Pros and cons of using play mats

Play mats have been around for decades. They are an area for your child to occupy while the youngster plays with his toys. Home use is not very common, but most daycares use them in some form. The mat will come in just about every texture, color, and shape imaginable, but their main pros and cons are pretty much the same between them.


There are three main advantages to using an activity mat. The first is that they create boundaries for their children. They learn that there are places to play and places that are for other things. The world is not one big playground. Used correctly, the child will pick up the toys she wants to use, bring them to her play area, and not encroach on another child’s play area. The second advantage is that the mat itself is often a source of entertainment with colors, letters, numbers, and mazes. The last big advantage of the mat is that it minimizes fights between children because they are left alone, which is especially useful before naps or bedtime.


The main disadvantage of a play mat is cleanliness. By concentrating a child’s play area you increase germs, food, dust, etc. in that area. If not sterilized properly, it could increase disease. The other disadvantage is that children who are no longer sociable may use them as an outlet from interacting with their playmates. You don’t want kids to isolate themselves all day. If you have this problem, remove the play mat during parts of the day.

Play mats or not, shouldn’t require a PhD in child psychology. Just use them appropriately and discourage kids who actively break the playmat rule or run to them for safety. Clean them every day and avoid fibrous carpets because they wear out quickly and are difficult to keep clean.

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