I like it when things look nice, sophisticated even. I'm a big fan of the classic look, clean lines, the color black. That's why looking for a baby activity gym was so difficult. They're all hideous. I know babies like contrast and colors, but do they really need ten thousand colors, all neon and blinding? Patterns and characters that don't go together? The world of baby play gyms is messy and parents' options for ones that are both nice-looking and will entertain the little babes are sparse.
The Mamas and Papas Play Mat and Activity Gym (Octopus) is so cute and it does a great job of keeping Mila happy and busy. Hanging from the overhead beams are little sea creatures like fish, a starfish, and a tiny octopus. They all jingle or rattle in some way. In the middle hangs a crinkly-feeling distorted mirror. All of the hanging items can be removed and reorganized to your baby's liking. The bottom mat is so soft, made with a velour-like material. The beams are sturdy but flexible, so they can handle being kicked around often. The "tentacles" of the octopus are each made with a different material, some fuzzy, some smooth, some silky. They're filled with different noisy things, like bells, crinkly stuff, etc. A bonus of this play gym is that the head of the octopus is raised for tummy time.
I love all those features and I love that Mila loves it too. But if we’re being honest, I love it for the fact that it's not hideous. I like that it goes nicely in my living room and doesn’t make me feel like I’m in a daycare. I can maintain a level of sophistication once more...even in the midst of baby toys.