Interlocking Puzzle Mats Double As Playroom Flooring And Educational Toy

A common sight at daycare centers, preschools, and even libraries is children playing on or with jigsaw puzzle mats. Its also an option for families looking for playroom flooring for their home. Typically, these foam tiles are five-eighths of an inch thick, so, when pieced together, they provide a cushioned play surface for active preschoolers. Another advantage is hygiene. A six-by-six foot foam play mat can be a lot easier to clean and disinfect than the much larger floor of a classroom or an entire home playroom; so there are potential health benefits to using foam play mats, especially during the cold and flu season. Here are other reasons why puzzle play mats continue to enjoy such enduring popularity and widespread use.

Perhaps the main reason that interlocking foam mats are such a mainstay at daycare facilities and nursery schools is that it keeps toddlers busy, entertained, and mentally stimulated for more than five minutes at a time. Not only do preschoolers enjoy the colors and texture of interlocking foam mats, but many kids become engrossed in the challenge of piecing the jigsaw puzzle tiles together.

Interlocking play mats which have alphabet letters and numbers on them are also an excellent learning and teaching tool. It can help kids learn their alphabet and primary numbers, early on; and set a precedent for making learning a fun experience. Children can also gain an advantage in the self-esteem department when they know their alphabet, numbers, how to write their name, and a few other basics before they start their first day of kindergarten.

Kids play mats are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from 24 square feet to as large as 72 square feet. Alphabet play mats that can be pieced together are most likely sold in larger and smaller sizes, but, for many daycares, schools, and parents, the ones that are around five or six feet in each direction are the most practical.

Putting together a large puzzle mat is an activity that several toddlers can do together, so not only is it educational and entertaining, but it also encourages social interaction and development. As many parents and all early childhood educators know, the first five years of a childs life are highly formative, in terms of both cognitive abilities and social skills. That may be why this simple learning tool continues to be popular, year after year, even in the age of interactive computer games and the Internet.

In addition to the standard alphabet and primary-numbers version, there are also a variety of other choices, including a digitally printed map of the world, which displays international flags and has other educational features.

Depending on your perspective and budget, prices from $90 to $135 may seem either prohibitive or reasonable. However, when you consider the number of uses youll probably get from the mats, and the hundreds of hours of educational entertainment it provides, the prospect of buying a large interlocking play mat becomes much more cost effective, whether its for your daycare center, nursery school, or home playroom.