So today I showcased our new happy feets mats that I have recently purchased. As many of you know I was VERY excited when I received these. Sensory development and the understanding of the impact it has on young children has taken over my life over the last few years. I spent so much time researching and preparing for the sensory stories because I wanted to know that not only was it providing entertainment and a chance for bonding between children and their carers, but also that it was supporting their development.
All the lessons are planned and I can link it back to tell you what your child will be getting out of different activities, etc. So today when a parent asked me what the benefits of the happy feets mats were and why we had them, or basically where they just a fun toy? My mind went blank! This frustrated me as I pride myself on being able to explain why, for example we are using furry material or using bouncy balls, etc. So I therefore had to go home, check what I understood and convey it in a blog post. So any parents who want to know why we have the happy feet mats (which are orthopedic mats – the happy feet is the company I deal with) then continue reading. It is not a long read so don’t worry x
Our tactile, vestibular and proprioception senses are critical for healthy child development and when these are in place it allows more productive and deeper learning to take place. So we constantly want to support activities that support the development of these three areas but it is the proprioception (which is the awareness of body position in relation to the rest of the world) that the mats support alongside the tactile.
It is known that walking barefoot comes with huge health benefits, it stimulates foot muscles and encourages their correct development. Walking barefoot can increase circulation in your feet and through pressures on different areas of your feet it can also have a calming effect, supporting children with self-regulation.
The sensory playmats that are used during our sessions and carefully moulded to bear a resemblance and feel for the natural environment, from grass, logs and flowers to shells and rocks. The mats provide stimuli that encourages the children to learn to balance and move in a variety of different ways, which supports them as they grow and gain confidence moving across different surfaces.
So have great fun playing on our mats, and remember they aren’t just for the kids!
If anyone wants to order their own mats you can find the collection at: