Top 8 Play Gyms and Play Mats for Babies

Baby play mats and play gyms offer baby a fun time even before he or she is able to sit up or stand. For younger babies, play gyms encourage reaching, lifting the head and sitting up. Older babies can learn cause and effect, and even begin learning songs and words. Play mats and gyms make great baby gifts, too, for baby showers or for the holidays. These baby play gyms and play mats have plenty of fun toys and activities for baby to enjoy, in a range of prices and sizes for your convenience.

1

Fisher Price Deluxe Rainforest Melodies and LIghts Gym
Amazon.com

This sweet rainforest-themed gym can be used in tummy time mode or "lay and play" mode. As baby moves around and touches various items on the gym, it plays music, flickers the lights, and makes rainforest sounds. The sounds and music can be set to play for a few seconds at a time, or for 20 minutes at a time. There are 10 different activities on the gym, and you can add more with the fabric loops and plastic links.

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2

Bright Starts Sunny Safari Play Gym
Amazon.com

The classic play gym gets a makeover with the Bright Starts Baby's PlayPlace. The sides of the mat fold up to create a cozy hideout for baby, and the soft bars overhead hold a variety of toys to kick at and play with. As baby grows, you can configure the sides and bars differently to encourage tummy time fun or to create a tunnel to crawl through. Later on, you can remove the bars entirely and use it as a play mat. The whole thing folds up for storage or travel, too. I love the way you can customize this play mat and gym for your baby's skills and environment.

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3

Tiny Love Lights and Music Gymini
Amazon.com

This classic activity gym folds up flat for travel or storage, and the mat part is machine washable. An assortment of smiling animal friends greet baby on the colorful quilted mat for tummy time. When baby is laying down, the toy arches dangle a rattle, mirror, and more animals where they encourage reaching and kicking. There's also a music box that plays classic music, and flashing lights to hold baby's attention.

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4

Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym
Amazon.com

The different fabric textures and activities on the Treetop Friends mat can help hold baby's interest in tummy time. There are crinkly leaves, a flower that squeaks, and a mirror built right in. The included support pillow lifts baby's upper torso off the ground a bit for tummy time. Five plush toys hang from the arches, too, and some of those also have textures or noises. One has a mirror, as well. The modern, simple design is very nice.

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5

Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym
Amazon.com

The simple folding mechanism on this activity gym makes it one of the best if you'll store it between uses. Just twist the plastic piece in the top of the arches and it collapses for storage. Baby can lay flat and look at a hanging mirror and several toys, or use the bolster pillow for tummy time and prop the mirror against one of the arch arms. You can also remove the arches entirely and let your older baby use it for a soft play space.

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6

Infantino Peek and Play Activity Mat
Amazon.com

Inexpensive and boldly colorful, the Peek and Play activity mat is just right for baby and your budget. It has a couple of cute detachable toys, and a mirror is built into the top of the mat. When you place baby over the support pillow, the mirror is in just the right spot to hold baby's gaze.

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7

Skip Hop Owl Activity Mat
Amazon.com

Crinkly textures and fun patterns make this simple, adorable play mat entertaining for baby. There's also a sweet little owl toy and a mirror that can be attached to the mat for play time. The mat can be used with or without the tummy time support pillow.

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8

Tiny Love Super Mat
Tiny Love

If all you want is a big, colorful play space for your baby, the Super Mat is perfect. The large, quilted mat includes a teether and a detachable mirror, plus it has carry handles. At home or on the go, add a few of baby's favorite toys and you have an instant play spot. The mat is big enough for two babies to play together, or for a parent to sit with the baby.

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