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Samantha Gibb’s Cheeky Faces Activity Playmat Review

Sam and baby Gabriel meet some new friendly faces

By Samantha Gibb

We all love being cheeky. It’s something you never grow out of, so it’s best to encourage your child while they’re still young. With our Cheeky Faces interactive toys, your little one will have ours of fun getting up to mischief while they develop and strengthen their coordination and motor skills. Samantha and baby Gabriel gave our Cheeky Faces playmat a go…

Hi there! It’s Sam and baby Gabriel giving our first review for the Parent Approved Panel.

Why did we want a playmat?

In the blink of an eye, my gorgeous newborn baby had turned eight weeks old and his desire to learn more about the world around him was stronger than ever before. Gabriel had hit his first major development leap which saw his eyesight improve drastically, with the ability to see various contrasts and patterns around him. I also noticed that his energy levels had increased and he was staying awake for longer between naps. The persistent wriggling in my arms was tiring to say the least so it was time to give him his first playmat.

What’s it like?

When the Cheeky Faces playmat and gym arrived on our doorstep, we couldn’t have been happier. It took us two minutes to set up with easy clips and velcro fasteners to secure the arches and toys. The mat has four incredibly soft, padded bases which are great on hard or carpeted floor (we have both) and two of the pads contain hidden sound features to really engage with your baby.

The Cheeky Faces collection has been specially designed to stimulate your baby’s senses, especially their eyes, with its vibrant colours and patterns. As soon as Gabriel laid down, he was instantly transfixed by the colours around him. He’s too young to interact with the toys but in the months to come, they’re going to be a great distraction for him! What strikes me is that there are so many wonderful design considerations for babies to enjoy, I don’t see this on other mats in the marketplace – very impressive.

The Cheeky Faces collection centres on four animals – koala bear, monkey, tiger and elephant – which is both familiar and comforting to young children as they often appear in children’s books or nursery artwork (ours is covered in safari animals so it’s right at home in the nursery!)

Was it a success?


Gabriel was admittedly apprehensive when I first laid him down on the mat, understandable when he’s used to being in my arms or sleeping in his moses basket but he soon relaxed. Sometimes I’ll remove the arches (a handy velcro fastener at the top) so he can enjoy a kick about and burn off some energy between naps. He’s happy to chat to himself and frantically wave those limbs in the air – it’s a wonderful sight to see, especially when you have free hands to be doing odd jobs or enjoying that well deserved cuppa!

What else is there in the Cheeky Faces collection?


We were also kindly given the Activity Snuggle Rug and Activity Book both of which Gabriel is really enjoying. The rug is great support for Gabriel when he’s doing tummy time, it also uses bright patterns and toys to keep your baby amused. The book is great to take along on your travels (we keep ours in the changing bag) and it has a range of sensory features – great value for money in my opinion as it also comes with a teething ring and toy.

My Verdict


A big success! I have to admit, I’ve always been a fan of colour coordination and while pregnant, I had wanted a playmat in muted grey and white colours to match the nursery but little did I know then that vibrant colours and patterns really aid your baby’s sensory development. It completely makes sense now and I’m so happy that M&P have placed this at the heart of their designs. More colour, the better! I’m really impressed by how alert Gabriel is when he’s using his playmat and happy in the knowledge that it’s doing something positive for his development. I highly recommend!

There you have it – a success! It’s always a relief to know your little one can have some fun while they stimulate their growth and development. And with our Cheeky Faces collection you definitely get the best of both worlds.


Shop our Cheeky Faces collection now

Samantha Gibb

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