 glitter hoop from Kmart as this in itself is a sensory item. I started by laying the hoop on a flat surface and positioned my items (without tying them down). This way I could have a look at the balance of objects and make sure I was happy with the placements before I attached everything.

sensory hoop play

Adorable little Raffy playing with his new hoop.

I then worked my way around the hoop securing all the items. A tip here – if you do loose bows or loops with the plan to reuse materials later – make sure you supervise. Little fingers have a way of undoing loose knots. Instead we recommend securing items tightly to reduce risk. Once all the different textures and items are safely attached your hoop is ready for some play time.

Have you tried it? Make sure you tag us @freddy.and.co on both Instagram or Facebook as we’d love to see your handy work.

Note: As with all play activities, you must always supervise your baby when playing with sensory hoops. As babies may explore with their mouths, make sure all these items are clean without any loose pieces that can be pulled off or swallowed.

 

When should babies start floor time?

Free the Babies – When should babies start floor time? It’s important babies start floor time from an early age. Babies are raised in a world full of capsules, prams, swings, bouncers, hammocks, docks… the list is endless. More and more parents look for items to support, hold, and comfort children that it is preventing […]

Read more

Getting your play mat to settle

How to get your play mat to settle? When your play mat first arrives you may find that you unroll it, and it re curls at the ends. This is totally normal as our play mats are stored in the rolled position in their boxes throughout the warehouse and shipping process. Play mats can take […]

Read more

Preparing for childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition. Preparing […]

Read more