“My most used and loved purchase would have to be the Jnr.life mat. Every morning the mat comes out and Angus pulls out his favourite toys and starts playing. We actually have a second mat in his bedroom upstairs. In the evening we lay on his bedroom floor and read books. There are a lot of nice memories connected to these mats.”
Play pieces are a necessity but nothing can take the place of a parent playing with their child. Research indicates that talking to and playing with your baby is the single best thing for their development. Montessori play prioritises the floorbed as a safe area to foster your child’s independence, enable them to move and explore open-ended play and experience their world through movement. With a comfortable mat, like a Jnr.Life padded playmat or play.room-mate in place, the floor becomes a gathering space for the family, bringing parents and siblings to engage at the child’s own level. Play ideas include lying down to chat, reading books, looking at and playing with toys together or just simply hanging out.
In addition to enabling exploration, the cushioned floorspace also doubles as a quiet refuge, somewhere for your child to rest, imagine and reflect.
Firstly, take the pressure off as it’s easy as parents to get overwhelmed by all the toys and activities out there and what to do and not to do to in order to support your child’s development.
The most powerful way to support your child’s physical development and learning is through play. Our job as parents is to provide a nurturing, stimulating and caring environment with different opportunities and ways to play, develop and learn, and lots of chances to practise what they’re learning. Encourage indoor and outdoor play and allow your child to be curious, explore, make mistakes and get messy!
Remember to just have fun, follow your child’s lead, interests and developmental stage and try share moments where you can get down on the floor and play together!