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containing the playtime mess {Lay-n-Go}

layngo activity matWith the holidays approaching, I can already see the mounting toys that will be added to my daughter’s abundant collection.  No matter how fast I go through her things for donation, she always has more than she needs.  Those items spread across the house, and nothing bothers me more than tiny pieces.  You know what I’m talking about, whether it be Barbie and her friends/accessories or massive Legos collections–those little pieces end up in every corner.  They get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner, stepped on in the night (ouch) and eventually lost.  The tears that come from missing pieces can be the worst part of all.  This seems like a plague that has been around for ages and shows no sign of stopping.  Being a parent means signing up for these little trials, but what if there was something to help contain the mess?

Lay-n-Go is a super simple yet ingenious product that allows your kids to play in a contained area, and you the ability to clean it all up fast.  The Lay-n-Go is an activity mat that is five feet in diameter.  It allows ample space for multiple kids (and parents) and enjoy any game or activity with a lot of components.  Think: puzzles, Legos, Tinker Toys, dolls, Barbies, dominoes, Lincoln Logs, building blocks, Hotwheels, Kynex…Polly Pocket–whatever you’ve got!  After playtime is over, mom gives a good tug on the drawstring and it cinches up, creating a closed sack that has a shoulder strap.  That’s right, all of the toy parts will stay together for the next time, or for travel.  These are fantastic to take up to the cabin, to grandma’s or playdates!

kids activity mat lay-n-goThe Lay-n-Go comes in three colors: pink, green and blue.  The outside is a durable 100% denim while the inside (play side) is 100% nylon.  This side is also durable but comfortable to sit on and play, while being water repellent and wipeable.  There are four clear 7″x6″ pockets on the inside for special parts or toys that you want separate or organized.  Once cinched up by the nylon cord (takes mere seconds), you have an extra outside pocket to store the cord.  With the drawstring tucked away, simply pop the bag over your shoulder via the shoulder strap and head on your way.  Believe me, this product can hold a lot yet even stuffed, it’s quite easy to tote around.

I found the Lay-n-Go to be really helpful with my 4 year old’s Barbie collection.  With this product, we were able to transport it from her room to upstairs living room, and even to out on the patio.  She actually kept the toys in the designated perimeter even with friends over.  I found that this activity mat creates a calm within the storm for me, leading to lower post-playdate anxiety.  It has been easy for me to transfer between collections, so just having one per child seems like a good idea.  This product is extremely handy on those days or nights when you just don’t feel like breaking your back to put away toys.  And, it’s my favorite product for traveling with kids now–loaded up and ready for the next adventure.  Purchase your own Lay-n-Go in the 5′ diameter, or the Lay-n-Go Lite (18″ diameter) for smaller collections at the Lay-n-Go website store.  The Lay-n-Go Lite is ideal for at the table playing, plane travel, and other more constricted areas–or just smaller toy collections.  I have put a couple of these on my must-have list.

Special thanks to Lay-n-Go for providing a product for review.

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