I am delighted to share with you #playmat_ters – a commitment to donate Totter + Tumble playmats to community resources in need, be it a hospital ward, therapy centre or hospice every month using a percentage of sales. So far, Totter + Tumble playmats have been donated, or are on their way, to:
- Eastbourne District General Hospital, in the short stay paediatric unit
- The Lister Hospital, Paedeatric unit, via the East and North Herefordshire Hospitals Charity
- The Starlight Childrens Ward at Wynthenshawe Hospital
- The Sky Ward at Great Ormond Street Hospital
- The Shooting Stars Hospice, Guildford
- The Shooting Stars Hospice, Middlesex
As many of you know, the research and due diligence I put into Totter + Tumble and our luxury playmats was extensive. Since confirming a responsible manufacturer and the highest quality playmats in order to launch with playmats that are simple care, stylish, supportive and, most importantly safe, a conversation has stuck in my mind and made me determined to make sure I can also do some good with Totter + Tumble playmats.
The story I’m referring to is a simple one of a family with a pre-crawling baby staying in hospital and not feeling like there was somewhere safe and (super) hygienic for their vulnerable little one to play. Because play matters.
In my own experience as a primary school teacher over the last ten years, I know that it is through play, physical activity, utilisation of the senses and place, and role play that children not only learn, but also rehearse and grasp real life situations. Continuously, what feels like, the mundane is played out, yet also the hardest of issues are revealed that help children to express anxiety over a situation, process how to deal with that situation, and cry out for help by revealing a stress or new experience in their lives.
A hospital visit, therapy or hospice is clearly a time in a childs life where complex circumstances, emotions and experiences happen that are out of the ordinary, so play becomes even more important. Listen here to a podcast of Sasha Morris, one of our recipients of our #playmat_ters donated Totter + Tumble playmat at Great Ormond Street Hospital, explain her role as an NHS Play Specialist here.
Claire Russell, Early Years expert and founder of Play.Prompts, describes play as “ the universal language for children,” and consistently points out the benefits of child development through quality play, of which is clear to see when think of our own experiences.
So back to the original point – How can Totter + Tumble help? Well….
- The sealed memory foam and non-porous surface make Totter + Tumble’s playmats anti-bacterial and anti-fungal beyond our simple care, parenting-win of being wipe-down.
- Totter + Tumble playmats are also able to be rolled up and moved between wards enabling families who have restricted movement to still be able to play somewhere other than the bed. One of the hospitals to have received a Totter + Tumble playmat is using it like this most of the times, taking it from bed to bed.
- The memory foam helps to support growing and repairing bodies
- The subtle, stylish designs and the calming hues help not to overwhelm children and adults
- There is space for children to play together, or with their parents, medical staff and play specialists.
- Most importantly, they are cushioned and comfortable, when little ones might not feel that way themselves.
It is YOU who have been instrumental in making this happen by suggesting places and connecting friends and relatives to make this happen. Please continue to do so by emailing me, or passing on my email address, at firstname.lastname@example.org to help me continue to help and grow my list of people, places and spaces to donate to. On social media, use the hashtag #playmat_ters and #totterandtumble to connect or follow this story.