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The Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym – available through Bibs and Stuff – is a cool, colourful product with a plush feel and modern design that you’ll love as much as your baby does.
Skip Hop is a US company, based in New York City, that designs “Iconic objects that beautify the living space, simplify parenting and make day-to-day living easier as a new mum or dad.” It’s most famous for its changing bags, first produced in 2003 and carried by many a celeb mum or dad. The gym is available in the UK through Bibs and Stuff, an online retailer and distributor in the UK
This Activity Gym is part of Skip Hop’s Funky Farmyard range and is made up of a square playmat, crossover arches and hanging toys. There’s a See-me Cow with baby-safe mirror; a Plush Piggy that crinkles and chimes; a Bunny Rattle with teething ring; a Spotty Duck with crinkly wings and a squeak inside; plus a Fleecy Lamb that plays Old Macdonald when squeezed.
The mat features nine animal pictures and includes a fleecy lamb to feel, a carrot rattle, a crinkly duck wing and a squeaky cow. All of these combine to offer 16 developmental activities for your baby.
What we love
While “Funky Farmyard” wasn’t exactly a theme I had in mind for my living room, the bright primary colours and bold design of the Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym make it more stylish than most gyms. And, crucially, my 6-month-old twins gave it their immediate seal of approval, too.
The mat is made from quilted cotton and feels soft and comfortable – so much so that my boys both fell asleep on it on occasion. And now that they’re becoming mobile, I find the cotton surface is better for helping them to wriggle and attempt to crawl, unlike the synthetic, slippy fabrics used in similar gyms. I was surprised to find how easily it was to wipe clean, and the inevitable patches of drool or vomit washed off really well on a cold cycle. It dried in no time at all, so playtime wasn’t called off for too long.
Both my babies loved all the toys, especially the rabbit teething ring and the jingling pig, although they didn’t take much notice of the textures and sounds on the mat. I didn’t find the tummy time pillow especially helpful but it might have been when they were younger and not so strong. As it was, it came in handy to cushion their heads if they nodded off.
The Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym is easy to dismantle and store flat – just make sure you don’t throw away the plastic carry case it comes in! The gym itself doesn’t fold in any particular way, so you’ll want to use the case to stash and transport the mat, arches and toys.
The Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym is versatile in that it can be used with the arches, for gazing and grabbing, without the arches as a playmat or for tummy time, and when your baby’s outgrown it, the mat makes a bedroom wall-hanging. Remove the plastic hanging loops and the toys can be played with independently, too.
What to watch out for
The mat is smaller than other gyms I’ve tried and wasn’t really big enough for both my sons to play freely, so they had to take turns. It’s great as a travel mat for young babies but not so useful once they’re mobile.
The toys are lovely but there are only five of them (and 12 loops to hang them from). For the price it would be nice if a few more could have been included – or at least a few spare hanging loops so you could attach your own toys.
According to Skip Hop’s US website, there are other toys in the Funky Farmyard range that would complement the gym, however these don’t seem to be available in the UK.
Who is the Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym best for?
Style-conscious families with one baby, who are short on space or need a gym that can travel.
The Skip Hop Funky Farmyard Activity Gym is a great-looking, fun and easy-to-clean gym that’s guaranteed to keep your baby busy through lots of developmental stages. Just be aware that it’s quite small and not cheap. And don’t throw away the bag it come in!
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|Model||Funky Farmyard Activity Gym|
Dimensions & Weight
|Dimensions||H:53cm W:86cm D:86cm|
|Dimensions (folded)||H:61cm W:63cm D:8cm|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Accessories included||Five multi-sensory hanging toys, quilted tummy-time pillow|