Our Gathre mat and indoor picnics

I have been dying for a mat from Gathre for a very, very (VERY) long time.  Or at least it feels that way, I’ve been drooling over them for probably close to a year now.  Something about their simple design and beautiful patterns partnered with my love for all things reusable and picnic oriented.

Seeing them all over social media didn’t hurt either…

While seeing person after person using theirs it also had me starting to wonder, are these things as amazing as everyone claims?!  Do they really make the day-to-day messes around the house easier to clean up and things like getting outside and having picnics more fun?

The answer is YESSS.  Maybe even a lot more fun if you are looking at getting the play mat collection of mats that are colored in black and white with a simply designed car track made for kids to play on.  I can answer this officially now because this past week my dreams of finally having a mat of my own came true and Gathre sent us out a midi matt from their SS18 collection in the pattern “dots” to try out.

If you haven’t seen these before, they are leather bonded mats created to be portable, light weight and above all else, functional.  Offered in an array of beautiful colors and patterns that are perfect for anyone.

We have tested it out and let me just say, these mats have become my new favorite things.

It’s no secret that we have never been “mess conscience” with the kids, it would probably be safe to say the opposite, really.  On a scale from neurotically clean to messiest people on earth we are sitting comfortably somewhere in the high middle-ish area.  When it comes down to it we are definitely more of the “eh, we’ll clean it up later” or “the dogs’ll get it” kinda people over the stop everything and grab a towel types.

Now, that’s not to say that when my house is completely clean and I have JUST finished scrubbing the floors by hand that I’m not totally freaking out when my kids ask to have crackers as their snack of choice.  We are just… not as concerned with mess as we are with having fun.

We taught both the kids as infants when we used the BLW technique that it was okay to play with your food by exploration and experimentation and that sometimes messes can be a really fun part of life.  It can be way too easy to lose track of that, but they really can be.  Messes are fun.  Most importantly, NOT stressing about keeping everything perfectly clean is even more fun, even if it’s short-lived

and only for a few moments.

The best thing about these folded up pieces of happiness is that they can make those moments last longer by making the messes easier to clean up and keeping them directly off of the floors or carpet, meaning the imminent fact of a mess or something getting ruined stays at bay for a bit.

I don’t think I even grasped how much this mat was capable of for us until it was in my hands and I was photographing it.  Suddenly the ideas just clicked into place.  BLW with Lu?  Right on top of that mat.  Icing cookies?  Pancake breakfast?  All of our indoor picnics that we love to have?  Right on the mat.  Even Jaxon now uses the mat to play with his “too small for Lu” toys because we can lay it out and easily find the pieces during clean up time.  It’s perfect to lay on the floor and just do whatever messy things we have going on that day.  And when we are finished we just wipe it down with a wet cloth.

They fold up so beautifully to be stored out in the open or packed away neatly.  I have been hanging mine on our coat rack.  Basically, I’m hooked.  So hooked, I’m on the email list for some of those micro play mats with the little tracks that I was talking about up there…  I can’t wait to see how lightly they pack up for us and how well they work on the go while we are running around all summer long.