Just because your baby led weaning days are over, doesn’t mean you have to ditch the mats or store them somewhere ‘just in case’ another child comes along. The design of our mats makes them ideal for many things post-weaning, but also even as the weaning journey begins and continues! Here are five cool EasyMat hacks for you:
EasyMat Hack 1: Arts and Crafts
Our mats have three clearly defined sections with high walls, making them perfect for storing things, other than food. I am a huge advocate of getting little ones to be creative and explore different things from a young age. Creativity helps link neurons in the brain and enables children to express themselves as they grow up. This EasyMat hack is a great addition to any arts and crafts box.
The mat is perfect for working as a paint tray; you can fit as much paint as you wish into each section, knowing that the high walls prevent the murky-brown mess that many high-street paint dishes lead to, due to their low-walled sections. Its wipe-clean nature also enables a super-quick tidy up!
Perhaps you’re getting ready for Christmas and you’re looking to paint salt decorations, glue decorations onto Christmas cards or make seasonal collages to explore the change in seasons with your older child. In addition to paint, the sections can store pipe cleaners, decorations, findings from nature ready to glue onto the card – the list is endless.
EasyMat Hack 2: Sorting Mat
Building on the idea of collages and exploring seasonal objects, the mats are also a great way to encourage the sorting of different objects.
Why not secure the mat to a table and offer your little one a pile or Tupperware of different objects and let them explore and sort these in the mat however they wish?
Here are some ideas to start you off:
- Go on a nature walk and collect different colour and sized leaves, twigs, acorns or other items and allow your little one to explore the textures and organise these in their mat.
- Place a different coloured piece of card or felt in each of the three sections and present your little one with items of each colour, all mixed together for them to sort according to
colour,if they wish. (It is worth mentioning here sometimes children won’t sort how we think, or expect, and that’s fine – the important thing is that they are exploring! You could use a bag of assorted coloured pompoms or a range of different items that are similar colours.
- As little ones get older, you could use a marker or paper number to identify sections as 1, 2 and 3 and ask them to place the correct amount of numbers of an item into each – once your child has mastered this, why not switch it up and have sections labelled 3, 5 and 7? The joy of having the larger section is that you can be really flexible with this as little ones grow up.
EasyMat Hack 3: Cooking
As your child will be used to engaging with the mat by using a spoon, why not develop this further by spooning into it, rather than out of it?
Whip up a tasty cake batter with your little one, letting them stir, pour and finally spoon the mixture into each section of the mat to bake into a tasty face! Allow the face to cool in the mat and then your little one can decorate the face however they wish!
The mat is also great for using as a jelly mould – you could work together with your little one to create some jelly and encourage your little one to drop their favourite fruits into it before leaving it to cool in the fridge to set.
Even if you’re not comfortable cooking with your little one, they could certainly practise using the mat in their play by simply placing it into their cooking equipment box/drawer in a play kitchen!
EasyMat Hack 4: Pet Feeder
If you’re like me and love animals, you may not only be used to fighting off the after-dinner mess caused by little ones, but also your pets. It’s always surprised me that the vast majority of pet-feeding products are bowls that don’t contain the food inside very well and leave a mess, meaning I’ve got to get down on my hands and knees to collect it up and scrub the floor (or get the rather-neglected mop and hoover out of the back of a dark cupboard!).
The mats are a great way to contain most of the food. Putting the food into little sections can help certain animals have to think about how they are using their tongue and mouth to access the food more so they work a bit harder for the food, but the surface that extends beyond the sections helps capture the mess, meaning you can just pick it up and whack it through the dishwasher easily.
If you have a cat, dog or house rabbit, why not give it a try and see what you think!
EasyMat Hack 5: Phone-dock and Organiser
The rise of insta-worthy homes with their pastel or brightly-coloured décor and vast array of organisation methods has many of us left in awe and desperate to replicate this in our own homes.
The different colours of our mats mean they could fit across any work surface easily, providing a space to prop up a phone whilst cooking, or to store those bits and pieces we often struggle to find homes for like keys, spare batteries, rings when we are cleaning and much more!
So if you’ve got an IKEA Kallax or another surface that you’re looking to add a pop of colour to, whilst maximising your organisation, why not secure your EasyMat and give it a go.
So as you can see, even once you are done with weaning, your versatile EasyMat can have so many other uses.