As a busy parent, you know how important it is to keep young ones occupied nearby so that you can get things done. Keeping them amused is all well and good but may limit the amount of learning that can occur during this time. Finding an activity center that will provide your infant or toddler with the right tools to reach developmental milestones can be priceless. Get to that pile of dishes or mounds of laundry while your little one is engaged and developing skills at the same time by choosing one or more from this top 10 list of best baby activity centers.
|4m+||+Grows with baby through three stages|
+Has 25+ activities
+Add variety with any suction-cup toys
|-Does not bounce like a jumper|
-Requires 3 "AAA" batteries
-Does not fold for easy storage
|6m+||+Bold, bright colors grasp attention|
+15+ activities keeps baby interested
+Rotating seat allows freedom of movement
|-Does not fold for easy storage|
-Requires 3 "C" batteries
-Should not allow children to use seat once they can walk
|4m+||+Rotating seat provides easy access to 11+ activities|
+Removable seat for easy washing
|-Requires 3 "AAA" batteries|
-Limited use as baby grows
-Does not lock in place
|0m+||+Provides activities while baby is still in lying stages|
+Requires no batteries
+Ball pit can be used as child gets older
|-Does not provide support for sitting|
-Is not as secure as a jumper or saucer
-Is not easily washable
|4m+||+12+ activities for variety|
+High-back support in a fully swiveling seat
+Folds for storage or transport
|-Not advised for use once baby can climb or walk|
-Uses 3 "AA" batteries
-Can be difficult to fold
|6m+||+Easy to move around|
+Requires no batteries
+Has 3 height adjustments
|-Some babies may get bored with limited activities|
-Monkey bar may be awkward for some
-No seat padding
|3m+||+Toys and activities are within easy reach|
+Mirror promotes self discovery
|-Requires 3 "AA" batteries|
-Mostly blue colors may not grab attention
-A little pricey compared to some others
|6m+||+Easy to fold and go|
+No batteries required
|-Priced on the high end|
-Limited toys and activities
-Might be difficult to bounce
+No batteries needed
+12+ activities to keep kids engaged
-Decals and paint may peel after a little use
-Pinching problems with certain toys
|6m+||+Lower price than many other jumpers|
+Small size fits nearly anywhere
+Fabric-enclosed springs for safer use
|-Seat pad difficult to remove for cleaning|
-Activity bar may be difficult to use
Skip Hop is a company that wants to make it easier for parents to make smart choices when it comes to buying products for babies and children. That is why the Explore & More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center is designed to support a whole-body approach when it comes time for baby to explore and play.
This activity center grows with baby through three stages. The seat swivels all the way around to let your infant easily access all of the toys placed around the center. Do you sometimes avoid buying something because you do not like the setup? These toys can readily be moved and placed where you like with a clip system. The unique discovery window in the tray lets your little one see the movable keyboard when it is placed by the feet for cause-and-effect learning. Foot-support platform can be adjusted to your baby’s height and moves to promote balance. A detachable snack bowl is safe to put in the dishwasher. Because hand and feet use is encouraged, Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center is the best whole-body activity center.
- Grows with baby through three stages
- Has 25+ activities
- Add variety with any suction-cup toys
- Does not bounce like a jumper
- Requires 3 “AAA” batteries
- Does not fold for easy storage
Bright Starts offers brightly colored toys with lots of gizmos and gadgets that are designed to keep baby’s attention. Special seat allows your baby to access the table in safety while still learning how to walk.
Several play stations are situated all around the table for this award-winning activity center. The specially designed walker is attached, allowing your little tyke to take first steps and move completely around the table for tons of fun. The Around We Go 3-in-1 Activity Center Zippity Zoo by Bright Starts is designed to keep young ones both entertained and challenged. Electronic sounds and a flip book are just a few of the many activities to be enjoyed. The attached walker keeps baby safe and secure while providing easy access to favorite activities, making this the best walker entertainer combo.
- Bold, bright colors grasp attention
- 15+ activities keeps baby interested
- Rotating seat allows freedom of movement
- Does not fold for easy storage
- Requires 3 “C” batteries
- Should not allow children to use seat once they can walk
Baby Einstein creates products that are designed to help kids learn and grow. This Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer is no exception. Sea creatures, ocean sounds, and more make this the best themed activity saucer.
Do you love everything about the ocean? If you think that it would be great to impart this interest in excitement to your little one, the Baby Einstein Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer might just be what you are looking for. Sea creature activities encourage play, while ocean sounds or music can hold baby’s attention. Because the washable seat swivels a full 360 degrees, your tiny tot can access toys as they please. Special link loops let you attach some of your child’s favorite toys for increased enjoyment.
- Rotating seat provides easy access to 11+ activities
- Multiple languages of English, French, and Spanish
- Removable seat for easy washing
- Requires 3 “AAA” batteries
- Limited use as baby grows
- Does not lock in place
Are you finding it hard to wait until your child is old enough to use a traditional activity center or walker? You can give your child an opportunity for fun and learning right away with the Grow-with-me Activity Gym and Ball Pit by Infantino.
Multiple stages of play allow your child to enjoy this activity center from infancy through toddler years, making this the best activity mat. Contrasting overhead bars hold several engaging toys that can be removed for play outside of the center. Once baby moves to tummy time, the fun does not stop. Toys can be removed from the bars and attached to the pop-up mesh ring that encloses the mat for contained play. As baby can sit and move about more, the mesh sides can be used for a ball pit. The included balls store conveniently in the turtle’s head.
- Provides activities while baby is still in lying stages
- Requires no batteries
- Ball pit can be used as child gets older
- Does not provide support for sitting
- Is not as secure as a jumper or saucer
- Is not easily washable
Baby Einstein designs products for learning and fun, so it is no surprise that they have come up with the Activity Jumper Special Edition, Neighborhood Friends. This jumper allows your little tyke to explore the popular Baby Einstein characters in their neighborhood.
Do you ever wish that there was an activity center that provided additional support on the back for your baby? Now you can enjoy a higher back with added padding in a comfortable seat that swivels all the way around the Baby Einstein Activity Jumper. Your child can access their favorite stations by turning the seat around and around as desired. The jumper holds tots from 15 to 25 pounds. With 5 easy-to-adjust height settings, your baby can be challenged to grow stronger and learn while having a great time making this the best activity jumper.
- 12+ activities for variety
- High-back support in a fully swiveling seat
- Folds for storage or transport
- Not advised for use once baby can climb or walk
- Uses 3 “AA” batteries
- Can be difficult to fold
Evenflo has been providing a vast array of infant and toddler products for years. The Exersaucer Bounce & Learn, Zoo Friends allows your young one to rock, bounce, and spin, making this the best bouncing saucer.
The Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce & Learn, Zoo Friends has activities set up all around the edge of the saucer that are designed to promote age-appropriate development. Are some activity centers so large and awkward that use is limited to certain areas? Not with the Exersaucer Bounce & Learn. Compact and lightweight, you can move this center with you room to room, inside and out. Baby can get plenty of action in a secure environment.
- Easy to move around
- Requires no batteries
- Has 3 height adjustments
- Some babies may get bored with limited activities
- Monkey bar may be awkward for some
- No seat padding
Baby Einstein keeps topping the list with another sea-themed activity center, Neptune’s Ocean Discovery Jumper. The small footprint on this jumper keeps your tot occupied without taking up the entire room, which is why this is the best space-saving jumper.
The Baby Einstein Neptune’s Ocean Discovery Jumper is full of activities for your young tyke with lots of eye-catching details. Electronic toys can be removed and used outside of the activity center. Lights and sounds are just a couple of the sensory options that can delight little ones. Three covered straps allow the center to bounce and rock with baby’s movements. Comfy, padded seat keeps tots secure while providing 360 degrees of round and round play. This center offers learning in English, French, and Spanish.
- Toys and activities are within easy reach
- Mirror promotes self discovery
- Space-saving design
- Requires 3 “AA” batteries
- Mostly blue colors may not grab attention
- A little pricey compared to some others
8.Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Activity Center, Turn, Bounce, Play, Transform, Forest Friends – Best Activity Center For Travel
Had you given up hope on finding an activity center that will keep baby occupied when you go traveling or visiting? That is why Oribel developed the PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Activity Center. Your little one can turn, play, and bounce in this transformable activity center with a forest friends theme.
The stable design of this activity center keeps baby secure during play. The toys were created to support cognitive and motor skill development for young hands and minds. The seat not only turns a full 360 degrees for ease of play, but also bounces easily for your child. Adjustable height grows with your little one. The legs fold under for easy transport from one place to the next, making this the best activity center for travel.
- Easy to fold and go
- Multi-stage use
- No batteries required
- Priced on the high end
- Limited toys and activities
- Might be difficult to bounce
Are you finding it difficult to justify a huge expense on an activity center that your child will only be able to use for a short period of time? If this is the case, you may want to consider the Evenflo ExerSaucer Bouncing Barnyard Saucer. A lower price tag with lots of activities makes this the best budget saucer.
Activities are placed around the table that are designed to promote growth and learning. The saucer and seat provide bounce and rocking to promote stronger neck, back, and leg muscles. The seat rotates all of the way around, so little fingers can grasp toys anywhere on the center. Some toys can be removed for use outside of the center. Height adjustments help to maximize your investment for extended use.
- Budget friendly
- No batteries needed
- 12+ activities to keep kids engaged
- Limited functions
- Decals and paint may peel after a little use
- Pinching problems with certain toys
The Fisher-Price Floral Confetti SpaceSaver Jumperoo delivers when it comes to providing a safe environment for baby to bounce and play. The enclosed jumper does not require the use of a doorway.
The special design of the Floral Confetti SpaceSaver Jumperoo by Fisher-Price provides a cause-and-effect response. Every time your baby wiggles and jumps, light and sounds reward efforts. Eight toys are readily accessible. Bring along the fun wherever you go because this activity center folds flat and takes up very little space. With a lower price point than many activity jumpers, that makes this the best budget portable jumper.
- Lower price than many other jumpers
- Small size fits nearly anywhere
- Fabric-enclosed springs for safer use
- 3 “AA” batteries required
- Seat pad difficult to remove for cleaning
- Activity bar may be difficult to use
Because activity centers are designed to engage and amuse your little one, it can be important to choose one that has the features your child will actually use. You can try a sample model in the store or just be aware of what baby likes when making your decision. There are some things that you might want to consider before making your final selection.
Baby’s Size and Age
Most activity centers have a recommended age as well as weight or height limits. Make sure that you find an activity center that your child will be able to use for some time.
Child’s Developmental Level
Some activity centers can only be used once your tyke can sit alone, while others can be used once head control has been gained. If you need something to amuse baby before these milestones are reached, mat options may be a better choice. If your child is already beginning to walk, a convertible option that will grow with your tot might make more sense.
Bells and Whistles
Is your baby fascinated by lights? Sounds? Movement? Make sure you choose an activity center that will hold baby’s attention. Is your little one more easily distracted? In that case, you may want to choose one with less features to avoid overstimulation.
High price is not always better, just as a lower price does not mean you will not get what your tiny tot needs to be amused. Quality, stability, and functions should all be considered in the price point, as well as how long the activity center can grow with your child.
Best Baby Activity Centers – What You Really Need to Know
Companies will do all that they can to make their products look enticing. Instead of jumping at the first activity center that you see, make sure that you thoroughly check out your choices. Once you determine what you would like to have in your child’s activity center, you will be in a better position to make the best choice for you and your baby.