Infantino Pond Pals Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat
Last updated date: November 15, 2019
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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 October 23, 2020:
Checkout The Best Play Gym for a detailed review of all the top play gyms.
In our analysis of 103 expert reviews, the Infantino Pond Pals Twist and Fold Activity Gym and Play Mat placed 6th when we looked at the top 11 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
Our portable, grow-with-me activity gym is filled to the brim with adorable play pals, must-touch textures, sensory-stimulating patterns and interesting sounds all in one simple-to-store little bundle.
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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.
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