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Kylie McConville

Best Baby Play Mats And Activity Gyms

We've rounded up some of our favorite play mats to keep baby entertained—and free up your hands for other to-dos.
Best for Baby’s Development

The padded wedge on the Octopus’s head on the Babyplay Tummy Time Octopus from Mamas & Papas helps strengthen baby’s arms, neck and back muscles. Plus, nine interactive features and four removable, dangling toys will help her develop hand-eye coordination. , $80


Coolest Toys

We’re not sure who’ll love the ball pit on this Infantino Grow-With-Me Activity Gym and Ball Pit more — you or baby — but we’re pretty sure you’ll both love playing around together. , $60


Best for Safety

One reason to love Bright Starts Swingin’ Safari Baby’s Play Place Activity Gym is for its newborn safety features. The sides stay upright (to keep baby from rolling over) while she discoveries the toys, lights and music above. , $80


Best Budget Buy

You want something that baby will love that won’t break the bank for you, right? Meet the Fisher-Price Discover ‘n Grow Jumbo Playmat. It comes with toys, a mirror, fish teether, plush frogs, a peek-a-boo elephant, rattles and ribbons. Sounds like a steal to us!, $40


Best for Infant-to-Toddler

With more than 20 developmental activities like shapes, clip-on rings and balls, The Sassy Grow With Me 3-in-1 Playmat transforms from an infant mat to a tummy time activity center to a play tunnel for toddlers. How cool is that?, $50


Best Baby-Stimulating Play Mat

Get ready for lots of laughs! The animals hanging overhead on the Infantino Whale Kicks & Giggles Activity Gym jiggle along with baby’s movements. We recommend keeping the camera close by! , $67


Best for On-the-go

We love the Tiny Love Super Mat because it comes with all the necessities, but without the complicated set up. You can easily pack it up for an afternoon at the park or a weekend at grandma’s house! , $40


Best Educational Activity Gym

Want baby to get a jumpstart on learning while he drools and giggles in delight? The Skip Hop Alphabet Zoo Activity Gym comes with animals and an alphabet mat so you can get him started on the wildest sounds you know! , $75

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PHOTO: Lesley Mango / Getty Images