I have a true story to tell you–a tale of DOG, and DOG, and DOGGIE, MAMA, DOGGIE. At least, that’s how it began. My 17-month-old son says only four words, but I can tell that he understands a lot more. Now, thanks to the U Play Mat by Play This Way, I am 100% certain that the child is a genius.
The U Play Mat is a brilliant feat of engineering by Dr. Jen, mother of two sets of twins. (I know–I’m amazed she can hear herself think at all, too.) Watching her son with a speech therapist, she had the clever idea of fashioning a safe, easily cleaned play mat shaped like a U so that a child can see and touch all the cards while interacting with a caregiver or therapist.
The mat has clear pockets to hold 15 themed cards, and there are 8 different decks on helpful topics from animals to foods to help with language skills, social interaction and memory cues. The illustrations are cute and multi-culturally sensitive and as you can imagine, the U Play Mat is also great for kids with special needs.
You might wonder why you need a mat and not just some flash cards. I can only tell you that giving the kids a contained space with distinct slots for the cards really does work. My boy was all smiles as he pointed to cards to show me the bunny, elephant, and cow. My preschooler had a fun time choosing the cards and cheering him on as he was finally able to show us how many words he can recognize. Neither kid wanted to put the mat up, and they both want to play with the completely adorable carry bag.
Seeing my son’s smile of pride and my daughter’s joy in helping her brother learn made the U Play Mat into a Hallmark Moment for us all. The only thing that could make them happier would be an actual DOG. ~Delilah
Purchase the U Play Mat from Play This Way, where you can also download instructions in Spanish or a manual for use with autistic children. Use discount code COOLMOM10 for 10% off the basic or deluxe set.
Congratulations to lucky U Play Mat winners Melissa M and Amber O!