When the time comes for your baby to be able to hold himself or herself upright, you’ll be itching to start feeding their brain with new stimulation, motor skill development, eye-hand coordination, and excitement. One great way to do this is to get an activity center to add to your collection of baby gear for your little one. While maybe not exciting for an adult, the combination twists, twirls, swirls, mirrors, squeaks, honks, lights, sounds and other new opportunities to bend and play with brightly colored toys is super fun for six-month-olds. This type of play also improves your baby’s motor skills and is a great compliment to tummy time.
Some activity centers function as baby walkers, too, and come with both a toy tray for exploration and a food tray for snacks and meals. These are some of our favorites, as they are multi-purpose and well designed.
Activity centers and walking activity centers may come with adjustable height options, machine-washable seats, electronic options like music and lights, motion options, rotating seats, and more. Some models grow with your child. What you choose is up to you, but be sure to explore all the options available.
Baby jumpers are seats suspended by elastic cables (usually attached easily to a door frame) that allow your little one time to practice standing and jumping. It’s an ideal baby exercise machine that will leave parents wishing they had this trampoline-like equipment to enjoy for themselves (they just don’t make door frames tall enough). Babies can spend a surprising amount of time jumping to their favorite songs, and since it’s so easy to attach to any door frame, you can quickly move the jumper’s location to whatever best suits your own needs as you go about your day.
For activity centers, you’ll want to make sure you’re supervising your little one while they’re in there--especially if the activity center has wheels and can fall down stairs or pull up next to a hot oven. Additionally, you must also remember:
For baby jumpers, you’ll want to follow similar guidelines:
The big decision to make between activity centers is whether to get a stationary activity center or a walking activity center. The walking activity centers are not as safe, but that’s not to say they are dangerous--they just come with the added pressure of making sure your child doesn’t fall down the stairs or walk into a swimming pool. But walking activity centers also allow for more exploration for your child.
Choosing a baby jumper is much like choosing a baby swing, with one unique decision to be made--the type of jumper. There are self-contained jumpers, such as a stationary jumper or activity jumper, where the frame of the jumper provides the support for the elastic cords. The other choice is a doorway jumper, which has a bungee cord attached to a seat and is hung from the door frame. The amount of room and the type of door frames your home has should easily help make that decision. Doorway jumpers do have the added convenience of easy-to-move portability. From there, choosing a jumper should come down to what you need specifically, such as seats (washable seats are helpful), adjustability, storage, toys, and height and weight requirements.
When it comes to some of the best activity centers and stimulating play for children, our parents love these products:
We’re always on the lookout for the best baby products at the best price. After nearly 100 years in the industry, we work closely with the biggest brands to bring you the baby gear you want most at a price that nicely fits your budget. Please browse our selection of baby gear and check out our frequent sales, as this is really a passion for us, not just a career. We love that parents have trusted us for many, many years and work (very) hard for that trust to continue.