Nimuno approached me to review their new building mats.
Now I am not a qualified teacher or therapist, but I do homeschool my kids and love these types of educational toys and we have had quite a few over the years. So herewith my review of the product.
Once we unpacked all the squares/mats I started going through the instruction book with them, they were not too keen to do the first 2 levels in the book, “it’s too easy mom” Bare in mind, my boys are 5 and 7. But I asked them to start from the beginning to see if they could do it all as I was not sure they could. Level 1 was easy for them, then Level 2 was not as easy as they first thought.
I think these mats can be very entertaining and educational for a wide range of ages, my boys absolutely adore them, but if they were still babies/toddlers I know they would have loved it just as much. Once you take the mats apart there is one thin triangle that I personally, with small babies, would just remove, just for peace of mind. We all know they shove things in their mouths
Now I know some will be shouting “hypocrite” because I was just part of the ‘Plastic Free July’ movement, and now I am reviewing a product with plastic components.
YES, there is plastic involved here and yes plastic is bad, but single-use plastic is a big problem and plastics that aren’t being disposed of properly.
So yes, it would have been lovely if this product was made from wood or something more eco-friendly, but guess what, 90% of your kids’ toys are made from some type of plastic. We all love Lego, and that is plastic. This product would not have worked if made out of wood. In the long run, it is about how we use plastic and most importantly how we dispose of it.
But anyway, back to the topic at hand, the Nimuno mats. The mats are soft to touch which is awesome for little ones, they can play without hurting themselves, if a toddler throws one, no one will get injured and they are also easy to clean. Plus they are BPA free, they are safe for little ones to chew on. They are also ideal to use for playing in the bath.
So how do the mats work? There are 6 levels of play.
Level 1 – You can remove all the inner pieces and ask your child to replace them all in the correct position
Level 2 – Your child gets to pair similar looking shapes mats together
Level 3 – Using 4 mats to create one bigger shape
Level 4 – Making actual pictures, a fish, a rocket, etc.
Level 5 – And this is where it gets interesting, making 3D cubes
There is also a Level 6, but you need both Nimuno sets to do level 6, we only have Set number 1, so we were unable to try this. With both sets, you will be taking Level 5 a bit further as you would be able to build more intricate pictures.
Did you know that playing with these kinds of toys can assist with your child’s development?
A child’s development can be broken down as follows: Cognitive (Academics, problem solving, discovery, curiosity, creativity), Physical(Sensory, fine & gross motor, balance & coordination) and Social/emotional development(sharing, cooperation, self-expression, listening, communication, confidence)
Playing is a very important part of development; playing can help with all the above-mentioned parts and stages of learning.
I find the Nimuno mats to tick quite a few of these developmental boxes. For the younger ones, it plays a big part in their gross and fine motor skills. The mats are also designed in such a way that they do not just fit the first time. You need to actually turn them or flip them over to find the side that fits correctly. This helps with their problem solving development and is perfect for my boys.
Then, and this is why my boys have not stopped playing with them the last 2 days since we received them, is the discovery and creative side of it. They soon discarded the instruction booklet and started building their own things, like a castle in which their Lego men lived and even helmet/mask.
The possibilities are endless. I will be making use of these mats while doing school work as well. Both my boys have moments where they still swap their letters/numbers around. Writing an e or 7 backward, or my youngest sometimes writes his name maiL instead of Liam.
While I was an au-pair in Austria I had to sit many afternoons doing practice sheets with one of the girls to help with her Dyslexia. She had to copy shapes in a block and I think these mats would be perfect for that.
So my plan is to pack the shapes out in a certain pattern and my youngest then has to copy the pattern. There are 24 mats in a set. so this is perfect. I can make a nice long line with 12 mats that he has to copy. We will also be using them while doing maths as there are many shapes we can build with them.
All in all, I give the Nimuno mats 2 big thumbs up. These products would be a great addition to daycares and schools as well.
They have a crowdfunding platform and you can use this link to purchase this wonderful product.