Let’s not judge the family next door who are letting their children play with their iPads during mealtimes. But oh, the family next to them are really engaging with their children. Aren’t they good parents. Oh look at that family, that kid can’t sit still however his parents are trying his hardest to amuse him… and so on. Oh that family is dreadful letting their kids run around the aeroplane (so us…)
We can all identify with each situation and if there was a solution to having calm happy kids in a restaurant or aeroplane – we would all know about it. Until now, when there is an answer!
I recently came across the genius idea of SmartMats – quite simply, educational and interactive paper placemats. Nathalie, the founder of SmartMats is here to tell more…
What are SmartMats?
Brightly coloured paper placemats which redefine kids dining experiences. SmartMats engage with kids through interactive and dynamic subject matter. Parents are kept happy too with the educational content of the mats.
We are also a socially aware company. Social responsibility is very important to us. We give 10% of our profits to the NSPCC and only use 100% recycled paper.
Why did you set up SmartMats?
As a mother of three young children I saw and studied the considerable physical, mental and emotional benefits of regular family mealtimes. With this often came the challenge to create a positive experience away from technology. SmartMats enable children to interact with each other and their parents through the use of a fun, unique, educational tool. Creating fulfilling family mealtimes and expanding children’s knowledge.
Who are SmartMats designed for?
SmartMats are aimed at children between the ages 2 and 12. They are divided by age group, 2-4, 5-7 and 8+. However, each mat has a drawing and colouring section which can be enjoyed by all ages.
SmartMats can be used at home, in restaurants, hotels, airplanes. These mats are filled with games and activities to keep kids busy, happy, and off screens!
We used them after swimming and they were particularly useful for our mixed age group.
How Can We Buy SmartMats?
If you are looking something to keep the kids entertained whilst also mentally stimulated – get a pack of these for the summer!!
Shop : Hours are spent at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street. The kids love sitting in the corner of the shop on the little chair and trying out various books before buying.
Restaurant : River Café on the river in Hammersmith for special occasions. I also love The Fromagerie in Marylebone for a quiet breakfast away from the craziness of London life. The kids love the pizzas at a small pizzeria Olivetti.
Hotel : As a family we have spent many, many happy times and adventures in the treehouses in Chewton Glen. Situated in the New Forest in Hampshire. Being outdoors and hiking in the beautiful, lush countryside and having picnics on the nearby beach is perfect.
Holiday Destination : Each time I visit Venice I am amazed by its rich history, beautiful architecture and the wonderful Italian culture. Above all walking between the canals and exploring secret passages is so much fun.
Parenting Tip : What you do has a far greater impact than what you say. It is important to lead by example through actions, not just words.