Welcome to today’s installment of Cool Tool Tuesdays, where I feature a favorite item from my life and spotlight it so that others who are not familiar with the product may also benefit from it. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, hardware, material, or website that I have personally tried and love.
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At Aerin’s 100th Day Celebration Party, my aunt gifted us with a Dwinguler Kid’s Playmat. At first sight, I groaned under my breath — “Great, yet another garish item that screams, ‘BABIES HAVE TAKEN OVER THIS HOUSEHOLD!'”
Additionally, it was humongous! It wouldn’t fit in our car, so my parents had to take it in theirs and drop it off at a later date.
But once we unrolled it and allowed our girls to roam all over it, I fell in love.
Made in Korea, the Dwinguler playmat is a thick (0.59″), durable mat that provides a non-slip yet easily cleanable surface. It is made of eco-friendly materials; it has been laboratory-tested and is proven to be absolutely safe for children. In fact, the Dwinguler playmat is so superior to other playmats that it is estimated to be used in 80% of households with children in Korea!
We live in a home with hardwood floors which we are hesitant to cover not only for the natural beauty of the wood grain, but also because J suffers from dust and mite allergies which are only exacerbated by carpeting and/or rugs. We have a small rug in Claire’s room, but it is not very plush, and I have often wondered if our hard, uncomfortable floors were a contributing factor to Claire never having crawled.
When it became apparent that Claire would need more safe floor space to play in addition to the rug in her room, we invested in a puzzle playmat that is typical of American homes with children. But this mat was a PITA to clean and it became even more bothersome when Claire learned to take it apart, leaving pieces in various places around the house.
The first thing I noticed about the Dwinguler playmat was that it did not have the strong, plastic-y smell I have come to expect from new foam products. It was free of powders too, so there was no need to air it out or wipe it down before letting our kids start playing on it. The cushioning is vastly superior to all the puzzle playmats I have encountered — it actually feels like, and reminds me of the gym-sized mats that they would roll out for gymnastics and tumbling back in grade school.
I had expected the textured surface to be a pain to wipe clean — especially with sticky liquid spills — but it is as simple as wiping a plain, smooth surface. The only complaint I would make is that due to its thickness, Claire needed a bit of adjustment time to get used to walking on and off of it (and there were a few falls as a result).
But both Claire and Aerin love this mat. Claire rolls around on it with her stuffed giraffe, and I have even caught Aerin dozing off on it on a few occasions! Additionally, the design that my aunt had chosen — Sweet Bear — has cute animals with labels next to them, which Claire loves to point out and identify for everyone who plays with her on the mat. And since each Dwinguler playmat is reversible with a different design on the opposite side, we know that we can flip it over whenever the girls get tired of the current design. The opposite side of our mat has animals and numbers, so we will definitely be taking advantage of this when Claire starts learning her numbers.
The Dwinguler playmat retails for $223.75 (large), $178.75 (medium), and $111.25 (small) on the Dwinguler website, but you can get it for a lot cheaper on other online retailers. (Amazon sells the large size for $139.95!) It is a costly investment to be sure, but well-worth it in my eyes, and I can’t thank my aunt enough for introducing me to, and gifting us this amazing kid’s playmat!