Bright Starts Zippy Zoo Activity Gym

Last updated date: October 30, 2019

DWYM Score
9.2


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

Overall Take

In our analysis of 148 expert reviews, the Bright Starts Bright Starts Zippy Zoo Activity Gym placed 5th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note December 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Baby Play Mat for a detailed review of all the top baby play mats.

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.1
902 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Get ready to jump into a jungle of fun with baby! The Zippy Zoo Activity Gym creates an imaginative playground full of fun activities for your baby as she develops, transforming from a tummy time mat into a sit-and-play destination. Let loose your inner wild child as you and baby play together using the five included hanging toys. From making silly faces in the baby-safe mirror to shaking the sun-shaped rattle, this playmat turns any nursery into a zoo time adventure. Watch baby wiggle, giggle and dance along to the giraffe’s four different melodies. Monkey around with even more toys using the four additional link loops along the beams. Wild snuggles and cuddles are just around the corner.
- Child Care Home
The bright zippy activity gym will encourage your baby to develop your motor skills, cognitive skills while keeping him or her entertained. This model comes with a soft plush design that features a detachable plush toy with four fun melodies. Some of the other features that you will love in this model include spiral bead chaser, sun-shaped rattle, and a leaf-shaped teether.
- Z7 Premium
April 14, 2019 | Full review
The mat becomes so much more than just for tummy time it becomes an area where your child can sit and play imaginative and endless activities! Your wild child will love playing with the hanging toys that it comes with as well as making faces in the baby mirror. Some of the toys even come equipped to be used as makeshift rattles. With four built in melodies a boring playtime just turned into a safari adventure. Lastly, it comes with a spiral bead chaser and a leaf-shaped tether for children beginning to get teeth.
- Child Mode
September 8, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Cheap alternative. Owl doesn’t play.
- Child Mode
September 8, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Get ready to jump into a jungle of fun with baby! The Zippy Zoo Activity Gym creates an imaginative playground full of fun activities for your baby as she develops, transforming from a tummy time mat into a sit and play destination. Let loose your inner wild child as you and baby play together using the five included hanging toys. From making silly faces in the baby safe mirror to shaking the sun shaped rattle, this playmat turns any nursery into a zoo time adventure. Watch baby wiggle, giggle and dance along to the giraffe’s four different melodies. Monkey around with even more toys using the four additional link loops along the beams. Wild snuggles and cuddles are just around the corner.

Overall Product Rankings

2. Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 7
3. Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Activity Gym Play Mat
Overall Score: 9.4
Expert Reviews: 30
4. Lovevery The Play Gym
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 22
5. Bright Starts Zippy Zoo Activity Gym
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 3
6. Skip Hop Playspot Foam Play Mat For Baby
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Tiny Love Meadow Days Super Play Mat
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 24
10. Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym, Vintage Boy
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 34

An Overview On Baby Play Mats

In addition to being designed to keep your baby entertained, play mats are also created to assist with an infant’s development. There are a host of different types of play mats on the market, which may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed when you start your search. Use this guide to help narrow down the options, so you end up with the best baby play mat for your infant.

Simplemost Media

Start off examining the material the play mat is made out of. It is important to select one that has a non-toxic and phthalate-free surface. If your baby is sensitive, you’ll also need the mat to be hypoallergenic.

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Determine how portable you need the baby play mat to be. This isn’t important for babies who spend the majority of their time at home, but infants that spend the day with grandma while mom works may benefit from having a play mat that easily rolls up so that it can be transported between houses. Some models even come with their own travel bag.

“Consider whether this will be a permanent fixture in your home or if you’d rather be able to store it or travel with it,” says mother and infant sleep-safe expert Kate Desmond. Desmond serves as marketing director for Charlie’s Kids Foundation, an organization that provides education about SIDS and safe sleep. “If the latter is more your style, consider one that easily folds or rolls up.”

Check the size of the play mat. The Baby Care Haute Collection Play Mat is as big as a queen-size blanket. That means your baby will have plenty of space when he or she is ready to start rolling over. The mat is also reversible. One side is decorative and ideal for infant tummy time, while the other has animals, letters and numbers for toddlers to practice on.

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Look for any activities and attachments that may be included with the play mat. For example, the Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Play Mat has 18 developmental activities that help a baby with everything from cognition to fine and gross motor skills. There’s also the Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym, which has a tiny piano with five keys that an infant can kick with their feet. Toddlers can transition to using their hands to make music with the keyboard. Musical attachments are always a great choice because they help a baby learn about cause and effect.

Examine the play mat attachments to see what benefits they offer your child. For example, a mirror helps with self-discovery, while crinkle toys provide important sensory input.

Simplemost Media

Consider a play mat that grows with your baby. The BalanceFrom Kid’s Puzzle Foam Play Mat is made using a high-density EVA foam that is comfortable for infants to lay on when they need to have a little tummy time. It is also constructed of squares that have letters and numbers on them for toddlers to practice with. Older children can even take the squares and use them like a puzzle by turning them into cubes.

DYWM Fun Fact

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants are placed on their backs during nap and bedtimes, as this is one way to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Since babies spend a lot of time on their backs while asleep, it’s a good idea to plan some tummy time each day.

Tummy time offers babies a great number of benefits. It helps to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles, so your baby can learn to hold his or her head up. Consistent tummy time can even lead to your baby reaching certain milestones, like rolling over and reaching for objects, much sooner than they would without this dedicated playtime.

When you begin a tummy time routine, you want to start out slow. It’s best to give your baby just three to five minutes of tummy time at one sitting. You can repeat this another time or two throughout the day. As your baby grows and becomes a little stronger, you can increase the length of the tummy time, as well as how often you want your baby to take part in it.

While babies can be placed on a clean blanket for tummy time, a play mat is an even better choice. Play mats are outfitted with stimulating colors and developmental toys that also encourage babies to explore the world around them. It is important that you always supervise your baby during tummy time.

The Baby Play Mat Buying Guide

  • Look for a warranty or a customer satisfaction guarantee before you buy. Companies that offer this do so because they know their product is quality-made.
  • Beware of baby play mats that are flame retardant, as they contain harmful chemicals that can enter through the child’s skin when he or she lays on the mat. If the chemicals enter the air, the little one can also breathe the chemicals in, so always opt for a non-toxic play mat. Just make sure you keep the play mat away from any heat sources or candles and that you supervise the baby while the play mat is in use.
  • Make sure batteries are included along with the play mat if it is a model that utilizes sound and light. If not, you’ll want to check and see what type of batteries the mat needs and pick up a set before you put the mat together for your precious little one.
  • Always check the product label before attempting to clean the play mat. Some mats are machine washable, while others, like those made of foam or those with a waterproof surface, should simply be wiped down with a little dish soap and water.
  • Homes with hardwood floors would do well with a baby play mat that has both a non-slip grip underneath and extra padding on top.
  • Simple baby play mats that are waterproof can double as changing pads when you’re away from home and out in the public. Just roll the play mat up and pack it in your diaper bag.

Waterproof mats provide another important benefit. “Babies are messy, so make sure the play mat you choose is either waterproof and wipeable, or machine washable,” Desmond adds.

  • The price for baby play mats varies greatly depending on the material used to make the mat, how many features it has and how long the baby can use it. The BalanceFrom Kid’s Puzzle Foam Play Mat is made out of foam and is one of the lower-priced mats on the market. The Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym and the Tiny Love Gymini Super Deluxe Play Mat fall in the middle price-wise as they have similar features. At the top of the price range is the Baby Care Haute Collection Play Mat, which can be used from infancy all the way through Kindergarten.