Baby activity mats serve all sorts of purposes. Not only do activity mats provide a soft place for Baby to lay down or do tummy time, they also encourage learning, motivate infants to reach and move, and are even nice to look at. Of course, not all baby activity mats are created equal. The best activity mats will combine the comfort of a traditional mat with the educational features of a play gym. Keep scrolling for The Best Choice Review’s rundown of the 10 Best Baby Activity Mats for 2019.
Tummy Time Prop & Play Mat
The Tummy Time Prop & Play Mat by Bright Starts is perfect for the newborn just learning to strengthen its neck, or the older infant learning to grab and grasp. Shaped like a bear, this fun activity mat features myriad attachments meant to encourage Baby’s development. These include a mirror, teether, rattle, and smaller graspable ribbons. The activity mat even comes with a support pillow for newborns.
Magical Tales Super Mat
From the contrasting black-and-white images to the adjustable mirror, everything about Tiny Love’s Magical Tales Super Mat is thoughtfully designed to stimulate Baby’s senses. The mat includes eight different activities, each of which encourages cognition, exploration, discovery, and gross motor skills. As an added bonus, the mat is easy to fold and carry, thanks to a handle loop. Two other themes — Tiny Princess Tales and Meadow Days — are also available.
Wimmer-Ferguson Crawl and Discover Play and Pat Activity Mat
Popular toy company Manhattan Toy makes this play mat that is perfect for babies aged newborn and up. Brand new babies practicing tummy time will find it easy to focus on the mat’s black-and-white images. Older babies learning to move will have plenty to reach for, including the removable mirror, the crinkles and other textures, teethers, and even a pocket for hiding chewable rings and other surprises.
Modern Activity Mat
Crate & Kids
Crate & Kids are the pros at creating fun activity mats meant to stimulate a baby’s senses, and its Modern Activity Mat is no exception. This decorative and colorful mat is pretty to look at with its summery, beach-themed decor. It also include squeakers, a rattle, a variety of fabrics, and crinkle paper to encourage Baby to reach out, grab, and pull.
Out of This World Play Mat
Anthropologie collaborated with designer Katie Vernon to create the beautiful Out of This World Play Mat. Perfect for babies newborn and up, the activity mat features colorful suns, planets, moons, and stars that Baby will love reaching for and touching.
Woodland Animals Baby Activity Mat
Crate & Kids
Like the other Crate & Kids mats to make our list of the 10 best baby activity mats, the Woodland Animal Baby Activity Mat is packed with fun things for Baby to experience. The thoughtfully designed mat includes things like squeakers, mixed fabrics, and crinkly paper meant to stimulate a young baby’s senses. Meanwhile, the mat is soft enough to provide a comfy place to rest.
Animal Plush Play Mat
Pottery Barn Kids
This adorable play mat from Pottery Barn Kids offers babies a soft place to move, learn, and even rest. Perfect for newborns and up, the mat features a checkerboard-style design with four plush animals that Baby will want to look at, roll towards, and later, reach out and grab. Three additional smaller animals are the perfect size for small hands to practice grasping.
Be On the Sea Activity Floor Mat
Crate & Kids
This marine-themed activity mat from Crate & Kids is chock-full of fun surprises to stimulate Baby’s senses. There is a turtle shell which flips up to reveal a mirror, an eel hidden in a pocket wave, squid legs that are fun to pull, and so much more. Each sea creature is even made out of a different material that is fun to touch.
Magical Garden Baby Activity Mat
Crate & Kids
This gorgeous garden-themed activity mat from Crate & Kids and designer Elizabeth Olwen has been carefully designed to promote movement, learning, focus, and imagination. The mat is full of squeakers, reflective surfaces, and hidden objects that baby can reach for, feel, and grab.
The Play Gym
Though The Play Gym by Lovevery is a true play gym, its activity mat can be separated and used on its own to great effect. The play gym has been carefully designed after a ton of research on infant and child development. It includes five different sections for promoting brain and motor skills. There’s a section on focusing, one for making sounds, a place for exploring colors, discovering how things feel, and a section for hiding and finding. The play gym even comes with a booklet of fun activities to guide parents into ensuring their baby experiences the play mat to its fullest.