Best Wooden Play Gym: Top Baby Play Gyms (Tried & Tested)


The Best Non Toxic Wooden Baby Gym for your Baby…that I’ve Actually Tried & Tested! In-Depth Baby Play Gym Reviews, Plus How to Choose an Awesome Wooden Baby Gym for your Little One.

When you’ve got an infant at home, a good wooden 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 the best wooden play gyms.

After considering, buying, and personally testing some of the most popular wooden activity gyms and baby gyms on the market, I came up with this list of the best of the best wooden baby gyms that I’ve personally tried.

Disclosure: I asked Itzy Ritzy if they would send me a play mat and baby gym free of charge so I could test it out for this article, and they happily did. Finn + Emma also provided me with a $50 gift card to purchase any product from their shop I chose, and I ordered a play gym and play mat bundle (which was more than the $50!).

In addition to the gyms I’ve tried, you can find a few more lower down in the list – gyms I’ve researched, but haven’t had a chance to try personally yet.

  1. The Play Gym by Lovevery | Baby Activity & Tummy Time Mat

    Built 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. We adore that the baby play gym mat is included – and filled with plenty of developmentally appropriate activities designed by child development experts! Priced in the middle of the pack, we think it offers great value, and it tends to have great re-sale value when you're done with it.

    Check Price Our Full Review

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  2. Itzy Ritzy Wooden Activity Gym

    The Itzy Ritzy gym comes with a baby play mat included, perfect for tummy time and for lying on their back while working on the gym and toys. The Ritzy Activity Gym has the most whimsical look among my top picks, and comes in rainbow or pink rainbow, with textured ribbons and detachable multisensory toys to help keep baby engaged.

    Check Price Our Full Review

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Itzy Ritzy provided us with a free activity gym and mat.

  3. Montikids Montessori Baby Gym: Level 1 Montessori Play Set

    The Monti Kids play gym comes with 4 different Montessori mobiles (plus 6 toys), great for the youngest babies to enjoy when lying on their backs, simply looking! This is certainly one of the most expensive play gyms on the market, but it's packed with developmental value for your youngest family members, especially in the first 3 months when you want to keep baby busy observing the world around them. The downside? It's pricey, and it doesn't come with a play mat.

    Check Price Our Full Review

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

  4. Finn + Emma Wooden Play Arch

    Finn + Emma has a gorgeous line of "aesthetic" baby gear, making it a great choice to parents who are allergic to bright colors and prefer natural materials. The Play Arch has a clever design that makes it a bit easier to slide out of the way when not in use - a nice option if you're in a small space that needs to look adult sometimes. The Play Arch/Gym doesn't come with a play mat, but Finn + Emma does sell bundles, which consist of either a small or large play mat, plus their play gym.

    Check Price

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


If you don’t like the gyms listed, another great option is to “build your own” gym. Etsy has a ton of options for different play gym frames and toy combos you can add on, which lets you choose each piece and curate the experience.

The Play Gym by Lovevery

Best Overall

This versatile choice is one of the most popular on the market, offering five different interactive play zones. From tummy time with newborns to more curious and active play with older babies, the Lovevery works up until 12 months or so. From there, it converts to a fort with the included play space cover – giving plenty of opportunities to use it throughout the early years.

Learn More

This is many family’s favorite, and since I have this in my own home, I understand why. It great quality; it does triple duty (play mat, play gym, tent); and they’ve put a ton of thought into the developmental features it offers.

First of all, of the different wooden baby gyms I’ve included in this list, I think this is the most versatile. It can be used as a play mat, a tummy time mat, or as a full on baby gym, if you attach the arches (which is super easy to do).

I also love how it’s been designed to support baby’s development.

The foldable baby playmat part of this play gym is broken up into five different interactive play zones, each of which have been specifically designed to encourage your baby’s development. You can use the mat on its own – it’s awesome for tummy time – or hang the arched wooden bar pieces up to make it more of a traditional baby gym (better for when baby is on their back looking up at the ceiling).

Lovevery wooden baby gym play mat on an isolated white background with arrows and subtitles superimposed to show the different developmental areas of the play gym. Labels include: Learn to Focus, Colors, Textures, Making Sounds, Hiding & Finding
  • Learn to Focus Zone: This area has a flip up pocket with 2 slots, where you can slide in Lovevery’s high contrast cards, mirror cards, facial expression cards, or object cards. They’re super easy to switch up so your baby doesn’t get bored.
  • Hiding and Finding Zone: This zone has a secret pocket which hides a bright green silicone teething ring. Fun and surprising, and good for developing a sense of object permanence.
  • Exploring Colors Zone: A personal favorite, this section is quite beautiful, and hard not to be drawn to, with pretty watercolor-looking patterns and flexible fabric fingers to grab, each in a different vibrant color.
  • How Things Feel: In this section of the play gym mat, there are 5 different textures, from a fuzzy, squishy red mop-like thing to a smooth satiny ribbon to little “french fries” that wiggle when you touch them. Great for exploring texture!
  • Making Sounds: Finally, the sound are has two hidden squeaky buttons which your baby will be delighted to find, plus lots of crinkly paper inside for little hands to grab.

To use it as a wooden baby play gym, you just set up the arched wooden bars (made from FSC-certified wood from sustainable sources), which is extremely easy and quick to do, no tools required.

A woman's hand holds the wooden bars to assemble the Lovevery montessori baby play gym

By doing so, you unlock more features, especially for young babies who are in the mood to lie around on their backs:

  • Card Clips: This wooden baby gym has card clips where you can attach the Lovery cards, so when you’re baby is on their back, looking up, they have something to look at. Swap out the different options and mirrors to keep it fun and help their eye development.
  • Hanging Toys: The arched bars double as a hanging toy bar, with 3 spots to hang toys from. The Lovevery baby gym comes with toys to get you started, including a cotton, high contrast and textured ball, a crinkle paper section on a silicone ring, and a wooden rings thing, which has a bell and also “clacker” pieces that make noise if your baby lifts up the centre circle.
birdseye view looking down at the wooden arches and high contrast cards on the Lovevery montessori play gym

From tummy time with newborns to more curious and active play with older babies, the Lovevery works up until 12 months or so. From there, it converts to a fort with the included play space cover – giving plenty of opportunities to use it throughout the early years. You can also put away the legs, and use it as a cute playmat in the nursery or elsewhere in the house.

One thing I like about Lovevery is everything is 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. And when they get even older, it can be used as a fort with the cover! (as you see in the photo below).

The lovevery baby play gym set up as a fort with the cover over the play gym arches.
Our Lovevery baby gym, set up as a fort for older babies and toddlers!

As a downside, I think it could be overkill for some families. If you’re looking for a more traditional wooden baby gym, the Itzy Ritzy gym (covered next) might be more your speed.

Best Overall
The Play Gym by Lovevery | Baby Activity & Tummy Time Mat

Built 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. We adore that the baby play gym mat is included – and filled with plenty of developmentally appropriate activities designed by child development experts! Priced in the middle of the pack, we think it offers great value, and it tends to have great re-sale value when you're done with it.

Check Price Our Full Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Itzy Ritzy Play Mat and Baby Activity Gym

Best Traditional Wooden Gym

Itzy Ritzy’s Bitzy Bespoke™ Ritzy Activity Gym™ is a combo tummy time mat and baby activity gym that comes with dangling, multi-sensory toys and an adorable play mat. Comes in “Rainbow” and “Pink Rainbow” (featured in this post).

See it on Itzy Ritzy / Read Our Full Review

When I picture a wooden baby gym, the Itzy Ritzy is pretty much bangon what I come up with in my head. It’s a traditional wooden play gym that’s great for newborns through to about 6 months old.

detachable dangling toys hang from the Itzy Ritzy baby play gym and quilted rainbow mat sits underneath

It comes with 3 removable dangling toys which you can hang from the wooden gym frame:

  • a soft plush mushroom with a rattle inside and a silicone teething ring
  • a crinkly snail with a hanging star
  • a plush bunny with two rings to grab at, one of which has little ribbon pull tabs to try to grab at
Mushroom, Snail, and Bunny Multi Sensory Toys that attach to the toy bar for the Itzy Ritzy Play Gym

The detachable toys can be secured to the frame by tying them on (they have wide cotton strings to attach them to the top bar), and removed by untying them. If I could change something small about this gym, I wish the cotton ties were slightly longer as I found them a little tricky to knot.

hanging toys hang from the Itzy Ritzy play gym and tummy time activity center

Assembling the wooden activity gym frame is fairly simple. The packaging includes 4 long screws and a hex key, along with instructions to assemble. You simply fit the two end pieces together, and secure them by two screws, which then also screw into the top toy bar. I timed myself to test out how easy it is to set up, and it only took me 3 minutes and 38 seconds, working on my own, to get the play gym part set up (not including tying the toys on).

Itzy Ritzy Play Gym out of the package, not yet set up with gym frame or dangling toys

The Itzy Ritzy activity gym also comes with a nice baby activity mat made of polyester and cotton. It has 4 rainbow arches made out of a multicolor velvet-type of material, great for grabbing and inspecting up close!

The mat itself measures 34.5″ long x 21.5″ wide, and has a fairly standard thickness.

Dimensions of the Itzy Ritzy activity gyms play mat: 34.5" long by 21.5" wide measured personally on my gym play mat

When I put the mat on our Ruggable, I’m confident there’s enough padding that if an older baby tumbled down and bumped their head, they’d be just fine.

However, when I put the mat on our vinyl floor with no padding underneath, it feels a bit too thin for an older, mobile baby (likely fine for a newborn) – I’d probably add a bit more padding underneath.

The bottom of the play mat is made of a sateen-like polyester, which keeps the mat in place when placed on our Ruggable area rug, and slides slightly on our vinyl floor.

Bitzy Bespoke™ Ritzy Activity Gym™ play mat with the mat folded over to show the bottom liner fabric

The gym’s footprint measures 24″ (side to side) by 22″ (front to back).

dimensions of the Itzy Ritzy baby activity gym frame: 24" wide by 22" deep by 18" tall

One thing I don’t love about this play gym – particularly if you live in a small space – is it’s not easy to collapse and put away. You have to unscrew all the legs, which isn’t a big deal considering it took me less than 4 minutes to put it away, but it’s not quite as easy as an method to simply let it fold down flat (having to use screws is a psychological barrier for me!).

If you opt for this gym, expect to simply push it to the side of the room when you want the space to look a bit more adult. Realistically, that’s what we do with all kid stuff, despite our best intentions. But, if you’re really set on not having kid stuff permanently take over your home, you might want to look for a different play gym (the Finn & Emma, for example, is a narrower profile).

Best Traditional Gym
Itzy Ritzy Wooden Activity Gym

The Itzy Ritzy gym comes with a baby play mat included, perfect for tummy time and for lying on their back while working on the gym and toys. The Ritzy Activity Gym has the most whimsical look among my top picks, and comes in rainbow or pink rainbow, with textured ribbons and detachable multisensory toys to help keep baby engaged.

Check Price Our Full Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you. Itzy Ritzy provided us with a free activity gym and mat.

Montikids Montessori Baby Gym: Level 1 Montessori Play Set

Best Montessori Baby Gym

This adjustable wooden pyramid gym comes with four different Montessori mobiles and six toys to reach for and grasp. Hang them up to encourage visual focus, shape and color recognition, as well as reaching, grasping and kicking motor skills.

See it on Montikids / Read Our Full Review

Monti Kids toys are based on the Montessori educational philosophy, making them a great choice if you plan to follow Montessori with your little one.

That said, this play gym is great for all families, even the non-Montessori believers. 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 (although – be warned – it’s LARGE).

Katie from GreenActiveFamily.com stands next to the Montikids montessori baby wooden gym

It comes with 4 mobiles and 6 toys.

The mobiles include a high-contrast black and white Munari mobile and 3 shapes and movement mobiles that dance with the air current, and catch the sunlight to make really cool shapes on the floor.

They all fit with a baby’s typical visual development milestones, and are great at catching a little one’s attention.

The toys include a newborn-sized rattle, and several toys that encourage reaching and grasping.

6 hanging toys included in the montikids play gym for babies

All parts are made with sustainably sourced wood and non-toxic paint, and all packaging is 100% recyclable.

Montikids level 1 play gym packaging

The actual gym frame consists of 4 legs, a few connector pieces, and “keys” that are used to hang the toys and mobiles from.

Pieces of the montikids wooden play gym

Putting it together looks extremely intimidating, but is actually pretty simple if you follow along with the instructions. I can get ours together by myself in just a few minutes.

Montikids wooden play gym with kicking ball toy

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.

Best Montessori
Montikids Montessori Baby Gym: Level 1 Montessori Play Set

The Monti Kids play gym comes with 4 different Montessori mobiles (plus 6 toys), great for the youngest babies to enjoy when lying on their backs, simply looking! This is certainly one of the most expensive play gyms on the market, but it's packed with developmental value for your youngest family members, especially in the first 3 months when you want to keep baby busy observing the world around them. The downside? It's pricey, and it doesn't come with a play mat.

Check Price Our Full Review
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Finn + Emma Play Gym and Arch

Best For Looking Great in an Adult Space

A stylish and modern upgrade to the more common bulky, plastic baby gyms. It is made with natural, sustainable materials by a company that values human ethics in the creation of their products. And it looks gorgeous at the same time!

Check Price and Learn More

The Finn + Emma is simple and elegant. If aesthetic decor is your jam, this wooden baby gym is the one for you!

finn and emma play arch with macrame hanging toys

The company sells their play arches with toy bundles (the macrame toys are pictured above, and popular!) or you can choose your own toys to add to it. This gives you lots of flexibility in creating your own look. You can also bundle them with their play mats, as the two work together well, and it will save you some money by bundling (vs buying them both individually).

finn and emma baby play mat and play gym

The wood toys are mostly made from untreated Indian hardwood and 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.

The play requires some assembly. I timed myself putting my play gym together on my own, with no help, and it took me 6 minutes and 44 seconds to assemble the frame and attach the toys. You need a hex key and some screws, but everything required comes with the play gym.

pieces required to assemble finn and emma wooden baby gym

This play gym is adjustable height, meaning as your baby grows you can raise the height of the play arch by attaching everything via bottom two screw holes on the play arch frame.

adjustable height screw holes on the finn and emma play arch

One small down side of the Finn & Emma macrame hanging toys is washability. Macrame is machine washable, but you do need to take a bit of extra care with it as opposed to washing a polyester toy, for example.

macrame baby gym toy from finn + emma

In terms of my personal experience with this gym, I have both the Finn + Emma play arch and play mat. Both are fabulous IMO!

Best for Looking Good in Adult Spaces
Finn + Emma Wooden Play Arch

Finn + Emma has a gorgeous line of "aesthetic" baby gear, making it a great choice to parents who are allergic to bright colors and prefer natural materials. The Play Arch has a clever design that makes it a bit easier to slide out of the way when not in use - a nice option if you're in a small space that needs to look adult sometimes. The Play Arch/Gym doesn't come with a play mat, but Finn + Emma does sell bundles, which consist of either a small or large play mat, plus their play gym.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Two Alternatives

HABA Color Fun

Our Runner Up

An example of a simple concept with great execution. Made from sturdy, non-toxic wood, this toy uses wooden disks and beads to reward your baby with fun sound effects, encouraging reaching, grasping, and turning from side-to-side.

Learn More

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.

Learn More

HAN-MM Wooden Baby Gym

Good Value

This chemical-free baby gym features three hanging wooden teethers to encourage babies to reach and grab, which helps develop early motor skills.

Learn More

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”.

Learn More


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.

Final Thoughts

For most families, we think the Lovevery offers a ton of value, but it also takes up a bit more room than a traditional play gym, which is why we think the Itzy Ritzy is a great bet too.

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 choice that doesn’t fill their living room with a baby-ish aesthetic, the Finn + Emma is a gorgeous choice for any home.

About The Author

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Don’t miss our regular updates, new content, and free offers!

Scroll to Top
Skip to content