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The Fisher Price Rainforest Gym was not the first play mat I purchased for my son. It was the second, and it was on the recommendation of my best friend who's little girl of 2 months older had loved it since day dot. The original playmat had been bought for a very tidy sum and was really purchased for all the wrong reasons-it's colours were pastel which I thought was pretty and would look lovely in our living room (I was pregnant at the time, rather than being a mummy so I think I'm excused!). However when Joshua came along I realised the error of my ways. It's cushioned areas looked uncomfrotable underneath him rather than supportive and the lack of bright colours did nothing but bore him (typical boy). So with that off to the shops we went for a new one.
The Fisher Price Rainforest Gym was everything that first mat had not been, vibrant, exciting and fun-exactly what every baby mat needs to be! Oh, hindsight is a wonderful thing isn't it?! It cost me £55 and some retailers charge upwards of £60 for it which is a little on the pricey side but I haven't
found a decent play mat for any less so therefore it's relative within in's market. It comes in a large clear plastic carry case which you could keep to store it and take it around with you but it is quite bulky, and not small when folded so we never did this, but the option is there.
The Gym itself is made up of a very vibrant animal patterned floor mat with a furry leaf that can be touched for noise and sensory development. The mat itself also has various toy hooks to attach extra chew toys etc for your little one. Over the top are two long poles, one rainbow covered and one leaf pattern covered which come together in the centre with the sound box. Mr Giraffe is holding one end of the rainbow legs and he also houses the battery box which operates the noises that can come from the top. There are 2 sound settings each with 2 volume levels to accompany your childs mood and play level. Surrounding the sound box are 4 fabric leafs hanging down which add a new texture for little fingers to explore. Underneath the sound box are two very pretty hanging butterflies, one purple and one orange that flutter at the slightly touch-my son personally loved reaching for these and watching them turn when I moved them!
Each of the 'legs' has a hanging tag to attach chew toys, teethers etc which is a great addition. When you purchase the Gym it comes with 4 to get you started, one is a bright red large mirror which sits at floor level when hung so your baby can turn to look at themselves from a very early age. My little boy finds mirrors fascinating and loves a little flirt with himself as most do! Then is a green giraffe filled with lovely sounding chimes which when moved fills the air with a sweet sound. Also included is a bright blue hippo with rotating rattle and then then the largest of the included toys is a rotating toy which spins when flicked-this was my little boys personal favorite, and he still plays with this on it's own all the time. The fact that these are removeable is fabulous because it means when your child grows and wants to sit and play, they can but also allows you the freedom to replace the toys which hang down so your little one doesn't get bored with looking at the same thing.
My little boy was an early crawler and was very determined to be mobile but this mat is still used today and he's 11 months old. Although it's not often played with now he lived on this mat for a lot of his early days as it provides toys that aid sensory development through touch and sound as well as aiding his optical growth with the vibrancy of the colours. The fact the mat is machine washable too means it's easy to keep clean and germ free-a huge bonus for me!
I would say within the next month or so our Rainforest Gym will be retiring to the loft as Joshua really mainly uses it to hold on to and flick the butterflies now-not really enough interaction anymore for taking up precious playroom floor space! However for the first 8 months of his life he loved this mat and so in turn did I.
I would give this mat a fabulous 5 stars-it's a little pricey but it's worth every penny for what it provides!
Please see www.fisher-price.co.uk for more details and many more items from the Rainforest range!