Besides vacuuming and mopping, how often do we think about our floors?
Do we look at them and admire them?
The space where parents - and their little ones - spend most of their time requires thoughtful attention just as much as the comfort, and design of a couch.
From tummy time to their first roll, babies learn, grow and discover on the floor. As parents, we nurture, support and capture memories on that same floor, so why shouldn’t the floor take centre stage as a key part of home decor?
A Toddlekind play mat is art for your floor.
Choosing something that doesn’t complement your decor can easily make or break an interior space. One example of how this can happen is through the use of colour. Studies have shown that colours affect mood and behaviour.
Interior design is one of two reasons (the other being safety) that Samantha Brückner founded Toddlekind.
Her journey started while trying to find a play mat for her daughters. A rug was not practical, and she shuddered at how ugly the children’s playmat options were. There was nothing she wanted to put in her living room.
Toddlekind is driven by a belief that childhood should be cherished and playtime should be fun - without having to compromise on interior design.
Samantha said, “I was on maternity leave when I had the idea for Toddlekind. I was looking for a rug to protect my daughter's head from the daily tumbles, and I realised how impractical a rug was with her constantly spitting up.
“A wipe-clean play mat seemed the perfect solution. But there was nothing I wanted to put in my modern new home. This set me on a journey to develop a range of children’s playmats that are made for children but designed for parents".
Samantha said she knew immediately that this presented a business opportunity.
She used Google translate to translate the word “play mat” into different languages, and found nothing on the market in any of the countries she researched. She decided to create a global brand, and bring her product to all these countries.
While most of Samantha’s friends and family were sceptical about her idea, she knew she had found an incredible business niche.
“My husband was my biggest supporter,” Samantha said.
“He came home from work one day to discover that I had already registered the brand name and come up with my first two designs. He was shocked but luckily fully by my side, and today is our company's CFO.”
The Prettier Puzzle foam play mat - the first style Samantha designed - is manufactured with comfort, safety and design aesthetic in mind. This style is perfect for any space because the size is adjustable by adding, or removing, tiles to suit your space.
Over four years later, Toddlekind has six different kinds of children's play mats, with a combination of core designs as well as limited edition designs.
Core designs include:
Limited edition designs include:
Colour is important
From the moment your baby is born, they are using all of their senses. Did you know a baby will see in black and white, and shades of grey * up until the age of four months?
MD Steven Jerome Parker said that your baby's colour vision is developing from four months, and brightly coloured wall hangings or toys will help them distinguish colour. This is something to keep in mind when buying toys and books.**
However, as we’ve discussed in a previous blog - Read here: Different kinds of play mats - when it comes to colours in the nursery or playroom caution should be taken.
Human beings love to use colour enrich environments, like a feature wall in a bedroom or accessorising an outfit.
In her popular book titled, “Creating environments for learning: Birth to age eight” Julie Bullard (2016, p110) discusses “visual bombardment” caused by distracting colours.
This is touched on in a study by Stern-Ellran, Zilcha-Mano, Sebba and Binnun (2016), who state that excessive colourfulness impacts children's behaviour in ways that may interfere with their engagement in structured play tasks. While this may not affect a newborn, it is something to keep in mind as your child grows.
The above-mentioned study cited other research, that suggests there is a threshold which can be overstepped, and surroundings can become excessively stimulating and disrupting.
At birth, a baby’s retina - the back layer that detects light - is not fully developed so can only detect large contrasts between light and dark, or black and white. A black and white baby play mat isn’t something many people would want on their floor so Toddlekind has created the contrasts using its unique, on-trend colour palette against white design (lines, dots, and bold scandi-inspired patterns).
The two-tone colour palette not only allows the design to pop, but has your baby’s visual stimulation in mind.
Toddlekind’s play mats have a simple two-tone colour palette which transforms any interior into a chic and refined space. The colours are intentional, with a scandi offering of well-balanced tones which are warm and inviting.
Whether you are protecting the floor from food messes and spills or protecting your baby from tumbles, Toddlekind’s play mat designs were developed as art for your floor. The aim is to complement your space and add to it.
* Steven Jerome Parker, MD for Grow by WebMD, "How Well Can Newborn Babies See?", 14 June 2020, https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/newborn-vision#:~:text=Just%20after%20birth%2C%20a%20baby,is%20about%20a%20foot%20away