The Tiny Love Jungle Park Activity Gym is a great play mat and activity gym that grows with your baby from the newborn stage right up until she starts crawling! Tiny Love has long had a commitment to manufacturing products that are both educational and fun for your child, and this gym does not disappoint. Pairing quality materials with input from child development specialists, Tiny Love has managed to add another great addition to their lineup of learning products.
Looking for a baby gym but cringe at the thought of spending money on something that your child will only use for a couple of months? Look no further. This truly is a gym with staying power. Parents of even the youngest infants will love laying their little ones on this mat. Its thick, quilted construction will provide them with the comfort they need to stay happy for long periods of time.
The mat provides newborns with a safe and secure womb-like spot to experience new shapes and textures. And yes, moms – in case of a messy diaper blowout, the mat is even machine washable! One of the best things about this activity gym is that the placement of the four hanging toys is fully adjustable. Simply move the sliding rings closer to the child when they are one to two months of age to help develop their vision. As the child grows, the toys can be moved farther up the bars, helping them to develop their fine motor skills by encouraging them to reach out and grasp the toys.
Our 10 month old tester was even able to detach the toys himself, adding to the gym’s fun factor. The hanging toys include soft elephant and lion rattles, a colorful leaf teether, and a fun wind chime. Parents can also take these items and attach them to the baby’s stroller for added versatility.
The overhead bars can easily be unsnapped from the mat and removed to make a colorful play mat for children able to sit up unassisted. However, our on-the-move tester still seemed to love crawling in and out of the “tunnel” of hanging toys.
Once your child is past the newborn stage, this Tiny Love Gym transforms into a fantastic place for tummy time! Included with the gym is a plush, u-shaped pillow designed with comfort in mind. Slide the pillow under baby’s chest and they are ready to explore. The bright colors of the mat will keep them engaged, and the different crinkly fabric materials allow babies to explore their growing sense of touch and hearing.
Our normally tummy-time-hating three month old tester was transformed on this mat! He played contently for several minutes, all the while working to strengthen his neck muscles and improving his hand-eye coordination. Especially fascinating for both of our testers was the round baby-safe mirror that attached to the mat. Our one complaint about the mirror is that it doesn’t really stand up to the curious hands of older children. Our 10 month old tester was easily able to detach it and send it flying across the room within the matter of a couple of minutes.
The Jungle Park Activity Gym also comes with a free-standing electronic toy that matches the mat’s jungle theme. This two-sided toy can be attached to the mat via the handy Velcro straps, or it can be used on its own for some fun, take-along play. One side has images in black, white and red for the vision stimulation of young infants, and the alternate side is decorated with a bold, jungle animal print. The toy includes 3 musical settings – lights only, continuous play, and baby-activated. The base includes a large push button that older infants will love pressing to activate the third setting.
Assembly of this gym is simple. While the directions can be a bit confusing, all of the pieces are fairly self explanatory. Parents shouldn’t have too much of an issue figuring out how they fit together. The play mat itself comes almost fully assembled -simply take the two overhead bars and snap them into the corresponding corners. Next, snap the 4 hanging toys onto the loops of the overhead bars and Velcro the baby mirror onto the mat.
The free standing electronic toy doesn’t require any assembly, but it does require 2 AA batteries. We would have liked to have the batteries included along with the gym, but can overlook this small complaint since the toy seemed to have a long battery life. Removal of the battery door on the unit requires the use of a small Phillips head screwdriver and the muscle power of the Incredible Hulk.
Once reinforcements were called in to help loosen the single screw and the batteries were installed, replacing the battery door was a cinch – just make sure not to lose the screw! A self-contained screw or a snap-on door would have been much more user friendly. However, the brief aggravation associated with this task is well worth the trouble involved.
Let’s talk portability. The large size of this activity gym may seem a little daunting for parents with limited floor space, but don’t let that deter you. Once the youngster is done with play time, simply unsnap one end of each bar and the unit lays completely flat, allowing you to easily slide it under baby’s crib for out-of-sight storage.
This gym definitely gets our recommendation for its easy set up, longevity, and versatility. In the world of activity gyms, it has a very competitive price when you factor in all of the time this will free up for moms and dads! Anything that keeps an infant engaged for more than 5 minutes gets our vote! Let this “Jungle Gem” bring jungle animals to life for your little one.