Product Type: ELC baby toys
Newest Review: ... really fully mastered walking so I think he really liked this to show off his walking skills as walking and running was still a novelty for... more
Splash! Boing! Splat! Ting! Funky Footprints Will Aid Walking!
ELC Funky Footprints Play Mat
Member Name: cookie334
ELC Funky Footprints Play Mat
Advantages: Great fun, amazingly durable, easy clean, attractive for children
Disadvantages: No volume control
As there is no picture available on Dooyoo, the link below will take you to this product on the Early Learning Centre website, should you want to see what it looks like or want to check it is the right product that you are looking for:
** What is it? **
It's a long, thin, wavy mat. The main colour on ours it lime green, but I believe the main colour is bue now. The mat has 10 rubber footprints going the length of the mat, which are all different colours and are positioned staggered, as if someone walked the mat with paint on their feet. The purpose is for children to walk the mat and when they step on each footprint, it makes a different sound. At the end of the 10 footprints, there is a pair positioned together, encouraging the child to jump at the end.
At the very end of the mat is the controls. It is a round bit of plastic with lights that light up when the footprints are stepped on. This also has a speaker which is where the sounds come out, and there is an on/off switch.
** Price and Availability **
This toy is made by the Early Learning Centre and can be purchased either online or in store.
I can't remember how much I purchased it for, but it is priced at £15.00, reduced from £20 at the moment.
** My Opinion **
I bought this mat for my eldest daughter for christmas, some 5 years ago now. I'm not sure why I bought this to be honest, but I'm glad I did. My daughter was almost two at the time and the age range is 1-3 years. I think the main purpose is to encourage walking, which my daughter had already been doing for some time. What attracted it to me, was the colours. It is very bright and fun looking for children. The footprints are all different colours, but all bright and funky and the swirls and stars add to the attraction, not to mention the flashing likes and cool sounds.
I'll admit that when I purchased it, I had no idea what a hit it would be, and certainly didn't expect to be reviewing the product 5 years later. The mat is extremely durable, so well made in fact, that our mat still looks good as new. There isn't a single sign of wear and tear, despite it now being used by my third child on a daily basis.
I feel that they've under estimated the age range of this mat. I really don't see any reason why a child under one can't play with it, particularly if they are walking, but I would imagine it would be just as much fun to crawl along it. As for the higher end of the scale, well my older two (5 and 7 next week) still have a great time playing with it. Whether this is because their little sister plays with it and they just want to join in or if they would play with it regardless of the wee one, I don't know.
As I said previously, I think the main purpose of this mat is to encourage walking. However, we found it had a few other purposes for us aswell. The first being that there are numbers up to 10 going the length of the mat, along with the footsteps. My son, who doesn't take very well to traditional learning methods, found this extremely valuable when learning his numbers. He could walk the mat and count and read the numbers up to 10 as he was going. After struggling for a long time to grasp the numbers, he mastered them within a couple of days when using the mat.
The second was that it aided in learning colours. There are two of each colour footprint on the mat, so I used to play a game with my older two, where I would say a colour and they would have to race to stand on that colour of footprint.
I had expected this mat to get pretty mucky after a while, what with it going on the floor and having feet running up and down it all day. However, the plastic material makes it extremely easy to clean and I usually just rub it down with a baby wipe or a damp cloth with a bit of washing up liquid.
The mat requires 2 AA batteries, which are not included, but they do seem to last a huge amount of time. We leave this mat on most of the time. It's on my daughters bedroom floor and everytime someone walks in the room, they walk up the mat. The only time it gets turned off, is at bedtime. Before this it was positioned on my son's bedroom floor for a year or so and before that my eldest daughters. We have only had to change the batteries once in this time, so it's not one of these toys where you have to worry about changing the batteries every week or so.
The rubber feet have good grips, so that children are less likely to slip and fall, and although there are no grips on the underside of the mat, we've never had any problems with it moving or slipping, even on the laminate flooring downstairs.
The mat does take up a bit of room when laid down on the floor, but as it is flat, it's pretty inobtrusive and doesn't make the room look messy. If you wish to store it away it folds in half and then in half again, so it doesn't take a lot of room when stored in a cupboard or on a shelf.
The only problem I have with this mat is that the sounds are quite loud and there is no volume control. This isn't a problem during playtime, but is a nightmare if you have it on the bedroom floor as I do. I usually forget to turn it off and when I go in to check on the little one before going to bed, I'll stand on it and hear splashes and boings - thank goodness the wee one is a sound sleeper.
** Conclusion **
This certainly doesn't look like a great toy for the reduced price, let alone the full £20, but I would definitely recommend it.
The toy is so durable, it will last years and for many children. It has so many purposes - fun and educational. It doesn't take up a lot of room, isn't dangerous and is easy to keep clean.
What more could you want from a toy? It's great and I've found it worth every penny for the hours of enjoyment all 3 of my kids have had with it.
Summary: Remember to turn it off when the kids go to bed!
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