“With sustainably sourced wood and baby-safe, 100% organic materials, even suck-able soy ink on the flashcards, this is good for baby and the environment.”
Grows with your child
Pricey but an investment buy
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Amelia-Jean Jones and her five-month daughter Fredericka tested out Lovevery’s The Play Gym to see if it was worth the price tag.
There are two camps of baby toy: aesthetically pleasing, wooden, eco-friendly but arguably less fun to play with, or the brightly coloured, plastic kind that will look garish in your living room, but your little one will obsess over.
Lovevery’s play gym seems to bridge that gap, making it one of the best baby gyms money can buy. Our tester Amelia found assembling and dismantling it “surprisingly easy, fast and not too fiddly” – especially helpful as she was in the middle of building work whilst testing so it regularly had to be put away.
It has been designed by Montessori experts to help children develop by engaging their senses with specially created toys. As well as hanging toys, this mat has plenty to do if your baby isn’t up for reaching yet, and one of the things that especially impressed Amelia was that it could be used from newborn through to teething and even beyond. "It’s like a multimedia centre for the under 2s,” she said.
While expensive, she thought this longevity made it value for money when you took into account its pay-per-use and the fact that the high quality, eco-friendly materials meant that it would last down through siblings.
Age suitability: From birth
This gym has been tastefully designed with fun splashes of colour, and manages to bridge the gap between vulgar and chic.
“Yes, it will catch your little one's eye, but it won’t clash with your Loaf sofa,” said Amelia. “Plus, I wouldn’t hate a wallpaper in those blue stripes!”
The gym has been created by Montessori child development experts to support important learning stages during your baby’s first year. It’s a mix of hanging toys and mat activities, all made from high-quality, sustainable materials. There’s a batting ring, organic teether and high-contrast ball that can hang from the gym or can be detached and taken with you.
“My daughter loved playing with the jingly batting ring in the car,” said Amelia.
It ticks the practical box too. “I haven’t tried to wash the base yet, but am assured it’s machine washable on a cold setting - although I’m not convinced that will get rid of the poonami and jam stains.”
Comfort and features
This play mat is made up of five different developmental sections.
There’s a section where you can insert images, flashcards or mirrored card to help baby’s eyes focus, which Amelia commented “this did keep flipping down for me - but not a huge issue”.
Another section focuses on colour with soft, multi-colored tabs, while a third is a crinkly and squeaky section to allow babies to make some noise with their feet or hands.
Then there’s a textured section. “This was my baby’s favourite,” said Amelia, and finally there's a hiding and finding section with a pocket to hide away a plastic ring.
The play gym also comes with a cover to turno it into a den for little ones.
Value for money
At £140, this is the most expensive play gym on our list. “That's not within everyone’s budget but - especially when you consider the price per hours-of-play, the fact that it will be relevant to your child for longer and is good enough quality to be used across multiple kids and then gifted to another family - it’s definitely a worthwhile investment,” concludes Amelia.
She admits that she isn’t sure how the gym could be improved upon and would buy it for a close friend “because it’s the ultimate baby gym (speaking as someone who has had four or five over the years).”
Overall our tester thinks The Play Gym from Lovevery would suit eco-conscious parents with the budget set aside for a great toy that will stand the test of time and aid the baby’s development.
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Charlotte Duck is an award-winning journalist who writes who regularly writes for Tatler, the Evening Standard, Yahoo and Hello Magazine about everything from royal hairstyles to fixed-rate mortgages. She was previously Kidswear Editor at M&S and worked in-house at Boden but, while she loves writing about beautiful children's clothes, she has three children who refuse to wear them.
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