From the very first months of life, babies need stimulation and different games in order to grow and mature healthily. If at young ages babies are usually interested in music and movement, as they grow up they become passionate about colors, noises, catching objects, moving them from one hand to another or taking them to the mouth.
Play is really important in a child's development, which is why there are presently many ways to entertain your baby. There are playpens
where your child can play in safety, train tables
that excite her pleasure in moving things around, and play tables
that are suitable for play and crafts. However, today we’re going to talk about activity centers!
Babies need a safe and clean space to sit and explore while stimulating their senses and satisfying their curiosity and exploration desires; after all, their only concern is playing! All these needs can be met by a wisely chosen activity center.
Considering that an activity center is something that will be used long-term and that addresses one of the most delicate categories of consumers, it’s essential to choose the one that’s suitable for your baby based upon some important selection criteria.
A good activity center has several play areas to help your little one discover new things, stimulate and train his abilities and prepare him for his first steps. The baby will have fun and learn how to coordinate, move and manage his attention.
Typically, activity centers range in price from $60 to $100 and this is affected by a variety of factors such as the number of activities, rotating seat and the number of developmental milestones. As always, we advise against going for cheap activity centers because they don't have a solid structure and won’t withstand the test of time.
Why is an activity center so special? Because it won’t only help your child discover the world and develop his senses, but it’ll also give you some spare time while he plays.
Why should parents choose an activity center for their baby? Well, it’ll help your little angel develop his coordination, sensory and motor skills and sharpen his imagination and creativity. Specialists agree that an activity center with many different toys attached helps your baby develop normally.
Check out the most important features you should consider when purchasing an activity center for your little one:
- Colors & Print — For a child, visual elements are very important, especially in the first year of discovering the world. That’s why it’s important to choose an activity center in vibrant colors with multiple decorative elements
- Material — Materials must be environmentally-friendly, non-toxic and should comply with the international rules regarding products that address babies and children
- Portability — If you’re traveling frequently, it may be useful for the activity center to be folded easily and take up little space in the luggage, thus accompanying you everywhere
- Detachable toys — Very often the child will have a favorite toy from the activity center and will not want to stay without it and that’s why it’s good to choose an activity center with detachable toys. This way you can take his favorite brooch or puppy anywhere with him.
Let’s find out more and check out the construction and design aspects of activity centers!
Construction and Design
When it comes to construction and design the most important feature of an activity center is the number of activities. The speed with which the child gets bored depends on the number of available activities. A good activity center has multiple play areas and a greater number of activities so your baby will use it for a longer period of time.
Animated toys, animal sounds, colorful lights, musical instruments with adjustable volume, multi-language keywords are some of the elements that an activity center can have in order to be attractive and educational for babies.
Similarly, height adjustment is essential for a good activity center. This option will allow you to adjust the height according to the age of your baby and depending on his needs and activities. An activity center should have at least 3 different levels of height and it should be easily changeable to ensure the comfort and safety of your child.
Performance and Ease of Use
Activity centers are really easy to use and usually have detachable toys that can be easily cleaned. It’s also important that its seat cover is detachable for quick cleaning. There will always be a risk that the pouch will get dirty, which makes it crucial that it be detachable. Removing and fitting it back should also be easy, with no complicated elements.
Before buying an activity center you must decide if you want it to have multiple purposes (to be used as a walker, playing mat) or simply have an interactive play table. Also, you can think about what you want your child to learn as we have chosen different themed activity centers such as amazon life, ocean, jungle and more.
Bright Start makes hundreds of babies happy every day. It has a large range of interactive to please both babies and parents. Apart from activity centers, this brand also sells toys, kid rockers, activity jumpers, props mats and multiple other toys and products for children. If your baby is just starting to walk, you should check out the walkers from Bright Starts which have reasonable prices and appealing designs.
Is your baby taking his or her first steps? Check out the Bright Starts 3-in-1 Activity Center which helps him walk around the house easily and play at the same time. The seat rotates around the play table and it can also be removed if your child is bigger. It includes a piano station with sounds and music, a flip flop book, popping characters and spinner. The electronic toy station has adjustable volume and 3 play modes such as melodies, animal sounds and multiple piano notes. Apart from that, this activity center also has spinning ball heads, a teethable palm tree and many more.
Skip Hop wants its products to infuse joy everywhere, continuously developing the functionality, form and design of its products. Its range includes smartly designed essentials for toddlers, babies and their parents. With more than 10 years’ experience in the market, Skip Hop’s products are preferred by parents worldwide.
The Skip Hop 3-Stage Activity Center was designed in collaboration with a pediatrician and it is easy to assemble and to use. The toys it comes with can be positioned anywhere for the baby. The seat stretches for bouncing and it also has a discovery window that allows babies to see their feet while playing. After your baby has grown, the activity center can be turned into a sturdy table that can be used for coloring or playing. It includes a peek-a-boo owl, spring clouds, swaying trees, hedgehogs and even a snack bowl for your baby to enjoy small snacks while playing.
Baby Einstein’s products are inspired by the curiosity of babies and the desire of their parents to nourish it. It manufactures multiple learning products in art, languages, music and nature, and also toys, jumpers, walkers, gyms and discovery seats. Its products are made of high-quality materials, come at affordable prices and are safe to use by your children. The activity centers it manufactures are especially designed to enrich the mind of your baby and to stimulate their thinking.
The Baby Einstein Activity Center captures your baby’s attention with the inspired toys it comes with such as spinning sea creatures and many other characters. The built-in electronic piano has adjustable volume and can play classical melodies, ocean sounds or different words in English, French or Spanish. It also comes with a teether toy in the shape of a crab and link loops if you want to add more toys to it. The seat is removable so it can be cleaned easily and the height is adjustable. It has an octopus popper, a spinning whale, a bead chaser and many other interactive toys.
Evenflo manufactures products especially designed to develop the minds of young babies in a safe manner. It wants to be a partner to any parents and help them through its products. Apart from activity centers, this brand also sells car seats, strollers, high chairs, safety gates, playards and exersaucers which are safe and easy to use by anyone. As it was founded back in 1920, Evenflo is a serious company and manufactures products any new parent would need.
The Evenflo Animal Planet Activity Center comes in 2 themes which are Life in the Amazon and World Explorer. It can be used as a play mat, activity center, activity table and permits rocking, spinning and pouncing in order to strengthen your baby’s legs. It develops motor skills, object exploration, tactile ability and more and has a landscaped tray to bring the toys closer to the baby. The seat pad is machine washable and the toys can also be used on other Evenflo toys as they are removable. It requires 9 AAA batteries to play fun music and sounds.
Now, it’s your call. Which one caught your eye? As you can see there are numerous options at your disposal, so you should go with the one you liked the most. We are sure you cannot go wrong, as all babies love colorful toys!