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Activity mats are a staple baby item in most households. They provide a safe, fun, and educational environment where your little one can lie or sit, and play. Tiny Love's award-winning deluxe mat depicts a riot of happy animals. Elephants, monkeys, giraffes, and even birds will charm your baby who will love the round mirror, squeaky bird, crinkly elephant ear, and pullable giraffe tail. Also included are four plastic rings that can hang from the crossbars, each one with a different plush animal attached to it providing more stimulation and activities. Hidden in one corner of the playmat is a small plastic box housing a switch and speaker. Move the switch to Mozart to hear 10 continuous minutes of music and to light up the three flowers on the mat. Switch to Nursery Tunes for shorter snippets of three popular songs. The mat and its arches fold up nicely, and the entire gym snaps together and travels easily. --Pam Lauer
A newborn will be content lying on her back, gazing into Mommy or Daddy’s face. And that doesn’t really get old for a long time. But baby’s brain and muscles and skills are developing, and after a while she would like a wee bit more entertainment, if you don’t mind. The award-winning Gymini Super Deluxe by Tiny Love is a classic, sure to provide, well, minutes, but they add up to hours, of amusement! And parents know that even 10 minutes of uninterrupted time to make dinner or throw a load in the wash can be a blessing, even aside from the myriad benefits the Gymini play mat gives their little one. And what are those benefits, you ask? The list goes on and on, but here’s a start.
The Gymini folds out into a 32- by 32-inch soft mat, virtually swarming with colorful illustrations of jungle flora and fauna, most notably a giraffe, zebra, lion, and elephant. Overhead two padded arches cross, from which dangle more critters, as well as a large mirror and a plastic bead rattle. Hidden below, baby will eventually discover, is a music box that plays Mozart and several nursery tunes. Textures, colors, sounds, and lights abound, and baby has the power to make all these objects squeak and jingle and jitter and flash, as soon as she can figure out how to make those hands and feet and mouth of hers connect with her heart’s desire. Herein lies the developmental potential.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Whether she’s waving her limbs around; aiming specifically for the goggle-eyed, smiling monkey overhead; or rolling over to find the source of that I.Q.-enhancing classical music, baby will be hard-pressed not to advance her infant skill set on the Gymini Super Deluxe. From the monkey with springy leg to pull to the vibrating, jitterbugging elephant to the mirror she can see if she just lifts that heavy head a bit higher…everything on the play mat has a mission: to make baby learn. Cause and effect is a biggie: when she bats at the giraffe, it rattles. When she pokes one corner of the mat, music and lights seem to emerge from the fabric flowers. When she rubs the elephant ear on the mat, it makes a fun crinkly sound. Those large muscles are getting a real workout, too, resulting in improved large motor skills: reaching, kicking, rolling over, pushing up. Many babies don’t particularly enjoy their necessary daily "tummy time," but the Gymini encourages baby to lift and turn her head to see the mirror and find the flashing lights. Tummy time is fun again! And don’t forget the fine motor skills! Those little fingers have to meet if baby wants to grasp the zebra’s mane or the parrot’s crackling wings.
Plastic rings hang from the many holes in each arch; dangling from each is a plush animal or toy, providing still more stimulation. Additionally, parents can easily switch out the toys for variety, simply detaching the included toys from the rings and looping other baby-safe toys on. A hidden music box in one corner of the mat includes an on/off switch with two musical selections: 10 minutes of Mozart or three short fragments of popular nursery tunes. The music is a bit plinky, as is the norm with most baby toy music, but not at all offensive. When the music stops, all baby needs to do is press anywhere on that corner of the mat to start it up again—she is further encouraged to do so by the flowers that light up when the music plays. A hidden squeaker in one of the birds, peek-a-boo with the elephant ear, flap-flap-flap with the butterfly wing, tug-of-war with the giraffe’s tail…the play potential is limitless, whether she’s sitting up or lying down, one week old or 8 months old.
For Mom and Dad
The mat and arches fold up flat, and the entire Gymini snaps together and travels easily, which is a good thing because you won’t want to be without it on your next trip to Grandma’s. The padded mat is machine washable (read instructions first—the music box and mirror don’t take kindly to machine washing…). Three AA batteries required for the music box (batteries included are for trial only and should be replaced). --Emilie Coulter
- Stimulates baby with music and lights
- Immediate feedback based on baby's actions for cause and effect learning
- Large mirror for tummy time play
- Classical music will engage the baby
- Mat is machine washable and folds up flat for travel