I thought I would return to Dooyoo with a review about one of my favourite toys that I had purchased for my Grandson about a year ago. My daughter and myself went out looking for a baby gym for when my grandson was a bit older as he was only a few weeks old. We hunted around and knew of several good ones already on the market from which my son had purchased for my first grandson.
We wanted to find something a bit different from all the farm animals, Winnie the Pooh ect... This was when I spotted this wonderful Lamaze Baby Gym, what attracted us was the lovely packaging it was in, which meant that you could quite easily see the product which was very colourful!!
This Gym consists of a curved flat mat that is double sided with scenes printed one side is the ouside of a house and the other side pictures of different characters doing different things like having a bath, sitting in a highchair, going to bed and playing with some toys with a snoozing cat in the middle.
No what makes this special is the actual characters, as they are very strange looking indeed and did get me wondering if they would frighten my poor grandson!! .....but the complete opposite happened and he was memerised by them when we hung them on the bar.
What makes these two characters different is that they (a boy and a girl) have the biggest black eyes on their little faces, which is really striking. Also this continues with the cat, flower and baby attachments.
For babies early days (which by the way can be from newborn) you pull each side up and attach a curved padded bar from which the rather large characters are hung, in the middle a large sunflower sits and it is from this that you can control the musical part so that when your baby starts to move slightly it would activate it to play a tune. You could also have this switched so it continually played with flashing lights.
My grandson spent many many hours on this mat from just a few weeks old, as he got older he stretched out for the characters and with a tug they would release from the velcro tag. We felt that when he was in the gym as to put it, he looked very snug and safe from surrounding things and not just laying there in an open space on the floor.
As he grew and got able to roll over he was able to play with the mirror that was attached to the side, which he really enjoyed looking at himself. He also enjoyed touching the crinkley, squeaky and rattle attachments that hung on the sides.
What is also good about this gym is that when it is not in use it folds into a small house shape and can be tucked away in a corner, which is good if you haven't got a lot of space. My grandson went on to use this gym when he could sit up, but to be completely honest with you he did seem to have lost interest in the gym and its bits and bobs that came with it. So it was put away for another time, but having said that he did get a lot of use out of it for the first 8 or 9 months.
This was also machine washable, which had many washes and still maintained its bright colours and shape. This gym does need 3 AAA batteries which are not supplied, but do last a long time, if you buy decent ones.
I purchased this on Amazon with one of my Dooyoo vouchers and at the time it was on a special offer for around £28.00 (sorry old age creeping in as I can't remember the exact price, but it was under £30 I remember that much!!). It seems to have risen quite a lot in price at the moment and is retailing for around the £35- £60 depending where you shop!
I think that this is a good investment as it is unisex and can be kept for future babies, be it boy or girl!!!
When my son was a baby I decided I wanted something a little different to the usual play mats I had as I found after a few months with the simple play mats my children outgrew them without as much use as I would have liked for the price I paid. As we have many Lamaze toys and always found them to be fantastic quality I decided to take a look at their play gyms. When I came across this gym I thought it would be perfect as it lasts well in to the ages of a year plus and the only thing that put me off a little was the price but knowing just how well these toys are made I decided it was worth paying the £50 price range although they can retail to anything up to £80.
The mat is made up of multi colours and is very bright and attractive meaning it holds little one attention very well even when they are young babies and are just exploring colours. On first appearance I did think this mat was very small for the high price range we paid it measures 77.5 x 91.4 x 35.6 cm but once the sides are pulled up when the arch bar is in place it becomes even smaller and my son at 3 months looked absolutely huge for the gym although he was still able to play fine. The mat is not as thick as I expected either although the fabric on the gym makes it nice and soft the amount of padding is very minimal and I did think it felt a little hard especially as it is designed for newborns. The sides of the gym although they look rather enclosing and I was worried my little boy would feel a little enclosed he loved it. The patterns and animations of animals and babies are bright and colourful and when he was a baby he loved exploring the different colours and where ever he looked he found something new to look at.
With the mat you receive and arch and a few accessories. These are three different shapes that can be attached by a hook to the arched bar but they are also used as you transform the mat into its other functions. These are also bright in colour and have little pictures of animals on them they are soft to touch and great for little one to play with. You also receive a mirror which again can be attached to the play bar we found it best for it to sit on the bottom hook as then when little one is still small it sits low down at the side of them and kept my little boy entertained for ages. The most enjoyable part of this gym for my children was the two dolls you receive. There is both a boy and girl and they are a fair size, not too big for a young baby to bat around when they are sat on the play bar but also a great size for when little one becomes more mobile and can sit up and play with the dolls individually.
Finally we received a sun which lights up and plays music. This does require 3 AAA batteries which were not supplied meaning we had to dig some out before it could be used but it is fantastic. You can place it on the toy bar and set it to two different modes. The mode for when little one is younger is a continuous mode so it will play music and light up and dance along to the music. Next is the mode that is set off by motion so once your child grows a little and begins trying to move around on the mat each movement will set the sun off playing music and again the lights dance away. This is great for getting the child to figure out that when they move they get a reward and my son absolutely loved this feature of the mat.
Each of the toys that come with the gym also make noises by either crinkling or rattling which encourages little one to explore sounds which I think is fantastic and each toy can be taken away from the gym and used in the cot or pushchair which we also found very handy. Setting the gym up is very easy for each different activity and only takes a few minutes. Another fantastic thing about this gym is it is double sided so on the inside when they have tummy time they have animals and animations of babies to look at but when it is turned on the reverse it shows the outside of a house with shapes and colours for the child to look at so it never becomes boring as there are so many images for the to explore.
**Tummy time and lay & play**
This mat can be used from birth to set up you simply place the arch bar received with the mat in the two holes provided at the side of the mat. As you push the bar in it pulls up the sides up creating an enclosed play area for little one although it leaves to top open so not to frighten a young baby. Attached to the play bar are all the toys you receive with the mat which are very easy to add with hooks provided they vary in size and appearance keeping the experience fun for little. As the child grows a little older it promotes hand eye co ordination, colour recognition and motor skills while keeping it enjoyable for little one. My son loved batting the toys on the bar, staring at himself in the mirror and the fun rainbow coloured mat with different images to hold little ones attention.
**Sit & play**
The next two stages are really combined together as soon as little one can really pull on the arch I found it a little dangerous as the toys fell off the bar and although they are soft I was worried about leaving the sun on the bar as this is hard and made of plastic. You simply fold the gym up in too a triangle shape and use the Velcro fastenings to hold it in place and it becomes a playhouse. Although the house does not open up on one side is a front door which you open to reveal children hiding behind it this is the side my son used for imaginative play using the dolls he would play for ages simply pushing the dolls around the floor and opening the door continuously. He absolutely loved sitting up to the house and moving it around in circles and as it is so light this was easy for him to do even at around 8 months of age.
When he became a little older and started to recognise that there were shapes on the other side of the house I would sit with him and show him how to match the shapes on the toys to the shapes on the house and he was really amazed that with the Velcro type strap on the back he could stick his toys to the house and would do this over and over again. I did think he may become a little bored but he would repeat this over and over again and really did enjoy it.
My two older children also loved this mat they would help my son set of the music when he was still figuring out how to make the sun sing and they adored the dolls often playing with them for long periods at a time. They also loved sitting with my youngest boy and showing him how to stick the shapes to the house and they would play together with cars and trees setting up a garden for the house out of toys they already owned.
Although it is described to be usable for the first year I did find that as soon as my son could reach up and pull the bar it became dangerous for him to use and then he was unable to use it until he could sit up unaided and it was transformed in to the house. Also at three months he looked huge for the mat as it is so small so there are a few months between uses from a play mat that he lies on to a play house for him to explore it sat unused. That said he still enjoyed playing with the toys that attached to the bar and it is being used for a second child so you do get your money's worth.
We purchased this mat when my son was born and he played with it a lot through his first year of life and continued to do so on and off until he was around two. It was mainly the dolls that he played with as he got a little older and he loved the fact there was a boy and girl doll for him to play with. We have now got it back out from the loft for our newest addition and it is still as good as new and I am sure it will last my daughter until she is finished playing with it.
The great thing about this play mat is it can be cleaned both by wiping the mat down with a damp cloth but it is also machine washable as long as you wash it on a low heat wash. We have done this a few times as my son is a typical boy and tends to get everything he touches mucky and the mat has come out as good as new, the colour does not fade and it holds its shape very well. You cannot put it in the tumble dryer and it does take a while to dry but the results are brilliant and the mat comes up new making it last well. As I have found with all Lamaze toys the whole mat is very well made the stitching holds well and the pieces that attach to the arched bar are still fully useable and the sticky part on the back of the toys for the matching games are still perfect sticking first time every time.
We love this mat it is very durable and can be used for both boys and girls meaning you can use it for more than one child. I love the way it grows with the baby and rather than it being used a few times before the child grows out of it we can use it again and again exploring the different activities and really getting our money's worth. I also like the way it can be stored very easily and it folds up into a small bundle with carry handles so it can be transported with ease with the carry handles provided. The toys that attach to the arch can be taken in the pram with us while we are out and about and the dolls have been a major hit with my children even my daughter who was two when we first purchased this mat and my son who was four fell in love with the dolls and used them to play whenever my youngest son was not using them.
The top price range seems a little steep for what you get but you are paying for quality which I suppose is what matters. Do shop around as I have seen these mats for as low as £35 so you can get a bargain. It is available on Amazon which is where we purchased ours from but also from other online stores and some supermarkets do stock them. I would recommend this mat for something a little different to your usual play mat but at the right price as it can be very expensive.
My grandaughter got this baby gym as a present when she was about a month old. She has hours of fun with it. When folded it looks like a little house and is easy to carry, so can easily be taken with you when going out. Shed lay on her back looking at all the toys dangling over her at first then as she got a little older she learnd to grab them. All the toys are removable so that your baby can play with them seperatly. Theres a mirror that my grandaughter loves. Shed stare at herself and as shes got older she has conversations with herself in it. It has a little musical flower that she loves too. Shes likes to listern to it while shes playing. It also helps sooth her to sleep. You can take the top off and lay the mat flat and she can just lay on it and look at everything around her. There are lots of different things on the mat for her to touch now she lays on her tummy. Some rusle some squeek. I think for the price its very good value as it grows with your child, unlike other toys.
On embarking on choosing a baby gym for my daughter I was quite taken aback by how many different types there are with a host of different functions.
I am pleased I finally settled on the Learning Curve Lamaze Baby Gym.
This particular gym is probably mid-range in terms of price at just under £50. You won't find a gym cheaper than £30 but they can be as much as £80. These come with all sorts of flashing lights, music and other gadgets.
It is surprising how hard it is to find one which isn't gender specific. Most of the gyms for girls are bright pink and decorated with flowers and hearts. I didn't want this kind of thing for my daughter as they tend to be a little garish and also if I ever had a son I don't think he would be best pleased with such an ultra feminine play gym.
The Lamaze gym is essentially a double sided play mat covered in pictures and brightly coloured patterns which has pieces of Velcro at strategic spots to allow it to be folded up into three different modes, each suitable for your baby at different stages.
The first sees two sides folded up and toys - which include a boy and girl doll, a mirror, and a brightly coloured sun which flashes and plays music - hung from a rainbow coloured arch, the ends of which you slot into two little pockets on either side of the play mat.
Your baby can look up at the toys whilst lying on their back and eventually reach out and touch the toys as they progress. The flashing sun is particularly effective in catching their attention, whilst each of the toys either rattles, or has a little squeaker inside, or scrunches when you hold it.
The second mode sees three sides of the play mat folded up and the toys secured lower down - they all hang from plastic rings which attach on little hooks dotted around the play mat and rainbow arch - for tummy time. My daughter hated being put on her tummy at first and this gym started to encourage her.
The third phase can last your baby into toddler-hood as the play mat holds up into a carry case - resembling a little house - into which you can put all the toys. They can then use the toys and the pictures on the carry case for role play and make believe. You can also fold the gym up into carry case mode to transport it out and about visiting.
It is the fact this play gym covers three different phases of development and features little dolls that can be played with potentially for years to come which make it far more long-lasting and versatile than other play gyms.
The only downside is as your baby grows in strength they may start pulling the toys off their plastic hoops quite easily and even start dismantling the folded up play mat as they pull at the Velcroed parts. You will also need batteries for the flashing sun.
But is you want to get ultimate value for money, versatility and a toy which will last and last, the Learning Curve Lamaze Play Gym is the one to buy.
Lamaze Play House Gym grows with baby. The gym has play in all 3 developmental stages: stage 1 (0m +) tummy time and lay & play, Stage 2 (6m +) sit & play and stage 3 (9m +) peek-a-boo & matching games! A double sided mat provides twice the play time fun. The cute boy and girl dolls promote imaginative role play. There is a Tummy Time mirror for self-discovery and a baby activated sun with Lights & Music which is perfect for visual tracking. The sun has two music modes: baby activated or continuous play. It can also be attached to a stroller bar for on-the-go fun. The rattle, crinkle, and squeaky soft shapes make learning colors and shapes fun. The gym folds for easy storage & portability. Requires 3 AAA Batteries (not included). Lamaze toys encourage early development of the senses, spark creativity and introduce problem-solving skills. Working with child development experts, Lamaze creates toys that delight babies at each stage: Early Discoverers (0+ months), Curious Explorers (6+ months) Creative Inventors (9+ months)