A crash pad is a big foam filled squishy mat that you can fall onto and you land on the squishy foam. Crash pads are great fun for kids who like a lot of movement and body input since they can roll around in the big foam nest. Kids need to always be supervised when using such equipment since they may feel invincible with all of that foam, and so they will try things that may not be safe. I also like to still use the crash pad on top of a regular mat just to be safe.
I have made a simple alternative to a crash pad, although it is not exactly the same, and it is not as thick, but it provides a nice uneven surface, and a good place to get lost in the cushions.
To make my home made fluffy mat, I used an old duvet cover that was no longer being used, and some old couch pillows that didn’t match the decor. I also added some regular old, cleaned pillows and some old blankets that weren’t being used to create some extra fluff and stuffing. I put all of the cushions, pillows and blankets into the duvet cover and zipped it up in order to make a big cushioned, stuffed nest. You need to make sure that you have plenty of pillows to fill up the duvet cover, and make sure it is nice and thick and fluffy. You can now use the fluffy pad in several different ways.
Ways to use a fluffy style crash pad.
- A walk/crawl area in an obstacle course.
- A quiet down nest area
- A jump onto area in an obstacle course
- Use as the pretend water, with a “rocking boat” on top of the crash mat for a game.
- The rocking boat can be a small pad, rocking board, bowl, bilibo, board, etc.
Why is a crash pad helpful?
A crash pad can provide an uneven surface to practice walking and to learn to use your body in a challenging environment. Kids need to get the proprioceptive input provided by using their joints and muscles in a challenging and different way, and a crash mat can provide that challenge.