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The Best Baby Gyms and Baby Activity Centers

Give their creativity a workout.

If you’re going to invest in one major toy for your baby, a baby activity center or activity gym is the way to go. Otherwise known as a baby activity table, these things are essentially saucers where babies six months and older can sit, play with toys, admire themselves in mirrors, and generally, experience their first sense of freedom.

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a baby activity center. Make sure it’s stable and won’t tip ever, especially if you have a very active child. Opt for activity centers with removable toys that you can rotate out to keep your child engaged. You’ll thank yourself later for choosing one with a seat that’s easy to clean and small enough to not take over your whole living room. If you’re sensitive to repetitive annoying sounds — too late! (We kid) It’s unlikely you’ll get through parenthood unscathed by kiddie music, but there are certain baby activity centers that are quieter and less obnoxious.

This baby activity center has a spinning seat and four moveable activity pods for 360 degrees of play. Plus it grows with your baby. It has four activity pods that snap together or pull apart, providing a variety of toys to spin, click, teethe, flip, stack, sort, rattle, and roll. It turns into a toddler table when you remove the seat. And it has a ton of textures, bright colors, and rattle sounds engage your baby's tactile and visual senses. The maximum recommended weight when using it as an activity center is 40 pounds.

The Skip-Hop baby gym lets babies watch their own feet while playing. Trust us. This is must-see TV. It has toys that can be positioned anywhere for your baby, has a 360-degree rotating seat that turns and stretches, and ultimately, this turns into a coloring table for older kids. While this activity center is billed as being safe for babies 4 months and older, make sure they can sit up on their own before using it. Unlike others on this list, this activity gym has toy-attachment system clips that can be positioned anywhere for the baby, so the toys are always moving around and hence, keeping their interest piqued.

This baby activity center turns into a play table with a chalkboard surface when your kiddo outgrows it. But meanwhile, it has more than 25 developmental activities, and best of all, kids can play a piano with their feet and watch themselves doing it. There are four moveable toys.

If you don't have a lot of space, or want to take this activity center to grandma's house, the fold-up Oribel is for you. Its legs fold inward quickly and easily allowing you to store it in the trunk of your car. It converts into a toddler crafts table. The seat is made of elastic, so your baby can gently bounce around. And it's modular, meaning you can swap out toys, including a doll house for older kids. You an add child tools, and even a musical instrument.

We love the fact that this activity center transforms into a toddler table when your baby outgrows it. So less waste, and more use. A win-win. This baby activity center has a slew of toys, and a ramp that teaches babies cause and effect. It includes a high-flying giraffe rattle, teeter-totter zebra and lion, and palm tree spinner, an elephant bead bar with fishy clackers, a bee teether, and a removable musical alligator. It's suitable for babies 6 months and older, while the toddler play table is safe for kids 9 months and older. The seat pad is machine washable and when you're done with it, the center converts into a toddler activity table.

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Fatherly IQ
  1. Are you and your family playing more board games in recent months?
    Not really We've always been a board game family.
    No, we don't really play board games.
    Yes, we play at least once a week.
    Yes, we play as often as we can.
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