Updated June 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

The 10 Best Baby Gyms

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Your precious child will believe she's just having lots of fun with one of these baby gyms. Meanwhile, you'll know that they are loaded with stimulating activities that also help to develop fine motor skills, coordination, balance, sound recognition, and more. Oh, and they allow you to get a few minutes of much-needed relaxation in, too. Whichever model you choose, you can't go wrong. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best baby gym on Amazon.

10. Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo

9. Skip Hop Camping Cubs

8. Infantino Grow-With-Me

7. Skip Hop Treetop Friends

6. Bright Starts 5-in-1

5. Baby Einstein Caterpillar and Friends

4. Fisher-Price Kick & Play Piano

3. Fisher-Price Rainforest Deluxe

2. Bright Starts Charming Chirps

1. Skip Hop Explore-and-More

Your Baby Needs to Play

In addition to the physical benefits and the improvement of the senses, activity gyms are developed so that they stimulate brain activity and imaginative play.

You might think your baby is an immobile blob in those first few months of his life, but he's actually taking in his environment and learning everything that he can. The right activity gym can help your baby interact with his environment.

A baby's activity gym activates all five of his senses. When your baby is grabbing for the toys hanging above his head, he's developing his motor skills. When he's hanging out on the tummy time pillow, he's improving his head and neck strength and preparing his body for crawling.

When he touches the different textures and looks at the vibrant colors, he learns about the environment around him. If his activity gym plays music or has crinkling material, he is exploring the sounds in his surroundings.

In addition to the physical benefits and the improvement of the senses, activity gyms are developed so that they stimulate brain activity and imaginative play. The varying colors, textures, and shapes allow them to explore and learn about their surroundings.

Play and interaction are crucial to your little one's development. It's important to choose a toy like the activity gym that is going to encourage him to interact with his environment.

Activity gyms have the added benefit of keeping babies entertained for several minutes at a time. If you're a new parent, you will not only want a baby activity gym for the intellectual and physical benefits, but you'll be ecstatic to have a few moments to put your baby down so you can eat a meal (hopefully while it's hot) or head to the bathroom.

Your Baby Needs to Move Around

Scientifically speaking, it is crucial to your baby's physical development that he be moved into different positions throughout the day. Babies who are left to lay on their backs for extended periods of time can develop flat head syndrome which is difficult to correct (and good luck finding a hat that fits).

Who wants to lay flat on the floor for several minutes a day with nothing soft underneath?

Health care professionals often recommend that babies be moved from back to tummy to side positions during their waking hours. This helps to avoid physical complications and improve physical development.

That's why baby activity gyms are such great inventions. Even if your baby is laying on his back during play, the toys hanging above his head are going to encourage him to move his head side to side as he shifts his focus. This can happen just by hanging the toys to the side instead of directly above his head.

Activity gyms that come with a tummy time pillow can give babies who despise tummy time a little extra encouragement and comfort. Who wants to lay flat on the floor for several minutes a day with nothing soft underneath? I know I don't.

If your baby needs some time on his side, the activity gyms that come with the attachable mirrors that are great for getting baby to focus on something other than the wall.

Baby activity gyms are especially beneficial in the first three months when your little one is hitting those milestones one right after the other. Many are designed to grow with your baby, so you'll get a lot of use in that first year.

Oh, How Times Have Changed

The exact history of the baby activity gym is unclear, but what is clear is our ever-increasing knowledge of the benefits of toys for babies and children.

Since the earliest documented history, children have been playing with toys. Sometimes those toys were just sticks and rocks. Sometimes they were fortunate enough to have hand-crafted toys made specifically for play.

Around the 18th century, children were beginning to be recognized as separate human beings.

Around the 18th century, children were beginning to be recognized as separate human beings. This means that more focus was placed on their happiness in childhood rather than how their presence benefited their families. This was known as the Enlightenment Era for toy development. This is the era when rocking horses, puzzles, toy wagons, and other popular toys were developed.

The 20th century saw a rise in the middle class resulting in more families being able to afford toys for their children. Some popular toys (like Silly Putty) were even created by accident during the second World War. Toys that enhance creativity in babies and children grew in popularity and became staples in American homes with children.

Today's parents fully recognize the benefits of toys from an early age, sparking the creation of toys such as the baby activity gym. The colors, textures, and sometimes sounds found with an activity gym are beneficial for a baby's physical and cognitive development.

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Brett Dvoretz
Last updated on June 23, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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