Activity Centers & Entertainers >
Best Infant Activity Centers;
Professional Baby Expert
The Shangrila Mat gets extra points for cool colors and reversibility - just flip it over and you've got a whole new play-space. One side is extra-soft and fuzzy with bright colors, and the other has a wacky black and white motif (great for visual stimulation). The floor toys vary enough to keep things interesting, and the arch, which helps hold the mat down flat, has a few dangling clips for attaching toys from above as well. (You'll have to buy hanging toys separately.)
This super-popular play yard is less of a cage or bed than other options and is more of a little enclosed playground. It has a nontoxic, smooth surface, which makes it great for contained play outside (it's pretty convenient that it wipes clean too). There's a fun activity wall to keep baby engaged, and it's big enough to fit in other goodies. To stretch the space farther (say, to give more room for two kids or to fit a parent in at playtime), there's an extension kit sold separately. Or, to double the fun, lots of moms purchase two of these suckers and hook them together.
The Pack ‘n Play has been a favorite for infant travel, showing up on shower registries everywhere. It's easy to pop up and take down, so baby has a little entertainment center/bed wherever you go. The roominess and mesh walls keep baby contained (but not trapped), and it's big enough that other activity toys will fit inside.
Evenflo pretty much set the standard for stationary activity centers, and this one is their best seller. The name “Entertainer” pretty much says it all: There are over fifty sounds and eighteen activities, along with a spinning seat, spring-loaded legs, and a rocking base. The ExerSaucer will never be accused of being stylish (the colors are pretty loud), but it does provide a great educational outlet for baby - giving you a few hands-free minutes. Hallelujah!
This activity center gives baby a ton of options in terms of playthings, and everything is easily accessible due to the cushy swiveling seat. Babies really seem to dig the variety of cool - AND educational - toys that cover pretty much all of the bases: textures, shapes, animals, colors, language, music...no bored babies here.
While more activity centers surround baby with toys on all sides, this one is reversed. All of the toys are in the middle, and baby's seat rotates around the edges of the “station,” offering easy access to a ton of toys. You can lock the seat at the snack tray or piano, and the whole seat comes off to turn the station into a toddler toy. It does take up a lot of space, but if you have the room, it's a winner.
Face it: Combi is just plain cute. They really win out with their cool colors and fresh designs. This play yard doesn't give you as much room or portability as the Pack ‘n Play, but it does have changing table and bassinet attachments, as well as cool music and vibration features. The bassinet has a big canopy with dangling toys, and the unit has built-in wheels on one side for easy scooting.
The PlayPlace's soft walls are nice for keeping baby gently contained once kicking and rolling begin, and the cocoon-like environment makes it great for naps. There are seven cute toys and multiple songs and sounds to keep baby engaged, and you can adjust its shape to suit your little one's size.
This baby gym is jam-packed with all the bells and whistles. There's music, lights, mirrors, rattles, pull toys, a teether, multiple textures, hanging toys... the whole shebang. Everything is arranged according to baby's developmental stages, so the idea is that baby will use the gym to improve skills AND give you a few minutes of quality time with your new novel. Will this mat actually make baby smarter or stronger? Who knows? But it sure is fun.
By far the least costly item on this list, this Fisher-Price gym is simple and sweet, but it really does the trick. Babies love the beach ball action (they can kick it or bat at it with their hands), and the dangling ocean-themed toys are a big hit too. Even better, the play mat easily converts into a mesh tunnel complete with a peek-a-boo porthole - perfect for baby's crawling stages. (Who doesn't love a tunnel?)
I have not bought a Baby Einstein that I did not like :)
The Ocean Wonders Kick and Crawl Aquarium has entertained my son for bottles and nap time
The Combi Jann Play Yard Deluxe is just plain cute!
Sign up to get Tibesti Deals and Website Updates
Enter your email and password to login.
Forgot Your Password? Click Here
Not Yet a User?
Enter your email and we will email your password to you.