This little gym is great for babies and toddlers. It has been a huge hit with my grandchildren who have all had hours of fun out of it. It is designed to last children for a long time which is rare these days! I find with the majority of toys aimed at children from a young age that they will only last a matter of months before they have out grown them but this gym adjusts so that as your child grows up this gym too grows with them.
The settings are great as it means when your baby can't sit up by themselves they can lie underneath it and kick away at the various rattles and things that fall down. The gym will then adjust so that your baby can play whilst sitting up. It then turns so that the kick plate is actually a little stool for your child to sit on whilst playing with the gym. Then the table turns round completely so that it can be used as a table and chair.
It has various settings including a motion one. This means that as your child pushes a rattle or bashes something then music will p lay. This is great for when your child is very tiny as it helps them learna bout how they have created the reaction as a consequence of their actions. The is also a music option in which the music sounds only if the buttons are pressed. The other option is notes. This is where the buttons don't play songs but just one note instead.
There are 4 big buttons in different shapes and colours that light up and flash along with the music. There are also three rattles that hang down and spin around as well as a mirror and a few pictures.
This toy is easy to adjust even I can do it so that is saying something! It is very light which means moving it around the house is easy which makes a change but it does also mean that as your baby gets stronger it can also move it by itself! It is easy to clean as it's just plastic which is a good job as it is well loved.
The gym will move into a little table and stool when they are bigger. This is great for a little one to sit at with some paper and scribble away or you can move the gym around so it's facing upwards so they can sit and play with the gym whilst on the stool.
This gym was bought for me as a present and it was a god send.
It says on the box from 3 months to 5 years and my baby started using it when she was 2 months and even then it was suitable.
I have friends who have other kinds of gyms and their babies get bored easily or the product isn't very easy to interact with but this one is brilliant.
It comes with five stages depending upon your child's development. These include:
Chair and table
Chair and Easel
Chair and activity table
The activity table without chair so baby can stand and play.
It is very simple to put together and very light so easy to take apart and carry around/transport. it is also very easy to adjust into the different modes too by just simply turning the various parts.
The baby gym is what my daughter is currently using and as said previously it has been a god send. The gym lies so that the baby lies beneath it like in the picture and three pull down toys come out including a twirling shape, a rattle and a big plastic rattle with balls inside which spins round.
There is also a mirror, pictures underneath where the pull down toys sit and four big buttons which light up/play music.
There are three different settings for the music these being:
Motion- where when the baby kicks/pulls the pull down toys the songs and lights begin.
Sound- where if the baby presses the big buttons they begin to play songs.
Notes- where each invidual button plays a different note whilst being pressed.
My daughter at just 9 weeks learnt to kick the toys to get the music to start. EVery time the music stopped she'd start kicking frantically until she had manged to get the song to play again. It usually entertains her for about 20 minutes on her own and then i can usually play with her on it for another 15 minutes or so. When she was younger it would tire her out and then she'd nap but now she's wide awake afterwards and really happy with herself!
The other modes of this gym I am yet to use and so cannot really comment on them fully but what I can say is that it is very easy to move into the different modes and it looks like a very good way of saving money/space as it will easy convert to a table for her to sit at and play with other toys once she is able to sit up straight and she will be able to press teh buttons to get sounds and learn about different notes as she gets older instead of just being able to kick or pull at toys.
This is a really good gym as it grows with the baby instead of the other ones on the market where you spend the same amount of money or more and the baby only uses it for a few months.
The negatives I can think of is that because it is so light when my baby kicks it sometimes it moves a little so eventually she's kicked it so much that she can no longer reach the toys. To counteract this I just put a book behind it so she cant push it away. There is also no volume control which may be useful for some although for me it's fine as i don't mind the noise of the songs!
This is available from Argos and other shops where you can buy toys for approximately £35 which as far as I am concerned is a bargain considering how long you will use it for compared to other baby products on the market like other gyms and bumbos.
Little Tikes 5 in 1 Activity Gym
Someone bought this activity gym for out 16 month old when he was first born, at the time my eldest child was two years old and he enjoyed it for a limited time but soon got bored.
The activity gym comes in a giant cardboard box. It is self assembly. All the screws are provided in a small plastic bag within the box.
Cost and Availability
The cost is anything between 30 and 50 pounds depending where you shop, it is widely available.
Ease of Assembly
I consider myself quite good at assembling items. I've never had a problem with flat pack furniture, which I've built a lot of, but struggled with two of the aspects of this activity gym, to this day I've never been able to make the parts fit together flush, they are screwed together, I cannot take this activity gym apart and so have nowhere to store this large and bulky item so it's in the middle of the floor at night and goes on my son's bed during the day, when not in use, which is most of the time.
Once built it looks like an excellent product, it is sturdy, and looks fun and exciting with large buttons that light up. This is a baby gym which offers lights, music and interactive toys that twirl and spin. You can adjust the section with the buttons, lights and toys on to face up, down and anywhere in between, this allows you to change it to keep up with the abilities of your child. If upside down you can lay your child on the floor beneath it and set the lights and music going, the toys hang down so they have something to reach for when they are capable. If angled between upside down and facing upward you can set it for a chair etc so your child can access it whilst sitting down, if upward then a walking or standing child can access it. To adjust you simply press in a button on either side and turn it, not so easy in practice but not rocket science.
My children have both had chance to use this, both got bored very quickly. I have tried time and again with my 16 month old since birth. When younger he liked to be carried always so I thought this might distract him and lay him underneath with the lights and music going, the novelty wore off very quickly each time and he was screaming within a couple of minutes to be picked up. I tried on a bouncy chair but even though the buttons are big and easy to press he got frustrated quickly again, as I couldn't get him close enough because of the design of the gym, a bar across prevented the bouncer getting close enough for him to reach, by the time he could stand he didn't want to play with it, occasionally he would approach it if left out but after a couple of presses he'd be off looking for something more fun.
We didn't pay for this item but if we had we would have been very disappointed, it's a lot of money and certainly isn't value for money, cost per use would probably be about 5 pounds per use. It is large and bulky as I stated earlier and, in our small terraced house, is very difficult to store, if it was easy to take apart it would be easier but I can't get it apart. All in all a poor choice for parents and babies, there are definitely more entertaining and convenient products on the market.
We bought this for our daughter for Christmas for £29.99 from Argos, she was 5 months old at the time. We wanted to get her something that would last and grow with her and that would cost a bit more than other people would spend on her.
It is described in the Argos catalogue as:
Winner of Mother and Baby Best Toy (0-1) Silver Award 2006.
Grow with me infant gym transforms into 5 different play centres.
Stage 1 - traditional play gym includes 3 hanging toys and a 'kick pad'.
Stage 2 - seated activity centre lets the child sit on the floor to play with the activities.
Stage 3 - stand up centre lets the child support themselves with a wide built-in bar as they play.
Stage 4 - play table converts to a tabletop where kids can sit and do art projects or play games.
Stage 5 - easel.
Includes 12 point adjustability and a locking feature.
Features 2 parent-selected play modes 'free play' or 'soothe'.
Includes sleep mode to save on battery life.
Requires 3 x AA batteries (included).
Suitable from birth to 3 years.
We thought this would be ideal with it having an age range of birth to 3 years and hope she won't get too bored of it before then.
I ordered it online about a month before Christmas and when I went to collect it I've got to say I started to think we'd made the wrong decision. It looks quite big and bulky in the photo when it is all made up so I was expecting quite a large box. When they brought it out it was not very heavy and so I presumed it wouldn't be very good quality. You can test the buttons through the box before you unpack it and it sounded fine so I kept the receipt and decided if it was no good we could take it back after Christmas.
On Christmas day after the unwrapping my husband put it together with minimal effort. Although he did complain about the sliding latches used to reposition the play tray. He thinks they're a bit hard to use but I don't have a problem. Despite my worries it was actually very sturdy plastic although if your baby is strong like ours she will be able to kick it and move it quite easily. We quite often placed her under it then came back to find it completely out of her reach as she had kicked it away. We solved this easily by placing it in front of the settee so she couldn't move it.
The play try part has 4 light up, musical buttons along the top and a mirror in the middle. Then underneath those are 3 different types of hanging rattle. We put it up in the stage 1 position so our daughter could lay underneath it. It has a motion setting on it so you don't have to press the buttons for anything to happen you can just kick the kick board and it will set it off. This was lucky since the buttons were way out of our 5 month old daughters reach. She did get a bit frustrated about this but she could reach the rattling parts easily enough. The music is quite loud and repetitive but I expect that from a kids toy so it doesn't bother me.
Another problem we found was that as she has long legs if we laid her under it the way you're supposed to with her feet against the kick board, she was too far away from the play area. So we ended up laying her under it the wrong way round so her head was at the feet end. This worked absolutely fine and she had lots of fun. She was fine using it this way until she learnt to roll over. As soon as she could do this whenever we laid her under it she'd roll straight onto her tummy and get stuck underneath with her head wedged under the centre rattle - poor thing.
She is now 6 months old and can sit up quite well so we've changed it to the stage 2 position. She loves it even more now as she can reach everything better from this angle. I'm presuming her enjoyment will grow more and more with time.
I think we made the right decision buying this as it has kept her quiet for long periods of time on numerous occasions. It's an excellent choice for any age, as we have a 1 year old niece who loved it and also have friends with a 2 year old daughter who was equally impressed. I wish we'd bought it sooner.
This baby gym is good value for money as it turns into different things as your child grows. To begin with it is a baby gym with buttons, a mirror, music, lights, and three differnet spinning activities. Baby can start by lieing flat to use it and there is a foot bar at the end which they can kick. (Apparantly the foot bar can activate the sounds and music but i have found that this generally doesn't seem to work.) When baby is able to sit unaided you can change the position of the activity centre to suit their new adjusted height. When baby is standing you can then turn the activity station into a table top and the foot bar turns around to be used as a seat. The table top also flips over to become a drawing table or an easel. The product is described as a 5 in 1 but personally i would describe it as a 3 in 1. Its a sturdy product and i would recommend it. Its also very easy to keep clean and the batteries last for ages (im still on my first set a year on)
We bought the Little Tikes 5 in 1 Activity Gym when my daughter was just a few months old. I feel I'm only now able to write a comprehensive review as she has only recently started to use the gym for the last purposes it is intended.
** What is it? **
The Little Tikes 5 in 1 Activity Gym is one of these multi-use toys. It is designed to grow with your child from birth onwards and adapts so that it can be used for different purposes as your childs requirements change.
As the name would suggest, there are 5 uses to the gym. I will go into them individually later on in the review, but so you have an idea of the purposes, the 5 modes are:
A baby gym
A seat with activity table
A desk with seat
I think the last mode is supposed to be where the activity bit lies flat and the baby can stand and play with the toys or cruise around it.
** How Easy is it to Assemble and Change Modes? **
The gym comes in 2 pieces (plus 2 plastic bolts). The main unit, with all the toys on is connected to the 2 legs and the seat/footrest needs to be attached. They are all made from strong plastic. I, personally think it looks a bit cheap and my first impression of the legs and the seat was that they were made from flimsy plastic, but they have lasted and haven't had any damage so far, despite 3 rough children playing with it.
It is very easy to assemble for the first time. The main unit swivels on the legs, so that it can be adjusted depending on the mode being used. The seat is just slotted into the holes in the legs and the bolts screwed on to hold it in place. Very simple (believe me, if I can do it anyone can). The seat has 2 positions as it is also used as a footrest in the baby gym mode.
Changing modes is again very simple. There are 2 slides on the activity table that when slid across will release the pins that hold the table in place. This will allow the table to be turned into the desired position and when the slides are released, the pins will click back into place. The footrest/chair may also need to be rotated depending on the mode, but this is as simple as removing the bolts, turning the chair and replacing the bolts again.
** What activities are on the table? **
There are 3 toys which can be pulled out from the table (but not removed). These rattle and twirl to make noises and patterns. There is a mirror in the middle and there are 4 buttons, which light up either when pressed or in time with the music.
There are sound settings which can be changed depending on the mode being used. There is the option for the music to be played by motion, so that when the baby moves the music will play. There is the option for the buttons to be played like a piano, where each button plays a different note and there is the option for a whole nursery rhyme to be played when a button is pressed. The music plays tunes such as Incy Wincy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and are great for the kids to sing and dance along to.
The only downside to the sound is that there is no volume setting and it is quite loud.
** The Modes **
The first mode is the ~baby gym mode~. This is what I bought this for originally. I hadn't realised that it was a 5 in 1 toy and had bought it solely for the gym part.
In this mode, the toys that come out of the table hang down so the baby can hit at them and if you put the music to motion it will play when the toys are swiped at.
It all sounds very good and looks great when it's set up. I had expected our daughter to love it. The baby lies in between the 2 plastic legs and the activity table will be right over their head. Our daughter hated it! To be honest when I look at it now, I can totally understand why she hated it at this point because it is rather big and I would imagine it could feel quite claustrophobic under there for a baby. I found that because the plastic legs were right beside her, when she was swinging her arms uncontrollably (as babies do), she would hit her hands off of the hard plastic and end up crying. As the music is also quite loud, I thought this may have added to the problem and made it even more scary.
So, despite buying the gym for this purpose, we never made use of it in this mode.
The next mode is the ~seat with activity table~. Once my daughter was a bit older, we bought the gym back out and set it up as a seat with the activity table.
This was a much bigger hit. She could sit on the bench style seat by herself or with a friend and all the activities on the table are within arms reach. There were a couple of downsides to this mode. The first is that the toys which come out from the table don't hold themselves up. I'm not sure if they are supposed to, but if they did it would be an improvement. The toys can still be spun or rattled while flat in the table, but it's not quite as easy for the child to get their hands round them to spin them. The second downside is the seat. As it's a bench style, it is quite difficult for young children to get themselves in and out. Also because it's plastic it's a bit slippy and I often find that my daughters bum has slid off the back and she'll be sitting on the floor with her legs over the bench. It's not high, so she doesn't hurt herself and she can still reach the toys, but just a bit of a pain. Despite these problems, this is the mode my daughter has used the most so far. She enjoys sitting at her own wee table, playing with the toys, singing and dancing to the music etc, so this mode was a big hit with her.
When the child is old enough, the activitiy table can be tilted to reveal the ~desk mode~. This is one of the modes my daughter has only recently started using and she absolutely loves it. It's got a whiteboard, so I guess if you were brave enough to give a toddler colouring pens, they could draw on there with them. We just use paper and pencils though. The desk is not flat, it's at an angle, so the child sits on the bench and the desk faces them. This is great for younger children as it's the most natural position for them to draw. My daughter finds this much easier than sitting at the kitchen table when making her creations.
The other mode my daughter has just started using is the ~easel~. The desk can be turned the opposite way, so that it faces away from the seat to enable the child to stand at it instead of sitting. There is a clip at the top of the board in this mode, so that you can fasten your paper and let your little one loose with their paints. This is great as the plastic is so easy to clean and it saves you worrying if the paint is going to come off your table. The only downside to this is that it's not very high, so isn't really suitable for older toddlers. It's at the perfect height for my daughter just now and she's 15 months (and average height for her age), so a 3 or 4 year old may have to stoop.
Lastly, I think (I don't have the box and can't think of any other purpose for this) is the ~standing mode~. This would be pretty much the same as the sitting mode, but turned the other way so that the activity table faces away from the seat and the child could stand and play with the toys on the table. We never used this for my daughter, purely because she liked the bench part of it. I think it would be quite good when finding their feet though as it would be a support and would aid in strenghtening legs.
** Price **
I bought this as an impulse buy and it cost me £35 just over a year ago from Next, and it's still available for this price on their website. I'm pretty sure it could be bought cheaper elsewhere though, so would advise shopping around.
** Conclusion **
So, there you have it. Not the best buy in the world, especially for the £35 I paid for it. However, if you can pick this up for a reasonable price, I would say to go for it. It could just be my little one that found it scary as a baby gym, but even if it's not used for that purpose, there are plenty other uses to make it a worthwhile purchase.
When my daughter was born my sister asked what she could buy as a present - she wanted something that would last for a while rather than clothing or a toy she would grow out of within a few weeks.
When we saw this in the Argos catalogue it looked like it was exactly what we wanted, it lasts from birth to 3 years so i thought it was something that would get lots of use.
So why is this gym different from others you can buy?
******Stage 1 - Lying down******
This gym has five different settings so it grows with your baby creating endless amounts of fun. When my daughter was a few weeks old we would lie her underneath the gym so she could watch the lights flashing and listen to the music playing. As she got older she would play with the three toys that hang down. The toys are a spinner that has small balls in so rattles, a ball that spins in circles and another toy i'm not quite sure how to describe, but also spins in circles. There's also a green bar at the far end to rest her feet on or to let her kick away and something.
******Stage 2 - Sitting******
When my daughter starting sitting on her own we turned the green bar so it became a seat. The tray that the musical buttons are on rotates all the way around so we turned this aswell. This then allowed my daughter to sit on the seat and have her first real taste of making the sounds herself by pressing the buttons.
My daughter still loves using this as a seat even though she's running about the house. We've moved it off of the music mode now and put it onto key mode and she's just starting to make her own tunes so spends hours playing with it.
******Stage 3 - Standing******
The gym is the perfect height when your little one is ready to stand and cruise. It is extremely sturdy so it gives them all of the support they need, although i should point out my daughter pushes it along the floor so it's probably best to have it pushed against a wall or something to stop it moving.
The keys are very close to the outside edge so any standing baby can easily reach them along with the toys that spin. I should say that the spinning toys don't seem to be as good in this mode. They are supposed to be self supported when you lift them but they fall down quite easily.
******Stage 4 - The desk******
I wondered what on earth could come next, surely after your baby is sitting and standing that's all it does? Well no. Little Tykes have cleverly designed this so that if you rotate the musical bar, the other side is a desk. This desk is ideal for building towers when your baby only wants to stand and point blank refuses to play sitting games! It has a little flap on the desk so you can keep it at a small size or expand it out that little bit more. I also use this as a little snack table for my daughter during the day as she can sit down or stand up eating her snack and i can rest assure most of the mess shall remain on the table. It's very easy to clean and it saves having to buy a table just for her like i've seen a lot of people do.
******Stage 5 - The Easel******
The final stage of the table is meant as an easel. This works pretty much the same as the desk so really i'd call it 4 stages rather than the 5. There is a little clip on the desk that will hold the paper still whilst your toddler draws to their hearts content.
There are three different music modes on the gym - motion, music and keys. The motion mode sets of the same musical tunes as the music mode, but instead of having to press the keys it works with motion of the toys that hang down. When my daughter hits one of the toys then the music plays and she dances. This was especially good when she was smaller and didn't have the strength or the knowledge to press the keys. The keys mode lets the gym play like a piano rather than setting off a whole tune.
There is also an on/off switch along with a demo key - ideal if you want a shorter version of the tune rather than the long one.
The musical buttons are also different colours and different shapes, a purple circle, red star, blue square and a yellow triangle. This will also help to teach your child their colours and shapes.
There are a couple of things i feel Little Tykes could do to improve this product, even though i do think it's fantastic. The bar at the end is made of plastic and is therefore quite hard for a baby to kick. I'd quite like to see some fabric that can attack to this bar when it's in the first stage so soften it up a bit and give your baby something else to touch.
A major downfall for me is that there is no volume control!!! The music is quite loud and it can easily drive you up the wall very quickly. If they don't want to add volume control then they could have lowered the volume slightly.
This is currently in Argos at £26.99 but my sister paid less than £20 for it in the sale. This is definately worth every penny and i would recommend it to anyone.
Our living room is quite small so this toy really has been ideal for us in a number of ways. I know a lot of people that have bought their little ones a table and chair to sit at but with this i don't need to. She has the fun of the toy and the use of the desk in one toy, what else could you need? This is a must buy toy. It's not just me that thinks so either - it won Winner of Mother and Baby Best Toy (0-1) Silver Award in 2006.
It loses a star for the volume control, otherwise it would have 5 stars.
The 5-in-1 infant gym transforms into five different play centres as a child grows. Stage 1 (0-6 months) traditional play gym includes 3 toys to bat at and a motion activated 'kick pad'. Stage 2 (6-12 months) seated activity centre lets the child sit on the floor or the seat to play with the electronic lights, sounds, buttons and fun activities. Stage 3 (9-14 months) stand-up center gives child support as they play with a wide built-in bar. Stage 4 (12-36 months) play table converts to a tabletop where kids can sit to do art projects, play games and more. Stage 5 (12-36 months) converts to an easel with a clip to hold paper (paper not included). Also features 3 parent-selected play modes: motion activated, songs or piano and locks into 12 positions. Perfect to stimulate growing bodies and minds.