The Best Non Toxic Activity Gym for your Baby. Best Baby Play Gyms Reviews & How to Choose the Best Wooden Baby Gym for your Family.
When you’ve got an infant at home, a good baby activity gym is worth its weight in gold. Helping to develop hand-eye coordination, gross motor skills, and shapes/colors/sounds recognition, encouraging reaching, grasping and rolling, and keeping young babies entertained are just some of the benefits of a great play gym for babies.
However, because babies get so up close and personal with the gym and play gym toys – and have even been known to put a baby gym toy in their mouth – we recommend buying a wood baby gym that uses non toxic materials and toys, and using fragrance free cleaning products to clean them.
After considering some of the most popular wooden play gym models on the market, we chose the Lovevery as the best baby gym for your little one.
Build around 5 different zones, we love that it comes with a list of suggested ways to use it, ensuring you’re offering your little one plenty of age-appropriate activities to encourage development. Priced right in the middle of the pack, we also think the Lovevery offers great value. And we adore that the baby play gym mat is included – and filled with plenty of developmentally appropriate activities built right in!
If you don’t like the gyms below, another great option is to “build your own” gym. Scandiborn sells baby gym frames with different accessories you can add on, which lets you choose each piece and curate the experience.
Here are the gyms we considered!
- The Winner – Best Activity Gym for Infants and Older Babies: The Play Gym by Lovevery
- The Runner Up – Best All Wooden Baby Activity Gym – HABA Color Fun Play Gym
- The Upgrade – Monti Kids Wood Play Gym (with 8 hanging toys for baby gym included)
- Good on a Budget: HAN-MM
- The All Natural: Finn + Emma
Beloved by many parents and babies, Lovevery makes a number of popular stage-based toys for kids, most commonly sold through their subscription boxes.
A newborn staple, it’s designed to stimulate cognitive development and motor skills through the different play zones, interchangeable toys and learning cards, and teething accessories. Each station can be concealed to prevent overstimulation and encourage your baby to focus on one particular element. As your baby gets older, the different stations encourage baby-led organic play.
Easy to set up and take down in just a couple minutes with no tools necessary, it is made out of 100% baby-safe materials like organic cotton and sustainable wood.
Our Runner Up
HABA toys is another reliable non toxic toy manufacturer, offering delightful baby products designed and made in Europe. While it looks simple, it is wonderfully designed to engage little ones and encourage reaching, gasping, and hand-eye coordination.
The colorful hanging frog entices your baby to reach up, and when she grabs the wooden disks she’ll be rewarded with a clicky-clack sound that delights babies. Sliding wooden beads along the sides encourage head-turning and rolling from side-to-side.
One of the cleverest parts is the adjustable height, ensuring your little one can use it while lying on the floor on a play mat, or while sitting in an infant lounger or car seat.
Made from solid beech and beech plywood sourced from sustainable forests.
Monti Kids toys are based on the Montessori baby care and teaching philosophy, but are suitable for all families – even those who don’t plan to use Montessori at home. Made from non-toxic kid friendly materials, it has a minimalist look to it that will engage your baby and look good in your living room.
It comes with 4 mobiles and 4 toys. The mobiles include a high-contrast black and white mobile and 3 shapes and movement mobiles. The toys include a newborn-sized rattle, and several toys that encourage reaching and grasping.
All parts are made with sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paint, and all packaging is 100% recyclable.
Monti Kids is committed to creating safety-tested Montessori toys that include access to video guides and a community of Montessori educators. It offers the perfect introduction to the Montessori method for you and your baby. And if Montessori isn’t for you, it’s still a high quality and safe non toxic activity gym your baby will love.
The natural beech wood has been sanded down until soft and smooth, will blend beautifully in any nursery and looks pretty enough to be decorative. In a world of flashing and noisy toys, this sleek, simple design will not overstimulate your baby.
The A-frame is quick to assemble, sturdy but lightweight, and can fold away for easy storage. The hanging toys can be removed or added, and height of the toys can be adjusted. The wooden beads are both food grade and BPA free, and non-toxic paint is used on the beads.
The width between the legs is 19.7”, depth is 19.7”, and height from the floor to the bar is 17.7”.
The Best All Natural
The Finn + Emma is simple and elegant, this play arch has two wood teethers made from untreated Indian hardwood and two hand-knit rattles made from organic cotton. You can detach the toys at any time to bring them with you to keep baby entertained on the go.
It has a sturdy birch wood frame with an adjustable height to grow with your baby and contains no BPA, VOCs, heavy metals, or phthalates.
How to Choose the Safest Option (That’s Still Fun)
We get that it’s impractical to have 100% non-toxic baby gear, and certainly have our fair share of plastic toys at home.
However, in the very early days, and for products that your baby is going to get “up close and personal” with – either by spending a lot of time with (which is why we recommend non toxic cribs / non toxic bassinets and organic crib mattress for babies, and an organic toddler pillow, organic kids mattress, and non toxic nap mat when they’re older), touching directly, or putting in their mouths (i.e. safer baby bottles and non plastic sippy cups), we think there should be a higher standard, and parents should demand products made from totally baby-safe materials.
In our mind, an activity center qualifies for something your kid is going to get “up close and personal with”, which is why we spent a fair amount of time researching this post.
To start with, look for a product that is PVC, BPA, phthalates, and heavy metals free. For materials, we suggest you choose 100% organic cotton to ensure it’s free from toxic chemicals and residues, such as pesticides used during growing. EVA foam is also controversial, and probably best avoided for families committed to having as much non-toxic baby stuff as possible for their little one.
If you don’t want to go for a wooden activity gym, at the very least pay close attention to the baby gym toys attached to the frame. As your little one gets older or starts teething, they’ll likely chew on those toys – so you definitely want to ensure they’re safe.
For most families, we think the Lovevery offers a ton of value. For many babies, it will keep them entertained until they’re mobile. Older kids will love the clever play fort conversion. And the different play zones will ensure your little one has plenty of developmentally appropriate activities in those early days. As a runner up choice that’s a bit more affordable, we love the simplicity of the HABA.
Montessori families and those who want a ranged of hanging toys and mobiles should consider the Monti Kids choice. The high contrast mobiles and different toys will help your baby with a range of milestones – and provide a lot of fun, to boot.
And for families looking for an affordable choice that doesn’t compromise safety, it’s hard to go wrong with the HAN-MM.