“ Brand: Argos / Type: Play Mats „
When I was pregnant I was given many odds and ends from friends and family. Included in the stuff I received was this colourful, soft and cuddly play mat. We really needed something for the floor to put our son on because we had laminate floors in our old flat - they were cold and were prone to dirt, dust and food spills. The play mat comes in a lion style, which is padded out for comfort as the baby will lie down on this before they learn to sit up properly.
Using this, it was suitable from birth. I don't think I started using it until he was about 3 weeks, though, because we had guests around all the time after he was born so he was never put down enough to play on this! As we got it second hand it was a little musty smelling - my mum put it through a 40 degree wash, it came out smelling fresh; the colours didn't seem washed out and the whole thing stood the test of being washed.
The 'gym' part of the play mat is detachable and little toys can be hung from this - when we got it, the toys weren't there anymore so I would just attach little toys on the arch. It was a bit of a pain to put the material back onto the arch after washing it, too! I know that this play mat comes with 5 toys when you buy it new, but like I said we didn't get it in a new condition with the toys.
Sometimes the hassle of putting the gym section on was too annoying for me and so we'd have the play mat without the gym attached, which worked fine as long as we were in the room to supervise my son on it. The play mat itself comes with activities in-built like the squeaker on the nose of the lion, a crinkly ear and a rattle (somewhere, can't remember where lol!) Our play mat also had an assortment of colours on it; yellows, light green, orange and a gingham pattern on the material section of the gym/arch. I also loved the different material textures; a soft cotton almost-cloth fabric and a padded pillow-y section for comfort.
The play mat itself is very bendy and fold-able. My son eventually outgrew the mat and so we folded it up on itself and stuck it in a cupboard - with no effect on the shape or use of the mat so storing it shouldn't be a problem if you're looking to keep it for another baby.
The verdict? My son loved this mat. When he was younger he'd fall asleep on it no problem, or look up at the toys and have a conversation with them. As he grew he'd love to kick the toys and interact with them as well as use the different activities on the mat. He always had a good sleep after he'd been on the mat and I assume this is because he was so active on it.
Overall I found this mat easy to wash, comfy for my son, very safe and at around £19.99 it's also half the price of most of the fancy brands!
When I had my daughter I received two baby gyms as presents from friends so I decided to keep one at home and one at my mums for when we visited. One of the gyms was the Beanstalk Lion Gym.
This baby gym came in a reasonable sized box and it did require assembling when opened, this surprised me slightly as I expected it to be all ready just to fold out. To assemble the gym there are two long pieces of what I can only describe as bendable foam and you simply need to attach the plastic ends of the foam to the paws - making sure the bars cross over in the middle. This makes an arch over the lion mat, which at first did cave once or twice but it soon stopped.
The lion mat is yellow with a large cushioned head that has a bright orange mane. The paws are green and blue, two of each and these are more of a pastel colour rather than bright and the bars for the arch are also green and blue. The lions mane is made out of crinkly material that rustles when it is touched and sounds a bit like a bag of crisps! The mat itself is very soft and slightly padded although it isn't a cushioned mat, but very comfy for your baby all the same. Attached to the arch are several dangling toys:
Green Elephant - this has a big round tummy with a hole in the middle so baby can easily grab and hold him
Orange Giraffe - this toy squeaks when pressed and is made out of a kind of cordy fabric so it is a totally different texture for your baby to feel
Yellow Monkey - the monkey is yellow and blue and he squeaks when you press his tummy
Orange Lion - this again has a hole in his tummy so it is easy for baby to grab and hold
The fifth dangly toy is a bit of a random one, I don't actually know what it is! I guess I would describe it as a sort of octopus but there isn't a face on it, there are six dangly legs and each of them is a different texture for baby and it is also a rattle.
All of the toys are easily removed from the arch so your baby isn't restricted to just playing with them while they are dangling above their head and this is done by a velcro loop. The lion mat is washable which is great as there are many things that could end up being spilt on it - baby sick being one we had a problem with!!
My daughter absolutely adored this baby gym and she would quite often play happily for quite a long time and this was a daily thing! I first put her on the mat at just a couple of weeks old and she seemed to be totally entranced by the toys. Also when she was having a nap I tended to put her on the mat at times rather than in her moses basket as it was comfy for her and lovely to wake up to. When she was about five or six months old she seemed to get a little bored with the baby gym so I took the arches off and just left the mat as a little rug for her to sit on, and she enjoyed sitting and reading on it as she got older so we got more use out of it than I thought we would!
As it was a present I am not entirely sure of the cost but I think I have seen them for sale in Argos for around £20 but I am sure it would be cheaper online.
I would recommend this baby gym/mat as it is absolutely great quality, cute as hell and I am sure your baby will love it! For the quality, cuteness and fun my baby had with this I will give it five out of five stars!
Thank you for reading my review :)
I bought this when i was pregnant as it was in the sale and i like that the colours were bright but not as bright and garish as many baby mat gyms on the market. The mat is a lion with a yellow face and body, orange mane and blue and green feet. You have to put it together yourself but its very simple to do and also easy to take apart when it needs washing. The lions mane is makes crinkly noises as do the feet. The nose is a squeaker. The two bars which are connected to diagonal feet are blue and green and they cross over in the middle. You hang the five toys from the bars by velcro and they all make different noises and are different colours. We found our son always hit one with his hand and one with his foot when he was young. The toys are easily removed and we often attached them to his pram or carseat.
My partner and I had decided we should get a play mat for our son and after a lot of time looking around different places we picked one from Argos however it was out of stock so our second choice was The Beanstalk Lion Mat Gym. Although this was our second choice I am glad our first was out of stock!
The Beanstalk Lion Mat is perfect and very reasonably priced, suitable from birth and very simple to put together. It does not take up much room and it is lovely and soft.
The gym will be entertained for hours with the hanging animals.
The play mat can be used with or without the gym which is good when your baby is learning to crawl.
The blanket contains toys in different shapes, colours and has sounds including rattle, squeaker and crinkle.
The blanket is so soft that my son has fallen asleep on it quite a few times! It is also a great place for him to burn off energy; he loves to have a kick around on it.
An ideal item to put on your gift list for a friend/relative to buy you!
A friend bought my son the Beanstalk lion mat play gym when he was born; they purchased it from Argos for the price of £19.99.
The gym comes in a small box and you have to assemble it yourself, but it is very easy to do. The mat itself is a quilted mat with a big, lions head. The lion's mane is made of crinkly material that makes a noise when you scrunch it, the mat is very soft and has two paws sticking out of each side. The mat is orange and yellow, but the paws are blue and green, the colours are a nice, pastel colour, not a bright, harsh colour.
To assemble the dangling toys on the play gym, you are supplied with two long pieces of bendy foam; these have toys hanging from them. All you do is attach the plastic piece at each end of the foam to the plastic bit underneath each of the paws, you attach each end of one foam piece diagonally across the lions body, this then holds the two pieces of foam in an arch that goes over the play mat. We found it slightly difficult to get the arches to stay in place at first, but we did eventually manage to keep them up!
There are five toys that dangle from the foam arches. There is a blue and yellow monkey, when you press his tummy he squeaks. There is a yellow and orange lion; his tummy is shaped like a circle, with a hole in it so that the baby can easily grab him. There is a green elephant, which again has a round tummy with a hole in the middle so the baby can easily hold him. There is an orange giraffe, he is made of cord so has a different texture to the other toys, he also squeaks. In the centre of the foam bars is what can only be described as a kind of spider!! It doesn't have a face to it, it is just a round orange thing with 6 legs, and each leg is made of different material so that the baby has different textures to feel, this also rattles. All the toys can be removed easily, as they are attached with a Velcro loop from the top of them, so if they need washing they can come off very easily; the mat also washes in the washing machine which came in handy as Rhys tended to throw up on his every day!!
Rhys loved his play gym and he used it every day up until about 2 weeks ago when I felt he was bored of it as he was almost 6 months old, so we washed it and put it away for our next baby. He loved to play with the toys and loved to pull them off and play with them by himself. When he was first born, he would lay mesmerized by the toys dangling above him. We also used the mat by itself as something that Rhys could lay on to protect the floor, we just removed the foam bars and this then left the lion play mat for him to lay on.
When my first child was born we were given a baby play mat, the gym style with archways that stood over baby with various different toys dangling down for the little ones enjoyment. It was quite an expensive mat with lights and music and a whole range of accessories but it had one big flaw, the dye in the fabric wasn't fixed and when it came time to wipe it clean, after a post-dinnertime dribble, it was left with unsightly black streaks where the stripes of the Zebra smeared across the rest of the design. We kept the mat and used it again for our 2nd child but after another 2 years in storage it needed a good wash before I would let our 3rd child play on it, I knew though it was not machine washable and could not wipe it clean because of the previous disaster, we decided to abandon the mat and purchase a new one. With 3 children budget dictated what kind of play mats we could buy but I was more then happy with the cute looking Beanstalk Lion play mat exclusive from Argos.
The Beanstalk Lion play mat is of the traditional play gym design with a soft mat base and 2 arch ways which stand over baby with a selection of dangling toys, Lion differs from many designs though in that he is lion shaped rather than a simple square. His head makes a soft pillow for older babies to prop their heads on, his mane is made from different textured materials which create different sounds when they are touched and his nose contains a little squeezer which when pressed makes a little squeaking sound, much like that of an animals squeaky toy. The main body of lion is the major part of the mat which your little one will lie on, it's made from soft, almost fleece like, yellow fabric and his feet are made from 2 different coloured fabric which, like the mane, make different crinkle sounds when touched, lion also has a little tail made from the same fabric as the body.
The 2 archways of the gym come separate from the mat giving you the option to use it as a basic mat with no arches or with an alternative form of entertainment centre, or you can use it by attaching the archways using the circular clips under each of lions 4 paws. The bars themselves are padded and fabric covered and come with a series of loops for the toys to hang from, you get a central flower or sun (depending on your imagination) shaped ball which contains a bell, a giraffe and monkey which contains squeakers and an elephant and lion which rattle but have holes through their bodies for baby the grab hold of in order to shake them. Each animal toy hangs from a long strip of fabric which fixes with Velcro and threads through any of the loops on the archways, being fixed by Velcro like this means you can take them off, swap them around, hang totally different toys from the loops and even wash the toys if needed.
Jack has used his mat from the very early days, at first spending time on his back looking up at the toys above him and being stimulated by the pastel colours and smiling faces of the animals, now he's older and more mobile he spends quite a bit of time each day on the mat desperately trying to roll over but getting stuck on his side, you can see how determined he is to complete the roll but he hasn't quite managed it yet. He'll also spend time lying on his tummy, strengthening his muscles, he can push himself part way up now but tends to try and push forward with his feet, being only 4 months old he's a little too young to be co-ordinated enough to crawl and so ends up nose first in the play mat, tummy time therefore is strictly monitored so he doesn't spend too much time bumping his head!
Jack seems very comfortable on the mat even though it is not the thickest of bases, I do like to lay a blanket underneath just to provide an extra little softness but he's happy to use it either way. He'll lie for ages batting at the toys above his head, grabbing and shaking them, trying to pull them into his mouth.......he seems to have a lot of fun. The central ball frustrates him a little though as he tries to grab hold of it and it rolls around his hand, he'll chase it desperately trying to grab hold of it and with a little patience he usually manages to. He doesn't seem particularly interested in the different textured areas as yet but then he is still very young, when he's old enough to move around more and crawl I think he'll love playing with the textures and sounds, partly because he'll actually be able to deliberately get to them himself, he does seem entertained when an older person makes the sounds on his behalf though and becomes quite fixated by the noise from lions squeaky nose.
The play mat may not be a designer name and may not have lots of fancy electronic features but that, in my opinion, is it's greatest asset, you can detach the archways, roll lion up and pop him in the washing machine to give him a good clean with no worry that any electronics will get damaged, any extra parts may get broke or any colours from fancy patterns running. Jack gets just as much entertainment from his more basic play mat as my other children did from their top of the range one, they never really used the lights and the music wasn't all that pleasant either, the batteries were expensive to replace and in the long run the whole thing seemed like poor value for money, the exact opposite of the Beanstalk mat which at £19.99 is a really good price. It's well made and a good size for a growing baby, you don't need to think you're restricted to the toys that can be used with the mat as any toy that comes with it's own clip can be hung from it, being able to remove the arches also means that you can build up towers of sponge bricks, place favourite teddies around the mat......all sorts of different things for baby to look at and maybe even reach for, and means it's even suitable for babies able to sit unaided as the arches wont be stuck there getting in their way.
I only have one complaint about the mat and that is that after a few weeks use, and an over enthusiastic 2 year old deciding she wanted a go, one of the rings that fixes the archway snapped, fortunately though a piece of string, ribbon or a plastic ring clip from many toy ranges including Baby Einstein and Tiny Love will fit through and hold the arches in place.
For a lower priced play mat it's right there at the top of the class and I would certainly recommend it.
A range of rattles and other toys are also available from Argos matching the Beanstalk Lions design.
The blanket contains attractive toys for the baby, in variety of shapes, colours and sounds, such as squeaker, crinkle and rattle.