The Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym, at £54.99, is one of the slightly higher priced baby gyms available, but also one of the best. This is a really popular baby gym, and it’s not hard to see why.
Full of bright colours and a variety of jungle animals, this play mat is eye catching and great fun. The mat itself is square, with two play arches that span overhead from corner to corner, joining at the top with a mobile that entertains your baby with lights and sounds.
The batteries to power the lights & sounds are hidden inside the giraffe that is built into one of the play arches, and screwed safely into place out of the way of your baby. It takes three ‘C’ batteries, and a decent set will last quite a long time.
This play gym comes well packed in a clear plastic bag that is resealable with poppers, so that you can pack the gym back away for easy transportation. The play arches slot into place and sit rigidly above the mat, with plenty of animals, butterflies and birds hanging down from the arches to entertain your baby.
The mat itself is well padded, and a comfortable place for your baby to lie and roll about. There is lots to explore, with different textures and bits that can be tugged and played with. Loops on the arches and mat itself allow you to move the various animals and birds around, so that your baby has different things to look at each time they play.
There is plenty to entertain your baby, with an orange monkey, a purple bird, frog mirror, a red parrot sitting on a spinning toy, and a blue elephant sitting on a twirling rattle. The fabric covering the play arches have fun rainforest and rainbow patterns, and the mat is covered with cartoon animals and all sorts of things for your baby to stare at. This gym is great for tummy time too, as there is so much to look at on the mat as well as above.
The music and lights can be activated by the motion of your baby, or set to play for a period of 20 minutes. You can choose between rainforest sounds, which are gentle and playful, or a sweet selection of melodies. Neither of these soundtracks are annoying, and you can listen to them a lot without them becoming too grating. There are two volume settings, which is always useful.
With this baby gym, your baby gets to explore different sounds and music, watch lights glow and butterflies dangle, and bat at the various toys. It will encourage your baby to wriggle about to reach different areas of the mat, and stimulate their senses.
Lydia really enjoyed this play gym, and happily lay on it for ages playing with all the different toys and exploring the various textures. She was a little old for the mat, as she was just starting to get mobile when we received it, and that meant that she could crawl off when she got distracted! The play gym is ideal from newborn to crawling age, really.
We had the same play gym when Georgie was little, and she adored it. Georgie spent many many happy hours on hers, so even though Lydia didn’t use this mat for very long before she was up & away, I can heartily recommend it as a very similar one entertained Georgie for months!
From a practical point of view, a lot of the toys can be washed up in the sink, and those that can’t can be put through the washing machine with the mat itself. You can take the mat up and down easily, and it stores neatly away in between uses, with the arches rotating around together to fold away.
Another point in this play gyms favour is that it holds it’s value well. Although it is one of the slightly higher priced gyms that you can buy, you can sell it second hand a year later and get quite a bit of that money back. They hold up really well to the abuse from an active baby, and are very popular on sites like eBay.
The bright colours and amount of different things to play with on this play gym give it buckets of appeal to babies, and I don’t think there is a single baby who wouldn’t be entertained by this play gym. It goes from being captivating to lie there and watch & listen as a newborn, to wonderfully interactive for an older baby, who can reach all the toys and wriggle about to play with the different textures.
I give this play gym 5 stars.
Zoe blogs at Mama Geek you can follow her on Twitter as @zoecorkhill.
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