Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Whether she’s waving her limbs around; aiming specifically for the goggle-eyed, smiling monkey overhead; or rolling over to find the source of that I.Q.-enhancing classical music, baby will be hard-pressed not to advance her infant skill set on the Gymini Super Deluxe. From the monkey with springy leg to pull to the vibrating, jitterbugging elephant to the mirror she can see if she just lifts that heavy head a bit higher…everything on the play mat has a mission: to make baby learn. Cause and effect is a biggie: when she bats at the giraffe, it rattles. When she pokes one corner of the mat, music and lights seem to emerge from the fabric flowers. When she rubs the elephant ear on the mat, it makes a fun crinkly sound. Those large muscles are getting a real workout, too, resulting in improved large motor skills: reaching, kicking, rolling over, pushing up. Many babies don’t particularly enjoy their necessary daily "tummy time," but the Gymini encourages baby to lift and turn her head to see the mirror and find the flashing lights. Tummy time is fun again! And don’t forget the fine motor skills! Those little fingers have to meet if baby wants to grasp the zebra’s mane or the parrot’s crackling wings.
Plastic rings hang from the many holes in each arch; dangling from each is a plush animal or toy, providing still more stimulation. Additionally, parents can easily switch out the toys for variety, simply detaching the included toys from the rings and looping other baby-safe toys on. A hidden music box in one corner of the mat includes an on/off switch with two musical selections: 10 minutes of Mozart or three short fragments of popular nursery tunes. The music is a bit plinky, as is the norm with most baby toy music, but not at all offensive. When the music stops, all baby needs to do is press anywhere on that corner of the mat to start it up again—she is further encouraged to do so by the flowers that light up when the music plays. A hidden squeaker in one of the birds, peek-a-boo with the elephant ear, flap-flap-flap with the butterfly wing, tug-of-war with the giraffe’s tail…the play potential is limitless, whether she’s sitting up or lying down, one week old or 8 months old.
For Mom and Dad
The mat and arches fold up flat, and the entire Gymini snaps together and travels easily, which is a good thing because you won’t want to be without it on your next trip to Grandma’s. The padded mat is machine washable (read instructions first—the music box and mirror don’t take kindly to machine washing…). Three AA batteries required for the music box (batteries included are for trial only and should be replaced). --Emilie Coulter