I’ll confess something. We got the Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym because it was the only one we found that wasn’t so ugly we couldn’t stand to have it in our house. We got the green one. We later spotted a beige version at Pottery Barn Kids (white-labeled as Owl Activity Gym), which was really lovely but seemed perhaps not as stimulating. We felt our choice was a decent balance of good-for-baby and not-hideous. I mean have you seen some of what’s out there? They’re NEON.
This activity mat became our daughter’s favorite thing at about six weeks. She couldn’t quite focus on the dangling owl and other animals, and she certainly couldn’t swat them, but she looked and looked and reached and reached (not always in any particular direction). In time, she grew particularly fond of the orange squirrel, and “smack the squirrel” became a daily game. Not long after that, we found her babbling to her treetop friends — her first real “talking” that we saw or heard (three and a half months).
The Skip Hop Treetop Friends Activity Gym is easy to throw in the wash, easy to store if you hang it by the arches (ours lives permanently on a hook on the back of the nursery door) and easy to get into the crib if you need to put the baby down and step away for a minute and want to keep him or her happy. It has parts that jingle, a wooden ring, a couple crinkle pieces, some mirrored pieces and different textures on the mat. We LOVE it, and have loved watching our daughter go through different phases of learning with it — learning to reach, to grab, to hold, to stroke, to chew. It was also our preferred venue for tummy time. We would recommend it to anybody.
I just read this to my husband and he wanted me include that the jingly owl is amazing, and that our daughter turns from anywhere in the room if she hears it. Okay, that’s all.