Play Mat Debate

Before I get into reviewing toys, I will start by reviewing where the baby actually plays with those toys…play mats!

In this post I will be reviewing the Imaginarium Alphabet & Numbers Foam Puzzle Mat and the Baby Care Play Mat

Baby Care Play Mat (PInkgo and Friends):

Weighs 17 pounds

Dimensions are 82.7 x 0.5 x 55.1 inches

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PROS:

  • Colorful and appealing to the eye (both yours and baby’s)
  • Soft foam so if the baby falls, they don’t get hurt
  • Double-sided so you can choose which side to display (One side is a scene with animals in nature with different animals/objects labeled. The other side is the alphabet with different objects that start with each letter.)
  • Waterproof and easy to clean (Just wipe off with a wet wipe or damp cloth)
  • Hygienic and safe (Latex Free, Phthalate Free, BPA Free, Lead Free)

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Can only buy it on Amazon (as far as I know)

 

Imaginarium Mat:

Weighs 6 pounds

Dimensions are 8 x 8 x 8 inches

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PROS:

  • Includes 26 letters and numbers 0-9 (Letters and numbers are big so your child will be able to identify them more easily)
  • Pieces interlock and are interchangeable
  • You can arrange and adjust the pieces as you please (i.e. You can make the mat more rectangular or square depending on your space)
  • Comes with a plastic carrying case
  • Inexpensive

CONS:

  • Pieces come apart so your child may take apart the pieces and put them in their mouth or scatter them around your house (speaking from experience here)
  • Unsure if it is BPA/latex/lead free
  • Because it is foam, the pieces are kind of flimsy
  • Definitely not as soft as the Baby Care Play Mat

WINNERBaby Care Play Mat

We currently have both mats, and I can confidently say that I like the Baby Care Mat better than the Imaginarium Mat. Although the Imaginarium Mat is a lot more inexpensive, the Baby Care Mat I feel is worth the money and investment based on the pros and cons I’ve listed. I also feel like the Imaginarium Mat will probably not last as long as the Baby Care Mat because my daughter likes to take the pieces apart and bend them and put them in her mouth (which makes me a little nervous because I’m not sure if it is BPA/latex/lead free). Ultimately, if you have to choose between the two, I would try to save up and get the Baby Care Mat. It is definitely a better investment in my opinion.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

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About Me and the Blog

Hello. Currently, I am a mom to a 10 month old daughter. I have also been a teacher for 10 years, 7 of those which have been at a magnet school in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). As a teacher, I have seen my share of students and administration. I have been through the teacher’s strike at CPS and have taught students from Kindergarten all the way to 8th grade. Although I feel like I am an experienced teacher, I am by no means an experienced mom. I learn something new everyday. Although it can be frustrating and stressful at times, I love my daughter to death and can’t see myself not being a mom. Through all of the ups and downs of teaching and being a mom, I have come to realize I am more interested and invested in what kind of toys I buy for my daughter and whether or not they are worth buying or worth taking up all of the space in our home (It seems like our daughter’s toys have taken over our place, and I barely remember what a clutter free house looks like!)

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I’ve been through my share of hits and misses with toys so I thought I would put my education and experience to good use and help you parents out. That way you don’t have to spend a lot of time googling toy reviews online. I’ve already done it all for you. (You can thank me later :))

I won’t just be reviewing educational toys, but I will also be reviewing various baby products from time to time because we know raising a baby isn’t just about the toys. I hope my reviews will be helpful to you readers!

I know these are just my own personal opinions but I have a background in education and have been around a lot of kids of varying ages so I feel like I know at least a little bit of what I’m talking about.

Feel free to comment with your thoughts. Maybe you agree whole-heartedly, maybe you don’t. Thanks for reading! I appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to read my thoughts. (Does that mean your kids are asleep right now or you’re not with your kids, maybe you’re at work being not so productive? Totally not judging here. I’m blogging away while my baby is banging away at her toys.)

Please also keep in mind that some toys are meant to be just fun rather than educational but the purpose of this blog is to review the toys that are meant to be educational and whether or not they do what they claim to do.

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Please also note that no toys being reviewed are from 0-3 months because let’s face it, you are sleep deprived and trying to adjust to becoming a new mom or dad. What responsibility! The last thing you are really thinking about is buying toys for your baby. Plus the baby doesn’t really know what the **** is going on around him/her. They just care about sleeping, eating, peeing, and pooping. You could surround the baby with as many toys as you want at this age but it won’t really do much good. The best thing you can do for your baby is to hold them, give them tummy time, and get the hang of parenthood. It’s not only an adjustment for the baby but it’s also an adjustment for you.

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Now at 3 months comes the good stuff. I’m guilty of being that mom that wants to buy my baby as many toys as possible, but let’s be real. Are all of these toys necessary? The answer is absolutely not.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for my reviews!

You can also contact me at diaperstodiplomas1@gmail.com