“The first two things I noticed were how beautiful this baby gym looks and how soft it feels.”
Lots of toys
High quality products
Pricey but an investment buy
Fiddly set up
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Susi Silva and her eight-month daughter Oriana tested out Skip Hop’s Silver Lining Cloud Activity Gym to see how it performed against the competition.
This Skip Hop activity gym came packaged in an easy-to-carry cardboard box with its own handle and gets our vote as one of the best baby gyms money can buy.
“I have to be honest the setup was a little fiddly,” says Susi. “Having to detach all the items from one another means cutting off a number of tags, which I then had to ensure did not remain behind on the mat for safety reasons. It took at least five minutes to get all the items in the right place.”
Once you’ve got it set up, it won’t disappoint though – there are over 17 different developmental activities to keep your child stimulated, from hanging toys to sensory lights and mat loop toys.
Whether you’ve got a toddler or newborn, there’s a toy that will stimulate, engage and help with their development. It looks good too – neutral tones with a pop of colour – so it won’t overpower a stylish, neutral lounge.
The mat is soft and Susi thinks the gym is very well made and, despite its price tag, worth the money. For this reason, we've chosen it as our best premium baby gym.
Age suitability: From birth
This Skip Hop baby gym comes in a lovely neutral colour with a few parent-friendly pops of colour.
“The playmat is aesthetically pleasing and stylish, whilst also having enough colour to engage our little ones,” explains Susi. “As someone that much prefers non-gendered baby items this is ideal.”
The mat is made of a plush material and is soft to the touch. “The material reminds me of the soft blankets or giant hoodies we like to wear when we want to feel cosy on a cold winter's night.”
The gym itself can be used in four ways: tummy time, overhead play, seated play and loop toys on the cloud pillow.
In total, there are an impressive 17+ developmental activities, including five overhead toys, a mirror, a rattle, sensory light, a musical animal and a squeaky toy. Susi feels it is “extremely well made and incredibly luxurious” overall.
Comfort and features
Susi and Oriana loved the different components of the gym, in particular the sensory light and the rattle.
“All the toys are made of plush and soft fabric material,” said Susi. “The different textures featured on the mat and toys are lovely for little fingers to explore.”
Her daughter particularly likes the squeaky toy but the music toy plays "You are my sunshine", which Susi found “very high pitched” and “difficult to enjoy”.
The mat can be used in many different ways and Oriana used it to crawl around on from one side of the room to another, stopping to play with the toys looped onto the mat.
Value for money
This Skip Hop play mat retails at around £85 which Susi thinks is "great value for money" considering the features included, the craftsmanship, and the design quality.
The mat can be used from birth and, if used daily for tummy and play time, Susi worked out that, over a year, it costs “just over 23p per day, which to me seems pretty reasonable”.
She would definitely recommend this product to friends, especially “those who appreciate value for money and someone who likes well-designed, stylish products”.
For its aesthetic appeal and the number of toys and activities included, we’ve chosen this as the best premium buy in our guide to the best baby gyms.
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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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