Making the most of your Bumpa Mat Activity Track
One of the key things that sets us apart from other playmat brands is that we've incorporated style and fun - making our playmats appealing to both adults and children.
For us, this was an obvious combination because:
1) Children like to play on the floor
It is the safest place for babies and small children to play – they cant fall off of it!
2) Colour is a great way to exercise a babies developing eyesight - even though parents prefer not to upset their decor with it
3) Colour is also a great way to assist with elongating the time a baby is happy to spend having tummy time
4) Track activities are great for exercising your child’s motor skills and dexterity
5) Put together correctly, an activity track presents lots of engaging learning through play opportunities
6) Why have a separate activity track when you’ve already invested in a soft floor mat? – to have separates just mean another thing to have to put away, and find a space for!
Whilst each of our activity tracks are unique in their own right, they all have one thing in common – that they’re designed with the assistance of early years educators.
This means that whatever activity track you have chosen, you can rest assured that it brings with it plenty of learning and developmental opportunities -in addition to lots and lots of fun!
Below I share some ideas to help you get the most from your activity track.
Learning colours is one of the first things children will do at play group, nursery and even at home.
Without knowing what colours are, children will indeed recognise that there are different colours. Picking colours from your Bumpa Mat, playing games, labeling and talking about them is a great way to add some learning fun into your time spent at home.
Tip: For older children - try playing the “I spy” colour game with your children asking them to identify something of a specific colour from the detail on the Bumpa Mat instead of the usual “I spy” game using letters.
With so many incredible details on our activity tracks there are lots of opportunities to pick out, practice and learn shapes.
Whether it’s the round wheels of the bicycles and buses or the square windows of the hospital, or the triangular slices of pizza - you'll find lots of shapes to identify, become familiar with and learn.
Tip: The “I spy” game mentioned above can be used in the same way picking out shapes instead of letters and colours.
Landmarks, Cities and Countries
Our European activity track is the newest addition to our collection.
Here are some of our favourite activities specific to this track
1) Naming and learning about some iconic European landmarks
2) Naming the cities those landmarks belong to
3) Naming the countries those Cities belong to
4) Placing these countries on a map (map not included)
5) Learning and saying “Hello and goodbye” in French, Italian, Dutch and English
6) We have also used this as an opportunity to talk about different foods from each location too – pizza’s in Italy, croissants in France and so on
Track activities are a great tool for assisting children with the development of:
Fine motor skills– the skills needed to grip and hold a car or character
Gross motor skills– the physical movement of body parts to guide those items along the track.
(Using the Bumpa Mat as a soft mat to perform exercises – balancing exercises, hopping, standing on one leg, roll polys, or yoga poses are all ways of exercising gross motor skills too)
Dexterity movements made using the hands - twists, turns , gripping, pointing etc.
Track activities really are a very supportive resource in more ways than you might realise!
Whether its a Dino Track that you have, Fairy Tales or Car Track that you have there are so many opportunities to label, tag and practice words with your little one.
Starting small with words like “car”, “dog”, “bus” or “bike” and moving onto more difficult ones like “stegosauras”, “ambulance”, “flower” and so on.
I am certain you’ll spot new words and things to talk about every time you look at the track.
Tip: For older children – try asking them to look at the track and make up a story using the detail they see.
This is great to exercise the words they’ve learned and even better for encouraging their little minds to creatively think!
For younger children – try telling them a story using the track as the backdrop. Every time you say a word that can be labeled on the track, point to it. An engaging way to help with
the recognition and repetition of new words.
Much like I mention above, our activity tracks are a great tool for supporting children with creative thinking.
The possibilities to use the detail in the design to come up with a story of their own or a scene for their activity track are unlimited.
You’ll hear lots of role play and imaginary conversations during playtime as your children become familiar with the track and its details. Each story being different from one day, one month and one year to the next as your child learns, grows and sees things differently.
Sitting back quietly and watching these imaginative play scenarios unfold in one of my most favourite past times. Seeing them in character and fully immersed in the moment is just priceless!
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