How to choose a developing mat for a baby, tips for choosing and reviews


Children’s developmental rug – a playground designed to develop coordination of movements, orientation in space and creative abilities of the child. It helps the baby to learn the world around him in the process of playing and develops his imagination.

Rugs are placed on the sofa, bed or floor. They can be divided into two groups:

  • gaming – develop mindfulness, hand motor skills, sensory skills, memory, ingenuity and thinking of the child;
  • musical and dance – develop a sense of rhythm, hearing, reveal the musical and dancing abilities of the child.

Important: with the help of a children’s rug, visual and tactile perception is simultaneously developed: the baby’s eye and hand act in concert during the game (sensory-motor coordination). If the rug shows letters and numbers, then it will help the baby get the first ideas about reading and counting.


classic rug – made of dense material (has a layer of insulation). Equipped with toys that develop motor skills and hearing of the child. If necessary, the rug can be used as a blanket.

Carpet-transformer – Made from waterproof fabric. The layer of insulation and the softness of the rug ensure the comfort of the child. The transforming mat easily turns into a bag – just pull on two outer loops. This rug is especially easy to transport.

Rug with arches – equipped with play arcs on which moving toys are attached. The rug first of all promotes acceleration of physical development of the kid.

Rug puzzle – consists of many elements that must be connected in the correct sequence to obtain a complete picture. Suitable for babies who can sit and crawl. The rug develops logical thinking, introduces the basics of the alphabet and arithmetic (rugs with letters and numbers). In addition, disassembled puzzle mats take up very little space.

Important: for the development of visual perception, you should choose bright rugs of various colors with many drawings of animals, plants, cartoon characters. However, the drawings on the rug should not be aggressive, so as not to injure the child’s psyche and exclude a possible negative effect on vision.

A developing rug can be of any shape, including complex ones – for example, in the form of butterflies, fish, animals.

Age category

To 6 months – at this age, the baby, as a rule, is in a supine position. The best option would be a rug with arcs on which toys are attached. Trying to reach them, the child will quickly learn to roll over, hold his head, coordinate the movement of his eyes and hands.

From 6 months to a year – during this period, the baby sits, crawls on the rug and even learns to get up, trying to get to the toy at the bottom of the rug. At this age, a classic rug is well suited. The child is especially interested in the sound made by toys, so it is important that the rug contains a variety of “sounding” toys, musical buttons.

From 1 year and older – at this time, the child masters story games that help him to know the world. Therefore, the rug should contain toys that can “talk”, “go to visit”, and the drawings on it develop the child’s imagination and fantasy. The rug is also useful for dancing and exercising.

Number of arcs and toys

The number of arcs depends on the number of toys that come with the rug. The more arcs, the more toys can be placed on them. Rugs can be with one, two and three arcs. If necessary, the arcs can be removed. The number of toys varies from 1 to 8 pieces.

As a rule, the rug is equipped with toys made of materials of various textures, which allows you to develop fine motor skills of the baby’s fingers. For the full development of the child, sounding toys that make various sounds (squeaking, rattling, rustling) are necessary. It is important that the toys have different sizes and colors.

In some models of mats, arcs with sliding rings that allow you to move toys in any direction.

The mat can be supplied with chewable teething rings for babies who are teething: the child will be able to drag these rings into his mouth.

Mats with removable items allow you to make your baby’s games more diverse. As a rule, removable parts are fixed with Velcro.

Important: Teethers should be flexible and secure (this also applies to toys). Any removable items must be large so that the baby cannot swallow them.


The dimensions of the rug depend primarily on the age of the baby. The older the child (and therefore larger), the larger the size of the rug should be. For example, for babies up to 6-8 months, the optimal size would be 90×90 cm.

On the other hand, this parameter is also affected by the place where the rug is used. When choosing rugs for the home, you should consider the size of the room or nursery. Models for walking can be of any size, but small rugs are still more convenient to carry.

Important: large size development mats can be used for twins. An alternative option is to purchase two small rugs.


Mirror – helps the child learn to hold his head, and is also intended for entertainment. During the game, the baby will be interested in “communicating” with his reflection. The mirror is made of safety materials.

Sides – provide additional protection for the child and turn the rug into an arena. If necessary, the sides can be removed.

Removable cushion – serves for additional comfort of the child lying on the back or on the tummy.

gaming musical panel – consists of several objects, hitting which the child extracts a sound (sounds of birds, animals, cars, even classical music). The musical panel develops the baby’s ear, and also helps him understand the causal relationship between the action and its result.

Important: it is desirable that the music bar can be turned off, otherwise the music may bother and even annoy the child. In addition, the music should be quiet and pleasant to the ear.


  • When purchasing a developing mat, make sure it is safe for your baby. Pay attention to the presence of a special certificate. The rug should be made of high-quality, non-toxic and pleasant to the touch materials, not have a strong smell. The paints used must be environmentally friendly.
  • The wrong side of the rug should not be slippery, otherwise it will move out. The front side should be soft, especially if the mat is purchased for an infant under 6 months old.
  • Find out if the rug is machine washable. Small parts must be securely fastened. If you purchase a rug with arcs, you should make sure that they are removable – this will allow you to change the purpose of the rug.
  • It is advisable to purchase a rug that folds compactly. This will greatly facilitate its use by parents.
  • Toys and a mirror must be wiped with soapy water, and it is recommended to dry the parts of the rug in the fresh air.
  • To keep your child’s interest in the mat, change the toys on the arcs periodically, because the baby gets used to them over time. A good solution is to hide the rug after the game, so that every meeting with your favorite toy becomes a little holiday for the crumbs.


In no case should you order developing mats on Chinese sites of replicas and fakes. They are often made from untested materials, smell strongly, and can even cause allergies.

Models of the brands Playgro, Canpol babies, Alexis, Bambi, Bertoni, Bino are considered good rugs. Of the shortcomings, it is worth noting the lower strength.

It is recommended to choose rugs from trusted manufacturers of children’s products, since most often they guarantee high-quality and safe materials. For example, products of the brands Bright Starts, Chicco, Tiny Love, Taf Toys, Fisher-Price.

The most expensive are Dwinguler and Fehn rugs. Functionally, they do not overtake models from the first group, but they can be compared with them in quality. Therefore, whether it is worth paying more is up to you.


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