When we first found out about Evangeline we felt quite bad as we couldn't really afford to get her many toys. She had lots of clothes to start off with and the few essentials but nothing to really play with apart from a from birth teddy bear and comforter. Even though most babies are more content snuggled up and being cuddled in those first few weeks I always thought it would be nice to put her down somewhere bright and comfortable to give her some amusement so I could have a bit of breathing time during the day. We never really thought of getting her a play mat until she was about two months old and we were offered one for her for Christmas.
We first thought it was a lovely mat, suitable for both boys and girls with its range of bright colours and adjustable toys. The product was easy to assemble and folded up nicely into a clear plastic carry bag with handle. The main bars that fold across the gym are green and blue. Each has six little holes to hang toys from. The play gym is also musical and plays a few little tunes which seem to be motion sensitive. The little toys include a musical sun with tassels for baby to grab at and shake, a rattle turtle, some brightly coloured and different textured leaves and a little frog. We have also added a textured fairy doll and a little bear. The bars are also able to fold down to present a comfortable changing place. I always put a little mat down however to save any 'spills'.
When Evangeline first went on her play mat she seemed very amused by the brightly coloured shapes. I feel a little bad as automatically she started kicking out and grabbing things which she had not done before but I was amazed at how quickly she seemed to understand what to do. At her age she mostly grabs hold of the toys to pull and she has a hard grasp yet the toys do not come off or fall on her. The mat itself has a few textured lumps and bumps which Evangeline finds fasicnating. There is a small mirror as well as a larger one attached to one of the bars, a textured leaf that can be moved and a squeaky thing that I always stand on but never figure out where it is. Evangeline loves the bright colours and the musical sun best.
This has really helped to improve some of Evangeline's skills as she easily rolls onto her front on it, something and is showing the markings of being able to crawl. It provides a soft environment for her to play and she is constantly chatting away to the toys. She knows she can pull at things and bring things closer to her face as well as push them away.
I think this is a great play gym and suits Evangeline well. She can stay on it all day and not make too much of a fuss. The bright colours seem to keep her happy and she always has so much to do on it. It also stops me worrying about her being on a hard floor even though ours is carpeted, so she has a little cushioning. The current RRP is £39.99 which I think is a good price for a play gym that acts fairly multifunctional. Evangeline finds it very stimulating. The play gym is easy to clean and easy to fold away at a moments notice. It seems to work well as it is a square shape and with her other shaped play mats I find them a little harder to store. This would be a good play gym for a boy or girl as it does not focus its toys or colours on the one gender.The battery life on the musical sun has lasted us around a month and that was the battery included in the product. It now needs to be changed.