Children’s play rugs develop the attention and fine motor skills of babies, improve coordination of movements, serve as insulation for playing on the floor and simply decorate the nursery. In this article, we have collected the best educational rugs for children of different ages – they differ in appearance and functionality.
Which development mat is better to buy for a child
Developing rugs are designed for young children: from birth to about 2-3 years old. It is during this period that the baby reacts to light and sound stimuli, actively studies the surrounding objects in all ways available to him. A specialized play mat is a comfortable and compact development center, which contains bright elements that differ in shape, color and texture. Such parts can be handled and they emit a variety of sounds.
To buy the right model, you need to take into account the age and skills of the child.
The main parameter for choosing a developing mat is its size:
- For newborn babies, a product with a length of 65-70 cm is quite enough – this size is convenient for home and walking. The small mat can be taken to the hospital or placed in the car seat / stroller.
- An older baby who starts to roll over and crawl will already need a model 0.8-1.2 m long.
- Also, products are produced in an enlarged format – up to 2 m. They can be used as a regular carpet in the room.
Traditionally, rugs are made rectangular – in this design, they are convenient to use and store. But they also produce square, round, oval and polygonal versions. There are also unusual models of complex shapes: in the form of a flower, leaf, cloud.
Most of the development rugs are made of textiles, but there are also options from waterproof foam polyurethane or foam rubber. Fabric models are pleasant to the touch and can be placed in a crib or stroller. If they are of sufficient quality, then these rugs can also be machine washed. Waterproof razvayki are convenient for older children – it is easy to remove puddles, dust and dirt from them.
The type of developmental elements is determined by the age of the child:
- For babies, these are bright toys, rattles, tweeters, musical modules. For the smallest, they are hung on special arcs, and older kids can take the suspensions with their hands.
- For children after a year, interactive toys, games for the development of finger motor skills, bright applications and drawings for studying animals, birds, fruits, as well as numbers and letters of the alphabet are provided.
- Some models include logic games: built-in puzzles, mazes, etc. These are already suitable for children from 2 years old.
Distinguish between simple play rugs (flat) and volumetric. In the second case, holders are attached to the base of the carpet for hanging toys, along the edges they provide sides and complement the model with volumetric pillows. A separate category is transformers. Here the rug turns into a completely different product: a playhouse, a bag, a cradle, etc.
The best play mats
A play mat for children is the simplest version of a developmental complex. It is a rectangle made of soft material: textile with insulation or waterproof polyurethane. Various patterns, colored applications, sewn-on volumetric elements (rattles, toys, laces) are applied to the surface of the rug, with the help of which the child trains attention and develops fine motor skills.
At a younger age (from 3 months), the baby plays lying on his stomach. In this position, he examines and touches various details, strengthening the muscles of the neck and back. And starting from six months, the rug can be laid for sitting games. Some models are convenient to use as a blanket for walking in a stroller. The size of the play mats can be different: from small (65×75 cm) to spacious – 100×150 cm. They produce one-sided and double-sided models – with different patterns on the top and bottom.
Playgro “Zoo” – a developing mat with a pillow
The bright rug from Playgro is made in the form of a small rectangle 66.5 cm long with rounded edges. The material of the product is soft textile with a smooth silky surface. The rug is decorated with bright drawings of contrasting colors, depicting exotic animals: baby elephant, zebra, monkey, parrot. An anatomical pillow for the baby is attached to the mat from one corner, on which the baby will be comfortable to rest after games. Also included are two teethers.
- Made of soft, soft-touch fabric.
- Decorated with bright pictures to attract baby’s attention.
- The kit includes a pillow.
- There are removable teether rattles.
- The product can be machine washed.
- Due to its small size, the mat is suitable only for babies in the first months of life.
The developing mat “Zoo” is designed for newborn babies. It can be laid on the changing table, taken with you to the clinic. Soft material rolls up for easy storage.
Babypol “Know-it-all” – double-sided rug with the English alphabet
The rug is made of practical 1 cm thick foam polyurethane. The size of the product is 180×200 cm. The rug is double-sided. On the front side there are multi-colored cells with letters of the English alphabet and corresponding pictures, and on the back side there is a maze game that helps to study numbers. The material of the rug is pleasant to the touch, odorless and does not cause allergies. It is very easy to wash it.
- Large sizes – it is comfortable to crawl on the rug.
- Very colorful performance with many pictures.
- Helps to study the letters of the English alphabet, numbers, names of animals.
- Safe and practical material.
- Easy to clean – can be wiped clean with a damp sponge.
- Quite a high price.
- It is inconvenient to take with you.
A developing rug with many bright patterns will take the baby’s attention for a long time. Thanks to its large size, it can be used instead of the main covering in the nursery.
Chicco “Castle” – mosaic rug
The new model from the Italian brand Chicco is a colorful puzzle consisting of 9 large pieces. The drawing on the surface of the play mat will take the kid into a fairy-tale world. There is a real castle, a brave knight, a beautiful princess and a funny little dragon. All images are clear and well-defined. Figures of knight, princess and sun can be extracted from mosaic pieces. The rug is made of a dense material that is pleasant to the touch, all parts of it can be washed. The size of the prefabricated elements of the puzzle is 31×31 cm, the overall dimensions are 93×93 cm.
- Develops visual perception and logical thinking.
- The texture of the rug is pleasant to the touch.
- The dense material is resistant to damage.
- The collapsible system is convenient for storage.
- Easy to care for and wash.
- The dense material is only suitable for playing on the floor.
Bright rug “Castle” will decorate any nursery. It is suitable for both boys and girls and is intended for young children.
Best Music Arc Rugs (Universal)
Universal rugs for children perform several functions at once. They are suitable for active and calm games, stimulate the development of the child’s senses, and are comfortable for the baby’s rest. Such models replace a full-fledged home development center.
Universal rugs consist of a soft base and high arcs fixed on it, on which rattles and educational toys are suspended. Also, the design may include a sound module that plays melodies and gives different signals. Arched rugs are suitable for both toddlers who still cannot roll over onto their tummy, as well as for older children.
Fisher-Price “Butterfly Dream” – musical rug with removable arches
The rug from Fisher – Price is made in a delicate blue color. It consists of an oval fabric base measuring 65×51 cm and two wide soft arches that can be removed if necessary. There are large bright butterflies on the rug, and a safe mirror and teether toys are attached to the arches. The music module is located inside a large soft bear cub. It works in two modes: it plays music and makes funny sounds. The module is powered by 2 AA batteries.
- Nice and delicate design.
- Collapsible design – arcs and all toys are removable.
- Sound effects play for up to 20 minutes.
- The soft parts can be machine washed on a delicate wash.
- The set includes educational toys.
- Batteries are not included.
The Butterfly Dream educational mat is suitable for children from the first days of life. Large pendants attract the baby’s attention and encourage him to reach up and grab them. The musical toy in the shape of a bear can be used separately in the future.
Tiny Love “Princess Dreams” – soft rug with large toys
The rug from Tiny Love is designed in the same style with the entire series of educational toys from the Princess Dreams brand. Its distinctive feature is recognizable branded animal toys: a chick that glows and plays melodies, a beaver-shaped ring toy, a badger with a rustling handkerchief body and a cute fawn. Also included is a safety mirror.
The toys are hung on two arcs. They can be interchanged by adjusting the suspension height. The base mat with a size of 80×60 cm is made of dense textile material. It also has protruding parts that develop tactile perception in the child.
- A large set of educational elements.
- Bright recognizable performance.
- The arcs are removed, you can change the angle of their inclination.
- The set includes 4 cute toys.
- The rug is machine washable.
- Unsuccessful position of the figures in space – with the legs to the child.
The model can be used as a play mat or a development center. Animal toys should also be given to the child separately.
Bambi “Flower” – rug with a projector
This gentle play mat is made in the shape of a symmetrical flower 105 mm in diameter with six rounded petals. On top of it there are 3 arcs, to which 4 educational toys (butterflies, rings, a flower) are attached. The play set also includes a small pillow. The mat is equipped with special sound and light effects: the package includes a music unit and a projector that creates an image on the ceiling. The model is designed in delicate shades of pink and light green.
- Universal round shape and comfortable size of the rug.
- A large set of educational toys.
- The presence of a projector and soundtrack.
- Interesting “floral” design.
- Nice and safe materials.
- The color is not suitable for boys.
- The complex shape of the rug is not very easy to store.
A flower rug with a projector will decorate a little girl’s room and keep her busy for a long time.
The best development rugs with soft bumpers
Due to the presence of soft sides along the edges of the rug, such models turn from an ordinary blanket into a kind of playpen. A low obstacle limits the baby’s movement and prevents him from crawling off the mat onto the cold floor.
Also, the sides serve as an additional emphasis, helping the baby to roll over. In addition, this design is convenient for storing toys – they will not be scattered throughout the room. As a rule, the sides can be raised and lowered.
Bright Starts Dreams of Africa – 2-in-1 rug with bag
Model “Dreams of Africa” is a development center for babies from the first days of life. The design includes high sides and 2 removable arches with a mesh stretched between them. When assembled, this is a full-fledged playpen. The size of the rug with raised sides is 60×70 cm, when unfolded it is 112 cm.
Developing toys in the form of African animals (ordinary and musical elephant), a mirror, rattles and teethers are attached to the arcs. The musical toy is powered by 3 AA / LR6 batteries. The set also includes an original round bag with mesh walls – it contains 35 brightly colored game balls.
- Versatility – Suitable for toddlers and older children.
- Very bright, attractive design.
- Good soundtrack.
- There are many loops on the arches for additional toys.
- The set includes a bag with balls.
- The high price of the product.
The versatile mat can be used as a stand-alone playpen or as a crib mat. The mount on the musical elephant allows you to hang it in the arena or stroller.
Felice “Teddy Bear” – a stylish rug with soft toys
The Felice play mat is made of soft-touch velor and is designed in soothing colors. Its base is made in the form of a square with a side of 100 cm. The folding sides rise, forming a convenient and safe place for games. Cute soft toys are fixed on two soft arcs: a bear, a heart, a ball and an asterisk. And an original pillow in the form of a voluminous head and paws of a teddy bear is sewn to the rug itself.
- Beautiful and unusual design in the form of a soft toy.
- Hypoallergenic fabrics, pleasant to the touch.
- Arcs and hangers can be removed.
- The sides are folded back one at a time.
- All items are washable.
- No musical effects.
- Quite high cost.
The Felice Teddy Bear rug is available in 3 colors: blue, pink and brown. You can choose a stylish option for a girl or a boy.
Lionelo Carla “3 in 1” – the original ball pool mat
The 3-in-1 model from the Lionelo brand has an unusual round base, to which a high mesh side and arches are attached.
The set includes 5 colorful toys-pendants and 50 small multi-colored balls. The set can be used in 3 versions: as an educational mat with hanging toys, as a playpen for a toddler and as an original pool with balls. The bottom of the pool mat is made of compacted material, so the child will not feel cold from the floor. The development diameter is 90 cm.
- Combines the functions of a playpen, a development mat and a dry pool.
- Made from quality materials.
- The kit includes 50 balls.
- Contains 5 educational toys.
- Bright execution.
- The sides do not drop down, which is why the rug is not very convenient to store.
- No music block.
The development mat can be used from the first months of life. A pool with a large number of balls is suitable for independent games for older kids.
The best convertible rugs
After the game, some models of developmental rugs can be transformed into a completely different object: a cocoon-cradle, a fabric house, a bag, etc. The foldable, multi-functional design increases the convenience of storage of the rug and reduces the total amount of baby items in the room.
Yookidoo 70630 – musical deck chair
The Yookidoo rug is made in the form of an oval measuring 68.5×47 cm, decorated with bright appliqués on the front side. On top of it there is an arc with mounts for suspensions. The development kit includes a sound module. There is a folding point in the center of the oval base – along it, the mat is folded to a compact size for storage and transportation. Handles-loops are sewn on both sides for carrying the product.
Also, the rug can be turned into a small sun lounger. To do this, one part of the base must be lifted so that it forms the back of the seat. To fix the baby, soft seat belts are sewn in the central part. The material of the chaise-longue mat is durable plastic and soft, printed fabric.
- Sturdy bottom and soft forefoot.
- Transforms into a play chair with 3 backrest positions.
- There is a sound module with melodies.
- The set includes toys-pendants, a mirror, a rattle.
- Convenient to store and carry.
- High price.
- Small size of the play mat.
The Yookidoo transforming mat is designed for children from birth to 2 years old. Suitable for lying, reclining and sitting games.
Lionelo Agnes – development mat and playhouse
The Lionelo Agnes model is made in the form of a three-dimensional house made of plastic and fabric. It has three walls, a gable roof with a window and two vertical posts-arches. It is open from the front, so it will be easy for the child to get inside. The side walls can be folded back, turning the house into a rectangular rug under a canopy.
The model has a sealed fabric base on which the baby will be warm and comfortable. From the inside, the bottom and sides are decorated with vivid images of animals and birds. Under the roof inside the house there are 3 hanging toys, a rope with rattles and an interactive book. During the game, you can turn on the music. The dimensions of the house rug are 83x48x65 cm.
- Unusual fabulous design.
- Folding structure of the house.
- Bright design with beautiful drawings.
- Good quality materials.
- There are hanging toys, an interactive book.
- Due to its shape and size, it is only suitable for home use.
- The cost is above average.
The Lionelo Agnes house rug is a complete home play set designed for toddlers from 0 to 2 years old.
Rug-bag K’s Kids – compact and functional model
The developmental rug of the K ‘ s Kids brand is made in the form of a rectangle 69×78 cm. The material is a pleasant to the touch hypoallergenic textile. On the front side, the rug is decorated with bright patterns and volumetric appliqués. The set also includes 3 toys: a soft puppy with a squeaker inside, a flower mirror and a rattle.
After the game, the rug is folded into a volumetric travel bag measuring 32x29x30 cm – you can put toys in it. A soft carrying handle is sewn onto the top of the bag, which allows you to take it on a visit or for a walk.
- Bright design.
- Ease of use.
- Convenience of storing toys.
- Compact dimensions.
- Ease of maintenance – washable.
- Simple design without arcs.
- The music unit is missing.
On the K’s Kids play mat, the baby can play while sitting or lying on his stomach. When folded in the shape of a bag, it can be used to store different toys (not only from the set).