When being asked what my ultimate baby essentials are, you’ll always find that I’ve added a play gym to that list. When not in a bouncer or your arms, it’s fantastic to give them some other stimulation via the means of a play mat. Charlotte has been using her brother’s old Fisher Price Gym since birth which has shown that they can be passed on to future children. She was using this right up until she got offered to review her very own Fisher Price Play Gym. She wasn’t offered just any Play Gym, but the Fisher Price Kick & Play Gym.
Setting up the Fisher Price Play Gym, was simple and I didn’t even need to source anything other than a screwdriver to get it out the box and put it together. There are various ways you can attach the piano for the different modes; we put it into the first stage mode ready for her to kick at the piano as she’s laying down. The next stage would be to twist the piano so that it faced her as she was sitting up, with the third stage being a piano which she can carry around the house with her or even leave the house with it if she wanted.
Her first reaction when being put on the mat was to look around; I could tell the bright colours had grabbed her attention. I think it rather amused her when she first kicked out and was welcomed with the noise of the piano. Music wise, it can provide short or long play music of up to 15 minutes so no repeatedly getting up and down for us to set her music off. We also have the luxury of volume control to set it at the volume we see fit. Nice to have options like this and not have it just set to one particular volume.
They’ve included a great selection of toys. The hippo teether, one which is black and white, which is the only colour babies can see when they first start out in life which makes a crinkly sound when rustled in the hands, the elephant which has textured ears and links which can be rattled & moved and then the rollerball frog. I know in time Charlotte will go from batting them around with her hands, to using each one individually.
Charlotte’s favourite aspect is by far at the moment is the sun mirror which is attached via Velcro allowing you to pop it on the mat wherever you want. It’s great this it gives you this kind of flexibility. The rest of the dangling toys can be detached and attached to little handy hoops on the actual mat, which is useful for when the baby is sitting up and wanting to play with toys.
I’m quite impressed with the quality of the mat, it’s soft to the touch and is cushioned enough to allow you to comfortably pop baby on to it when on the floor. The mat itself is washable and can be chucked in the machine on a 30c wash and come out as good as new. Always handy when baby has decided to dribble her last feed on to it. I’ve found that it doesn’t take up much room at all and can easily be stored away when not in use or wanting to transport elsewhere.
Like lots of Fisher Price products, the play gym can grow with baby and see them through to the toddler years. Which means when you’re making that original purchase and paying out money, you’re buying something which is going to last you and make it money well spent. My two-year-old has had lots of fun using the piano by itself away from the mat, if I would have got this for him at birth, this would have meant two years of use from one play gym. Pretty sure over that time, he would have made great use of that teether as well.
I would make it one to purchase when expecting as to get full use of the birth to toddler aspect of it. For me & Charlotte, it was somewhere other than her bouncer to go for play time. Bouncer is great when keeping her safe from big brothers and for the occasional nap but when it comes to some stimulation and time away from our arms, the Fisher Price Kick & Play Gym is the perfect place.