Best Exersaucers and Activity Centers for Kids – 2018 Edition

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All parents of babies need time to themselves every now and again. That break can be used for numerous things, whether it’s to complete a short task like fixing a quick meal, taking the fastest shower known to man, or enjoying a cup of coffee. The problem is, how do you keep your baby entertained while you have some much needed me-time? Well, there are plenty of choices available,one of which is the exersaucer. Which brings us to a new question – what exersaucer is best for your baby? The world of baby products is vast and confusing, even for those who have become pros at parenthood. And not everyone has the time and energy to dive into the various options available just to find the right one. Fortunately, we don’t mind doing all the work for you. Below are our picks for the best exersaucers in the market today.

Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo

The Rainforest Jumperoo from Fisher Price is not exactly an exersaucer because it lacks that base on the floor. But it is a stationary activity center and performs a similar function to an exersaucer so we included it on our list. And for good reason. Aside from being widely popular among parents and babies, this product allows your baby to jump and turn around 360 degrees as he is stimulated by the soft toys dangling around and overhead. Music, lights, and sounds are activated by his movement. And the seat is height adjustable, enabling the toy to “grow” with your child. There are drawbacks, of course. This takes up a lot of real estate which isn’t ideal if you live in a small space. It is also not foldable for storage and the toys on the table cannot be removed once attached. In short, this is not a portable exersaucer. Changing batteries on this thing is quite difficult and requires a screwdriver.

PROS
  • adjustable height
  • lights and sound are motion-activated
  • easy to assemble
CONS
  • Not portable
  • takes up a lot of space
  • difficult to change batteries

Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce and Learn

Exersaucer is a word that was invented by Evenflo for their innovative take on an activity center that replaces the dangerous walker. This exersaucer allows your child to strengthen his back, legs, and neck muscles as he spins and rocks around. He or she also gets to explore the different toys attached which stimulates his/her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. We love that this exersaucer comes in different themes that you can choose from – Barnyard Saucer, Moovin & Groovin, Sweet Tea, Taupe Stripe, and Zoo Friends. The unit is pretty lightweight so you can transfer it from one room to another. Plus, it features a 3-position height adjustment which prolongs its use as your child grows. However, if you’re looking for music and lights, you won’t be finding those in this one. There are hard plastic toys on this exersaucer that some parents may be concerned about if their baby is on the young side (4 months old). And the bounce is hard to achieve in some units.

PROS
  • very affordable
  • comes in different themes
  • 3-position height adjustment
CONS
  • a few hard plastic toys
  • your baby might not be able to bounce
  • no music and lights

Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center

Here’s another exersaucer from Evenflo but this one has an even longer lifespan than the other which is probably why it costs double. The Triple Fun Active Learning Center can be used in 3 stages. It can be used as a playmat, an exersaucer, and an activity table. There are 11 toys included; they can even be removed and used on other Evenflo items. You do need to get 9 AAA batteries to get this thing running. The seat pad can be removed and is machine-washable. It has a 3-position height adjustment. Plus, it folds flat for travel and storage. However, it’s not easy to set up as the others. As we’ve mentioned, it’s expensive. And some parents have reported that the paint on some parts on the unit has started flaking off.

PROS
  • 3 stages of play
  • machine-washable seat
  • folds flat for travel and storage
CONS
  • not easy to set up
  • expensive
  • paint may start flaking off after a month or so

Bright Starts 3-in-1 Around We Go Activity Center

Unlike a lot of other activity centers on our list, this one from Bright Starts doesn’t allow your kid to jump, bounce, or spin. Instead, it mimics a walker and allows your child to “walk” around the activity center table in order to explore the different stations. Unlike the usual walker that allows your child to go anywhere (and therefore is dangerous), this one just lets your child rotate around all the toys. Even better, the walker part is removable which allows your child to play with the activity center even if he has outgrown that part of it. Other highlights include 3 adjustable height settings, removable toys, fun music and lights, and a machine washable seat pad. However, it does take quite a bit of room. The wheels also don’t roll very well on carpet. Plus, once your baby gets big enough, running around in this walker can cause the table to move around or slide around. If there were a “stopper” or a suction that would prevent the table from sliding at all, then this would be our number one pick.

PROS
  • Allows your child to walk around the activity center
  • 3 adjustable height settings
  • Removable toys
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Baby’s heavy weight can cause the table to move

#5: Evenflo ExerSaucer Jump & Learn

This is another version of Evenflo’s Exersaucer. The Jump and Learn is a bit similar to the Fisher Price Jumperoo. The saucer has a soft bounce base that helps strengthen your baby’s leg muscles as well as develop his gross motor skills. The “smart” electronic toys included have fun lights and sounds that will entertain your child to no end. The 3-position height adjustment lets the toy grow with your baby. However, this takes up a lot of space and not easily stored away. Plus, it is more expensive than the others we’ve reviewed on this list.

PROS
  • allows your baby to bounce/jump safely
  • 3-position height settings
  • smart toys
CONS
  • very expensive
  • takes up a lot of space
  • hard to move from room to room or store away

Baby Einstein Neighborhood Friends Activity Jumper

This exersaucer or activity center from Baby Einstein has a unique build – it folds flat and can be easily stored under the bed or inside a closet when not in use. Not only that, this activity center has 5 height settings! Like the others, the chair swivels around 360 degrees. Aside from 3 entertaining activity stations, you can add your baby’s favorite toys in the extra loops provided. Plus, there is a language mode to introduce your baby to words plus a light-up piano that will enable your little one to compose his first concierto. However, it can be a bit difficult to put together especially since the instructions aren’t all that great. And it takes a whole lot of space. In addition, while it does fold flat, you still need to disassemble it a bit. There have also been reports that their seat wasn’t working properly and unable to spin without adult help.

PROS
  • 5 height settings
  • language mode
  • playable piano
CONS
  • not easy to set up
  • requires partial disassembly to fold flat
  • seat may not swivel properly

Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center

The Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center is another activity center that features 3 stages. The first stage allows your baby to bounce, sit, swivel, and play. The second stage lets your child interact with the activity center from the side as they learn to walk. Stage 3 is when you convert the exersaucer into a play table using the bounce platform. One huge difference between this activity center from others is the discovery window which lets your child see his/her feet to help him learn cause and effect. The included toys have an innovative attachment system so you can rearrange the toys to your baby’s liking. However, the toys are situated facing the center which makes them a little unusable once the baby starts using the activity center as a table, cruising on the side. Also, it isn’t really as bouncy as other exersaucers. Compared to other activity centers, this one isn’t as “busy” and could be less entertaining for some babies.

PROS
  • 3-stage activity center
  • discovery window
  • innovative toy attachment system
CONS
  • toys only face the center
  • not as bouncy as other models
  • doesn’t have that many toys

Bright Starts Springin’ Safari Bounce-a-Bout Activity Center

The Bright Starts Springin’ Safari Bounce-a-Round Activity Center is an affordable exersaucer for parents with a limited budget. It features a bounce pad and a seat that swivels 360 degrees. There are toys attached to this activity center, giving your child more than 12 activities to entertain himself with. 3 height settings allow the toy to grow with your baby. Plus, compared to other models, this one is quite compact and doesn’t take up a large amount of space. However, there’s not a lot of bounce in this model. The seat is not well-padded. Also, some parents reported that a few of the toys were easily pulled off by their babies.

PROS
  • 3 height settings
  • affordable
  • compact
CONS
  • seat is not well-padded
  • some of the toys are easily pulled off
  • not a lot of bounce

Baby Einstein Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer

The Baby Einstein Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer is another affordable option for an activity center. Like most models, this has adjustable height settings and a 360-degree swiveling seat. The toy has several underwater toys that will keep your little one entertained. It’s quite easy to assemble. However, some of the toys on the activity center are easily pulled off. There are stickers on some of the toys which can get eaten off by a baby who’s teething. And it doesn’t bounce like all the other exersaucers.

PROS
  • Underwater theme
  • Adjustable height settings
  • Easy to assemble
CONS
  • Stickers on the toys can be eaten off by a teething baby
  • Toys can be easily pulled off
  • Doesn’t bounce

Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Activity Center

The Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Activity Center is one of our favorites on this list because it’s the only one that is truly portable – no disassembly required. The legs can fold into the table while the toys can be removed for storing. The chair turns 360 degrees so your child can explore each station at his own pace. The beauty of this activity center is that you don’t need to put this away after your child has outgrown the seat. It can be transformed into a full table where your baby can draw or play with different toys. You can even get Oribel PortaPlay stools later to go with the table for some arts and crafts time. However, the seat which is elastic isn’t as bouncy as other exersaucers with dedicated bounce pads. Also, the toys don’t do much which can get boring for some babies. Plus, they can’t be turned to face outward for when your baby outgrows the seat.

PROS
  • Foldable and portable
  • Sturdy construction
  • Can be transformed into a full table
CONS
  • Not bouncy
  • Some babies may find the toys boring
  • expensive

Best Exersaucer Buying Guide

As entertaining as it is to take care of your growing baby, sometimes you just need a break from it all. Time to enjoy some really good coffee, do a quick change of laundry, or just flop down on the couch for a breather. If only you could put your baby somewhere that’ll keep him busy while you do you. Well, as you’ve probably already read on Google, there are ways to keep your baby busy and one of them is by using an exersaucer. Not only are you able to take time for yourself, your baby can get mentally and physically stimulated when using an activity center. Of course, you can’t just go out and buy one. They aren’t exactly cheap. Plus, you have to make sure they’re safe for your baby. So, how do you find the one exersaucer that will make your life worth living again? This shopping guide discusses the different types of exersaucers you can choose from and the features that you might want yours to have.

What’s an exersaucer?

An exersaucer is actually a brand created by Evenflo for their stationary activity center that serves to replace the walker. Because of the popularity of this walker replacement, the name has become interchangeable with stationary activity centers. In this guide, we’re going to cover all stationary activity centers including actual exersaucers and jumperoos.

Types of Activity Centers

Basic Stationary Activity Center

This type of activity center features a fabric covered seat that is at the center of a frame that has attached toys. The seat typically turns 360 degrees, allowing the child to explore all the toys surrounding him/her. Some models will have music and lights. Others feature removable toys. Most will feature adjustable height settings so it can grow with your baby. Unlike actual exersaucers, this type typically doesn’t have a bounce pad that the baby can push off from. The Baby Einstein Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer is a good example of this type.

Exersaucer

Evenflo’s exersaucer and similar models typically feature a plastic base or bounce pad that keeps your baby’s feet off the floor. Most of the features of a basic activity center can be found in an exersaucer – turning seat, entertaining toys, etc. There are several models that fall under this category like the Evenflo ExerSaucer Jump & Learn.

Stationary jumper

This type of activity center features attached springs that allows your baby to jump as he plays with the toys surrounding the frame. Some models will feature 360-degree rotation. This type of activity center is ideal for very active babies. One good example is the Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo.

Features to consider:

Toys

Because not all exersaucers are alike, you’re going to have to examine what toys each model features and how they are placed around the frame. Even an activity center with a few toys can easily keep your baby happy as long as they’re well-designed. Some models like the Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce and Learn feature a lot of toys that will move, shake, and make noise. Other models like the Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce and Learn feature enough space .

Music and Lights

There’s no question that a toy that makes sound is going to catch your baby’s attention. The problem is, some of them can get downright annoying for parents, especially if it only plays one song over and over again. Adding music and lights to the mix typically increases the cost of an exersaucer. Not to mention, you’re going to need batteries to keep those going which adds to the product’s lifetime cost. If you want something that plays sounds, we recommend the Baby Einstein Neighborhood Friends Activity Jumper since it allows your baby to play his own music or play built-in melodies as well as a language mode to give your ears a breather every now and then.

Seat rotation

Most stationary activity centers feature seats that rotate 360 degrees. This allows them to explore the different activity stations as well as track your movement around the room. A few models like the Bright Starts 3-in-1 Around We Go Activity Center allows the baby to rotate around the activity center instead of turning the seat at the center. The type of seat rotation device you get is a matter of preference. What matters is that you get a model that has a smooth rotation. Some models have been reported by parents as being difficult to turn.

Height adjustability

Your baby is going to grow up fast. That doesn’t mean that your exersaucer should be only good for a few months. A lot of activity centers like the Bright Starts Springin’ Safari Bounce-a-Bout Activity Center feature 3 or more height settings that allow the baby to use them longer which means you get more bang for your buck.

Convertibility

Speaking of longer use, some exersaucers are convertible, allowing you to transform it into a different configuration. Some models like the Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center can be used as a playmat, an exersaucer, and an activity table which adds years to the products usefulness.

Portability

Only a handful of exersaucers are portable, easily taken on vacation or even from one house to another. If you want to be able to take your exersaucer wherever it’s needed, you must find a model that is foldable or collapsible. You must also consider a model that has removable toys. The Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Activity Center is one of the few models we’ve come across that folds without having to partially disassemble the unit.

What about safety?

Most exersaucers have been extensively tested for safety. The base of these units are typically wide to make tipping a non-issue while the seat depth is deep enough that your baby isn’t going to need a safety harness. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your baby unattended for longer than 10 to 15 minutes while in his/her activity center.

Another way to ensure safety is to make sure that your baby is already physically ready to use an exersaucer. This means that he or she should be able to sit with support as well as hold his head up and his back straight. Once your baby is able to crawl out of it, you’ll need to convert the activity center to a different configuration (if possible). Most models have a maximum height of 30 inches which you should also take note of.

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