“ Manufacturer: Beanstalk / Age: Newborn „
I bought this for my newborn and he thoroughly enjoyed it. The bright colours kept him occupies and so did the coloured 'blobs' on the mat which make a scruchy sound. Each of the dangly toys are removable and are a handy size to keep in a changing bag. The toys all make noises such as squeek. The mat is soft and slightly padded.
The only down side to this gym are that the dangling toys are quite high up and my child was unable to reach them for quite a while I used to push the bars down so he could reach them.
When my baby grew out of this toy, at around 7 months, I detached the top bars and use it as a play mat in his room. It is a colourful addition to his room and he enjoys playing with it. He also plays with all the little dangling toys.
Last Christmas, instead of presents for ourselves, my partner and I asked family members and friends to buy bits and pieces for our upcoming new arrival. Two of the must haves on our list were a baby gym and play mat, with the two combined being even better. This, the Beanstalk Butterfly Mat And Gym was bought by baby's Great Grandma for a reasonable £24.99 from Argos.
The mat itself is fairly large, brightly coloured and obviously in the shape of a butterfly, with a circular crinkle area on each of the four wings. The two toy arches sport a total of five soft toys that dangle at just the right height for seven week old Freddy to hit with either his arms or legs. These toys include a mirror and rattles in the shape of various animals and a flower and are all designed to stimulate baby's senses. The gym and mat are easy to set up and the mat can be used without the gym arches, but the gym cannot be used without the mat. It is also easy to disassemble and can be stored in a remarkably small space.
Freddy has been using this set since he was about two weeks old, obviously to begin with he couldn't hit the toys but within a week, he'd worked out he could make them move. It was (and still is) fascinating to watch him bat a toy with his hand or foot, wait for it to stop moving and then hit it again. We also use the mat for tummy-time and it's here that it has it's one and only drawback, there's nothing visually exciting for him while laying on his front. But the mat is nice and soft so he's not rubbing his face on a rough carpet and it's easy detach the toys from the bars and attract his attention with them. As well as Freddy, my friend's ten month old baby has also played with this gym and not only did she love it, but it withstood her much rougher handling.
With Freddy being such a young baby he is occasionally sick on the mat, which has so far been easy to sponge clean, which is good thing considering it is NOT machine or hand washable.
So am I recommending this mat and gym set? The answer is a resounding yes. Freddy absolutely loves it and will spend up to an hour (and sometimes more) kicking, hitting and talking to the animals, which is all good for his development as well as being a joy to watch. It is also sturdy enough to last him for at least the next six months, although I will say that it won't hold the weight of an older baby attempting to pull themselves up. It is also far more portable than separate mats and baby gym and easily fits in the boot of a car and is often taken with us when visiting family members which means Freddy isn't stuck in a car seat all day. Finally, the toys are all detachable and can be played with separately, and even attached to the travel system for him to play with on the move, giving even better value for money.