Bright Starts Elephant Multi-Use Ball Play Activity Gym

Last updated date: October 26, 2022

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Bright Starts Elephant Multi-Use Ball Play Activity Gym

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We looked at the top Play Gyms and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Play Gym you should buy.

Update as November 11, 2022:
Checkout The Best Play Gym for a detailed review of all the top play gyms.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 103 expert reviews, the Bright Starts Elephant Multi-Use Ball Play Activity Gym placed 6th when we looked at the top 13 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Remember how much FUN you had playing in a ball pit as a kid? The tossing! The swimming! Now you can bring the joy of a ball pit right to your living room (without offending your inner germaphobe – you know you’ve thought about it). Unlike your standard playmat, this baby mat can be adjusted up or down to create walls. Keep baby right where you want him with these plush barriers, or – you guessed it – fill the play gym with bouncy, bobbling, bubbly balls! For younger babies, the jumbo mat lays flat for tummy time. Playtime is all around with engaging toys, crinkle fabrics, rattles, tunes and more. Who’s ready to have a ball? Wipe clean with damp cloth and mild soap. Do not immerse in water.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

11 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

990 user reviews

What experts liked

Parents of curious children who have a tendency to wander off will appreciate the Bright Starts 5-in-1. Its walls can stand erect to contain your adventurous angel, but you can also lie it flat for a larger play and tummy time area.
- Wiki EZ Vid
June 23, 2018 | Full review
It is possible to adjust the baby mat in the upward or downward direction for the creation of the walls. It is possible to keep your little one in the right direction with the aid of the plush barriers.
- Parent Prime
The mat itself can be folded up to create walls that will keep your little mover contained and safe, while the imaginative lights and 20 minutes of provided melodies will stoke your child’s creativity.
- Verywell Family
October 18, 2019 | Full review
Bright Starts gives 35 colorful balls that extend the life of the activity gym to toddler years. Besides that, it’s a twist-and-fold play mat that is easy to set up. Plus, the loops allow you to add and remove toys. Of course, you can carry it along as you travel.
- CTOP Reviews
The Brights Starts 5-in-1 Play Activity Gym with Your Way Ball is a versatile and fun-packed activity mat that has five different play iterations. Use it with the walls up or down, fill it with the 35 included balls to create a mini ball pit, use the prop pillow for tummy time or use it as a simple mat without the overhead activity bars. This mat is 48 inches across when unfolded, and it takes three AA batteries. This product contains engaging playtime toys such as a bead chaser, plush musical toucan, baby-safe mirror, crinkle fabrics and more.
- Heavy
July 26, 2017 | Full review
Well this unit will help your kid enjoy the fun of having an activity gym in their room. Unlike the traditional play mat, this model comes with advanced features and many toys to keep your kid entertained. Besides, this unit comes with beautiful melodies and a playtime of twenty minutes.
- Z7 Premium
April 14, 2019 | Full review
Welcome this gym inside your home and make your kids happy in no time. This imaginative play gym can be filled with balls and turned into a ball-pit gym where your infants can stay during their play-time. Hanged with lovely toys, these produce melodies and also generate lights. Plus, the jumbo mat can be laid flat for allowing your baby to enjoy some quality tummy-time.
- All Listings
The sturdy, cushioned walls of this playmat fold down for a large, flat surface area to use as a playmat during newborn stages. Then, once baby begins to scoot and wiggle, the walls can be folded up to prevent baby from scooting too far. Finally, when baby begins to sit unassisted, the walls transform this playmat into a ball pit, so the fun continues even into toddlerhood!
- My Mommy Needs That
It comes with electronic toys that can display light and play sound for 20 straight minutes as well as twelve (12) interactive toys to engage your baby with the environment.
- The Tiny Mom
August 21, 2019 | Full review
Unlike a standard activity gym, this baby mat can be adjusted up or down to create walls to contain your baby right where you want him to be, or – you guessed it – fill the play gym with bouncy, bobbling, bubbly balls! Now you can bring the joy of a ball pit right to your living room without exposing your little one to all the germs that are present in a public ball pit (oh, the horror stories you've heard!).
- Mommy Tea Room
April 22, 2019 | Full review
The quality is great and the mat has lasted well for us. The play mat itself is washable – I just put it in the washing machine on a gentle setting. It comes out a bit bumpy, but once it’s dry it flattens out nicely. The mat is very large when you lay it flat, with plenty of room for two wriggly twins.
- Simply Twins

What experts didn't like

May not hold up in the wash
- Wiki EZ Vid
June 23, 2018 | Full review
Few users complained that the bottom mat came apart after few months
- Parent Prime
The play area is small so you may have to place the baby diagonally. The jumbo weighs 6.5 pounds which is too heavy for babies
- CTOP Reviews
This playmat is on the more expensive side, and it is not portable.
- Heavy
July 26, 2017 | Full review
Difficult to clean. More expensive vs standard playmats
- My Mommy Needs That

An Overview On Play Gyms

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that playtime should begin on the first day a newborn comes home from the hospital. The AAP states that babies should have two to three periods of tummy time spent playing with parents per day. While this playtime only needs to last for three to five minutes for newborns, this amount should increase gradually until a little one spends about an hour per day enjoying time playing on their tummy.

A play gym can help a baby enjoy and look forward to time spent playing on the floor. There are infant activity gyms in dozens of styles and colors with all sorts of different toys and features, so choosing the best one for your child might seem challenging. Knowing what characteristics are the most educational and entertaining might make it easier to make the best selection.

Play gyms that accommodate tummy time are desirable. For instance, a pillow that props up the baby can be beneficial until a little one builds the strength to hold themselves up on their own. Toys available at eye level and a mat with vividly colored graphics are advantageous, as well.

Baby activity gyms with interactive elements are worth considering. Not only are these toys and gadgets fun for your tiny one to use, but they also help them learn about cause and effect. The toys will help them stay busy while increasing their understanding of the world around them and their place in it.

Look for a play gym that includes a variety of playthings to prevent playtime from becoming boring or monotonous. For example, the Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym has a musical keyboard along with several toys that can be repositioned, such as a mirror perfect for self-discovery and a teether ideal for oral exploration as well as several sensory toys that make fun noises when squeezed, squished or shaken.

Other factors to consider when browsing baby play gyms include whether they will continue to provide amusement and excitement as your little one develops. Babies grow quickly and could easily outgrow an overly simplistic activity gym. Seek something that can continue to teach and amuse your child as they move from infancy into toddlerhood. If the play gym makes it easy for you to play along with your little one, better still.

Of course, as with anything baby-related, a play gym should be as safe as possible. In addition, it should be easy to store, clean and even sanitize. Fitting your budget is another necessity, so consider how much you are comfortable spending as well as the features that matter most to you before you shop.

The Play Gym Buying Guide

  • When buying any type of plaything for your baby, consider safety above all else. Purchasing new items from a reputable brand and well-known retailer offers protection, as secondhand or off-brand toys could include unsafe pieces, be damaged, have missing parts or even have been subject to safety recalls.
  • Always read labels. Not only will they provide warnings regarding how an item should be used and any potential hazards, such as small parts that a baby could choke on, but they often give information on the best way to clean and care for the item. Following these instructions can help your baby stay safe and prolong the life of the object.
  • Choose a play gym that is appropriate for your baby’s current age and activity level but will also continue to be enjoyable as your little one develops. For a plaything to contribute to your baby’s development, it must engage and entertain them now and be flexible enough to continue interesting and challenging them as they learn and grow.
  • Playing with your baby is a wonderful way to teach them about the world while bonding. Point out interesting parts of the play gym. Say the names of objects and describe them, such as, “Look at the yellow sun. The sun keeps us warm and helps things grow.” Although your little one might not understand everything you say, doing so helps their brain develop. It also teaches about important subjects such as social skills, vocabulary and body language.
  • Try to place your baby in different locations on the play gym or at varying angles. For instance, if the play gym includes a keyboard, place them on their back with their feet on the keys one day and on their tummy facing the keys the next. Doing this can increase mental stimulation and keep playtime fresh and fun for months to come.
  • Watch for signs that your wee one has had enough playtime. Actions such as turning their head away from the gym or toys, hiccuping or fussing, arching their back, crying or falling asleep might be your baby’s way of telling you that they need a break. Of course, every baby is different and learning your child’s unique signals might take some trial and error.
  • Although learning how to play independently is valuable, babies under a year old should never be left completely alone while playing. Make sure to stay close enough to view your baby during playtime and speak to them frequently if they cannot see you to provide security.