December 5th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
It’s amazing how time flies. I still remember when my sister announced that she was pregnant with her second bundle of stress, er, joy. It’s almost like it was yesterday. I was better looking, considerably more care-free, and I actually believed I would be the first President of the World Federation. Not to mention the best-selling artist of all time. How else would I win the minds and hearts of the people of earth and convinced the modern nation-states to disband, demilitarize, and unify under one common banner of rock? Well, needless to say, things didn’t quite turn out that way, but at least I get my own blog.
While both my nieces are turning out to be beautiful and talented young ladies, it’s the younger one of these, now 11, that’s becoming quite the accomplished gymnast. Those genes are definitely something that have stayed on the women’s side of our family since I am neither flexible nor athletic. The last “athletic”thing I engaged in was loading gear from my project studio to a large recording studio. Before that it was running, and before that, it was roller-blading, which I absolutely loved. However, there is something certain people seem to find creepy about a 6’4”bearded man rollerblading around the neighborhood in short-shorts and shaking that booty to his favorite 90’s workout jams. Lots of Madonna, Janet Jackson, and other top 40 favorites. *Ya’ll remember “Rhythm is a Dancer”or “Good Vibrations”? Marky Mark before he was Mark Wahlberg? If you have, you might be old. But anyway…
I was recently sent a video of her doing her thing with ribbons. She runs and leaps and somersaults on the carpeted crosslink floor and just completely looks at home. It’s really quite remarkable how young some of these gymnasts are too. One her team-mates could not be older than 7, and she is just FLYING on the balance beam. Legs twirling like a helicopter, with the most serious look on her face. Through a series of routines on balance beams, gymnastics mats, and other gym equipment, these girls seems well on their way to their accolades be it regional or with enough dedication, even the Olympics.
October 14th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Time for another delicious blog. Delicious I say, because I have not slept in about 36 hours and for whatever reason, everything looks like food to me right now. Don’t ask, it just happens when I’m under sleep delirium.
“But, Ben! What does food and sleep delirium have to with an exercise mat? Or any of the things you sell for a living from interlocking floor mats to children’s play mats for that matter?”
The answer is simple my friends. Oh, so simple.. nothing. IT has nothing to do with wall padding or exercise equipment or any type of mat. This weeks blog will not be about how Soft Wood tiles make a beautiful addition to a child’s playroom helping it to enhance comfort while preserving the look and feel of that hardwood floor you nearly killed your husband to install when you bought that fixer upper. No siree, bub.
It has nothing to do with how our Soft Carpet Tiles are the industry leader portable tradeshow surfaces. With their durable bonded carpet, these things will go wherever you go and last!
It especially has nothing to do with our Supreme Folding Rest mats. That are just oh so-dang- comfy that this overgrown child can’t help but take a quickie nap in the office when he works his third job once a month every month in the summer.
Hey, are those zzzz’s over there? I better go catch them…
September 23rd, 2013 by Chris Aviles
It’s the middle of the summer and that means lots of outdoor activities. One of the most common and my personal favorite as a kid, aside from my favorite kids play rugs I loved, is the park. The monkey bars, multi-level climbing fixtures and bridges all make for a imagination filled day.
In modern times, however, I know more than a few parents who are reluctant to take their kids to play in a playground because it could be unsafe. A SoftPlay tumbling mat we think is great, but we are afraid of the jungle gym play areas we grew up with as kids.
With active supervision and some basic safety tips, there’s no reason why our kids can’t have the same fun we did. Falls are the most common type of playground injury, accounting for more than half of all playground-related injuries which is why eco-friendly interlocking rubber floor tiles are so important!. Lack of or improper supervision is associated the other percent of playground-related injuries. Actively supervise children on playgrounds. It won’t be hard – they’ll probably be calling for you to “watch”, because lets face it… kids are hams.
Take your kids to playgrounds with shock-absorbing surfaces such as Bounce Back rubber tiles, the landing will be more cushioned than on asphalt, concrete, grass or dirt.
Dress appropriately for the playground. Remove necklaces, purses, scarves or clothing with drawstrings that can get caught on equipment and pose a strangulation hazard. Even helmets can be dangerous on a playground, so save those for bikes.
Teach children that pushing, shoving or crowding while on the playground can be dangerous.
August 12th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
I think people are tricked into paying a lot of money for things, just because things can appear to be different or are set in a different environment and therefor somehow become more impressive. I’m mainly talking about these” Mommy and Me” or Gymboree classes. This last weekend I went with my cousin and her 1 year old to one of those classes and it was pretty fun. Essentially she is paying $60 a month so her daughter can play in a colorful padded room. I told her to come to our website and look at our soft tiles. For less than what it costs her for 6 months of these classes, she could have her own playroom filled with foam floor tiles that her daughter could use whenever she wanted.
With the incredible selection of SoftTiles, combined with our great gym equipment, and variety play mats for children, you can really create a personalized at home play area for your children. I did a blog a few months ago about the different shapes and other fun you can have with these tiles, so take a look at that for more fun ideas. The only down side is with your cool playroom, all the other parents will want to organize play dates at your house.
August 12th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
One of the great things about living in California is I’m so close to entertainment at pretty much anytime. This last weekend I was in Hollywood taking a stroll down the walk of fame looking at all the people, and there are a lot of people to look at. Aside from the normal character actors like Johnny Depp look a likes or Batman walking around there are your good ol’ fashioned masses of unwashed locals. I’ve met spacemen from the future warning about the end, Marilyn Monroe’s ghost and some people that aren’t just celebrity impersonators, but people that actual believe they’re said celebrity. It is very entertaining, but very weird at the same time. After an hour or so I have to take solace in the many many stores, who’s merchandise is often as entertaining as the people outside.
While looking around the Harvey Davidson store, I came across one of our products being used in such a simple way, I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before. In the display cases, the store was using one of our textured SoftFloor tiles as a display surface. So simple and kinda cool looking. The soft floor tiles didn’t look out of place or like a cheap alternative to something, it actually fit in well. The shelves they had were glass, so the colored interlocking tiles gave some depth to the case and made the product pop. Most of the products in that store are black, so they used a contrasting gray tile. Ant the interlocking teeth just sitting exposed gave It a cool off beat look that I liked. The softfloor tiles are often used as trade show flooring or as playroom flooring, but hey sure found a good way to use too!
Once again, one of our many products has yet another use. So whether it’s at a craft fair or trade show, our soft floor tiles can add a different look and be a simple way to highlight your products. There’s a wide variety of colors and styles which makes it easy to change up color combinations to match the product or season. I wish I would have had this idea for the fourth of July. I can already envision a white rectangular table with red and blue tiles as the surfaces for appetizers!
August 6th, 2013 by Stag
Hello, thine loyal subjects! Welcome to the fair empire of Mat-tropolis. Where the wine and low prices flow freely to all; young and old alike. As you can see by my little art project, SoftFloor tiles are not just for practical use. I know that almost all of us out there constructed lovingly “couch forts” in our childhood. Adorning them with blankets; creating bridges out of the cushions and if one was brave enough, even attempting to cross it before it gave way.
Now just think of what you could have done then and even do now with the right amount of foam tiles to construct and furnish the royal living room sanctuary. I have three words for you…foam tile throne! Turn a mere fort into a true vessel for a king or queen to survey their kingdom. Next words…draw bridge! No castle is truly a castle, nor a fort truly a fort till you have your draw bridge or gate. Soft tiles make that dream a literal reality.
Think of the possibilities, you could make a full castle complex with enough soft foam tiles. Even better you can use the grey and dark grey tiles for the stone walls of the castle and then get really detailed and use the softwood tiles for the gates and draw bridge. I can’t be the only one that is excited about this idea. I have to admit that I am finding myself getting jazzed about this as I write. I say that we should all remember and whenever possible re-live that kind of fun that we had as a child, and if you have a little king of queen at home; let’s build those little people a castle!
August 2nd, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Playground flooring can be very expensive. We get customers all the time that are pretty shocked by the idea that it can cost them upwards of 2,000 dollars to have a decent size fall height rated rubber flooring for their kids jungle gym. However, as we get this all the time, we always implore our customers to really consider whether or not they need a fall height rated flooring solution.
Fall height can be viewed as an approximation of the playground fall height which is below the level that would be expected to cause a life threatening head injury. Naturally, one would say “Why would I NOT want that in my playground?”, the simple answer is cost vs. risk. If you have a small jungle gym and expect a fall from no more than about 3″, any rubber product will by its very nature break the fall and soften it as opposed to falling directly onto concrete. Our Mega-Lock rubber flooring and Tuff-and-Easy tiles can serve as a playground surface very well especially in these cases where fall height is non-issue.
Another product to consider would be our SoftRubber Tiles. These tiles have a solid recycled rubber top but up to a 3/4″ thick pad of foam as a base. Again, for your most common playground applications (small jungle gym, toddlers, or infants just learning to crawl or walk) these are a great and far less expensive alternative than the full blown Bounce Back approach. Not to mention, they are MUCH lighter and easier to install.
Since the materials we offer are so versatile, be sure that when you are looking for a particular application on one of our floors, never hesitate to ask your sales rep about less expensive alternatives. Chances are that there are various solutions towards a given application that you might be the first to think of!
May 24th, 2013 by Chris Aviles
A baby’s environment can greatly enhance his development, even at infancy, according to pediatrician Dr. William Sears. Each of the five senses can promote learning, including sight. In fact, visual stimulation may pose the most significant influence on a baby’s developing nervous system. So it is important that parents choose colors and patterns that encourage growth and create the right blend of comfort and stimulation.
- Unlike an adult, a baby’s retinas are not fully developed at birth. Pastel or muted colors are therefore likely to blur until the retina is matured. It is still important, however, for parents to provide babies with visual stimulation that supports brain cell health, vision and learning. Contrasting colors deliver the strongest visual signals to a baby’s brain, helping the brain and eyes to develop more quickly. Those colors that appear most boldly to a baby are black and white, and striped patterns provide the greatest contrast. Blankets, bed sheets and toys that feature black-and-white stripes are ideal for a baby’s bedroom. Books, toys and children’s play mats in contrasting colors of light and dark can also be used for added stimulation.
- In addition to accessories in black and white, parents should also use bold colors to stimulate a baby’s brain development. Orange is reportedly a color that promotes feelings of optimism, while yellow is believed to stimulate thinking. Similarly, red can evoke enthusiasm, and toys (kids play mat) in these bright hues will help draw a baby’s attention. While bold colors are not recommended for bedroom walls, they can be incorporated into a decorating scheme with accents. Playrooms can also feature bright colors, and one option for parents is to paint one wall in a bold shade of red while keeping the other three more neutral.
Pastels and Neutrals
- Over-stimulation can occur with babies who are excessively exposed to stripes and bright colors. Because rest is necessary for optimal development, bedrooms should provide the right mixture of stimulation and comfort. Pastel wall colors with bright accents can help parents achieve this delicate combination. Blue and green pastels, for example, are often associated with feelings of calm and tranquility. Neutral colors like cream and beige can be used for walls, kids play rugs and carpeting. These colors can then be emboldened with red, yellow and orange border or furniture pieces to provide stimulation when baby is awake.
- Dave Munger, a writer for “Cognition Daily,” reports that babies have preferences for certain colors. Although infants cannot distinguish between colors, babies at 2 months of age can normally differentiate between most colors. As such, Munger indicates that blues and purples are usually babies’ favorites, with greens, yellows and reds being less preferred. This may be important when parents select nursery decorating schemes, as preferred colors will draw a baby’s eye, while others may cause a baby to become fussy or cranky.
Our SoftFloor tiles are a great way to protect and stimulate you child in a fun colorful way. We have over 19 different colors and combinations so you can mix and match colors.
Read more: Colors That Stimulate Babies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_8231934_colors-stimulate-babies.html#ixzz2SFw42eDm
April 30th, 2013 by Ben Gonzalez
Spring time comes to town and allergies all around. I can already feel the sunshine on my face, the happiness, the overwhelming sense of joy at little critters being born and coming out of their cubby holes to eat one another. Also, delicious pollen and allergens floating in the air all ready to make us break out in hives, get sever sinus headaches, and all around very moody.
But not me… no sir. Iâ€™ve got a plan. That plan in copious amounts of indoor time. Thatâ€™s right. What better way to enjoy the rites of Spring then staying indoors with your comfort products watching nature shows. Itâ€™s like all the fun of the outdoors without the dangers of a foreboding urban landscape and even worse: nature! Iâ€™ll be turning on my stories (read: PS3) and exercising (read: rotting) my under stimulated mind with epic interactive action stories! However, I have a cramped space and currently lack a â€˜man caveâ€™ of sorts. I always thought it was funny that a ‘mans cave’ has so many ‘kids products‘.Â Anyway, my current living situation does not permit me to truly veg out in true Spring fashion. Thatâ€™s where our kids bean bag chairs come in. Not only are they small enough to serve as comfy rockers for my bum, but because kids furniture is technically compact for my size, they actually force me to sit up straight much better! Itâ€™s the perfect solution to keep me indoors, safe, and judging by how ridiculous this all sounds, possibly abstinent! Nice sports rugs would be cool too!Â Happy Spring everybody!
April 30th, 2013 by Kelly Green
I feel old. At 50, I realize I shouldnâ€™t, but the abuse that I have put my body through is catching up with me. As a former tumbler (not on gymnastic mats), performer and physical comedian, I have seen more than my share of tweaks, bumps and bruises.Â I guess I wasn’t landing on the softplay tumbling mat that got me started as a kid.Â I had a lot of kid play mats growing up.Â As I get older, I am finally realizing that all the whining my own father did about back pain, creaky knees and sore joints, Â was not only valid, but a glimpse into my own future. I am constantly amazed how the older I get, the wiser my dad seems.
So now, when my wife suggests a pleasant afternoon in the garden, all I can think of is the amount of pain my creaky old knees will soon be complaining about. Part of the problem is trying to get comfortable kneeling for extended periods of time. If youâ€™re not on a squishy, squelchy, wet patch of soggy grass, youâ€™re kneeling on the cement that borders the expensive plants that are trying their darndest to die.
It seemed so easy, get something to kneel on that resists water and is soft enough to ease the pain of ancient joints. Some type of anti-fatigue mats or something.Â What I found online was a veritable plethora of flower prints, cute bugs appliquÃ©s or tiny things that barely fit one knee, let alone two.Â So I went to my â€œgo toâ€ sight for all things mat-like, MatsMatsMats, and sure enough, there they were. A kneeling pad, of course!!Â Large (14â€x21â€) dense (1â€™ thick) and MANLY (solid black) no cutesy little ladybugs crawling across the surface, no delicate little plants, daintily decorating the pad so that all my other tools laugh and tease it. This mat looks like you could use it on the side of a busy highway to rest on as you change the tire of your Hummer.
You can get a discount if you buy them in an affordable six pack (and what guy would refuse to buy a six pack?) I also found them to be a great alternative to stadium rental cushions.Â I now have to decide if it would be appropriate to bring to church.Â Wooden pews, beware.