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There were a few things that I knew I wanted to get for my daughter when she was born, having watched friends babies as well as my nieces and nephews, and one thing which I knew my daughter would get great use our of was a playmat. When I went to look for one online however, there were so many to choose from and a great variety of prices. I wanted something in the middle of the range of playmats out there but everytime I thought I had found the right one it either shot up in price or I discovered some rather negative views of it.
In my local TK Maxx one day, I came across this Playskool Gloworld Activity Playmat priced at £29.99, although much more expensive on the likes of amazon. What immediately impressed me with this mat were the bright colours, and the fact that it spanned a baby's development stages with three different ways of using this mat. As suggested in the title, this mat is from the makers of the popular gloworm, a product I have already purchased my daughter for Christmas, and so this was another factor in attracting me this product.
As I said, there are three ways of using this mat. First it can be used as a stand alone mat with no overhead bars, so as you baby outgrows the bars and can sit up, you can remove these very easily and let it become a mat to play on. On the actual mat are bright pictures of gloworms and there are parts of the mat with various touchable materials so a baby can touch different textures.
The second way of using the mat is the way that I am currently using it, with the overhead bars and the toys hanging from it. This playmat comes with 7 main toys which you can attach to the various material hooks for your baby to look at and grab. What's even better is that some of these can the be used as teething toys which can be removed from the hooks. There is also a squeaky toy and rattle to catch baby's attention. A mirror is also part of the toys that come with this mat and can be attached onto the edge of the overhead bars so as your baby lies on the mat they can look at themselves in the mirror. On another bar in the corner you can attach the electronic music playing sun face that plays a variety of tunes and whose faces lights up with the music.
In terms of the music that can be played through the sun, there is a choice of three. One is a very very calming seashore sounding melody, which my baby daughter loves to listen to, and she will keep so still when she hears this on. It is so relaxing that it would even make me fall asleep. The second option is a selection of upbeat tunes, with a catchy beat, and again my daughter seems to love listening to this. The third option is an intermittent selection of melodies, that are turned on and off through various sensors on the mat, so as you or your baby hit a part of the mat, a new tune will play through the sun. There is also a volume setting on the back of the sun as well.
The third setting that can be used on the mat is with or without the overhead bars but instead of hanging the toys from above, you can use the little material hooks on he side of the playmat to attach the toys, so your baby can lie on its tummy and play with the toys without them being lost.
Obviously with my daughter being just over two months old, she is only using this mat with the overhead bars and hanging toys, and she loves it, especially with the music playing in the background. She will lie happily and kick out her feet and coo on this mat as I get the dinner ready or get the ironing done, and it allows me therefore to get on with housework etc whilst she is awake but being stimulated and playing happily. I think this is a really good buy as I know as she develops I will then get much more use out of this mat even when she gets too big for the overhead bars. A great purchase as a playmat!