PARENTS are always on the lookout for the top sensory toys to engage their babies – and if they can help with their development, that's an added bonus.
The best baby water play mats do both, making them a favourite for babies as well as toddlers. Since they can easily be deflated, they also won't take up extra space in the toy cupboard.
Baby water play mats come in an array of shapes and sizes, from rectangular mat designs to animals like turtles and frogs. You'll even find apple and avocado shaped water play mats.
The premise is simple: these colourful mats have engaging illustrations and are typically filled with shapes too, like vibrantly hued, contrasting underwater creatures.
You inflate them and fill them with water, and babies are obsessed. Even better, water play mats help support sensory development, encourage little ones to learn through play and also help with physical development – they're also known as tummy time mats, and are a great surface for baby to practice their neck strengthening.
You'll also find baby water play mats that are incredibly shallow paddling pools with sprinklers – the perfect way to cool off little ones on a hot summer's day.
You should supervise baby at all times with their toys, especially around water. While most baby water play mats don't involve baby directly coming into contact with water (it's inside the mat), watch them closely. See the NHS for guidance on water safety and babies.
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