Mother and Baby

The best activity tables for babies and toddlers 2021

Section: Toys & Education
Best activity tables for babies

Once your baby starts to pull themselves up to stand and discover more exciting toys, you might want to consider buying an activity table. 

A good activity table will be interactive and have lots of toys, knobs, and buttons for your baby to explore. They can lean on the table and strengthen their legs - once they're confident standing or walking, it's a great way to encourage independent play and learning. 

There are lots of baby activity tables available to buy, but which ones are the best? We've considered all options and compiled a list of our favourite baby activity toys available to buy today.

Are activity tables good for a baby?

As baby starts to develop strength in their legs and shows a willingness to stand up and walk around, an activity table is a great way to keep them engaged and entertained. They are an excellent support tool because the baby can lean on the table and start to grow in confidence by standing independently. 

They stimulate your baby's curiosity and in turn, develop their cognitive and motor skills, and by making sure your chosen table has plenty of exciting toys, they will begin to understand different ways objects work. Activity tables also give your baby freedom to move around while feeling secure with the table as their base.

There are a few things you'll want to consider when buying a baby activity table:

  • How much room you have for an activity table?
  • Will you want it to be flexible and able to move between rooms?
  • Do you want one with removable legs?
  • Do you want plastic or wooden?
  • Is it easy to clean?

Hopefully, choosing a good baby activity table will mean your baby stays out of the kitchen cupboards for about 10 minutes a day! Check out our list in detail:

The best activity tables for babies and toddlers 2021

Editor's pick

With more than 600 ratings on Amazon and an average of 4.7 stars out of 5, this activity table comes highly recommended by real mums. With phrases, numbers, colours, animals, and music, there are all sorts of developmental opportunities for your baby while they learn to stand and balance holding on to the table. There’s also a mobile phone so your little one can role-play while you’re on the phone, too.

Features: Phone with ten numbers buttons encourages role-play, four piano keys introduce musical notes and colours, five sing-along songs and eight fun melodies. Removable legs allow for easy storage and sit-down play. Suitable from six months to three years.

Mum review: "Brilliant activity table, my eight-month baby loves it and can easily pull himself up and stand there for ages. It’s just what I wanted and has lots of activities to keep them amused. It has two volumes so you can turn it down and also you can turn it off! Easy to assemble. Would highly recommend it."

Best design

We love that we're looking after the environment with this option as it's made from wood. Not only is this a beautiful addition to your living room thanks to the oh-so-cute animal characters, but it also provides lots to play with and learn from. Plus, there’s a shape sorter, cog area and a bead maze for important fine motor skills.

Features: You'll find three stackable animals and a maze, a four-wheel gear system for coordination, five linking cubes to learn shapes and colours, and an abacus to develop concentration and motricity. Recommended for one to three years.

Mum review: "This is a lovely toy, the wood is solid and good value for money, easy to put together and my one-year-old loves it. It’s heavy enough for her to walk around the table hanging on for balance. Would recommend this activity table."

 

Best all-rounder

Encourage your baby’s development, creativity and imagination with this activity table featuring cogs, gears, 65 melodies, and removable legs for extra flexibility around the house. This one brings out the little scientist in your baby and grows with them. Suitable for 12 months and up.

Features: Multiple activities, removable legs for different modes of play, 65 melodies and sounds, gears, colour circuits, lights and more.

Mum review: "My one-year-old loves this table. I wanted something that wasn’t too 'babyish'. All of the other activity tables seem to do the same thing or do things similar to toys we already have - identify eyes, ears, nose, make animal sounds or says shapes and colours. This is different! I would categorize this more as a baby’s first STEM table."

 

Best traditional option

This seems pretty heavy-duty when you first take it out of the box – it’s solid wood and not the easiest to move around, but at least that means your baby won’t knock it over. It features a bead track, animals behind doors, spinning alphabet animals, and more.

Features: It has illustrations, mix or match animal puzzles, spinners to spin, a zigzag race track for farm animals and a bead maze. Suitable for one year and up.

Sophie from Stamford, mum to Eli, aged two, said: “My little boy got this when he was just over one year old, and he still enjoys it now – spinning the animals around, helping him to identify letters, and playing with the knobbly bits – it’s a great investment. Just don’t drop it on your toes when you’re moving it – trust me, it hurts.”

 

Best for small spaces

More pricey than the others on our list, but this wooden activity table is exciting. It’s full to the brim with things to twiddle, twist, move and learn with; there are so many we can’t count them all! Your little one will love developing their fine motor skills with all these playthings. Plus, it’s wooden and sustainable. Suitable for one year and up.

Features: Gliders, springy flaps, spinning dials, bead runs and more toddler activities. 

Mum review: "My daughter has enjoyed this from the age of 10 months. Now she can stand it, which gives her even more delight to be able to move around the different sections. Although pricey, I think a great investment."

Best educational

With nine games in the one activity table, there are plenty of colours, shapes, numbers and knobbly bits to keep your baby entertained for ages. 

Features: Wooden fishing rod, magnetic wooden fish, coloured cube, fly chess. Suitable for kids above 36 months.

Mum review: "What a perfectly adorable activity cube! It is a quality toy - solid wood, beautifully constructed. Every facet has something to engage a child. I purchased it for my 18-month old boy. He especially likes the beads on the top part and spinning the gears. I love how the top inserts into the cube for easy storage. Completely happy with my purchase!"

 

Best value

On a budget? This Bright Starts toy has an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon and includes 60 songs and activities, including a ball ramp, four languages, toucan piano, and a book that toggles from play mode to learning mode. Crucially, it has volume control, so you can turn it up and down if you get tired of hearing the same melodies!

Features: Over 60 songs and activities, four languages, piano keys.

Mum review: "Definitely recommend this. I have twin toddlers who love this. They can play together as there’s plenty of features. My favourites are the four languages, the storage for the balls, and the fact the table is not heavy. I can move it around easily. There are plenty of sounds and things to learn with the table and it’s so easy for them to use. I wish I could buy more of the balls for them to use with it but aside from that... Love it!"

At what age can a baby use an activity table?

This depends entirely on the development of your baby, but most activity tables are recommended for tots between the ages of six months and three years old. If you feel your baby is confident and ready to stand and play, activity tables are encouraged from as young as four months, but with a seat.

Should a baby activity table have a seat?

When considering what style of activity table to buy for your child, you'll find that some include a seat. Some activity tables can be converted into a seating position to help your youngster and offer the option to rest in between play. An activity table with a seat is recommended for younger kids, discovering their ability to stand unaided and can already sit upright unaided.

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  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited motherandbaby.co.uk before moving on to write about family cars for Parkers.co.uk - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and WhatsTheBest.co.uk 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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