“ Brand: ELC / Age: Newborn+ / Type: Play Mats & Gyms „
This mat is actually designed as a tummy time mat but we purchased the mat to use in our travel cot that we use as play pen in lounge, it the perfect size for this and was half the price of mat designed to go in a travel cot.
The mat consists of a 6 very brightly coloured squares, each square has a animal printed on it and the mat is made from a very soft material and is backed with a bright yellow fleece, it is quite a thin mat compared to our other play mats. The play mat also comes with 4 toys, a large flower and 3 small animal shapes that attach to the large flower, each of the small toys do a different thing, one has a bell, the other a rattle and the final has a squeaker.
For a newborn it would be an ok tummy time mat but they would outgrow the mat very quickly as it is on the smaller side. As said above we bought the mat to use in our travel cot/play mat, we have the mat covering the mattress of the travel cot and it is perfect for the purpose, the bright colours are eye catching and the toy keeps baby distracted long enough for me to nip out of the room for a few minutes. The mat is very easy to stick into the washing machine and washes perfectly.
When I left work to start my maternity leave my colleagues had kindly organised a collection and one of the things that they had bought me with this was this Blossom Farm Tummy Time Playmat from the Early Learning Centre. The sticker on the box shows it was priced at £15, but I have since seen it at a lower price in their sale.
The playmat is designed for ages 0-12 months and is said to be 'a great tummy time activity playmat to keep your baby entertained and happy'. It is also aimed at helping to develop the ability to crawl by encouraging exploring on hands and knees. It also aims to stimulate senses and develop hand eye co-ordination.
Inside the box, there is a playmat and toy in the form of a big yellow and purple flower with three attachments hanging from it.
The mat itself is not terribly big, I would say around 60cm x 60cm. The bottom of the mat is orange in colour and slightly textured, almost felt-like, to the touch. This provides the mat with grip on a carpeted floor and prevents any slippages. The mat feels quite thick and cushioned.
The top of the mat is made of a thinner, softer material that feels very smooth to baby's delicate hands. The mat is divided into quarters and each quarter has a picture of a different Blossom Farm character on it - a sheep, cow, dog and donkey. These are brightly coloured as are the backgrounds to the four squares which are also patterned with spots or stripes - so lots for baby to look at! In the centre of the mat is a picture of the yellow and purple flower that is included as the toy.
The toy that comes with this mat is, as I mentioned earlier, a large flower (approx 30cm in diameter). This has yellow petals (6) and a purple middle. It is made of a soft, felt like, material and the purple middle is padded so very soft to touch. The petals have a crinkle material in them so crumple noisily when grabbed.
Hanging from one of the petals (there is a loop on the back) are three different toys each attached with a different coloured strip of material. From the purple strip is a rather simple clear plastic circle (like a bracelet) with 8 coloured beads in it so it rattles when moved. From the yellow is Dillon the donkey complete with squeaker which squeaks when compressed and from the blue is Lavendar the lamb with a rattle inside.
These three attachments can also be removed from the flower head and attached directly to the underside of the mat using their Velcro attachments.
The mat is a lovely idea for newborn and very young babies. It is very brightly coloured and there is a lot of things to look at so is very stimulating. It is also suitably soft for their delicate skin. I used this with my son from birth, when he used to just lay on it happily. As he got older it did help to encourage him to enjoy tummy time (not a favourite past time of his - he seemed to get bored very quickly!), enabling us to enjoy a little more vital muscle-strengthening tummy time. However, as he grew I found that the mat was really too small to use for tummy time as he used to ruck it up really quickly and he soon became longer than the mat itself when laying down. I would say that the mat needs to really be double the size to be really useful to encourage crawling as the majority of babies will probably have outgrown this by the time they reach that stage.
The toy provided is really quite unique and, at 8 months, my son still enjoys this. It has different uses as your baby reaches different stages. When really young, my son just liked to look at this as it was brightly coloured and as he got older enjoyed us rattling and squeaking the toys for him. When he was first learning to grip toys, the circle rattle was a great size and shape to learn with and he also used this as a teether on more than one occasion! Now he is bigger and sitting up he still loves the scrunching sound the flower makes and will still play with this.
I only really use the mat to sit on now (I actually received two of these so can piece them together to cover a greater area!) and have done so since my son was about 5 or 6 months. Therefore, I think the age range given for this toy of 0-12 months is rather ambitious as I can't see many babies being particularly interested in it beyond 6 months as a tummy time playmat.
As you would expect with it being a mat for babies (particularly as it is used for tummy time) I have had a few sick incidents on this and have had to wash it on many occasions. The wash label suggests hand washing but I put it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle and it has washed up really well - no fading or bobbling.
In summary, this is a decent, well made toy that is great for newborns and very young babies who are developing their fine motor skills. However, it does not have great longevity and would really benefit from a larger sized mat.
This was bought for my daughter as a present for her first Christmas. A tummy time mat was on my wish list as my daughter loved spending time on her tummy so I wanted to invest in one but was lucky enough to have one bought for her.
Design and features.
I have a few products from the Blossom Farm range so have become fairly familiar with the characters as I'm sure many readers are too!! The mat is very colourful with the characters Dillon donkey, Lavender Lamb, Buttercup Cow and a dog (not sure if the dog has a name!?) My daughter really loved looking at the large character faces on the mat. Also included is a large purple flower with yellow petals on for your child to rest their chest on when using the mat to encourage them to lean on their arms and three toys. A circular rattle, a Dillon Donkey squeaker toy and a Lavendar Lamb rattle toy. The three additional toys have a little velco tab on them for attachment to the underside of the mat (which is made of a felt material). The mat is fairly large in size, lightweight, easy to store when not in use and is a useful mat to have when visiting friends and family.
My daughter absolutely loves the detachable toys and I take these out and about with me so she can play with them. Her face absolutely lights up when she hears the circular rattle and it is very rarely seen outside her mouth!!! The squeaker toy gives her equal delight and is always soaked in dribble although she is not old enough to make the noise herself!! These toys are useful in themselves as mentioned each has velco tab on them and can be attached to other products such as play gyms or push chairs. The mat although initially was very good and engaging for my daughter. I found that as she became more sturdy on her tummy and could reach for objects immediately in front of her she would get hold of the mat and it would buckle up and she'd get a bit tangled up in all the material. (The top cover is only attached to the bottom felt cover via stitching around the outside). That would be my criticism of the design that the two different layers of the mat are not attached enough and I would be constantly pulling the layers together so that my daughter could play with her toys instead of getting bogged down by the two different layers of the play mat.
I think the product is fairly expensive at £15 and if I had bought it myself would have waited for it to go on sale or purchased a slightly cheaper version. Since Christmas it has not been used as much as I thought I would. I think this is because of the problem I had with the mat itself. I have hand washed the circular rattle and machine washed the other two toys and they have come out fine which was a bonus. But I have not washed the mat so I know the layers haven't separated that way or material been affected through washing. I have only every used the mat on carpeted flooring so perhaps it may be better used on a harder floor.
The product is a lovely idea with an engaging design and excellent additional toys but I wish the layers of the mat were better attached to each other as hopefully this would have stopped the problem I incurred.
When I popped into the Early Learning Centre to buy the "Blossom Farm Sit Me up Cosy"I had no intentions of purchasing anything else as I was all spent out. Then this caught my eye sitting on the shelf in the sale section of the shop. Normally £15.00 it was in the sale for £7.50, well that is a bargain!, so I went on to ask an assistant if I could open the box to see exactly what it constisted off. The assistant was very helpful ( a young man ) who went on to open the box and get it all pulled out!.
Out came a very colourful soft slightly padded mat, on the top it was divided into 4 sections that showed the large faces of Lavender Lamb, Dillon Donkey, Buttercup Cow and I believe (I can't remember exactly!) Bunny Blossom or Chester Chicken, well whatever one it was it was very colourful.
With this you also got a large ( when I say large I mean really quite big!) yellow daisy looking flower that when you touched or squeezed it, it made a crinkly paper sound (if you know what I mean!). Attached to this are 3 strips that on each end have a toy hanging from it, a teething ring, squeaky soft cloth toy and a rattle. Where this is separate from the mat this can be played with elsewhere and can be taken out and used in the car.
Again the reason I got this is because it folds up to quite a reasonable size and is handy to take out with you when visiting friends or family, to just pop down on their floor and keep the baby happy with something that he is familiar with.
I don't know the exact measurements as I didn't measure it, but I would say it is roughly 2ft square although it could be slightly bigger. What my son has done with it now, is lay it in the baby's cot ( as baby is still in a moses basket at the moment!) and after they have feed and changed his nappy they lay him on it while they clear things away and already he seems to like laying on it at only 3 weeks old, so in a few weeks he will be ready to use it properly when he can roll himself over!.
I would definitely recommend this to new parents at the price of £7.50, I personally would not pay the full price of £15.00 as with the cost of everything else it's a bit steep and not really worth the full amount.
I'm keeping out of the Early Learning Centre for the moment as I know I will see something else and the baby really doesn't need anything else for the moment. While I was in the shop the young man told me about their Birthday Club, which is where you give the childs details, be it your own child, grandchild, nephew or niece ect... and they will send it a small gift on it's birthday ( for older children a CD) plus discount vouchers and other bits and bobs, which I thought was a nice gesture. So I have passed these details onto my son. There is a page on this in their ELC brochure towards the back.
I will give this 5 Dooyoo stars at £7.50!.