Mother and Baby

Stylish Scandi wooden baby play gyms

Section: Toys & Education
wooden baby play gym

Babies benefit from plenty of physical activity, and a baby gym makes it easy. Sometimes called an activity gym, it’s usually a place for your baby to lie, with toys attached to an overhead arch. Baby gyms are designed to stimulate your baby’s brain development and encourage her hand-eye coordination as she reaches out to touch. You can use one from birth until your baby is mobile, at around six months, although lots of babies enjoy playing with a gym past this stage.

Vibrant baby gyms and playmats are very popular but they can be a bit of an eyesore, which is why wooden baby play gyms are so great as they offer your youngster somewhere to play and won't ruin your living room aesthetic in the process.

Do you need one?

In our opinion - yes! Kicking and batting at the toys overhead and exploring the different textured items on the mat will help them gain control of their limbs, and hopefully tire them out before bedtime. Your baby will also enjoy having interesting items to focus on as sight and colour recognition develops. And, as well as providing your baby with all this stimulation, a baby gym is a safe, comfortable place to put them down when you need your hands free for a few moments.

Will it suit you and your baby?

Some gyms have lots of interactive features, which are great for a curious baby, but wooden baby gyms tend to be a bit more simple which will suit a more sensitive child. You’ll probably leave the gym out in the living room for the first six months, and it’s a big bit of kit, so it's important you like the design.

Do you need it to fold away?

If you’re short on space, or prefer to reclaim the living room from all that baby gear in the evenings, choose a gym that folds away quickly, and which isn’t fiddly to set up again the next day. It’s also useful if you’ll want to regularly take it with you to visit grandparents.

How long will you use it for?

Some gyms are cleverly designed to be adjusted as your youngster grows, and hold their interest as their developmental needs change. These may be more expensive,
but may work out better value in the long term.

Wooden baby play gyms to buy

Inspired by Montessori learning, this unique play gym has five unique development zones help your youngser learn to focus, make sounds, explore touch and colour, and hide and find objects, plus each zone is concealable to prevent overstimulation. The frame is made with FSC-certified wood and it comes with seven accessories that are made with baby-safe and non-toxic materials including organic cotton and sustainable wood. It can even convert into a cosy fort thanks to the play space cover.

Read our full review of the Lovevery The Play Gym.

Suitable from: birth 

Dimensions: 60.7 x 127 x 119.4 cm

Review: "This was perfect for occupying my son while I got on with jobs round the house. There was so much for him to play with in the Play Gym that from 4-6 months old I could put him down for anything from 10-20 minutes while he happily batted the dangling things, played with the black and white cards and crackled the sensory fabric edges. This meant I could puree him some food for weaning, put the washing on, tidy up and then eat a sandwich watching him while he rolled around in his ‘igloo’."

Beautifully made from 100 per cent sustainably sourced wood, this hand-oiled curved frame baby gym comes complete with four adorable detachable charms. There are many different styles to choose from to suit your home and you can easily swap out the toys for other options. 

Read our full review of the Little Green Sheep Wooden Baby Play Gym.

Suitable from: birth 

Dimensions: 48 x 58cm

Review: "This product was a fantastic addition to our toy collection. our baby was so in love with it that she would play with it a lot longer than most of her other toys allowing us to do simple tasks around the house a lot easier like pop the dinner on, put a wash on, hoover the floor, we felt this product really did make life easier."

Your baby's imagination will soar into the stars as they explore a sensory universe above them. They can squeeze the smiley stars to feel their softness, touch the beads to discover different shapes and stare into the mirror to spark some self-discovery. The calming colours will relax your baby as they lay on the organic cotton mat while the Starry Sky accessories can be removed so they can go anywhere your little one goes.

Suitable from: birth 

Dimensions: ‎60.96 x 50.8 x 52.07 cm

Review: "So pleased I bought a wooden frame rather than a plastic gym. It's easy to put up and take down and doesn't take up much room when packed away. It also means it's much more versatile than the plastic complete gyms as it allows me to change the toys hanging from it and I use links to adjust the heights so my 4 month old can hit them."

Made from 100 per cent wood from well-managed forests, this brightly coloured play gym has interactive features to keep your baby entertained including a star bell, a mirror to learn reflections and shapes they can discover at the side of the gym, all designed to develop their senses and hand-eye coordination. 

Suitable from: birth 

Dimensions: ‎46 x 11 x 52.5 cm

Review: "Love this! Such good value, really sturdy, clever design. I have 3 other children so was concerned it might be easy to knock over but it's actually so much better than the foamy bendy style playmat arches as when the older kids are playing with him the arch wont collapse. Baby seems to love it too and at 3 months I was surprised that he also makes use of the interactive twisty bits on the side."

This gender neutral play gym is so cosy, we want a go! The ultra-plush (and reversible!) mat creates a comfy and safe play space for your little one to relax while the sweet toys will encourage her to reach up and play with them. The toy bar features a slim fold design and the whole mat folds in two with handles to transform into a self-storage bag, making it easy to store away. 

Suitable from: birth 

Dimensions: ‎‎83.82 x 83.82 x 48.26 cm

Review: "Really lovely and functional. Baby loves looking at all the different shapes and colours, learning to reach and grip and feeling the textures. Mat is also useful to have around in general when the baby wants some tummy time."

Made from natural rubber wood with smooth rounded edges for your baby’s safety, the sturdy structure is finished in soft pastel and bright colours with non-toxic paints. It is decorated with cloud and mountain themed toys such as the colourful exciting jingling hot air balloons and the rainbow rattles.

Suitable from: two months 

Dimensions: 38.99 x 47.7 x 10.8 cm

Review: "This is a beautiful toy which my baby girl loves. We take it from room to room so even though it doesn’t collapse it’s very light and easy to manoeuvre. One handed - which is a plus with two babies! A timeless classic without the plastic and annoying tunes of some of its peers!"

If you're after something simple, The Little Goose Baby Gym could be the wooden gym for you. Made of sturdy wood, it comes with three soft toys that have different textures for your baby to feel and touch including a bee with a small mirror on her tummy, Little Goose rattles and crinkly flower leaves.

Suitable from: birth 

Review: "Very good play gym, a little on the tall side so my 4 month old can’t reach them yet which I know she’d love to, could always hang lower toys that you already have."

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Mother&Baby product recommendations are independent and based on a combination of real-world testing from our army of mum testers, and the expertise of our experienced editorial team and product specialists. Whilst we may receive a commission for purchases made through our links, we never allow this to influence product selections. Any revenue earned helps us to fund more great content like this. Want to know more about how we work? Click here to read about our process, and why you can trust our product picks. 

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  • Author: Emily Thorpe Emily Thorpe
  • Job Title: Digital Writer

Having written for Mother&Baby magazine for four years where she wrote news, product pages, features and interviewed celebrities such as Paloma Faith and Fearne Cotton, Emily now works as Digital Writer for Mother&Baby online where she specialises in travel and product reviews. 

 

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