Best Activity Mats for Babies
One of the greatest gifts you can give a family with a newborn is one of the best activity mats for babies. These floor mats are a wonderful way for a new baby to start discovering his/her senses. They come with a multitude of toys that promote different colors, textures, and sounds. Usually, the toys can be switched out to keep your little one engaged. When it’s time to start strengthening your baby’s neck and back muscles, an activity mat is the perfect area to place your baby for “tummy time.”
Not only are these activity mats for babies helping for developing your newborn’s mind and muscles, but they make a safe, clean place to put down your child if you have to attend to chores or a crying toddler in the other room. Read on to find out the best 10 activity mats for babies that you will want to put on your gift wish list.
Our Recommended Activity Mats For Babies | 2021 Reviews
10. Fisher-Price Deluxe Kick ‘n Play Piano Gym
This baby activity mat from Fisher Price is a total sensory experience that will change as your baby grows. When you place your newborn on his/her back, your baby will be able to view the 5 dangling toys and encourage reaching and grasping movements. There is a mirror for looking at that tiny baby face, an elephant teether, crinkly panda, lion rattle, and monkey cymbal clackers. All 5 can be repositioned to keep things interesting, but if they yearn for different toys, these dangling baby toys can be added to the frame too. As your baby discovers the top portion of the play mat, his/her feet will be working on awareness skills too. A large keyboard includes 5 light-up keys. Won’t your baby be surprised when his/her feet start playing music?!
This activity mat engages your child in many ways. If you are traveling, the keyboard actually detaches for entertainment on the road. When stationary, the mat can be used for back time and tummy time development. Once your child learns to sit up, the keyboard rises up, so your baby can play on the piano while seated. If you really want to get involved, help your young child learn the names and sounds of the animals included on the pattern. Of course, babies tend to spit up and drool, so this mat is convenient in that is is machine washable.
What We Like
- Multiple sensory stations
- Takeaway keyboard
- Adjustable dangling toys
- Machine washable
9. Fisher-Price Rainforest Music Lights Deluxe Gym
Your little one will be full of wonder when you put him/her on this rainforest-themed activity mat for babies. Not only does it include over 10 toys for your baby to explore, but it features flashing lights with music if you choose to activate them. You can set the switch to play music and have different colored lights for up to 20 minutes at a time without pause. The adjustable toys (plush monkey, mirror, plush jingle lion, rollerball snail, clacker zebra) can be switched in position to keep your child engaged. They can also be attached to the floor mat area for tummy time entertainment.
Traveling with a newborn can always be a challenge, but taking this activity mat for babies will help ease things a bit. Place it down in a hotel room when you need to unpack or it’s the perfect accessory to take along if you are going to picnic in a field. Your baby will have a clean, safe place to lie down, while the rest of your friends and family can enjoy a pleasant meal. Car rides can be difficult with a baby as well, so bring the removable toucan to help keep your child entertained. When the toucan’s wings are pressed, or if it’s given a slight shake, its music and lights will activate.
What We Like
- Take along toucan
- 10+ attachable toys
- Machine washable
8. Activity Mat For Babies by Lovevery
Every parent wants what is best for their baby, so that’s why Lovevery made this play mat with extraordinary care. Not only will your new child get sensory play, but he/she will get it with Montessori-inspired activity areas. What this means is the toys and activities used with this mat do not produce overstimulation like some other baby activity mats can. The toys found here include an organic ball and teether, a wood batting toy, and 4 learning card sets. All materials used come from ethically and sustainably sourced materials such as FSC-certified wood and organic cotton.
Encouraging brain and motor skill development comes naturally when your baby is placed on this activity mat. This award-winning toy comes with 3 adjustable clips which attach to the toy’s frame for visual focusing areas. Place them in various spots around the frame to encourage head movement, which prevents flat spots on the head.
The mat itself promotes hide-and-seek activities which can lead to object permanence understanding. An added bonus is this mat turns into a small fort when used with the included cover: perfect for when your baby turns into a toddler! For the parent, there are play cards that give wonderful suggestions on how to play with your baby in the first 12 months of life.
What We Like
- Organic cotton
- Coverts to play fort
- Playtime ideas included
7. Infantino 4-in-1 Jumbo Baby Activity Gym & Ball Pit
From the newborn stage to the toddler years, this activity mat from Infantino will be useful for many years. In the earliest days for your baby, this play mat can be used to develop important sensory skills for your newborn. It comes with 5 toys plus a mirror and removable teether to attach to a stroller or high chair. Safe for brand new babies, this mat has a cute sloth theme with a soft pillow to help encourage comfortable tummy time. Your child will delight in looking in the mirror or grabbing for his/her favorite plush toy. Whether your baby prefers the crinkly toys or the BPA-free teether, he/she will find something to play with.
When you baby grows into a toddler, this activity mat turns into a fun, safe ball pit! A small net wall can be placed around the 32 inch diameter play mat and 40 light plastic balls can be dumped into the area. Up to 2 toddlers can fit into the ball pit and spend hours exploring this new environment. When it’s time for a nap, simply place the balls into the sloth for easy storage. Not only will your baby love the ball pit, but it will be a point of interest to any toddlers in your home as well. Due to the versatility and ease-of-use of this toy, this is one of the best gifts you can give to a parent with a baby.
What We Like
- Cute sloth theme
- Tummy time pillow
- Converts to ball pit
- Simple storage
6. Skip Hop Activity Mat For Babies
It’s never too early to install a love of nature to your children. After you finish a family hike using one the best baby carriers for hiking, place your new child on this activity mat created by Skip Hop featuring an outdoorsy, woodlands theme. Made safe for newborns by being phthalate-free and 36 x 36 x 38 inches, your new baby will love exploring the different forest creatures found here.
Looking like a campfire in the middle of the woods, your young child can enjoy any one of the 17 developmental activities, including a light-up firefly, a musical raccoon, and a scenic backdrop for visual stimulation. When it’s time to strengthen your child’s neck muscles, have your child placed for tummy time on the cozy bear pillow.
Other toys that come with this play mat are a turtle mirror, bear rattle, and a wooden teether toy that plays “Twinkle, Twinkly Little Star.” There is no shortage of fun activities to engage all of your baby’s senses. The woodgrain pattern on the frame may look like real wood, but they are actually soft and sturdy, so your child will always be comfortable. When babies turn into toddlers, the frame can be removed for a more open concept play mat. Plus, the peek-a-boo flap found on the mat’s surface is one more way to development the object permanence concept.
What We Like
- Unique design
- BPA/PVC/Phthalate free
- Removable frame
- Bear pillow
5. Baby Einstein Caterpillar & Friends Activity Mat For Babies
This baby activity mat by Baby Einstein has no shortage of colors and sounds to astound your new baby. He/she will quietly spend hours exploring the new environment while secretly learning new skills. The 6 dangling toys can be interchanged to keep things interesting for your child, and each one contains a different learning experience. The soft flashcards introduce different animals to your child, the rattle helps with auditory development, and the house mirror will allow your baby to explore his/her facial features. The surface of the mat has bold, bright colors and pictures to draw in your child’s interest during tummy time.
When you’re on-the-g0, grab the musical star to keep your young child entertained on car rides or in a restaurant. With bright lights and 8 classical songs, the star will engage your child’s interest to prevent whining. This activity mat is useful for a baby, but easy on parents too. It has a fast assembly structure and can be folded up for compact storage. If you travel a lot with your child, use this mat as a place to put your baby while you tend to unpacking. Since the play gym is machine washable, you can easily pop it into the machine when it gets soiled from drool or dirt.
What We Like
- Detachable musical star
- Bright colors
- 8 classical songs
- Easy assembly
4. Washable Baby Gym Activity Center with Animal Play Mat
This gender neutral activity mat for babies is one of the best for neutral nursery decor. It’s soothing colors and patterns fit in with any theme, so you don’t notice a large baby toy in the middle of the room. Not only will this mat blend seamlessly into your home, but it’s machine washable and baby-safe, so you can easily keep it clean for the health of your child. What makes this mat even better for parents is the anti-slip fabric on the bottom of the surface for even more safety. When traveling with this mat, you can safely place it on any surface (including wood and marble) without fear of it slipping off.
This cute baby play mat is not only good for parents; it will be one of your baby’s most beloved toys too! It features 6 hanging toys including a cactus, sun, rainbow, bear, squirrel, elephant, and moon shaped pillow for tummy time. Depending on the toy, your child will discover rattles, crinkles, plushness, or textures. All of the toys, surfaces, and frames are soft to the touch, so any place your child chooses to touch and explore will be a pleasurable one.
What We Like
- Neutral colors
- Gripping bottom
- Tummy time pillow
- Safe for sensitive skin
3. Yookidoo Activity Play Mat For Babies
One of the greatest qualities to look for in a baby activity mat is the ability for it to grow with your child. Yookidoo understands that concept, so they came out with a play mat that can engage your child until the toddler years. When you first bring your baby home, place him/her on their back to start developing their eyesight and hand-eye coordination. When looking up, the overhead buggy moves from side to side helping your little one turn his/her head to follow the car. This prevents flat spots on the head and encourages eye tracing. The 5 dangling toys can be extended by adding more rings, so babies can either reach them easily or have to work for it.
When your child is ready for tummy time, the moving buggy and track can be placed on the surface of the activity mat. Choose from 3 figures to add to the buggy and watch it zip back and forth in front of your baby’s face. Your child will want nothing more than to reach for that toy! When placed within 10 inches of your baby’s sight, he/she will want to work those neck and back muscles.
Other included toys to keep your child engaged are a prince, princess, dragon, mirror, and flower face with beads. When all of those toys have been thoroughly explored, it’s time to switch your mat to the 3rd stage. Simply remove the framed arches for a sitting child, and allow him/her to play with the moving buggy alone. He/she can tap it to get it activated, teaching cause-and-effect. Musical scores only add to the outstanding features of this multi award winning toy.
What We Like
- 20+ developmental activities
- Moving buggy & track
- Musical tunes
- Multi award winner
2. Sassy Stages STEM Developmental Play Gym
Although bright colors are attractive to babies, the sharp contrast of black and white can be just as curious to little ones. With this play gym created by Sassy, babies get the best of both worlds. This STEM developmental toy promotes fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and brain development during the earliest years of your child. What makes this activity mat for babies even better is the helpful suggestions printed on the play surface for age-appropriate activities your child can do. With 12 toys that can be attached to the arches or play mat, there is a plethora of activities from which your child can choose.
Some of the toys included are a mirror, rattle, bear plush and squeaker, rainbow chime, textured teether, 4 crinkle flags, 3 textured peek-a-boo flaps, a 2 sided tummy time pillow, and 4 ribbon rings. Many of these toys are detachable to bring them in a stroller or a baby carrier for on-the-go entertainment. With the extra soft padding and machine washable fabric, you and your baby will be happy with this gift. Sassy has always been dedicated to producing high quality toys that lead to engagement and development, and this is no exception.
What We Like
- Black & white
- Multiple textures/sounds
- Activity ideas
- STEM focused
1. Yookidoo Play ‘N’ Nap Baby Activity Gym
Yookidoo stands out among the rest due to the unique features found in their activity mats for babies. This one not only engages your child when he/she is awake, but it comes with an attached blanket that creates a cozy environment for nap time. It’s no secret that babies need a lot of sleep, and sometimes, it comes on without warning! If your child is playing on the mat and suddenly dozes off, simply unfold the blanket and place it over your child’s body. When not in use, the blanket is safely stored away by being rolled up and secured with Velcro-like loops.
When your baby is awake and actively engaged, this mat comes to the rescue with 5 sensory toys. It includes a multi-textured fox rattle with bold sliding beads, a tummy time bear pillow, and a motion-activated musical frog rattle (batteries not included). The mat is easily machine washable for those accidental spills and it is completely foldable for compact transportation and storage. Rest easy buying this activity mat as it comes with a one-year warranty.
What We Like
- Included blanket
- Multiple sensory toys
- Safe teddy bear pillow
- One-year warranty