Skip Hop Activity Gym
The Silver Lining Cloud activity gym by Skip Hop stood out to us because of its soft cushioned surface. The softer portion of the playmat is great for cushioning your baby’s head while the flatter portion is best used for tummy time. This activity gym comes with a tummy time pillow as well as 5 hanging toys. Additional hanging toys that fit with the theme can also be purchased separately. We would recommend this gym for baby showers as it has a wonderful gender-neutral color design.2
Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
This activity gym is a parent-favorite for its convenience. It is easily folded and put away with one hand allowing you to have the other free to hold your baby. This is a great option if you have a smaller apartment or if you don’t like the cluttered look. Another unique feature of this play gym is that you can configure the arms to be arched or in a cone shape. The play gym comes with 4 hanging toys, a baby-safe mirror, and a tummy time pillow. We recommend this gym for parents interested in a portable and versatile play gym.3
Bright Starts 5-in-1 Your Way Ball Play Activity Gym
This company produces a variety of activity gyms. The 5-in-1 play gym stood out to us because of the large 48″ by 48″ mat. If you are looking for a play gym that comes with a large mat, this may be a great option for you. The sides of the mat can be raised to create an enclosed space. This enclosure along with the included small balls turns it from a play gym into a ball pit. The sides can then be used to prop up toys for easy viewing by baby. This play gym does cost more than others, however, it comes with more toys and features which makes it worth it in our opinion. We recommend this play gym for parents who want a larger mat and enough toys they won’t need to buy extra to hang.4
Bright Starts Activity Gyms
We found that if you are searching for an affordable activity gym that comes with the basics, the Bright Starts activity gyms are a great option. These play gyms don’t come with a ton of features or toys, but they have a variety of colorful designs to choose from and you can always buy extra toys to hang.5
Baby Einstein 5-in-1 Journey of Discovery Activity Gym
Slightly smaller than Bright Starts 5-in-1, this play gym has a 47″ by 47″ mat. This makes it another great option for parents looking for larger play mats. It comes with plenty of toys, can be turned into a ball pit and is reasonably priced. We recommend this for parents wanting a play gym with more features than most and a large-sized mat.6
The Play Gym by Lovevery
For parents looking for something different, this is the play gym for you. We found this to be the perfect option if you want a quality gym that also looks great. The wooden arms make it ideal for hanging heavier toys. The wood is smooth, so you won’t have to worry about splinters. The mat is an interesting shape, not the usual rectangle, and soft. It also has a great texture making it easier for babies when they are learning to crawl. We found that it was easier for a baby to gain traction and move his body across it. The playmat is one of the largest ones we’ve come across, making it great for growing babies. It can also be turned into a fort, which is a nice additional feature. We recommend this play gym for parents looking for a durable and unique option that isn’t short on features. It will age well with the baby as they grow.
Play Gyms – Should you buy one?
Many parents wonder whether a play gym is worth buying. We recommend play gyms because they are useful during tummy time. Tummy time is essential for babies. It allows them to develop gross motor skills such as lifting their head, rolling over, and crawling. The play mat in the activity gym provides a soft surface with colorful pictures to entertain baby while on their tummy. The arms with hanging toys come in handy in baby’s development of fine motor skills such as reaching and grasping.
To entertain the baby, the hanging toys in play gyms often have additional features. Some are rattles, other have tunes they play, some wrinkle, and there is often an included baby-safe mirror.
There are affordable play gyms for parents looking for a basic model. There are also more expensive play gyms with more features, toys, and activities. Play gyms are also an excellent gift for a baby shower.