Nursery Natters Mum
The benefits of a baby play gym!
At first glance baby play mats and gyms look like such great fun with their lights, mirrors, dangly toys and variety of textured materials but they are not just about playing they have some great developmental benefits.
Cognitive – Learning to repeat an action that they initially did by chance and then moving on to intentionally repeating those actions because they are fun.
Visual Perception – Bright contrasting colours help baby to develop depth perception allowing them to enjoy their gym more when they are grabbing for the dangly toys.
Grasping and reaching – The dangly toys on the gyms encourage grasping and reaching voluntarily as opposed to reflexively.
Gross Motor – Encouraging babies to develop their muscles in their arms, legs, backs, tummies and necks.
Self Awareness – The mirror!
Sensory stimulation - textures, sounds and colours stimulate babies’ senses while engaging with the gym.
Now you’ve read the benefits check out our top 6 baby play gyms
Fehn Ocean Club 3D Activity Quilt Playmat £59.99
This gorgeous super soft plush activity quilt with mirrors, crinkly paper, rattles and squeaking features are sure to be a hit with baby! Available from www.argos.co.uk
NICI My Firstactivity Playmat Bear and Rabbit Plush £69.99
From the My first NICI range, this cute and adorable playmat is made from high quality plush velour material supporting motor and memory skills. Available from www.greatgizmos.co.uk
Lamaze Spin & Explore The Garden Baby Activity Play Gym £28.95
Baby’s naturally tend to spin around on their tummies, the spin and explore helps build and stretch the upper body whilst exploring squeaky, crinkly and tactile fun. Remove the spinner once baby can sit up and the colourful play mat will stimulate baby. Available from www.binxie.com
Bright Starts Pal Around Jungle Activity Gym £29.99
This gym is a soft play mat for tummy time fun. The play mat features 3 toys including a soft monkey that plays 4 melodies when you pull it, a baby mirror and a grasp ring rattle. The mat also includes 3 fun links for adding extra toys. Available from www.argos.co.uk
Mamas & Papa Tummy Time Octopus Baby Gym £49.95
This fab playmat has 9 interactive features including squeakers, fun textures and crinkly areas along with 4 removable rattle and squeakers toys. The padded wedge on the octopus head helps to promote tummy time while the hanging toys encourage grabbing and reaching. Gym arches can be removed as baby grows. Available from www.mamas.com
Babymoov Baby Activity Nest Play Mat £79.99
This activity nest is made from ultra soft materials with a padded frame making it comfortable and soft for baby to sleep or play on. The central cushion can be detached as baby grows and the numerous learning activities allow baby to be interactive and learn different textures as well as having fun. The double arch can be removed making it adaptable for play pens and is easily folded with carry handles. Available from www.houseoffraser.co.uk