a baby and a toddler playing on their toki mats
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5 Ways to Use Your Toki Mat

May 11, 2022

When you’re preparing for your little one’s arrival, you do a lot of research on all the essential items you’ll need before your baby makes their way earthside. Some essentials, such as a crib or a baby bathtub, might be obvious, but items for playtime might be a bit harder to navigate. It’s easy to add cute-looking toys to your registry without having a real clue about what will actually be of use. You probably already know your baby needs floor time, so a play mat is a no-brainer. But, which play mat? Like many things, not all play mats are created equal. With so many options, ranging from large, interlocking foam pieces to colorful mats lightly padded with polyester batting, you may wonder what makes a Toki Mat stand out.

Toki Mats differentiate themselves from standard play mats because they use latex foam, rather than batting or even memory foam, to cushion their mats. Think of a latex mattress. It’s a popular mattress choice because its springy, responsive nature delivers an incredibly comfortable surface. In applying that to a play mat, Toki Mats created one so durable and effective at cushioning, it’s usable for years beyond babyhood. Not only that, the latex foam used for the mat is created from all-natural plant latex that is certified clean. Even if you aren’t all that bothered about buying organic produce or avoiding phthalates for yourself, things change when you have a tiny, brand-new human, for whom you feel an intense instinct to protect. Another thing to consider when picking out a play mat for your baby is its longevity. Contrary to what many think, a play mat doesn’t have to stop being used once your baby becomes more mobile. A soft, safe surface is usable anywhere—it’s designed to be. He-llo, Toki Mats! With its foldable design, your Toki Mat is portable and perfect for on-the-go play and more. Here are 6 easy ways to use your favorite play mat:

1. Tummy time, tummy time, and more tummy time!
Tummy time might feel like torture at first for both your baby and you, but there’s no skirting around it. It’s incredibly important for their development (you can read about it in our blog post here), and the best way to make it bearable in those early weeks is to provide a soft, comfortable surface for your little one. Try to wait at least 20 minutes after a feeding before starting a tummy time session. If your baby spits up on the mat anyway? Have no fear! Toki Mats come with either a cotton cover that zips off for easy washing, or a vegan leather one that wipes clean. If you already have one type of mat, but want the other cover, you can purchase both the cotton cover and the vegan leather cover separately for your convenience.

2. A picnic at the park
Being outside at the park isn’t just great for boosting your own mood after spending days cooped up inside on an eat, sleep, play, repeat schedule. It’s also a sensory-rich experience for your ever-learning baby. Bringing along your Toki Mat to your next park excursion for a safe place from which they can explore the grass and dirt at their own pace. For more outdoor sensory activities, you can read our blog post here

toddler playing outside on their toki mats play mat

3. A crash mat for toddlers
Once your little one moves beyond needing their Toki Mat for tummy time, don’t put that mat away! You might see it as just another outgrown baby item headed toward storage, but your mat is perfect for this next stage of life, too. Toddlers are rambunctious and hyperactive explorers. This is the age where they begin to truly test the limits of their surroundings and their own bodies. It’s incredibly fun for them and incredibly stressful for parents. Although it’s tempting to stop them from doing just about everything, leaving them to explore under a watchful eye can be more effective for their learning. Lay your Toki Mat down in front of the couch, so that if they take a little tumble, you’ll feel more at ease with a well-padded surface to guard against bumps and bruises.

4. Beach playtime
The beach is such a relaxing place with so many things to explore. Dry sand, wet sand, foaming sea spray, the sound of rushing waves, seashells, and the salty air are all sensory experiences for your little one. Instead of laying on a flimsy towel that flaps sand all over the place, place your baby on their Toki Mat. Your baby might not be a fan of the sand, and their mat is a safe place for them to explore it as much or as little as they’d like. The thickness and weight of the mat prevents it from lifting or sinking, and sand can easily be brushed off its surface when it’s time to go. 

5. A background for milestone photos
Ah, milestone photos. We all love seeing the adorable photos of smiling babies holding wooden circles that read “2 months” or “8 months.” But, when you’re the one taking the photos, you realize how much harder it is than it looks. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find a place for your baby to lay on that makes a suitable background. Thankfully, Toki Mats has plenty of options. From pastel solids, like this petal pink Padded Everywhere Mat to a gorgeous, double-sided print on this Day and Night Padded Play Mat, your Toki Mat makes the perfect background for milestone photos. Another plus? The mat itself is so comfortable, your baby won’t mind the hundreds of takes before you manage to snap a winner.

two kids playing in front of their folded toki mats

With a mat so thoughtfully designed and constructed, the possibilities are endless. From babyhood to toddlerhood to the next baby, your Toki Mat grows with your family as a staple of the best years.

5 Ways to Use Your Toki Mat

About the Author: Alice

Alice Mendoza is a copywriter and blog writer based in Los Angeles. She began writing for a baby brand while on maternity leave, and realized she had found her niche. Today, she writes exclusively within the baby space, using her BFA in Creative Writing and her own experience as a mother to guide her. When she’s not working, you can find her chasing down her toddler, going on walks around the neighborhood, or watching reality TV documentaries.

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