A puzzle mat is a children’s play area accessory you will wonder how you ever lived without once you have one. These foam play areas provide hours of building and puzzle solving fun for young kids. Most also provide extra lessons in color, animal, letter or number recognition. You can use the right puzzle mat for years. First as a soft play area for your baby to roll around and eventually crawl on; later for your toddler to walk on safely without fear of a painful fall or a messy spill. Once your child is an older toddler or preschooler, they will love taking apart and building with their puzzle mat, suddenly making it seem brand new.
Top Puzzle Mats for Young Kids
Multicolored Numbers Puzzle Play Mat
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Extra Large Pastel Floor Mat
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36 Piece ABC Foam Mat
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Multicolored Numbers Puzzle Play Mat is a colorful and fun play mat suitable for a child’s play area. This puzzle mat consists of ten squares that are each one each square. Putting together the large, colorful puzzle mat is great for developing hand-eye coordination. These numbered squares are also a fun way to introduce and explore the concept of numbers. This mat has been great in my home daycare, plus it is inexpensive and thicker than many other puzzle mats on the market.
Ages: 12 months+
Tomi Puzzle Play Mat is a great puzzle mat for younger children, even infants. It makes a great play surface when you need to keep kids off the floor and it is easy to wipe off and clean. I like that the mat comes with a carrying case. It’s perfect for when I wanted to bring it along for my baby to play or as a toy for my preschooler on a trip or to a visit at a friend’s house. The interlocking puzzle pieces are large and easy to handle for a young child while they work on their puzzle skills. Kids will love the colorful animals and shapes on the puzzle pieces.
Ages: All ages
Animal, Sea Life, and Dinosaur Puzzle Mat is my favorite among puzzle mat options. I love the brightly colored puzzle squares and the variety of animals depicted. My own child is a big fan of dinosaurs but I have kids in daycare that prefer safari animals or sea turtles and this puzzle mat has something to please all the little ones. This puzzle mat provides a fun way to teach colors and animal identification as well as work those motor skills when the kids put it together.
Extra Large Pastel Floor Mat is a nice softly colored puzzle mat for babies and young children. The pastel colors are soothing, which is sometimes a nice change from the mats that are so eye-popping and bright. I like that this mat features a variety of animals. And it is nice to have a mat that covers a large area once babies start to crawl but still need soft play surface. This puzzle part of this mat is too hard for babies to take apart but easy enough for a toddler; the perfect middle ground so the baby play mat can grow into a fun toddler toy. Because this high-quality mat is expensive, it’s good to know you can get so many years of use out of it.
Ages: All ages
36 Piece ABC Foam Mat is a great puzzle mat for a daycare or preschool classroom. This mat includes a tile for each letter of the alphabet and numbers zero through nine. It is the only puzzle mat I’ve found that covers them all. The 36 interlocking pieces with removable letters and numbers can be used for a variety of fun letter and number learning activities. The can also be used to build squares or towers for hours of educational fun. I love the size of this mat and its versatility.
9-Tile Multicolor Play Mat is a simple and inexpensive puzzle mat for a kids play area. Kids playing with these multicolored tiles can arrange them any way they choose or use them to build blocks or forts. This mat is a fraction of the cost of other puzzle mats and can be used for most of the same activities. My favorite thing about this puzzle mat is that if you purchase a second set they fit perfectly with the first and I was able to add and create any size play mat I could ever need. And the mat is so affordable I can purchase multiple mats and it’s still a bargain.
Ages: 6 months +
Foam Floor Shapes Puzzle Matis the best foam mat for teaching shapes. The 56 puzzle pieces contain an array of shapes, some of which I could hardly name without looking them up. Putting them together kids can make some really cool designs. This colorful puzzle mat really brightens up a play area or daycare space. My daycare kids love the different shapes. They play with the stick people shapes and pull out and feel the shapes with spiky edges. There is a lot of sensory exploration and learning built into this puzzle mat.
Ages: 18 months to 5 years
Have you discovered a play or puzzle mat that your kids love? Let us know in the comments.
Feature image courtesy of Flickr, donnierayjones.