Thinking about buying an activity gym for your baby? Brilliant decision! Of all the different types of toys designed for infants and toddlers, activity gyms are by far the most helpful for child development. These brightly colored, interactive mats have so many benefits, including the promotion of sensory and motor skills – two of the most important things babies have to learn in their first few months. This means you’ll be looking for the best baby activity gyms that are on the market. But your quest for an activity gym has just started. You’re probably surprised to see over 30,000 results on Google talking about activity mats. Which one should you choose? How do you know you’re choosing something that your child will surely love? Which one gives great value?
Top 18 Baby Activity Gyms of 2020 Reviewed
Before you get overwhelmed with tons of choices, here’s a great way to start your search. Outline are the activity gyms that are considered the best by thousands of shoppers online. Check out their features, learn how they work, and see if they’ve got what you’re looking for.
The Play Gym by Lovevery
The Play Gym by Lovevery is designed to enhance your little one’s visual, physical, cognitive and motor skills. The Play Gym comes with enough accessories to guide your baby through their first year. It features cotton teether, removable accessories, and a play mat. The mat has 5 development zones that promote color exploration, focus and hiding and finding. The accessories included are wooden batting ring and cotton Montessori ball. Also included is a convenient guide to guide you through age-appropriate activities you can do with your tot. This award-winning baby gym is easy to set up and will help develop your baby’s brain.
Disney Baby Mr. Ray Ocean Lights Activity Gym
One of the coolest play gyms you can get for your baby is the Disney Baby Mr. Ray Ocean Lights Activity Gym. It includes Nemo & Friends characters such as Dory, Crush, and Pearl. These toys come in attractive colors that will stimulate the baby’s brain. Also included is a Mr. Ray canopy that creates the perfect musical light show. The show lasts for 20 minutes with different melodies. This activity gym is easy to clean. Just clean with a wet cloth. You can use it for play, lay, and tummy time.
Fisher-Price Rainforest Music & Lights Deluxe Gym
Is your baby an explorer? The Fisher-Price Rainforest Deluxe Gym will keep your little one engaged for hours. It features 10 plus repositionable toys. The toys come in a variety of textures, sounds, and colors that help stimulate your baby’s senses. Also included is a removable toucan that produces up to 20 mins of music. Other features we like include the soft, machine-washable mat and a self-discovery mirror. The only drawback to this play gym is it’s not foldable. You can’t pack it up and put it away.
Tiny Love Black and White Gymini Deluxe Infant Activity Play Mat
The Gymini Deluxe Play Mat is another excellent option for you and your baby. It offers adjustable arches, different play modes and a wide selection of developmental activities that encourages continuous learning as your tot grows. This activity gym also has interactive toys that assist in developing fine motor skills and cognitive skills. To make tummy time more interesting, simply adjust the arches so that you can fit in and play with your little one. The Gymini activity mat comes in black and white and will blend in perfectly with your home décor.
Skip Hop Baby Treetop Friends Activity Gym/Play Mat (Grey Pastel)
Fun, cute and customizable are words that best describe the Skip Hop Baby Treetop Friends Activity Gym. It takes about 2 minutes to assemble or dissemble this gym, making it ideal for people with limited space. It comes with an oversized mat that is soft and comfortable. The mat also has activities to keep your baby busy during tummy time. A matching pillow has been included for support during tummy time. Other features we like are the 5 multi-sensory hanging toys, 17 developmental activities, and the adjustable patterned arches. The Baby Treetop Friends activity Gym is machine washable, foldable, and meets all the safety requirements.
Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome
If you are looking for an activity gym you can take with you on your travels, the Fisher-Price On-The-Go Baby Dome is the perfect pick. This activity gym is perfect for indoor and outdoor use. It can function in two ways; one, as a safe play/learning space and two as a napping space. It features two removable toys and a canopy to protect your tot from bugs and sun. What sets it apart from the other picks on the list is that it folds flat and has convenient handles for easy transportation. You can take the On-The-Go Baby Dome with you when you go to the beach or park.
Yookidoo Baby Gym and Play Mat
The Yookidoo Baby Gym and Play Mat is popular among parents and has been voted as the best activity gym. It comes with multiple developmental activities. It also includes a large mirror, a plush pillow for tummy time, a magic motion track with car, a flower face with beads, and ROBO plush figures. The Yookidoo activity gym offers 4 modes of operation; play, mute, rest and off. Your baby can use this gym and play mat for lay & play, sit & play, and tummy & play. This activity gym is foldable for easy storage or travel.
Bright Starts Charming Chirps Activity Gym
So pretty in pink! The Bright Starts Activity Gym comes with an owl plush toy, ladybug bead chaser, a heart-shape ring rattle, a teether, a baby-safe mirror, and machine-washable plush play pad for ultimate comfort.
My Precious Baby Activity Play Gym
This activity gym includes a hanging bear rattle, large baby-safe mirror, and rolling ball that will keep your baby engaged for long hours. The sturdy arches are easy to assemble and can even accommodate a few more hangable toys. The hanging links of My Precious Baby Activity Play Gym are also customizable as your child grows.
Fisher-Price First Steps Kick and Play Piano Gym
Playtime and music combined for a better learning experience. The Fisher-Price First Steps Kick and Play Piano Gym can be played in four ways. There are linkable toys on the overhead, along with a piano that encourages your baby to move some more. As your baby kicks, the music plays! When your baby is ready to sit and play, the more things she can do with the play gym.
EMILYSTORES Princess Prince Baby Activity Play Gym Mats Ocean Park
So cute and fun – the EMILYSTORES Activity Play Gym features plush turtle, monkey, fish, crab and starfish toys that will surely catch your little one’s attention. The mat is made from 100% washable polyester material.
Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
Infantino Play Gym lets your baby enjoy tummy time or sit and play safely with her plush play pals. The playmat’s unique twist and fold feature makes it a great take-along for outdoor family adventures and makes a great space-saver.
Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Play Gym
Apart from the plush toys, the Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Play Gym also comes with electronic toy lights that play classic melodies which are motion-activated. The loops allow you to remove the toys or add some more of your own. The machine-washable mat attaches securely in cribs and carriers and easily folds so you can take it along during travel.
Skip Hop Baby Treetop Activity Gym
This cute Skip Hop Baby Treetop features 5 hanging multi-sensory toys attached to easy-to-hang loops, and an oversized mat with built-in sounds and different textures like the crinkled leaves, squeaker flower, tree trunk, and a baby-safe mirror.
Fisher-Price Rainforest Music & Lights Deluxe Gym
The play gym that does pretty well in enhancing your baby’s motor skills – the Fisher-Price Rainforest Music & Lights Deluxe Gym comes with more than 10 toys, as well as lights, sounds, and music. It gives your baby a bit of workout by encouraging batting, kicking and tummy time play – which boosts upper body strength. The removable mat also features multiple surfaces and textures for more play opportunities.
Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym, Multi
This zoo-themed gym gives a lot to see, hear and touch for your little one. It features 17 developmental activities, various patterns and linen details for non-stop play, multiple fabrics and activities on the mat, 13 loops for hanging toys, and an ABC-printed pillow for tummy-time.
Tiny Love Dynamic Gymini, Meadow Days
The Tiny Love Dynamic gym offers different play modes, along with adjustable arches that are customizable to encourage continuous exploration as your baby grows. It also features multiple developmental activities, a take-along recording bird toy that lights up and plays music, plus a tummy-time friendly mat.
Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym, Multi
The Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Activity Mat comes with celestial-themed hanging interactive toys with lights and music, a puffy, oversized mat made from plush fabric, toys, and cloud-shaped tummy time pillow. It also has a neutral palette with pops of neon designed to stimulate baby’s sight.
How to Choose An Activity Gym for Your Baby
Activity mats make a great addition to your list of baby must-haves. But don’t be overwhelmed with the tons of choices. When you know its purpose, the features you should look for, and a couple of dos and don’ts, you’ll definitely find the best activity gym for your baby.
Nothing feels more rewarding for a parent than to see their child grow up and learn different skills. A good-quality activity gym provides educational value for the newborns and up. But not all activity gyms are created equal. Check out the following things to consider before purchasing one.
An important consideration when buying a playtime mat is the size. It should cover an area that is twice as big as your baby (about 40” x 40”) so she has enough space to move around.
It needs to rest flat on the floor
The best activity mats are those that lay flat and firm on the floor, not over an infant lounge pillow or activity chair. Remember the purpose of activity gyms is to promote learning through movements and exploration. Restricting your baby’s freedom of movement, therefore, rules out its benefits.
The best mat has a wide range of positions to hang toys
High-quality playmats have extra loops to accommodate additional toys, apart from the ones that it already has. Activity gyms with wide arches with various loops in different positions are better because as this kind of structure reduces the chances of your baby building pressure on the back of the head during tummy-time, as compared if the toys are all hanging directly above her.
Simple designs are not to be ignored
In their first weeks of life, newborns are color-blind, near-sighted and more attracted to simple shapes rather than complex structures. Look for an activity gym that is visually simple. It’s easy to be swayed away by a playmat that has very fancy designs but really, your baby may need something less.
Removable toys are perfect
As your baby grows up, she begins to grasp, bat and swipe objects around her. A playmat that has removable toys and adjustable loops are great because it gives you the flexibility to rearrange and add more toys to keep her engaged.
Tummy time is important for your baby as it greatly contributes to motor learning and development. An activity gym that has a removable mat does this purpose. Furthermore, activity mats that can be folded or dissembled are great for families who are always on the road.