Best Baby Play Mats and Activity Gyms
Having a baby play mat is an essential baby item needed to keep a growing child busy. Most times, parents are not free or have the strength to play with their baby – this requires something to keep the toddlers active and engaged.
Without the perfect baby play mat, the baby’s entertainment and safety might be jeopardized.
It is important to note that they have a lot of things to do with a play mat. These include putting down the baby without having to carry the baby crib around to where you are.
The playmats can also be a good source of distraction for the baby while you are busy. It is also seen as a good source of mind and agility stimulation for the child.
It is true that the newborn baby will spend the first few months of their life eating and sleeping – but once they get to five to six months and start crawling or walking, they become very active and alert.
This playmat becomes the kid’s safe and clean spot to play and lounge on the ground.
Since this is a major requirement of the parents when it comes to taking proper care, you need to make sure that it is safe by having a complete idea.
In this article, we will learn in detail about these mats that include Uses of playmats, Uses of activity gyms, types of playmats, Benefits of playmats, frequently asked questions, the top 5 baby care playmats, and Top 6 baby activity gym available in the market.
Top 4 Baby Play Mats
Top 5 Baby Activity Gyms
The Best Grow-with-me playmat
Best Bedding set for Newborn
Best Musical Baby Play Mat and Gym
Best For Improving Hand-eye Coordination
Uses of play mats
Safe and Independent playing space
Playmats are made using non-toxic BPA free material and feature foam cushioning. This provides your child with a safe and comfortable playing space where he or she can spend hours.
The large size playmat will also enable you to play along with your child, hence establishing a strong bond between you both.
Promotes Child Development
The designs and colorful patterns of the playmats promote the emotional and creative development of your child. He or she gets a better idea of colors, patterns, and designs.
You can also get play mats that come with educational objectives.
Uses of activity gyms
Hand and Eye Co-ordination
Usually, toys are attached to the activity gym for your child to reach out to them. This leads to hand and eye co-ordination. The toys can also be placed on the surface so that your child will try reaching out to it.
As a result, it leads to crawling.
the flat surface of the activity mat proves to be a safe space for tummy time where your baby can lie on his or her tummy. This usually leads to the strengthening of neck, abdominal, and back muscles as your baby will try to look up by lifting the neck.
Tummy time helps in enhances the ability to sit up, roll over, and crawl.
Enhances Visual Sight
The activity gym is designed in a way to enhance the visual perception of your little one. Your baby will be able to identify objects, colors, and toys.
In 6-8 months, your toddler will be able to get a more precise sight with more depth.
Benefits of Baby Play Mats and Activity Gyms
The benefits of baby play mats are numerous. This helps to develop the physical and mental health of the baby. It also provides other benefits such as tummy time and external sensory stimulation.
Other benefits of the use of baby play mats include
To provide a suitable play area
Playmats and gyms is a good and engaging toy for an infant. The bright and amazing mat coupled with decorative toys such as baby mirrors, rattles, and teethers helps in keeping the baby engaged.
With this playing mat, it helps to soothe the crying baby and also keep them entertained while you are busy with other house chores.
Some other Play gyms come with detachable toys that the toddlers can easily play with while they are playing on the mat. Others come with computer-generated sounds and bright light that keeps the baby hooked up.
To Stimulates Tactile and Visual Senses
Children are attracted to bright colors, and with the contrasting-colored toys in most play mats and gyms it enhances the child’s visual senses and also develops the child’s visual awareness ability of the child.
Also, playmats come with fully textured fabrics and other toys for sensory stimulation and tactile development.
Helps to Promote Self-discovery
Playmats promote self-discovery among newborn babies. With the small baby-proof mirror that comes with the baby gym, the baby from moth three to five months starts noticing themselves in the mirror.
While from month six to nine months, they start responding to their images on the mirror by smiling, laughing to the mirror. These baby gyms are very important in the development of this vital self-awareness skills.
Enhances Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills are one of the most important skills developed by children while making use of the baby mat and gyms. This skill helps to develop the baby’s muscles and tummy time.
With this, it prevents flat spots and also strengthens the baby’s arm, back and neck muscles. This is also important for toddlers who are beginning to learn how to roll over, stand and even walk.
Ability to Grow with the Baby
Play gym comes with the ability to grow with the child. As the baby outgrows the playmats, the parents remove the arches and turn it to become a regular play mat for toddlers.
The baby gym is a very safe and comfortable place for your baby to relax and play in. With the padded cushion mattress, it provides a soft mattress and spot for the baby to sit on the ground.
Some models of this baby play gym come with tummy time pillows that the baby can lie on.
With the easy of being carried about, most play mat and gyms are easy to clean and also requires little storage space. It can easily be carried around while traveling.
Types of Baby Playmats
Different types of baby mats abound in the market. As children begin to grow, a lot of choices are made in other to keep them engaged.
This ranges from breastfeeding bottles, diapers, car seats, and strollers.
Buying baby play mats is no exception to the items needed to get the baby engaged. With the different types of these products in the market, it is often confusing to select the ideal model for your child.
Here are different types of play mat in the India market
This is one of the basic types of play mat for babies. It is the perfect foundation for babies still exploring their environment as well as those toddlers about taking their first steps.
This puzzle mat can be easily set on a flat surface where the toddler can practice taking his first step while also playing with his toys. The soft puzzle mat comes with an extra thick mat that creates a soft landing for the baby.
It also comes with a textured piece that provides the baby with early sensory interaction.
This is another excellent option for newborn babies and young toddlers to play with. This type of baby play mat comes with sensory-stimulating and fun activity.
It comes with forty- colorful balls with convenient space for storage inside the turtle’s head. It also comes with a textured tether, grasping ring and rattle to delight the kids
Tummy Time Mats
The tummy time mats is a play mat that allows your child to lay on his or her Tummy while awake. This tummy mat comes with a peddled bolster pillow that helps in the development of the baby.
It acts as perfect time support for the baby. The mat comes with a large peek n’ see mirror and a plush play pal that encourages the child in grabbing, reaching and lifting themselves.
This is the ideal start for strengthening the child’s arm, tummy muscles, and neck. A perfect developmental mat.
Foam baby play mats
The form of baby play mats are very soft and creates an extensive play area. These mats are basic but can easily be supplemented with toys.
This is an ideal place for your child to practice crawling, rolling around, lifting their head, and eventually walking.
This is also a type of play mat that promotes an engaging and stimulating environment for the development of the little child.
Unlike the other play mats that we considered before (tummy mat), which is often seen as a gym mat – the activity gyms are unique and come with more advanced features.
Activity gyms come with overreacting hanging toys and arches. It also comes with a prop pillow and mirror for tummy time and repositionable
Twist and fold play mats
The twist and fold play mat are often mistaken for gym mats, but they are different due to their storage method. While the gym play mat is usually made of plastic, the twist and folds gym mats can easily be folded and also portable.
This type of baby mat is becoming more popular among parents in India. This is because the Teepees serves a multi-functional purpose of playmats and gyms.
The teepee grows with the little one into a fun teepee.
This teepee comes with four hanging toys and a large-mirrored mobile that keeps the baby engaged. The musical elephant’s ear is a source of additional fun to the little ones during the tummy time.
Baby play mat gyms
The playmat gyms combine both a base mat and an overhead gym for the baby. When we talk about the gym for babies, we mean toys for sensory stimulation as well as the ability to grasp and hit a batter.
This type of baby play Mat helps them to practice mobility.
Quilted play mats
The quilted play mats are also known as a baby floor mat. It is similar to an activity blanket but does not usually come with other sensory accessories.
They are often stuffed so as to bad used as a floor surface.
Organic baby play mats
These playmats are made from organic, non-toxic materials. These are mostly plant-based form interiors.
Buying Guides of Play Mats and Activity Gyms
Purchasing a very suitable baby play mat is not as easy as it seems. It is known that children play stuff comes in an assortment of varieties, and this often keeps parents frustrated when making a choice.
But knowing the right features to look out for makes it quite easy to make a decision. Here are some factors to look out for when buying a baby play mat online or offline in India.
Look out for size
Size is significant when deciding on the best baby floor mat to purchase. In buying this baby play mat, endeavor to understand how long you intend to make use of this product.
Questions like how much floor space is needed?
Do I have more than one baby who may be using this space? When the baby starts rolling around, will there be more space in the mat so that they don’t end up on the floor and what shape is ideal for your space?
Look out for the size that is ideal for you and your child.
How easy is it to clean
It is also important to consider this factor when buying a baby playing mat. The baby mat and toys need to be kept clean always so as to keep the baby safe and healthy.
Some play mats are waterproof and can easily be wiped off while others are machine washable only.
Is there a need for arches or no arches?
Arches are important for overhead discovery. It helps in the development of the baby.
With the arches, toys can be hanged there, and it frees up your hands from dangling toys for the baby to play with.
The drawback of arches is that it might not be ideal if you wish to be traveling with the playmat except if the arches can be detachable and a sitting baby won’t be needing the arches again.
They will prefer the toys are detached and left on the floor instead of dangling on the air. The arches are important only if the baby is still young to sit and can bat or try gripping it.
This also helps the baby develop a cross-eye
How portable is the baby play mat should also be considered. The most play mat is curved or flat while others may come in other sizes.
Will you need to travel with it or just indoors? This needs to be defined before committing to any of the baby play mats.
For parents that may want to take their child on trips outside the home, it is necessary to consider the ease of folding and carrying this mat anywhere you go. If the item is hard to disassemble, it might not be a good choice for you.
What is the budget
Different baby play mat and gyms come at various prices as it comes in different shapes. Make sure you have a budget in mind and keep to it.
Is the play mat gender neutral?
You also need to consider if the play mat is gender-specific. Some may look so boyish or feminal in look. Others are neutral and can easily be passed down to future babies as well.
Therefore check the description, color to know if it can suit both a boy and a girl.
Sturdy in Nature
Can it withstand the rolling and jumping off the baby without being worn-out out or depreciating very fast? Consider the materials the product features and materials used in making the product.
What are the Accessories?
Play mats and gyms come with unique toys and accessories that tend to keep the baby engaged and also helps in developing their visual, cognitive and physical skills.
These toys can be positioned on the mat or the arches. Check if the toys can be disassembled, repositioned during playtime, or tummy time.
You should also consider if the toys are washable so as to protect the child from health hazards.
The thickness of the baby’s play mat is also a vital feature to consider when making a decision. The thickness of the mat plays a significant role in determining the safety of the baby when learning how to crawl or stand.
If he falls back to the mat when trying to stand-up, you are sure that the thick and soft cushion of the mat will protect the baby’s head and other body parts from getting hurt and pains.
Music and lights
Music and light are other important features and accessories to consider when purchasing a play mat. Not all playmat comes with this feature.
Some parents are comfortable with it while others prefer simplicity and less sound.
Consider your child if he or she is someone that loves being stimulated by light and music.
You can also go for a play mat that gives you the opportunity to turn this feature on/off if you are not sure how your baby is going to react to this.
Safety is one of the deciding factors in purchasing a baby play mat. It is important to consider all safety precaution before making the final decision
Free from toxins and chemicals
Be sure that the product is safe from toxins and chemicals due to the baby’s health. Most companies and manufacturers now adhere to selling toxin and chemical-free baby products because of strict government regulation.
But there is no harm in double-checking to be sure that the baby plays mat/gym is free from all this toxin and chemicals.
Parts of the gym
Make sure to check out the various parts of the activity gym to be sure that it won’t hurt the child. Some activity gym comes with collapsible arms and toys that trap the baby’s fingers.
Be sure that the product is compatible with the child. Don’t get a product meant for older kids for the younger ones mostly the grow-with-the-baby kind of play gym/mats.
Top 4 Baby Play Mats
1. Parklon Double Side Living And Baby Play Mat– Our Pick
This is a reversible play mat that features cute and colorful designs on both sides. The designs stimulate the emotional and creative development of your child while also providing educational objectives of literacy, numeracy, and spatial awareness.
Apart from this, it proves to be a safe and comfortable independent playing space.
- Suitable for ages 0 months and above.
- It comes with a thick cushioning to absorb shocks and impacts.
- Made using non-toxic, BPA free, and non-phthalate material.
- It is reversible as it has designs on both sides.
- Has colorful characters and designs.
- It is water-resistant.
- Provides an independent and safe playing space for your child.
- The design promotes your child’s emotional and creative development.
- Easy to clean by wiping using a wet or damp cloth.
- The cushioning was not up to the mark.
2. Egab Baby Folding mat Playmat– BPA free
This play mat is made using BPA free and non-toxic material, making it safe to use. The large size makes it perfect for you to play along with your toddler, while its cute design and patterns promote learning.
The mat also comes with soft high-density foam that ensures a soft and comfortable touch to your baby while reducing noise and impact.
- Sizes: 5 × 6 feet and 6 × 6.5 feet.
- Made using BPA free and non-toxic material to decrease hazards on your baby’s health and brain development.
- The surface is 100% water-resistant.
- It has a double L textured design with an anti-slip base that prevents slipping and sliding.
- The high-density foam material ensures a soft touch and reduces noise and impact.
- Cute pattern and design that promotes learning.
- Comes with a free carry bag for convenient storage.
- Minimum suggested age: 1 month.
- It is easy to fold into a compact size, and the light-weight design enables you to carry it anywhere you want.
- Easy to clean: allows you to wipe spillages with a dry cloth, so you don’t have to worry about stains.
- Meets the USA toy safety standards.
- It provides a soft and comfortable place for your baby to play in.
- The large size allows parents and children to play together.
- The mat is easy to peel and tear if your baby digs at it.
3. Glive Label Baby Play Floor Mat – Best Play Station Baby Play
The GLIVE pongee baby play mat has been entirely designed to provide your babies with a very safe and fun entertainment. It is ideal for newborn babies and even toddlers that have also started walking.
It is 100 percent safe for fun activities. This is the best baby crawling mat for babies of different ages.
It comes with a great space and excellent cushioning with fun designs. One unique thing about this product is that you can use it while playing video games, watching movies, and can also be used as a tent floor for kids camping.
It can also be used in the kid’s room, living room or playroom to create a fun and safe space for your kid.
- Made from non-toxic materials
- Eco-friendly product
- Comes with educational features that will help in developing the simulative mind of the babies
- Comes with a thickness of 6mm
- A product size of 120 x 180 cm (4 x 6 feet)
- The product is made from polyester material
- Comes in different unique colors as per availability
- Soft cushion surface
- Its cushioned surface ensures a soft landing for the baby during play, tumbling, rolling and a fall.
- Due to the thick and soft cushion, it is perfect for noise reduction during fall
- Very easy to clean and wash
- Comes in a very nice carry bag
- The alphabet print is not correctly placed therefore truncated
4. Akrobo Play Mat 36 Tiles Kids Puzzle Mats Foam – Unique Baby Eduction Play Mat
This is a very unique product that is very different from another type of baby mat mentioned. It is a puzzle playmat that can be used to boost baby brain development.
It helps in the cultivation of the baby manipulating ability as well as in the development of their intelligence.
- Anti-slip feature that helps the child stand on the mat firmly
- Comes with a letter or number slot
- The playmat is made from metal
- Comes in multi-color variants
- Item weight of 331 g
- It comes with a package dimension of 40.3 x 27.1 x 6.2
- Each tile comes in L W: 6 6cm(2.36 2.36in); M: Each tile L W: 15.5 15.5cm(6.10 6.10in)
- EVA foam Size of each tile L W: 6 6cm(2.36 2.36in)M
- Help in the development of the child’s brain
- Comes in an easy to wash laundry since playing on the baby play mat keep your child’s clothes clean
- It helps in the easy learning of alphabets and numbers
- Some measurement errors when compared to the description
Top 5 Baby Activity Gyms
1. Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym – Our Pick
The Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym is the best travel and user-friendly baby play mat you can find in the market. It comes with a twist on the knob that can be found on top of the arches.
This very portable baby gym can easily be collapsed and moved from one room to the other. It can even be done using one hand while you are carrying your baby on the other hand.
One basic thing that makes this baby play mat unique is that each feature of the gyms is detachable. The play mat is designed in such a way that the color is not so loud so as not to be gender-specific.
- Can easily be folded using the Velcro straps
- Arches are removable when you wish to use just the soft mat
- Comes with dangling toys on the arches
- A large peek-a-boo mirror
- A soft tummy prop pillow
- 4 linkable toys
- Adorable animals
- Comes with a bright color play mat
- Exclusive twist and fold technology
- A rattling Giraffe
- It comes with a click-clack elephant and teether Monkey
- Comes with an easy to fold, twist and push-click features
- Made from Polyester
- A product item of 1.36 kg
- A product dimension of 14 X 73.7 X 27.3 cm
- It is reputed to be the best travel-friendly baby play mat in the market
- It comes with an assortment of Plush baby toys
- Can easily be detached, collapsed and transformed into a soft play space for an older baby
- Another drawback is that it folds with the mat on the outside
- The mat is a bit small for older kids
2. Fisher Price Deluxe Kick and Play Piano Gym – The Best Grow-with-me playmat
This is a good play mat that comes with five light-up piano keys. This very unique play mat/gym allows the baby to grow with different sound.
As the child grows from lay and play to tummy time to the time where the baby can sit up at the piano, parents can change up the music and learning process. The fisher price deluxe is a repositionable toy arch
The texture of the mat is soothing and all those sounds, songs stimulates the baby’s developmental senses. This baby mat/gym also helps in the development of gross motor sensor when the baby kick, reach-out or push-up their muscles.
The baby gym also helps to stimulate curiosity among the baby and also to help in the early academic development of the child. This is seen through the introduction to shapes, animals, colors and numbers.
- Comes with smart stage technology
- Kick-start music feature
- Helps in developing gross motor skill
- 4 ways option to play
- Comes with the ability to change (music) as baby’s age change
- Comes with a limited volume for infant’s safety
- Comes with a large keyboard
- Has 5 light-up keys that can be removed for take along play
- Comes with sensory bright colors
- Suitable for children between the ages of 6 to 36 months
- An item weight of 2.27 kg
- A product dimension of 68.6 x 91.5 x45.7 cm
- Makes use of 4 AA batteries
- The play mat gym comes with lots of toys that can be attached and entertaining to the child at different heights
- The Cushion is very soft during fall
- Easy to assemble
- The product is pricey
- Does not come with the ability to turned off the light
- Not so travel-friendly as it can’t be easily disassembled
4. Home Crust Baby Bedding Play Mat Bed with Mosquito – Best Bedding set for Newborn
The Home crust baby bedding play is a very comfortable bedding set for your newborn baby. The bedding is made of 100 percent glace cotton.
It is designed with a beautiful print of cartoon picture and colorful designs that keeps the baby engaged.
Easy to wash since it can be detachable. It is very portable and carried about. The pillow is filled with soft fiber.
The product is netted and aid in the protection of the baby from any crawling or flying insects. You are also sure that your baby is very safe inside.
- It’s a unisex product
- Made from cotton
- It comes with a zipped net cover
- The appropriate age is between 0-6 months
- The bedding has a dimension of 60 x 60 x 60 cm
- Comes with a zipped net cover
- Attractive color print
- Portable and easy to carry about
- Safe for baby use
- It is organic and free from toxins
- Soft pillow fiber for the comfortability of the baby
- The play mat comes with a net that allows air to comes in even when closed and protect the baby from parasites and insect
- Not so thick.
5. Toyshine Baby’s Playmat Gym with Toys – Best Musical Baby Play
The toyshine baby play mat is a very captivating baby play mat gym that comes with musical accessories. It is ideal for captivating the baby’s musical talents.
With the baby’s feet touching the piano key and the child’s hands touching the bell pendant the baby play mat releases music that is soothing to the baby?
This baby play mat attracts and helps the baby to develop their ability to grasp, promotes the development of the arm and leg muscle, improves the children’s tactile, sensory development, visual sensation and children’s auditory development.
The toy and pendant can easily be removed as it provides an opportunity to wash and keep them clean always. The movable and overhead toys on the gym stimulate the baby to grasp and bat.
It can also be used for tummy-time by moving the arch down. The Toyshine baby play mat also help the baby to learn the connection between actions and reactions.
The product comes with four ways of playing, and this allows the baby to grow with the baby mat. At each stage of growth, the baby is exposed to another type of fun.
Some of the moveable overhead toys that come with this play mat and gym are elephant clackers, hippo teether, rollerball front, and others. The piano also comes with a power volume control for a quite play for the child.
- Made from non-toxic and edible materials
- A musical accessories
- Comes with multiple pendants
- Comes with a detachable and washable cushion
- Clear and cute cartoon patterns
- Three modes piano
- Comes with 4 activity toy
- A hanging mirror on the play gym for the baby to grasp
- An item weight of 1.48 kg
- A package dimensions of 50 x 42.6 x 8.4 cm
- Excellent quality assurance
- It is eco-friendly and fully certified (en71, Ce and 7p)
- One other uniqueness of this product is its ability to stimulate the baby sensory organs due to a variety of exciting songs, phrases, songs, and textures
- The phrases and song introduces them to early academic learning
- The screw of the battery gets loose quickly and often challenging to fasten
- Most past buyers complained that the baby plays mat/gym outer pack is open from both ends.
6. Baybee Kick and Play Newborn Toy with Piano– Best For Improving Hand-eye Coordination
The baybee kick and play mat are fully certified by EN71 which is known as European standards for safety of Babies and Toddler.
The product is design in such a way as to develop and improve hand-eye coordination, help them to learn counting and numbers, recognize colors and also to expand their social skill, confidence, and interaction.
The product nesting cups come in bold and vibrant colors. This best baby floor mat also comes with different sizes for various hours of exciting play.
The toys that it comes with are great for children to play with and keep their mind in creative activities.
The product is easy to clean since the arches and keyboards can be easily detached. This also makes it easy to be moved about and compactable. The product comes with a return policy on all its toy with a 10-day replacement window
- Suitable for children between age 0 to 36 months
- Comes with bright lights and music stimulation for all learning and sight
- Fully equipped with a piano keyboard for nice melodies
- The activity center mat comes with 5 toys (A cute owlet, a soft-to-touch heart, a baby bear and a little star)
- A fanny crescent moon
- Easy to detached the overhead arches and keyboard
- Comes in a multi-color design
- Item weight of 848 g
- A package dimensions of 46 x 28 x 9 cm
- An excellent product that comes with a piano to soothe the baby whenever they are kicking that button
- The product is straightforward to assemble
- Cheap in comparison to other brands
- Comes with some activity toys that help to keep the child engaged and entertained
- The size is small and may not contain a child that is 5 months
- Some past purchasers complained of it not being thick and of low-quality
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are activity gyms suitable for babies?
Activity gyms are great for babies as they help in the development of their gross motor skills, including the strengthening of neck, back, and abdominal muscles.
This also leads to rolling over, crawling and sitting up. Activity gyms will also enhance hand-eye coordination and promote visual sight of your baby.
2. When should you start tummy time?
You can start tummy time with your baby when he or she reaches 2-4 months of age.
3. How long should tummy time be at three months?
Try to ensure tummy time of 20-30 minutes per day when your baby is for three months. You can start with 3-5 minutes for 3-5 times a day and then gradually increase it to 20-30 minutes.
This should go on until 6-7 months, as this is the age when your baby will learn to roll over and sit up.
4. Can I trust the foam play mat?
Foam baby play mats are mostly made from EVA form which is certified to be safe when compared to other foam alternatives. The foams are free from BPA and do not contain toxins or other harmful plasticizers.
5. Are baby play stations safe?
The safety of the play station is depended on the manufacturer of that particular PlayStation. So make sure to read past reviews from customers before taking the final decision.
6. How do I clean my baby play mats?
Different play mats come with their unique ways of cleaning. Some are machine washable, while most can be hand washed in the sink.
Make sure to use the recommended soap and clean water if your child has sensitive skin.
7. Can a newborn baby use a play mat?
Yes, a newborn baby can use a play mat rated for them. Play Mat can be used for tummy time for newborn babies within 0 to 3 months.
You can start to introduce them to toys as they grow older and becomes more alert to their environment. But remember that you or a caregiver must be there to supervise the child.
A baby care play mat is a very resourceful item needed for the development of the baby, stimulation of the visuals, sensory, and cognitive ability of the baby. It is important to take note of the important features when purchasing a baby mat or gym.
From the long list of product choices available in the top list, here are three best picks- Parklon Double Side Living, and Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym, Fisher Price Deluxe Kick and Play Piano Gym which have some of the best features included that becomes great for babies.
Be sure that it is for the recommended age of the baby and also safe to use. The baby toy is also a good source of distraction for busy mothers to take out time from being with the child always.
It is also necessary to look out for past reviews before making this very important decision.