Baby activity gyms are some of the most popular toys in a very large and competitive industry. These toys are not only fun for baby they have a lot of benefits fo infant development.
What Is A Baby Activity Gym
An activity gym is a soft mat on which a baby can lie down and over them is an arch that has various attachments, like lights, toys, balls, various colorful objects, rattlers, teethers and others. Also, on most models there are engaging activitues on the mat itself, like mirrors. Most also come with sounds, like music and animal sounds, some of which are activated by the baby.
Advantages Baby Gyms
The physical benefits of baby gyms is in the support of motor skill development. They are built in such a manner where the baby instinctively reaches up and to the side to touch and play with the many colorful hanging items, which allows them to use their muscles and stimulates fine motor skills as well.
Another advantage is the typical kicking of the legs that takes place when babies are excited by a visually stimulating toy, which further helps to support muscle development.
Coordination also improves for infants that helps them sit up, crawl and walk faster. Even simply reaching out and grasping toys provides them with better control. Of course, this type of play benefits parents as well, because it allows babies to be active and therefore burn off energy, which allows for more consistent nap times and also can translate to a night of peaceful sleep for mom and dad.
Development Of Senses
Most all gyms come with music and other various sounds, like the animal sounds of jungle gyms, which help develop a baby’s sense of hearing. Some gyms, such as the, Fisher Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym, come with a piano attached so babies can enjoy sounds they make with their own fingers.
Tactile senses are stimulate from the many textures that are offered in the hanging objects helping young ones learn through touch.
The sense of sight is really stimulated through the wide array of colors that a baby is exposed to with these types of toys.
What’s great about baby activity gyms is that they provide a wide array of fun attachments that stimulate a babies cognitive and mental development. These hanging toys are specially designed to stimulate the imagination of babies, delight them with colors, sounds, shapes and textures and allow them to be more curious about their world.
Regular exposure also makes it easier for the child to notice differences as well as recognize patterns, speeding up their mental development. Mirrors attached to these gyms support visual development and self discovery as well.
Keeping Babies Entertained And Engaged
Babies love variety, sepcifically in colors, textures and sounds. In fact, an infant’s attention span is very short, and so it is important to provide a variety of different activity toys and baby gyms come in many different themes, styles and colors to keep them interested. Therefore, like crib mobiles, most parents choose to buy more than one to engage their little ones.
Are they safe?
Some parents are concerned about safety, especially since the child would be exposed to various elements. However, these gyms are specially created to provide fun without causing any harm to even the youngest of infants and the soft cushioned mat is comfortable for babies to lay on. Of course, parents need to be cautious at all times and still be close by, but this is true during any type of play.
Most Popular Gyms
There are many different brands of gyms in the market, so make sure to shop around and find those you like best. Look closely at features because they do vary.
Here are some of the most popular and top rated gyms. Please note that a lot of them also come in girl or boy specific themes.
- Tiny Love Super Deluxe Lights and Music Gymini Activity Gym by Tiny Love
- Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends Play Gym
- Infantino Twist and Fold Gym – Baby Animals
- Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym
- Bright Starts Petals and Friends Activity Gym
- Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym
- Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Kick and Play Piano Gym
- Bright Starts Start Your Senses Safari Activity Gym
- Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Deluxe Musical Mobile Gym
Debbie is a mom of four kids and one new infant, she finds that toys are not just for fun, they can serve a great purposes in helping kids to mature and develop in a healthy manner.