Voted Best Buy by the Independent!

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Voted Best Buy by the Independent!

Voted Best Buy by the Independent!

We were asked to take part in a sensory toy review by none other than The Independent. As part of the review we would be up against other toys and equipment from the sector. Guess What!? WE WON!! 🏆

We were voted Best Buy for the Indy/Best feature. Wooo Hoooo!! Read on to find out what The Independent had to say and why we were voted top sensory toy>

 Introduction

Sensory learning is when play stimulates the five senses – sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing – and teaches children about the world around them.

 

Chris Wright, head of health and wellbeing at Youth Sport Trust, explains: “From the moment children are born, they learn to explore using their sense to process new information.

 

“Exploration of new textures, materials and resources help them to make sense of the world around them. For children currently experiencing nursery and pre-school closures, and no access to baby classes, this is vital development time they will never get back.”

To help infants in the UK and their parents bridge the gap during lockdown, we have spent weeks testing sensory toys for babies and toddlers, supervising our very own two-year-old “assistant reviewer”.

Each toy was evaluated based on how long it held our toddler’s attention, the different senses stimulated and the duration it would last in the home before children outgrew it.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

 

The Review!

Walking indoors and outdoors are key milestones for gross motor development. For infants missing out on outdoor activities due to class closures, these orthopaedic play mats can help.

Each mat is designed to promote healthy foot development, prevent and correct foot disorders as well as stimulate and develop fine motor skills. They come in bright colours with unique patterns and functional designs that instantly grab a child’s attention.

From a sensory stimulation perspective, these mats not only encourage touch with both hands and bare feet, they help to develop a sense of sound, colour and smell, as well as lay the foundations for higher brain processing including learning, memory, attention, emotion and movement.

We tested eight of the play mats, split between soft mats (suitable for children under two and a half years) and firm mats (suitable for children over two and a half years). The company recommends that children from two and a half years can have a 50/50 split between the two different types of mats. Our toddler engaged with the mats straight away, exploring the textures with their hands before walking over them with bare feet.

Each mat comes with interlocking pieces which can be mixed and matched – this also encouraged the toddler to put pieces together and remove them as they liked. Colours included were red, yellow, green, brown, orange, blue, turquoise and pink, giving the child a variety of sight sensory stimulation. Mats can be bought in sets, catering for babies or toddlers, or individually starting from £4.95 per mat.

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