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Soon after moving in to our rented home, we decided it would be a good idea to cover the bland carpets with laminate flooring. This decision was down to easier cleaning and a fresher look. This works well, and I find it easier to keep the floors throughout the home clean. This is good, as it allows the home to look and appear clean and tidy.
Having a child, however, means a lot of time on the floor, which can become cold. This is still the case even with heaters and natural sunlight. I can find the floors to be rather cold, which isn't great for rolling about on the floor. While wandering about Ikea I happened to notice a few different play mats and rugs that are designed for children. The Lekplats play mat appealed, as it was only £13, so affordable and fun for a child’s room or play area.
The rug is tightly rolled on a card tube and comes in a clear plastic covering. I carried this home from Ikea which is about a 20 minute walk from my home. I found it easy to carry home, and unrolling it, it soon goes flat and is ready to use immediately. The length may be a little tricky to get into a car; however, it can be bent without causing damage to fit into a car.
The design is a simple road with different attractions alongside including a village, a car park, an igloo, a whale swimming in the sea and some high rise buildings. This allows for plenty of imaginative play and a good large meandering road that can take you to different destinations. The colours are bright but muted, and are as to be expected. This allows it to be used in many different areas in the home should you desire.
The play mat is created from 100 % nylon making it tough and durable with a latex backing to prevent the rug from sliding when in use. It is a good size being 140 cm in length and 133 cm in width. The care instruction state that it can be washed in the machine at 40°C on a delicate cycle. However, it also recommends professional cleaning due to the size. Washing it can cause it to slightly shrink which is also mentioned.
I am a clean freak and my son likes to create mess when he plays. This is all fine and good, and I certainly wouldn’t change that, as I like him to have fun. The rug regularly gets vacuumed to keep it free from debris and has been washed by machine a few times. I find washing it fades the colour and shrinks it ever so slightly. This isn’t great, the shrinkage is expected, but the colour fade is a disappointment. This makes the rug look worn and old.
The rug provides a good space for my son to play and he likes to play on it. He doesn’t strictly use the marked out road for his vehicles of which he has many, he just plays in the way in which he wants. The picture doesn't seem to make a difference to the way he plays, however, he is autistic, and so I wouldn't expect him to play in a structured way. The mat provides a good place that he can play on with whatever toys he chooses.
The rug certainly stays in place despite my sons crazy antics, running, jumping and rolling on it. It remains flat and never crumples up, so it stays safe. It is good size for a child’s bedroom and can either be a main rug for the centre of a medium sized box room or be placed in a corner or area of the room where you or your child would prefer. It is good just as a rug and is also good for play purposes. The images are clear and the colours are good, creating a fun play area for children.
I’ve actually seen this rug being used in other play settings when out, and it seems a popular choice. The rug is hard wearing, and vacuums easily. I would recommend sponge cleaning rather than machine washing to prevent the colours from fading. In general, this is a good play room item that can be used anywhere in the home. It is also a good choice for schools and nursery’s and other areas where children play.
For a low cost item that provides a bit of colour and interest to a playroom this is a good item. It will last, and is best not to be machine washed to preserve the colour.
Lekplats children's play mat
My husband chose this delightful colourful and practical children's play mat for the wooden floor of our playroom more than two years ago. He admits to being particularly excited by this item, as he felt that he and our daughter would get hours of fun from it.
Designed by Annie Hulden and available from Ikea for £13, this machine-washable rug depicts various man-made city and natural countryside attractions all of which have been printed in muted, Autumnal colours. There's a road, a car park, a hospital, a lake and some beautifully depicted snow-capped mountains.
The mat is made from nylon that, in my opinion, is not particularly comfortable to sit on. However our three-year old daughter doesn't seem to mind. She sits on it for up to 20 minutes at a time, playing make-believe picnics with her miniature mermaid dolls next to the lake, and pushing her matchbox cars and emergency vechicles along the road.
The rug is latex backed, which helps keep it in place. This was particularly important when our daughter and her friends were toddlers. This rug is very resilient. It's easy to sponge clean (I've never machine washed it), doesn't seem to hold much dirt or detritus, and hasn't faded despite being exposed to the sun over two summers.
This floor mat has really grown on me. I would have preferred something organic in pretty pastels. However my husband was right to purchase this mat - it has been and continues to be very suitable for our family and lifestyle.
I would certainly by this play mat again, and have recommended it to several friends.
Highly recommended. Five stars.