You may know of PlaSmart from such toys as the PlasmaCar (a.k.a., COOL COOL CAR!). Turns out they make a host of other toys, too. In this post, my kids and I assess the Castletown Play Mat.
The mat measures 78″ by 46″, which is generally big enough for three kids to play on but not so huge that it dominates your living room.
The mat can withstand cars, trucks, LEGOs, and probably even Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It’s highly durable. And its “coated EVA foam” means that when Ms. Three-Year-Old spills milk on it or Daddy spills coffee on it or Mommy spills wine on it (just kidding, honey), it will wipe up easily. Come to think of it… maybe I should just leave the mat on the carpet all the time to act as a stain guard!
It rolls up pretty easily, too, so you can store it in a corner of the room or throw it in the car on the way to a playdate, if you’re so inclined.
Here’s a closer look at the pattern:
As you can see, the pattern repeats but seamlessly links together–a fact that was not lost on my children, each of which had their own farm to focus on as they shared the mat.
Especially if you roll the mat up when you’re done and store it somewhere, bringing it out generally gets my kids’ attention, even though they are not babies anymore. I could see this mat being perfect for a one- or two-year-old, but even my eight-year-old enjoys flying his dragons over the castles and farms and breathing fire on them.
The roads are the perfect size for whatever plastic or metallic cars you’ve already got at home. DUPLOs and Playmobil also work well with the mat–really, any toy you have can find a nice home here.
The first few times we used it, it was hard to get it to lay flat without curling up a bit, but that phenomenon has gone away with additional play and use.
Thanks to the good folks at PlaSmart for the review sample, provided for review but with no expectation as to the content of this post.