The baby stage can be challenging and exciting for new parents. Luckily, there are a lot of nifty items on the market, like a Montessori-aligned play gym, to help make life easier.
A play gym typically consists of a mat with a tripod-type structure hanging over it that dangles toys within a baby's reach.
There are tons of play gyms on the market, but if you are looking for something Montessori-aligned (without overstimulating colors, lights, and music), we've got some great recommendations for you.
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Are play gyms necessary?
The short answer to this question is no, play gyms are not necessary for optimal development in most circumstances.
Babies don't really need us to purchase most of the things we buy for them. This doesn't mean there aren't some great benefits to things like play gyms, though.
The benefits of baby play gyms
- improved hand-eye coordination
- fine motor development
- enhanced visual perception
- enhanced tactile perception
- problem-solving skills
As you can see, baby gyms are great for cognitave development, physical development, and the development of the senses.
When should I introduce a Montessori play gym?
You can introduce a Montessori play gym to your baby as soon as you like. However, a baby will get the most use from it between the ages of 3 and 6 months.
This is the time when a baby's eye-sight is developed to the point where they can see more than a few inches from their face.
This is also when baby's begin to grasp for things, like rattles and play gym toys.
After the age of 6 months, many babies start to enjoy being on their tummies and are becoming more mobile.
The top 5 wooden Montessori play gym options
This is a curated list of Montessori-aligned baby play gyms – handpicked by myself. While this list is not extensive, these are the most developmentally appropriate and aesthetically pleasing options.
1. TreeBud Wooden Baby Play Gym
This is a really gentle-looking Montessori-aligned play gym. It does not come with a mat.
However, you can keep your baby on her topponcino and let her play.
The wooden toys on this play gym can be easily switched out for contrast cards or other soft baby mobile toys.
2. Avrsol Infant Activity Gym with Mat
This Montessori activity gym is beautiful and comes with a nice, soft mat, which is machine washable.
It comes with both soft and wooden toys, as well. The colors are neutral and not overstimulating, which is nice.
3. Starry Sky Activity Mat & Wooden Baby Play Gym
This is a nice Montessori-aligned wooden play gym. It comes with a mat and 3 toys, one of which is squeezable, which babies really enjoy.
The accessories are removable (Personally, I would replace the beads), so you can hang up whatever toys your baby is most interested in.
4. Foldable Wooden Baby Play Gym
This is one of my favorite wooden play gyms on the list, as it already has high-contrast items that capture a baby's attention.
The toys that are included with this gym crinkle and make wind chime sounds, as well, which will stimulate your baby's senses without overloading them.
5. Lovevery Baby Play Gym
If you are a Montessori parent, you are probably already familiar with the Lovevery brand. They make high-quality, Montessori-aligned toys and other products.
This baby gym is on-par with what you would expect from Lovevery.
It comes with hanging toys and a magnificent play mat that provides plenty of sensory discovery for babies.
The may be folded to prevent overstimulation and can even transform into a tent for schematic play into the toddler years.
There were so many amazingly beautiful play gyms to choose from when putting this list together.
There were some that caught my eye due to their aesthetic features, but upon closer inspection, were just too “busy” and overstimulating.
The options I listed really are the most Montessori-aligned and, in my opinion, the most fun for babies.
If your Montessori baby enjoys a play gym that's not on this list, what brand is it and what do you/they love about it?
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