Play-Gym

Play-Gym

Baby play gyms are likely THE most versatile baby products out there. And not only can they be used in a variety of ways, they also carry with them several important developmental benefits, In general, it’s a soft mat with two arches that support toys which dangle overhead. Some have lights, music, baby-safe mirrors, kick-activated pianos, tummy time pillows, and/or a variety of textured materials, while others provide a simple, safe space for baby to lay, look, and play. Baby gyms allow your baby to learn the basics of cause and effect. Between about 6 weeks and 4 months, babies engage in something Piaget called “primary circular reactions”. This means they learn to repeat an action that they initially did by chance (such as “accidentally” batting at a toy). Then between about 4-8 months babies begin to intentionally initiate these actions and repeat them because they find them fun! These actions are called “secondary circular reactions”. Some examples include grabbing, pulling on, or kicking a toy in order to make it light up or make sounds. This skill is important because it is the beginning of logic and the understanding of cause and effect. Baby gyms facilitate this development of the understanding of cause and effect by providing dangling toys and even kick- or pull-activated toys that respond to their actions, encouraging them to interact with them again and again.

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