Baby gyms, floor gyms, activity gyms, play gyms, playmats… Are these just various methods of describing exactly the same thing?
Nicely, the first 4 are all just about interchangeable. 1 manufacturer may favor 1 phrase more than yet another, but there’s nothing to really set a floor gym apart from an activity fitness center. Play mats, however, are something else. It is generally pretty easy to inform a play mat from a play health club. That stated, there are even some manufacturers who, maybe deliberately, muddy the waters and use play fitness center to describe what is basically a play mat. And vice versa. So what exactly is the distinction?
A secure spot for baby to play
Let’s commence by recognizing that playmats and play gyms both meet the identical fundamental require. They supply a clean, safe, soft surface for the baby to lie on or play on.
Playmats comes in two primary types. The padded fabric variety and also the interlocking foam tiles type. Several are variations on a theme, but some actually stand out as unique. 1 of those may be the K’s Kids Huge & Big Cushions and Playmat, which is a padded fabric mat with detachable sausage-shaped cushions that create a protective barrier around the edge of the mat. But overall, the key choice is between a fabric mat and a tiled play area.
Padded fabric mats
The padded playmat comes in a surprising range of designs. Rectangular, circular, square, oval… even elephant- and giraffe-shaped. Some are small enough to fold up and put in a bag. Others are as big as baby’s bed covers. Some play mats are absolutely nothing more than a patterned piece of cushioned fabric for baby to lie on. Others have strategically placed pads for support or add-ons for recreation, exploration and learning.
On the whole, fabric mats are most suited to young babies. But some are designed to adapt as child grows. The K’s Children Big & Huge Cushions and Playmat does exactly that: the mat neatly converts into a mini sofa or obstacle course.
Interlocking foam tiles
Foam tile play mats typically come in packs. You can buy as few as nine or you can cover an entire floor. You can move them from room to room or leave them in location indefinitely. And you can add to your collection as infant gets more mobile.
foam floor mats tiles are all pretty similar in form but they come with all kinds of designs – numbers and letters are among the most popular. Some of the more sophisticated tiled mats have developmental toys and activities built in. Lights, textures, sounds, plenty of things to keep tiny hands and minds engaged.
So what’s a play health club? The primary distinction between a child fitness center and a playmat is that the health club has dangling toys. That’s an oversimplication, but when you look at a mat next to a floor health club, you can see that a mat is flat but a health club has crossover arches with a number of hanging toys.
Manufacturers like to think that their gyms stimulate baby’s senses and encourage development. They might be right. But this kind of workout is probably not truly a whole lot various from any other opportunity infant has to watch, listen and touch. That stated, they are quite cool and when my sister offered to buy one for me and our infant boy, I wasn’t going to say no.