Baby Activity Centers Are Big, Bright, and Ugly. This Is the One Exception.

It's a legit work of art.

by Lexi Dwyer
Originally Published: 

“Finally — normal simple colors for kids décor” was what neutral-worshipping mom of four Kim Kardashian wrote about the Three Pears Bobbin Triple Play Center on Snapchat, and she has a point. It’s quite literally the baby activity center of our collective adult dreams. A baby toy that isn’t a headache on legs. A kids’ activity center that is a designer showpiece.

Baby and toddler gear can be loud, and we’re not just talking about the sounds of spinning rattles and dopey musical earwigs. The brightly colored patterns can take over your living room, announcing to everyone who walks in that, yep, you’ve got a kid now (in some ways, it’s kind of an apt metaphor for the massive transformation that takes place when you become a parent).

But this refreshingly discreet (and yes, incredibly splurgy) Canadian-made activity center is not meant to be foisted off onto the next friend who happens to be pregnant. (Oh, we know the feeling when you can’t wait to get a giant piece of baby gear out of your house.)

True to its name, the Triple Play is a chameleon of sorts. As an activity center, the supportive leather seat rotates 360 degrees to encourage kids to turn and explore, and the platform’s five height settings can be adjusted as baby grows. Swap the baby seat for a chalkboard insert and you’ve got a standing toddler table. When you remove the top and flip the whole thing over, it’s a kids’ activity table with room for a few chairs. You’ll be able to enjoy its solid construction and elegant, clean lines for several years which, considering the price, is a good thing.

Three Pears was started by a family with serious credentials in a mix of different areas. Designer Andrea Pearson got into the business after realizing that she wanted stylish options for her three-month–old son’s room, but couldn’t find anything she liked. (She describes her line as “bridging the gap between the beautiful cradles for newborns and the many stylish designs of toys for toddlers.”) Her sister, Erin, has a degree in environmental science and is responsible for the products’ non-toxic finishes and materials like sustainable wood. Their father, Ken, is an expert in industrial design and their mother, Helen, is an early childhood educator who’s able to weigh in on the educational stuff.

Besides the Kanye-approved “Monochrome” palette, the Triple Play also comes in others such as “Natural” (more brownish tones) and “Chickadee” (the most colorful, but still understated). All of them will blend with your décor, rather than overpower it. It’s the furniture equivalent of a deep, cleansing breath.

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