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“What I Love” Wednesday — Activity Mat

2011 July 27
by bvoboril

If I had to pick the one item that has kept Ethan the most entertained, it would have to be…

This Week’s Product: Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym

We were given this activity mat by one of my oldest friends, Amanda Rounds. While her beautiful daughter is very grown up now and long past the baby gear stage, Amanda knows what new mommies need! That’s right, this is a gift for both mom and baby because it provides some hands-free entertainment for even tiny babies.

Other then wanting an excellent development toy for my baby, I wanted this mat because it’s cute! To sweeten the deal, it is under $40! Of course you can go get a very modern Skip Hop mat for $75 (or many others for over $100) but this one met all of our needs and is stylish to boot.

Ethan started using this play mat when he was about three months old. At that time, he didn’t do much playing, just looked at the colors and shapes.

(NOTE: I’m pretty sure most full term babies use these things earlier—Ethan was still a teeny tiny peanut at three months!)

Once we discovered the little giraffe plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when pressed (see the musical note?), this mat became our go-to cry stopper…Ethan LOVES Twinkle. We sing it to him all the time, but the high pitched tone of this toy’s music is instantly soothing to him—for the ten seconds that it plays anyway. (I’m surprised the battery is not completely dead on ours!)

As soon as Ethan had any sense of his hands, he was going to town grabbing all the fun toys. Now that he’s bigger, he likes to stand (we hold him of course) at the arches and play with the toys. We also put his Boppy under there and sit him up to play. He can get each of the toys in his mouth now, so he’s a happy camper.

He’s in ‘toy overload’. Both Sophies AND the playmat toys. 

I really wouldn’t make a single change to this toy! I know several friends who have this same one and they’ve all had rave reviews. Plus, if you aren’t a gender-specific/bright pastels toy person (like me), this toy will surpass your expectations with it’s modern patterns and gender-neutral colors.

To top things off, the mat folds up in a snap for easy storage. We don’t put it away often, but if we need to it is a cinch. As you can see, it is sometimes propped up in the corner next to our fireplace. Because it folds up, it’s made several road trips and will soon be packed in a suitcase for our upcoming trip to Nebraska.

So, basically, I highly recommend this item!  I hope this helps someone out there sort through the hundreds of activity mat options…it can be overwhelming.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. July 27, 2011

    We’ve never folded ours up, I didn’t even think to! But that’s a nice plus. A friend got the skip hop forest one, and it’s cute and all, but WAY too expensive for my taste. I love this mat! Otis is entertained by it, Ingrid loves to crawl under the arches. I think its run is coming to an end though, as Otis now wants to sit up and he doesn’t like to be under the toys.

  2. July 27, 2011

    Oh, man, I wish I had known about this when I was doing my registry! I got the Baby Einstein Ocean Wonders one, which is fine, but I think this is way prettier and I love the fold-up option.

    Of course, Lorelai does adore her octopus, so perhaps it’s good we got the one we did…

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