Baby mats come in handy when you need to attend to other tasks around the house while the baby is awake. And the best baby play mats or best baby gyms keep babies entertained and active such that you can attend to your duties peacefully without the baby interrupting you from time to time. There are parents who usually wonder about the longest amount of time that they should let their babies play at their baby mats. Ideally, you should let the baby play on his/her mat until they are content. The only thing you need to do is keep checking on the baby from time to time to ensure that they are lying on the right position on the mat. Some of the key reasons why you should let your child play with his baby mat are such as:
Learning while playing
Babies learn a lot while they are playing on their mats. Playtime on baby mats helps in developing the baby’s intellectual, language, problem-solving, and social skills. This is because when you leave your baby at the mat to play with his toys, he will use his intellect to know how to play with the toys. If the baby is more than one year old, playing on his mat will help him improve his language and talking as he talks to the toys. In addition to this, interacting with the toys will help him in enhancing his social skills thereby making it easy to interact and play with other children of his age.
Gives the baby thrill knowing he can make things happen
Right from a young age (a few months) to a few years of age, children mostly use their senses to learn. Since they have natural curiosity inborn in them, babies will gather information and knowledge about their toys by throwing them around, biting them, and touching them to feel their textures. When a baby plays with a toy such as a car and he pushes it from one point to the other on the mat, he will get thrilled that he made that movement possible. This thrill and excitement will go a long way in making the baby more curious about the things around him thus sharpening his brain.
Develop the art of exploration
Babies are usually hyperactive when playing on a baby mat. They will want to know how their toys are made and how they are played with. This is why you will see your baby throwing toys off the mat or tossing them in the air to get a better idea of what the toys are. This, in turn, leads to the development of the art of exploration in the baby such that the baby becomes active and engages his mind even when not playing. This is a prerequisite for developing sharpness, attentiveness, quick decision making, and other cognitive functions later in life.
Body development and growth
When the baby is lying on his tummy on the playing mat, he not only enjoys the fun and excitement of playing but also develops his neck strength and upper body in general. This makes it easy for the baby to roll, crawl, walk, and accomplish other physical feats with much ease. For overall body development and formation, it is necessary to place the baby in different lying positions on the mat. This enables the baby to engage his hands and legs as well as the whole body to make movements when reaching for objects on the mat.
Learn how to sort out objects
Right from 8 months of age, babies are able to hold objects using their fingers and play with different toys at the same time by putting one toy into the other. For instance, if your baby has a small ball and a box on the mat, he will put the ball into the box. As his age advances to one year and older, he will find it easy to put different shapes like circles and triangles in designated slots when playing with a shape sorter. Sorting objects helps the baby in identifying the relationship that exists between different objects thereby preparing the baby for basic mathematical concepts like categorizing and organizing.
It is advisable that you should not leave your baby to play by himself all the time. You should play with him from time to time to show him the need for teamwork and also let him learn the art of socializing with other children while playing. Playing with your baby also provides you with an opportunity to make the playing experience exciting and thrilling for both of you.