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Learning Curve Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym

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£28.91 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
7 Reviews

Brand: Learning Curve / Type: Play Mats

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    7 Reviews
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      09.04.2013 23:21

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      Bright colourful, lot of textures and sound but not for us

      We brought this for our little girl to encourage tummy time play. It is a a bright coloured mat with lots of different textures, and sounds for baby to explore with a padded turner you can use in the middle for baby to navigate with. It can be brought from many retailers including Amazon and cost around £19.

      However right from the start she took a strong dislike to it and used to scream the house down when we tried to get her to use it. Initially we tried using just the mat without the turner as she was still quite small, however the mat is quite thin and on our wooden floor we found we needed blankets underneath to make her more comfortable.

      When we did eventual try on her on the turner she would scream and scream. Whilst the turner is padded I do think it needs more padding and that the mat needs to be thicker as it is not padded like the one we subsequently brought.

      She normally loves lamaze toys with their bright colours, textures and sounds but even with time, patience and multiple attempts this was not for her and in the end we brought another tummy time mat with a cushion which she loves.

      Not for us.

      This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.

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      17.09.2012 22:03
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      Try before you buy if possible

      Some weeks back when Baby CrazyEgg was 11 months, her physiotherapist was very keen on encouraging her to push herself up on her arms. "If she doesn't Commando crawl from this position, the next thing I would be looking for would be whether she will lie on her tummy and move round 360 degrees."

      At this point in time it was quite apparent to me that Baby CrazyEgg was not ready to 'Commando crawl' anywhere. I resolved that we would have to try and encourage the 360 degree tummy spin. Imagine my excitement when my sister-in-law, SaneEgg presented me with a Lamaze Spin and Explore Garden Gym, that Baby CrazyEgg's cousin was no longer using. Not in the remotest regions of my mind had I imagined that a toy designer would have created such an item. It consists of two parts. A play mat and a curved plastic tray, slightly tilted and secured on a turntable. This tray is then covered with fabric so that it resembles a ladybird. Confused? Good job Doo Yoo have provided a picture then: take a look! That Ladybird rotates round.

      It seemed like this was the ideal device to encourage Baby CrazyEgg to push herself up and move arms and legs in order to rotate. The Ladybird turntable would support her abdomen and chest, and I could sit in front of her to encourage rather than holding and supporting her from behind. The flower-shaped mat is beautifully designed with the usual bright colours you would expect from Lamaze and a number of garden-themed activities and scenes: A butterfly with crinkly-crunkly wings, a pouch that resembles a bird's nest with a squeaky bird hidden within (I let the squeak pass for a chirp), a bee hive with a bee that rattles (I override this with the correct buzzing sound obviously) , a rabbit and a flower, and two wiggly worms on flappy crunchy leaves. What baby would not want to spin around looking at all these great things?...Baby CrazyEgg.

      The first time I put Baby CrazyEgg on the turntable her face screwed up in protest. There was a small wailing sound. I tried to gently turn the Ladybird so she would see how great it was, but this was easier said than done because she was trying to roll off. I would have been excited, but we had mastered rolling from tummy to back some weeks before so it was old hat. Baby CrazyEgg on the other hand was getting increasingly frustrated that her usual smooth roll manoeuvre was not working due to the concave contraption I had placed her upon, and it was looking increasingly likely that she was going to fall off.

      It is possible that Baby CrazyEgg was too small for the turntable at this time and that this made it uncomfortable, though the thin cover over the hard plastic is poorly conceived I feel. Greater padding would improve the spinning sensation. I vowed to try and reproduce the experience myself using a Lazy Susan and a small occasional table in order to see, but I don't own either of those things. Once on the turntable it seemed that if Baby CrazyEgg's arms were outstretched and hands on the floor then her feet were in the air so could not push. If her feet were on the floor her arms were in the air, and she could not see the mat. Repeated attempts to use the Play and Spin Gym all had the same outcome: an anguished Baby CrazyEgg straining to roll off, sometimes even as she was being put onto it.

      After she had been subjected to the horrors of the Play and Spin Gym for a few days in succession Baby CrazyEgg decided to show me, amidst much huffing and puffing, that she could rotate round 360 degrees on her tummy just-fine-thank-you-very-much-and-no-mistake.

      Yesterday, with Baby CrazyEgg now 15 months and somewhat larger I tried out the Play and Spin Gym again. This time she allowed herself to be placed on the turntable where she lay stock still with both hands and feet now reaching the floor and fixed me with a rueful gaze.

      Today she began Commando crawling.

      The play mat and the cover for the Ladybird turntable are both machine washable. They retail for around £25 which would be very reasonable if your baby enjoyed the toy, but I am glad we were given it free. The mat can be used on its own of course and we still have a bit of play value to go here, but the turntable has been permanently cast aside.

      Oh, and it turns out Baby CrazyEgg's cousin did not like this toy either- but he just crawled off it.

      ©CrazyEgg 2012

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      • More +
        03.05.2012 15:30
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        Great looking toy that my child did not get on with

        The Lamaze Spin and Learn Ladybird was given to me by a friend who had used it with her baby for a while, but they did not get on with it, so we thought maybe it was just her baby and that maybe my son would like it, this was not to be the case. The toy is suitable from birth up to when they can sit up.

        The toy, as with all Lamaze products looks great it is brightly coloured and has lots of features and things to encourage play. The toy comes with a flower shaped mat and a plastic and rotating platform. The idea is that you put the mat on the floor with the platform in the middle, you then lie your baby, once they can hold their head up, on their tummy on the platform, and they use their arms and legs to move round exploring the different parts of the mat. The rotating platform is in the shape of a ladybird, is padded and sits about 15cms of the ground, it is sturdy and spins smoothly round.

        Now the mat is great, it has a different features on each petal, which include a bumble bee with a rattle inside, a leaf which you can lift up to reveal a worm, a butterfly with wings that you can flap, a nest with birds inside, one of the birds has a squeaker inside and can be put into the nest and a rabbit next to a flower which has a mirror inside it (this can be removed). Round the edges of each petal is a ribbon, which allows you to attach other toys to the mat to enhancing the playing experience.

        I started using the toy when my son was around 2.5 months and he loved playing on the mat, exploring all its features, however, he never really got on with the rotating platform. I would put him on and he would spin around a little bit but then get uncomfortable and a little bit upset and I would take him off, I tried a few more times as he got a bit older but to no avail, so I abandoned the rotating platform and he would happily play on the mat. The mat was used most days for a good few months, so it was good in that respect, the rotating platform was rendered useless very quickly.

        Overall, I am not sure whether or not to recommend this toy to others as in my experience and that of my friend, it was not suitable for our children, so was really a waste of money as we could of just bought a normal play mat without the rotating platform, however, your baby may love spinning around on it.

        One thing I would say is that it is not suitable from birth, as it says on the box, your baby needs to be able to hold its head up if using the rotating platform, however, the mat can be used from birth, so a bit of common sense is needed really.

        Overall I give this product 2 stars, as the mat was great, the platform was useless and at full price, £32.99, it is quite expensive.

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      • More +
        13.02.2010 23:01

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        Some children seem to love this while some like mine hate it

        I bought my daughter the lamaze spin and explore playmat when she was a few months old. The whole concept of the mat is that it encourages tummy time in babies. This is important in strengthening the back and neck muscles ready for sitting ect. The idea of the mat itself is great. Baby lays on their tummy on the ladybird and can easily reach the various activities on the playmat. The ladybird also rotates so baby can spin themself around to reach all of the toys around the mat. As i said the idea is great but my daughter absolutley hated hers. As soon as i laid her down on it she would become hysterical. She had no problem with laying on her tummy directly on the floor so she must have taken a disliking to the toy. The ladybird part seems comfortable enough but despite my best efforts i could not get her to use it at all. The playmat did come in handy and she enjoyed playing with all the different bits and pieces on it like the crinkly butterfly wings and the rattly bee. I did give it away to my nephew recentley and he absolutley loves it so i think it depends on the child really. For us it wasn't worth 25 pounds as we only got to use it as a basic playmat.

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        16.09.2009 15:12
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        If only they sold the play mat without the spinning part

        This is a very versatile toy with lots of lovely features that my 11 month old son still plays with. I bought it for him when he was two months old as I was looking to find a way of encouraging him to play on his tummy and had read a lot of positive reviews about this product.

        ~~~ Product Description ~~~

        This toy comes in two parts. The first part of the toy is a nice, brightly coloured play mat which is about 70cm in diameter and is in the shape of a flower with 5 petals. Each petal has a different activity: there is a bumble bee attached to the mat by elastic which has a rattle inside; there are two large leaves which have crinkly material inside; there is also a butterfly whose wings have the same crinkly material; there is a flower with a mirror attached to it which can be removed; and there is a nest with some baby birds in it, one of which contains a squeaking toy and which can be tucked inside the nest.

        The second part of the toy is the tummy spinner. This is made from sturdy plastic with a padded fabric cover which goes over the top part to cushion it for your baby. This is in a ladybird design. The spinner moves around very smoothly and is around 15cm from the ground which enables your baby to touch the toys on the mat when lying on their tummy.

        ~~~ Age Recommendation ~~~

        The manufacturers state that this product is suitable for babies from 0 to 6 months however the spinning element of it should be removed once your child is able to sit up at around 5 months.

        ~~~ My Experience ~~~

        I certainly would not consider putting a newborn baby on the spinning ladybird as they would not have the strength in their neck so would be very uncomfortable with their head hanging down. My son is big and very strong (he was 9lb 6oz when born and could support his head from birth) however the first few times I used it with him he did not like it at all as he was suddenly being forced to use his neck muscles in a way in which he was not used to.

        However, once he had got used to having to support his neck in this way he really enjoyed being able to move himself around to get to whichever toy he wanted to play with. I only let him play on it for a few minutes at a time as any longer than that and he got very frustrated and annoyed. I suspect that part of the reason for this is that the top part of the spinner is not very thickly padded so he was getting uncomfortable.

        This toy did help to encourage my son to enjoy spending time on his tummy even though it was only for a few minutes at a time. However, I found that my son much preferred to lie on his tummy on the carpet or in his cot with toys all around him instead.

        Once my son was too old for the spinning element of this toy I used the play mat all the time especially when my son was learning to sit up as I could sit him on it and he could play with all the toys around him.

        Although my son is now 11 months old, he still likes to get this play mat out from his toy box to play with the crinkly fabric, shake the bumble bee rattle and stick the mirror onto the mat.

        ~~~ Quality and Safety ~~~

        This is a very well made toy. The stitching on it is very secure so there is no danger of your child pulling off any of the smaller parts of the toy and choking on them.

        It is not safe to leave a child unattended on the spinning part of this toy as they may be able to roll off it.

        ~~~ Pricing and Availability ~~~

        The recommended retail price of this product is £33.99 however I bought it from Amazon for just under £25. It is widely available at other stores such as Tesco Direct and Argos.

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          13.01.2009 03:01
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          See in review.

          I was delighted when I came across this toy when looking on the Internet for my three month old's first Christmas. He is not a lover of tummy time at the best of times, and has a slightly flattened head from being on his back so much.

          It is a lot smaller than it looks in pictures, but just the right size for a wee baby. It is suitable from birth and when your child is beginning to sit up, you can remove the spinner so they can carry on playing with the play mat itself. The spinner comes with a soft red ladybird cushion that you insert the top of the spinner into. You can then lie your baby across it very comfortably.

          The mat itself has crinkly butterflies to feel, a mirror for baby to admire themselves and drool on as my wee man does, a squeaky little bird toy baby can tuck back in its nest, a little bee rattle and crinkly leaves. Plenty to keep baby amused. The spinner is low to the ground, but a very young baby will not be able to spin themselves, you can do this for them.

          The spin garden helps to encourage building up upper body strength and neck support whilst entertaining your baby all the while. It may seem as though your baby doesn't like it at first, but not many babies do like to be placed on their belly. I found it helps to start with using it just for a few minutes and gradually building up to ten or so. At £29.99 its reasonably priced.

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          06.01.2009 23:12
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          Innovative play gym for older babies

          Not long after my daughter had been born we started to notice the back of her head was flattening at one side. We soon realised that it was being caused by a preference for looking to the left when sleeping. Like most parents we follow the information provided by the charity SIDS, to prevent cot death. This includes always lying a baby on his / her back to sleep. We were advised amongst other things to make the most of 'tummy time' for playing as much as possible to provide relief to her head .

          Through my research into ways of improving the problem I came across the Lamaze Spin and Explore Gym. This is really quite different to many play gyms on the market as in the centre of the gym is a moulded red ladybird that is shaped for a baby to be laid on it on their tummy so their arms and legs hang over the sides and touch the floor. This allows babies to play on their tummies to improve muscle development and head control. The ladybird can rotate through 360 degrees so babies can push themselves round. Underneath the ladybird is a brightly coloured play mat shaped like a flower with five petals. Each petal is a different colour and some have toys attached to them. These are as follows:

          1) The main colour is pink. It pictures a bunny and a large flower with orange petals. There aren't any extra features on this petal.
          2) The main colours are blue and purple. It has a pocket attached that is shaped as a bird's nest. Hiding in the pocket is a pull out baby bird.
          3) The main colour is purple. It features a butterfly, it's wings come out of the play mat and crinkle when touched.
          4) The main colours are red and orange. It has a pullout bee attached that has a rattle inside it.
          5) The main colour is green. It features two worms. There are two leaves that come out from the play-mat that crinkle when scrunched by little hands.

          It is described as being suitable for babies between birth and six months. The advertising states that from five months when baby can sit unaided you can stop using the spinner and use as a play mat alone.

          I found this to be cheapest at Amazon due to the option of free delivery so chose to buy it from this site. On checking today it was £21.17 delivered from Amazon. Apart from possibly checking out Ebay this still seems to be the cheapest option.

          I had this wrapped up for Christmas and we first tried it out on Boxing Day when Georgie was 10 weeks old and a day old. She really didn't like it at all, at this age she wasn't able to lift her head up. She was only laid on in for about a minute when she got upset and we took her off it again. Since then, I have tried putting her on it each day. Over time she has started to tolerate it a little more each day. She can now lift her head right up for a couple of minutes and can push herself round. However, she still isn't keen on it and won't stay on it for more than four or five minutes. I am hoping that over time as her strength improves she will like it more. However, I do think Lamaze should consider having this marked for three months onwards instead of from birth. In fact I don't think it would be a good idea at all for babies with no head control whatsoever. In addition, I don't think it will be much use once she can sit unaided as a play mat as the mat is rather small and not really all that exciting once you remove the ladybug.

          This is a good choice for babies from about three months with some head control that enjoy playing on their tummy. For my baby so far it hasn't provided too many benefits as I think she is too young to really use it to its full potential.

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        • Product Details

          Lamaze puts a unique spin on tummy time play, an important developmental phase for all newborns. Babies gently and comfortably spin round on their tummies, stretching and building upper bodies while exploring lots of squeaky, crinkly, tactile fun. Remove the spinner once babies sit up about 5 months and the fun and learning grow on and on. Employing a colorful play mat with varying texture and layers, baby will be visually and physically stimulated by the fun developmental features.