Friday, January 9, 2009

What is a Play Gym?

There is a product out there for babies called a play gym. On the surface this term appears to be oxymoronic. To me the gym is a lot more like work than play but I digress. What does your baby do with this product. Does it help him work out his biceps or is it a place to play games. As you can see I think the name could use some work but the product is great. The thing is a mat with bars overhead from which you can hang all manner of toys and noisemakers. Most play gyms are marked with some pretty high intensity colors that may look like they were designed by a mental patient but those colors are part of the magic. The combination of colors, hanging objects, and noisemakers make for a pretty cool place for your baby.

I first got ours out when the boy was several weeks old. By this time he was alert and looking around. I figured he got tired of looking at me, mom, and the various lights around the house. Right from the start he laid down in the play gym and was happy. He laid there for a half hour and smiled at the danglies. So being the great dad that I am I dug through his toys and found a few rattles to add to the collection. Our play gym has a lion that plays music and a few rattling things. The baby toy makers now make everything with hooks so all your toys are interchangeable. This is a great idea to help keep your baby's attention but sometimes I put so much stuff on the thing that the boy must think he is being surrounded. My wife correctly reminds me from time to time that I don't need to hang every toy we have from the multicolored bars and hooks.

Take if from me the play gym is not only for babies looking to do squat thrusts. They are a great place for your baby to play while you take a break. They are also a great place for you and the baby to play together. Now if I could just get past the negative connotations I get from the word gym. I think I will start calling ours the Amazing Technicolored Play Mat.

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