Product Type: Tiny Love baby products
Newest Review: ... as it kept my hyper baby quiet for up to half an hour (precious time indeed). However, it doesn't really last as long as they say it will... more
Endless source of fascination and fun for babies
Tiny Love's Gymini Deluxe
Member Name: sheri3004
Tiny Love's Gymini Deluxe
Advantages: A host of features to entertain babies and enhance development
Disadvantages: Not particularly cheap.
I’m really impressed by the Tiny Love range of colourful, developmental toys for babies. And if you’re looking for a playmat, the Gymini Super Deluxe Lights & Music model has to be one of the best (though not the cheapest) on the market. Described by the manufacturer as “a multi-sensory play environment”, it lives up to its promise. We received this as a gift when my daughter was born, and I’m really glad we did – although she’s only 2 months old, she’s already started taking notice of many of the features, and I’m sure she will get plenty of use out of it over the coming months.
The playmat is recommended for use from 0-10 months. It consists of a colourful, well-padded square mat with various features (described below) and two arches, from which hang a number of toys. There is no assembly required, as it simply pops up when removed from its sturdy plastic bag and unfolded.
The mat itself incorporates a range of fabrics and textures, with an animal theme. There’s an elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, monkey, birds and dragonfly, all brightly coloured with many details to catch a baby’s attention. For instance, the elephant’s ear – which has a crinkly texture when squeezed - lifts up to show a bird underneath. (Apparently, this helps with the concept of object permanence!) The zebra’s mane is textured (do zebras have manes? Well, this one does) as is the giraffe’s tail and the dragonfly’s wings. A little bird squeaks when pressed.
One corner of the playmat represents the “Lights and Music” element. Three textured flowers play music and flash lights when pressed, and there is also a control pad to set the music playing. The music includes 10 minutes of Mozart (Sonata for Piano in F) and 10 seconds each of various nursery rhymes. Apparently, these particular pieces have been carefully chosen for their structure, to contribute to language development, although I’ll have to take the manufacturer’s word for this. The music certainly attracts the attention of my little girl, who always stops to listen.
In one corner is a large mirror,which can be moved to various heights and angles. My daughter particularly loves this and will stare in fascination at her reflection, although obviously has no idea who it is! The mirror is also helpful in encouraging babies to lift their heads.
The two intercrossing arches have various toys hanging from them, which can be removed and moved from place to place as desired. They include a parrot, which rattles and has crinkly wings; a monkey, which also rattles and has springy legs; a cute rattly giraffe and a colourful elephant with crinkly ears. There’s also a brightly coloured bead rattle which could also serve as a teether. The hanging toys encourage babies to reach for and touch them, stimulating the development of gross and fine motor skills.
The mat is a brilliant place for young babies to lie on their backs or tummies, with a wealth of interesting things to look at, listen to and touch. According to the website, the arches effect “helps relax baby”, providing the security of a comparatively enclosed space. The arches can be removed once babies are a bit older, enabling baby to sit on the mat and play with the toys which were previously hung over his/her head.
The manufacturers provide helpful advice on how best to use the mat at different ages; this, along with other information, can be accessed via their website, www.tinylove.com.
Babies grow and learn incredibly fast during the first year and the playmat is marketed largely on its developmental benefits, including sensory stimulation, gross and fine motor skills, cognitive development (such as learning about cause and effect and object permanence), and language development. Apart from all that, it’s a fun play space which is attractive to adult eyes too.
The lights and music feature requires 3xAA batteries. The mat can be cleaned with a damp cloth, or machine washed in cold water if the sound unit is removed.
Available from various retailers including Mothercare, where it is priced at £44.99, or Amazon for £43.95.
Summary: If you're buying a playmat, make it this one.
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