Friday, January 6, 2012

Interlocking Foam Mats

You know those interlocking foam puzzle mats? Well we have three sets of these. We have a set of lower-case alphabet tiles, upper-case alphabet tiles, and solid tiles. For a while, these floor mats made up the floor for Baby Bear's play room to create a softer, safer play space. Now that Baby Bear is more stable on his feet, energetic, and interactive, our family enjoys exploring the possibilities for playing with these tiles. They have become a family favorite!

Baby Bear crawling through a tunnel Papa Bear made with some foam mat pieces

I made two "islands" and connected them with a "bridge." Baby Bear loves running from island to island, and using the bridge has improved his balance dramatically. He was able to take a few steps on the balance beam at the children's gym he attends on his very first try. I attribute that to this activity.

Making blocks out of the foam tiles is always a hit. Sometimes we use the letters from words to make the blocks. One time, while using the letters from Baby Bear's name, he started calling out two of the letters from his name (randomly, but still... he knew the letter names!). Baby bear also has fun filling these with small toys. Occasionally, we will leave off the sixth side to make boxes rather than a blocks.
Another family favorite is using the tiles to build forts. We have come up with numerous fort designs, and now Baby Bear even gets involved in the 3D construction process. Of course, his favorite part is still knocking the fort down when we are done playing. :)

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