A Baby Activity Center is not only designed to stimulate interactive play, but to aid in the development of important motor skills. Motor skills, such as cause and effect learning, hand-eye coordination, object exploration, and self-awareness. The Baby Activity Center offers age-appropriate toys such as, teether stalk toys, bead spinners, and other colorful action/reaction toys. The best Baby Activity Center also helps strengthen Baby’s legs, back, and neck, as well as providing a safe place to release excess energy.
Types of Baby Activity Centers
There are a couple different types of baby activity centers. I’ve narrowed them down into 2 groups, the Baby Activity Center/Baby Exersaucer, and the Baby Jumperoos. The Baby Activity Center is frequently referred to as a Baby Exersaucer, therefore I consider them to be one in the same. Most allow your little one to bounce, spin and rock. There are a few Baby Activity Center designs that actually allow your little one to walk, either around in a circle, or back and forth across a small area. Some even transform into toddler activity center’s or walkers for when your little one gets older. Then there’s the Baby Jumperoo, specifically designed for safe jumping. Below I’ve listed a few common features for each, along with a link below each category that will take you to a top rated, best selling list. So, have a look around, and hopefully you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.
Baby Exersaucer/Baby Activity Center Features:
- Spinning – most offer seats that spin 360 degrees
- Bouncing – most offer either hidden springs attached to the base or a soft bounce pad
- Rocking – most offer a rounded base that allows for rocking
- Walking – there are a few unique baby activity center designs that allow your child to walk – (click the best selling list below for options)
- Height adjustments -most offer a 3 position height adjustment
- Removable, washable seat pads
- Snack trays – most offer removable snack trays for easy cleanup
- Several interactive toys – bead spinners, teether toys, rattlers, etc.
- Lights and music – not all baby activity centers offer lights and music, but some do
- Motion sensors – some offer motion sensor lights that activate with Baby’s movements.
- Break down easily for storage – Some even fold flat
- Age & weight recommendations – most baby activity centers are rated from 4 months to 25 pounds or 30″ tall
- Extra’s – some transform into toddler activity tables or push behind walkers for when your toddler is ready to walk.
Baby Jumperoo Features:
- Safe jumping – free standing frames, no doorway required, allows your little one to jump safely
- Swiveling seat that rotates 360 degrees – allows your baby the chance to explore
- Baby Jumperoo seat is suspended by 3 springs, with soft spring covers to keep Baby’s fingers safe from pinching
- Height adjustments – most Baby Jumperoos offer a 3 position height adjustment that grows with your child
- Motion sensors – some Baby Jumperoos offer motion sensors that reward your little one with lights and music when he/she jumps
- Removable and machine washable
- Several age-appropriate, action/reaction toys, such as baby-safe mirrors, poppers, spinners, teethers, and some with lights and music.
- Some Baby Jumperoos also offer learning centers with animal sounds and flip cards
- Most also offer hanging toys, either from a canopy of some sort or soft toy bars.
- Most are rated for 4 months to 25 pounds, or when your little one begins to walk
Baby Toy Safety
Experts have determined that baby walkers are no longer safe to use, stating that they can easily tip over, roll down a set of stairs, trap a finger beneath a wheel, or provide enough height to reach unsafe counter-tops filled with dangerous objects. Personally, I believe that all of these things can, and will unfortunately happen regardless of whether or not your baby is in a walker. When a baby first begins to crawl and explore his/her surroundings, dangers are everywhere, from stairs to unlatched cupboards, and hot stove tops. Now I’m not telling you that baby walkers are okay, but if used responsibly and with constant supervision, I don’t believe they pose any more of a risk than simply crawling, or walking unassisted. However, I do agree with the experts when they say that baby walkers can actually delay crawling, or walking. Mainly because, if they can already do it with the aid of a walker, why would they push themselves to do it unassisted. Another thing that I agree with the experts about is, using a Baby Activity Center, Baby Exersaucer, or Baby Jumperoo in place of a baby walker. They are much safer, provided you purchase one that has not been recalled for any reason. The Consumer Product Safety Commission continually updates a list of “Toy Hazard Recalls”, which I would suggest checking before you make any kind of toy purchase. In addition, BabyCenter.com also offers a Product Recall Finder, which gives you the ability to search by category, or product name.
Regardless of what kind of Baby Activity Center you choose to purchase, keep in mind that the BEST Baby Toys should entertain your Baby, and provide a safe environment for learning. Also, never leave your baby unattended in any type of baby activity center, baby exersaucer, or baby jumperoo. Dangers are everywhere, that’s why GOD gave mothers eyes in the back of their heads!