Best Baby Activity Centers
Baby activity centers are known as exersaucers or stationary entertainers. The Best Baby Activity Centers will keep your baby busy with toys, bouncing, spinning, and interactive games. These centers can free you to do your daily chores or just chill for a few. If you’re looking to buy an activity center, you’ve come to the right place.
Why a Baby Activity Center?
Good activity centers can be engaging for your children. The best baby activity centers combine several activities like jumping, bouncing, walking/spinning. The best ones make a baby use both hands and both feet to play with toys. It really helps develop hand-eye coordination and sensory skills.
Play material like the baby activity centers can help your baby with development and can keep them engaged and entertained. Your baby will need different entertainers to play with as she grows. If your baby is 0-6 months old, you will need a play gym for her. You’ll need an activity center for your baby when she is 6-18 months old.
The other alternative to the baby activity center is the baby walker. The activity centers are an evolution of the baby walkers which have since been outlawed in Canada and are strongly discouraged in the USA due to the injuries caused to the babies mainly because of falling off stairs and bumping into things. Baby walkers have also been shown to delay motor development in babies.
While the baby activity centers can keep your baby happy and busy, there are no studies which can prove the benefits of the stationery entertainers. If your baby is hard to entertain, the activity center can be a lifesaver for you.
Things to Look For While Buying a Baby Activity Center
Adjustability is an important aspect you need to consider while buying a baby activity center. This is because your baby will outgrow the activity center sooner than you would have planned. The seat should be adjustable so your baby’s feet are barely touching the ground.
The baby activity centers which are not adjustable will have a significantly shorter life. While buying an adjustable activity saucer, you need to make sure it is sturdy and will not break down as the baby grows.
Toys are one of the biggest reasons why your baby will keep busy while in the activity center. Most activity centers come with toys in the box. Have a close look at the quality of the toys while buying an activity center. Detachable toys and an option to install add-ons are great features to have.
If the toys in the activity center are detachable, they should be teethers. Your baby can risk chocking if she chews on a non-teether. If the saucer includes electronic toys, they should have a long battery life as they will be the favorites of your baby.
It is safe to say babies aren’t the most hygienic creatures. Your baby will be spending a lot of her time in the activity center so you need to make sure it is always clean especially if your feed her while she is in the exersaucer.
Choose an activity center which can be cleaned with a wet cloth and doesn’t have corners which can’t be reached. The seat pad should be removable and machine-washable. The toys and teether should be cleaned on a daily basis.
If you’re someone who moves around a lot, you should get an activity center which can be folded and carried along. A portable activity center can be easy and convenient to move around in the house. Portable activity centers can also save you a lot of space in your home as they are leaner as compared to the non-portable saucers.
While buying a portable exersaucer, make sure you’re not compromising on the quality. Just because an activity center can fold, doesn’t mean it has to be made out of cheap plastic. The weight needs to be considered while looking for a portable exersaucer.
Anything you buy for your infant isn’t going to be useful for a long time. A play saucer can be used for 4-6 months before your baby outgrows it. You should opt for a stationary entertainer which can transform into a play mat or a play table.
The multi-purpose activity centers give you the best bang for your buck. Most of the baby exersaucers mentioned on this list can be turned into an activity table for the toddlers. The build quality and materials used should be strong enough to handle a bouncing baby.
The Best Baby Activity Centers
The activity centers got the name exersaucer because of this model by Evenflo. You can get the Evenflo Triple Fun Active Learning Center for your baby very early on as it can be used as a play mat. Once your baby grows older, you can use it as an activity center and then turn it into a play table as your baby reaches the walking age.
The Evenflo exersaucer comes with a three-position height adjustment option which is great for your growing baby. The Triple Fun exersaucer has 11 age-appropriate toys and fun music which can help your baby achieve 10 pre-programmed development milestones.
The rock, spin and bounce actions while playing in the activity center provide your baby with plenty of exercises to strengthen legs, back and neck muscles.
- Playmat, ExerSaucer and Activity Table in one for extended usage as your child grows
- Evenflo Exersaucer is foldable which makes it portable
- Features a machine-washable seat pad
- ‘Take with me Toys’ can be removed and used on other Evenflo items
- Learning pods and toy bar need 9 AAA batteries (not included)
- The Exersaucer can be hard to set-up in the beginning
Baby Einstein Rhythm of the Reef Activity Saucer is an ocean-themed activity center which is loaded with 11+ entertaining features, like ocean sounds and classical melodies. The toys include a piano station, leaf teether, spinning sea creatures and more ocean-themed characters.
The Baby Einstein saucer has three height positions which you can adjust as your baby grows. The seat of this exersaucer rotates 360-degrees so your baby can play with all the toys around her and will get a workout in the process. You can also purchase your favorite Baby Einstein episodes and play them anywhere. The episodes are available in Amazon Video.
- Features 11+ activities, electronic piano, and variety of toys
- Language learning in English, French, and Spanish
- Features a machine-washable seat pad
- Baby Einstein videos you can download from Amazon Video and play anywhere
- Some customers complain of the exersaucer’s stability
- The height of the activity center is hard to adjust
The Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 is a convertible activity center which you can convert from a baby to a toddler activity center. The PortaPlay has a clean and modern design which can add to any home decor. The toys on the PortaPlay help with the development of the gross and fine motor skills of the baby.
This exersaucer by Oribel is foldable which makes it travel-friendly. As your kid grows, you can turn the PortaPlay baby activity center into a full play table which your toddler can use to play, draw and create. The Oribel PortaPlay comes with an elastic seat which your baby can bounce and jiggle on.
Unlike other Activity Centers, the PortaPlay isn’t meant to be stored away after a short 6-8 months. As your child grows, the PortaPlay baby activity center turns into a full table for your little one to draw, play and create. Oribel sells matching stools and art paper dispenser rolls separately for your child to enjoy hours of creative play time.
- Elastic seat which allows the baby to jump, jiggle and turn around 360-degrees
- Foldable which makes the exersaucer portable
- A 4-in-1 transformation which can be converted from a baby to a toddler activity center
- Toys and activity table stools sold separately
Skip Hop Explore and More has almost the same design as the Oribel PortaPlay. The Explore and More activity center have a 3-in-1 design which can be adjusted as your baby grows. The Skip and Hop exersaucer feature a 360-degree rotating seat that stretches for bouncing and includes toy loops to attach toys.
This exersaucer has innovative toy attachment system clips which you can position anywhere for the baby. The base of the Skip Hop activity center has a detachable musical and light-up piano with three ways to play: piano mode, song mode, and motion sensor mode. This activity center features a discovery window which allows your baby to see their feet which promotes spatial awareness and teaches them cause and effect.
The Skip Hop Explore and More activity center is designed in collaboration with a pediatrician and supports a ‘whole body’ approach to play and learning. As your baby grows, the Explore and More activity center can be turned into a clean, sturdy table for coloring, playing and more.
- The activity center grows with your baby and you can turn it into an activity table
- Detachable toys and piano with an option to adjust them according to your baby
- 25+ developmental activities
- Discovery window and high adjustment features
- Legs detach for easy storage and portability
- The toys are not teethers and a baby might swallow them
- AAA batteries not included
Bright Starts Around We Go 3-in-1 is an award-winning activity center which incentivizes your baby to move around by placing her favorite toys around a table. The baby can move around the table in a walker which attaches to the table. Attaching the walker to the table reduced the risk of an accident.
The Bright Stars activity center grows with your baby and can turn into an activity table for your toddler. The 3-in-1 play station comes with 15+ activities including a piano station with silly sounds and music to keep babies engaged for hours on end. The Bright Star Around We Go 3-in-1 activity center is safe for babies aging 6 months and up to 25 lbs or 30 inches tall.
- Has a 3-in-1 design and you can use it as an activity center and a table
- Includes 15+ activities including a piano station
- The design of this exersaucer incentivizes your baby to move around
- Comes with a flip book and teether toys
- Some parents might not be comfortable putting their baby in a walker
- The plastics used in this activity center feel cheap
The Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce and Learn activity center stands out because of its oversized toys. Unlike the Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center, this playground cannot be converted into an activity mat or a table.
The Bounce and Learn exersaucer comes with 12+ developmental activities which stimulate fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and core muscle development in your baby. This Evenflo stationary entertainer features a 360-degrees rotating seat which can give your baby a good workout.
The toys which come with this exersaucer are easy to clean. The music feature has two volume options and a mute option for a quieter play. The toys on this saucer are 15% bigger than the average activity centers which make it easier for your baby to grab and play with them.
- Has a lightweight frame which makes it portable
- The oversized toys makes it easier for the baby to reach, grab and play with them
- The 360-degree rotating seat is removable and machine-washable
- Doesn’t have a convertible design which reduces the utility of this exersaucer
- A little expensive for its features
Delta Children Lil Playstaition is a 3-in-1 activity center which can be used as a rocker, walker and a stationary activity center. The Delta Playstation features three height positions so you can adjust the exersacuer as your baby grows.
The Lil Playstation comes with a convenient quick release toy tray which is ideal for snack time. This activity center is JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC & ASTM. It also features interactive toys which have inbuilt light and sound that activate when your baby plays with them.
The Lil Play Station 3-in-1 Activity Walker helps stimulate early mental development in babies while building strong legs and balance skills. This activity center is ideal for babies weighing from 25 lbs. and up to 30″.
- JPMA certified to meet or exceed all safety standards set by the CPSC & ASTM
- Can be used as a jumper, rocker and a stationary activity center
- Features interactive toys and a 360-degree rotating seat
- A value for money product
- Requires two AA batteries (not included)
- Customers have complained of the walker not functioning properly
Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo is an activity center combined with a jumper. The elastic bands on this play saucer allow your baby to jump to their little heart’s delight. Music, lights and exciting sounds reward your baby with every jump.
Busy toys, including a bobbling elephant and swinging monkey, will captivate your baby’s attention and will keep her entertained. The Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo folds which makes it easy and convenient to carry it around. This exersaucer has three different height adjustments and a 360-degree rotating seat.
This rainforest themed activity center has two soft leaves extending from the frame to create an overhead canopy with soft toys that dangle down for fun bat-at play. The springs on this jumper are covered which keep your baby’s little fingers safe from pinching.
- The Rainforest Jumperoo is portable which makes it easy to use, move and store
- Features electronic toys which have motion, music, and lights which can be activated by your baby
- It has a 360-degree rotating seat
- 3 AA batteries required (not included)
- A few parents complain about the fabric used in the seat
If you’re looking to buy an activity center for your baby, you should search for an exersaucer which promotes the development of sensory and motor skills. The models we selected stand out because of their quality, design, engagement and learning potential.
Look for exersaucers which are portable as it makes it easier to use, move and store them. Most of the exersaucers on the market have similar features and cost around $100.
|Product||Price||Photo||Features||Our Ratings||Editor's Comments|
|Evenflo Exersaucer Triple Fun Active Learning Center||$$||Can be turned into a play mat, activity center and an activity table||The best value for money exersaucer|
|Baby Einstein Rhythm of The Reef Activity Saucer||$$||Language learning in English, French, and Spanish||Comes with interactive language learning and videos you can download from Amazon Video|
|Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 – Forest Friends *Editor's Choice*||$$$||4-in-1 foldable and portable exersaucer||Clean and modern design but on the expensive side|
|Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View Activity Center||$$||25+ developmental activities||A portable play saucer which will keep your baby busy from head to toe|
|Bright Starts Around We Go 3-in-1 Activity Center Zippity Zoo||$$||One of a kind activity center with a walker built-in||A great exersaucer which incentivizes your baby to move around|
|Evenflo Exersaucer Bounce and Learn, Polar Playground||$$||A simple activity center with oversized toys||The oversized toys will keep your baby busy for hours|
|Delta Children Lil Playstation 3-in-1 Activity Center||$$||A rocker, walker and an activity center in one||JPMA certified walker, rocker and activity center which exceeds the required safety standards|
|Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo||$$||A jumper and an activity center which will keep your baby entertained||Rewards your baby with music, sound and lights every time she jumps|