10 Best Baby Play Mats And Baby Gyms To Interact, Play And Learn

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Babies tend to start playing with play mats at just six weeks old and will continue to do so until around two months, therefore it is important to find the perfect one for you and your baby.

Baby play mats and gyms encourage sensory, cognitive and motor development at a very young age, so can be of great benefit to your baby. However, there is absolutely no pressure to get a mat as there are plenty of other alternatives to help your baby learn.

Along with ensuring the mat is the correct size and suitable for your baby's age, it's really important you clean your mat regularly and thoroughly. Each individual product will specify how is best to clean it, however, you're usually encouraged to use anti-bacterial wipes. Be sure to also stick with materials that are baby-safe. Foam mats are best avoided simply because their composition doesn't have to be published anywhere and you can never be too safe when babies are involved.

Image © iStock

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Kidadl Top Pick

Whilst all of the mats on our list are highly recommended, if you're short on time, here's our top pick based on price, size and design.

1. Fisher-Price Kick And Play Mat

A Fisher-Price Kick And Play Mat.
Image © Amazon

This interactive play mat incorporates a classic mat design with a specially designed kick-piano accessory, and it has four different positions for your baby as they grow. Younger babies can use the lay and play mode to look at the arches and kick the piano. It also has a tummy time mode in which your baby can look into the mirror and play with the various toys. Or, as your child gets older, they can sit and play the piano with their hands. As your baby grows even more, the piano can be separated from the play mat and used wherever they fancy.

This product is great for learning, encouraging sensory development and developing gross motor skills.

Main Features

  • Price: £40
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • 4 different modes
  • Baby touch kick piano with light-up keys- detachable
  • 5 toys included
  • 1-year guarantee

Best Interactive Play Mat For Babies

2. Tiny Love Gymini Kick And Play Mat

Baby playing with Tiny Love Gymini Kick And Play Mat.
Image © Amazon

This kick and play gym mat for babies has an open border and the arches above are optional, so your little one is free to move about. This means the mat can change day on day to keep your baby mesmerised by the mobiles above. It's great for growing with your baby and encouraging their development over the course of a year. The baby touch-activated toys will teach your baby that kicking is a positive movement and encourages active motor development.

Main Features

  • Price: £46.99
  • Age Range: newborn- 12 months
  • Optional arches
  • Electronic light
  • Baby touch-activated musical toys
  • Dangling toys, including detachable lion and wind chime

3. Skip Hop Treetop Friends Baby Activity Gym

A Skip Hop Treetop Friends Baby Activity Gym.
Image © Amazon

This baby activity play gym is jam-packed with sensory activities and fun hanging toys to keep your newborn entertained. With 17 different activities, five hanging toys and a whole selection of sounds and textures incorporated into the baby play mat, this is a must-buy.

Whilst this activity mat does have quite an expensive price tag, it is definitely a good investment for your baby, especially if you intend to use it with multiple children.

Main Features

  • Price: £79
  • Age Range: newborn to 12 months
  • 17 developmental activities
  • Matching tummy time pillow
  • Nature-inspired design
  • 5 hanging toys
  • 13 interchangeable loops for hanging heights
  • Sensory activities on play mat
  • Mirror

4. Taf Toys Musical Newborn Gym

A Taf Toys Musical Newborn Gym.
Image © Jojo Maman Bebe

This is a great buy for any new little addition to the family. This musical gym is a four-in-one set that changes and develops alongside your baby, adapting from a newborn nest to a flat play mat as they get bigger. The sensory toys included also encourage sensory and cognitive development.

Note: this product cannot be returned to Jojo Maman Bebe if you are for any reason unhappy with it.

Main Features:

  • Price: £69.99
  • Age Range: newborn- 12 months
  • 4 in 1 musical set
  • Thickly padded nest
  • 4 multi-sensory hanging toys

5. Elephant Activity Baby Gym and Playmat

A baby playing with an Elephant Activity Baby Gym and Playmat.
Image © Jojo Maman Bebe

If you've got a neutral theme in your home, this is the best baby play mat for your space. With simple grey and white colours, it's a great place for your little one to relax and play. There are lots of detachable toys that can stimulate the senses: a baby-safe mirror, soft elephant squeaky toy, a crinkle star, an elephant rattle and a rain cloud.

As your baby grows, you can detach the arches for a comfy sit-and-play mat, which will complement any nursery or indoor play space.

Main Features

  • Price: £59
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • Detachable toys
  • Neutral, soft materials
  • 2 mode play
  • Detachable arches

6. VTech Baby Little Friendlies Glow And Giggle Play Mat

A VTech Baby Little Friendlies Glow And Giggle Play Mat.
Image © Amazon

This super padded, extra comfy play mat is great entertainment for your littlest human. With dangling characters and a noisy activity panel, this encourages sensory development and learning fun. There is a lot of visual and sensory stimulation with this baby play mat.

Note: batteries not included. You will need two AA batteries.

Main Features

  • Price: £44.99
  • Age Range: 0 months - 2 years
  • Giant light-up tree
  • 3 modes of play
  • 6 happy songs and 20 different tunes

Best For Families On A Budget

7. Ball Play Gym Peppermint Trail Activity Gym

A baby playing with the Ball Play Gym Peppermint Trail Activity Gym.
Image © Red Kite

This is the best baby gym mat if you're looking to shop on a budget, or you're on the hunt for an affordable present for another baby. With detachable toys to entertain your baby, these help develop hand-eye coordination, and the plastic balls use vivid colours to stimulate them. Whether you are looking for a padded play mat or a secure play nest, you can have both for just £22.

Main Features

  • Price: £22
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • Padded play gym
  • Detachable toys
  • Detachable arches
  • Plastic balls
  • Carrier bag

Best Deluxe Activity Gym

8. Fisher-Price Rainforest Music And Lights Activity Gym

A Fisher-Price Rainforest Music And Lights Activity Gym.
Image © Argos

Bring the rainforest to life for your baby with sounds, music and lights that responds to their movements. While your baby plays on their back, they can look up at the hanging toys and listen to music, and these toys can be lowered for tummy time too.

This jungle gym play mat is also great for on the move, so if you need something portable then this product is for you. While the Argos states this play mat is suitable for newborns, we recommend it to six-month-olds to avoid overstimulation of younger babies from its lights and music.

Main Features

  • Price: £50
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • 10+ toys and activities
  • 5 positionable toys that can go on the mat or arches
  • Rainforest themed sounds, music and lights
  • Machine washable
  • 1-year guarantee

9. Skip Hop Animal Selfie 'Say Cheese' Baby Gym

A Skip Hop Animal Selfie 'Say Cheese' Baby Gym.
Image © Amazon

This product takes activity mat to the next level. With a handy spot for keeping a mobile phone, you can capture their gorgeous smiles and giggles whilst they play. This is the perfect product if you like to capture your baby's growth and changes.

Main Features

  • Price: £45
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • 17 developmental activities
  • 3 ways to play- overhead, tummy time and play mat
  • Supportive tummy time pillow

10. Personalised Elephant Playing Mat For Babies

A Personalised Elephant Playing Mat For Babies.
Image © My 1st Years

This mat is a very simple design, but is a lovely buy for your baby. The neutral tones of the baby play mat are good for not overstimulating your baby and the cosy, cuddly material make it extremely comfortable for your little one. This is also a great place for safe tummy time.

What's more, you can personalise this play mat with an embroidered name, which makes it a very personal buy or excellent as a bespoke gift for someone you love.

Main Features

  • Price: £60
  • Age Range: 0 months+
  • Super soft neutral materials
  • Embroidery option- up to 9 characters
  • Elephant or bear design

Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for Best Baby Play Mats and Baby Gyms, then why not take a look at the best wooden baby toys, or for something different take a look at the best baby musical instruments.

Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

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