We bought this play gym for Toby after trying a hideous one from Lamaze. We were looking for something to entertain him and help him develop his coordination and attention skills.
The gym was very easy to set up and was ready to go in minutes. On the face of it, the gym is very attractive. It has black and white spots that are great for catching the attention of very young babies when they can only see large contrasts. Some of the attachments are also black and white, which, again, is great for a young baby. In addition to the high-contrast black and white, there are a variety of colors in the gym arches and the royal play mat. Toby loves looking at colors now that he’s a little older.
The gym comes with various accessories. The best by far is the musical tiger that clings to the top of the gym. The tiger has 20 minutes of music and flashing lights. Toby can sit and watch them for hours! He flaps his little arms and legs when he’s on and the closest he’s ever come to laughing has been while lying down staring at the lights. He yells at us if the sound and lights go out so he must love him, in fact he gets more smiles than his dad or me! The musical tiger has 3 settings and 2 different volumes, one setting plays some musical melodies (warning: you will hum these melodies to yourself, sing along with them and even dream about them), and the other setting plays sounds of nature: birds, crickets , etc. Toby’s favorite is music, as the lights blink more. The third setting is a touch sensitive version of the tunes, it turns off after 30 seconds or so without being played, not useful now, but I imagine it will be great once Toby is old enough to figure that out . The tiger is also great because it is detachable, which means that you can come with us in your stroller, in your hammock and in the car. I’d say the tiger alone is probably worth the money we spend at the gym. My only criticism of the gym comes here – it would be great to be able to put the tiger on quiet and still have the lights on. After a while, listening to the same songs over and over again can get a bit annoying.
The gym comes with quite a few accessories, as I said before, some are black and white and some are colorful. One of the best things about the gym is that you can install these accessories wherever you want and move them around as much as possible, this keeps Toby on his figurative fingers. It also comes with additional hoops so you can put your own toys, there are many different places where you can hang or place the items. Toby’s second favorite toy is what we call ‘Jingly Tiger’. As its name suggests, Jingly Tiger sounds when hit. Toby loves the sound he makes and his timing has come a long way since Jingly Tiger hung over him on the carpet. The gym also has a Zebra rattle that is currently hanging over Toby, but I suspect it will make a great standalone toy when he grows up. The other accessories include a butterfly teether and leaves that are purely decorative at the moment, though they make a fun sound when bumping into the other hanging toys. Toby is a bit young for teethers, but the leafy ones in particular feel lovely, so I imagine he’ll be a hit once he’s old enough.
The gym also comes with a detachable mirror that can be attached to the side of the gym, again I think this will be more useful for when Toby is a little older. The last thing that comes with the gym is a giraffe pillow. This is designed for when your baby is trying to do mini push-ups. The idea is that the giraffe can be placed under your baby’s arms for support. I’ve tried this several times with Toby and he’s not too impressed, I think it’s a bit early. That said, the only place you’ll remotely entertain the idea of tummy time is on the gym mat.
The gym also folds in half with the arches still attached to make it a breeze to transport or hide. The arches are also removable for when the baby is a little older and only needs a comfortable mat to sit on.
Overall, the rug is one of the best purchases we’ve ever made, we use it multiple times a day and it’s well worth the money. Sometimes if Toby has trouble adjusting, or I need to get on with other things, I can put him on his mat and he entertains himself. Most of the time, he falls asleep on his mat (and then wakes up to yell at you because the music has turned off), so I often put a small pillow under his head and a blanket over him and let him sleep for a while. a little. I would definitely recommend this mat from newborn and imagine it will be great until Toby is several months old. I wish we had bought it earlier than the one we bought first.
I give Safari Gym Spots and Stripes 9/10