If you’re going to invest in one major toy for your baby, get him or her a baby activity center or activity gym

Otherwise known as a baby activity table, it’s a saucer where babies six months and older can sit, play with toys, admire themselves in mirrors, and generally, experience their first sense of freedom.

Before picking a baby or toddler activity center out, keep a few things in mind. Make sure the seat is easy to clean. Determine how big or small it is, and whether you have the space for it. Ensure that it’s stable and won’t tip ever, especially if you have a very active child. If you’re sensitive to repetitive annoying sounds — too late! Just kidding, but if you are driven crazy by kiddie music, find an activity gym that isn’t too loud or obnoxious. Make sure it has toys that you can take off and replace, to keep your kid entertained.

See more: Best Tummy Time Toys 

These are some of the most tried and true, and innovative, baby activity centers we found.
Best Baby Activity Center Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Spin & Sort Activity Center
This baby activity center has a spinning seat and four moveable activity pods for 360 degrees of play.
Buy Now $49.99
This activity center is another winner because it grows with your baby. It has four activity pods that snap together or pull apart, providing a variety of toys to spin, click, teethe, flip, stack, sort, rattle, and roll. It turns into a toddler table when you remove the seat. And it has a ton of textures, bright colors, and rattle sounds engage your baby’s tactile and visual senses. The maximum recommended weight when using it as an activity center is 40 pounds.
Skip Hop Explore and More Activity Center
The Skip-Hop baby gym lets babies watch their own feet while playing. Trust us. This is must-see TV. It has toys that can be positioned anywhere for your baby, has a 360-degree rotating seat that turns and stretches, and ultimately, this turns into a coloring table for older kids.
Buy Now $103.99
While this activity center is billed as being safe for babies four months and older, make sure they can sit up on their own before using it. Unlike others on this list, this activity gym has toy-attachment system clips that can be positioned anywhere for the baby, so the toys are always moving around and hence, keeping their interest piqued.
Skip Hop Baby's View 3-Stage Activity Center, Silver Lining Cloud, 4m+
Babies four months and older can Ages sit, swivel, bounce, and play in this activity center, which also lets them cruise around.
Buy Now $119.99
This baby activity center turns into a play table with a chalkboard surface when your kiddo outgrows it. But meanwhile, it has more than 25 developmental activities, and best of all, kids can play a piano with their feet and watch themselves doing it. There are four moveable toys.
Oribel PortaPlay 4-in-1 Foldable Travel Baby Activity Center
If you don't have a lot of space, or want to take this activity center to grandma's house, the fold-up Oribel is for you. Its legs fold inward quickly and easily allowing you to store it in the trunk of your car. It converts into a toddler crafts table. The seat is made of elastic, so your baby can gently bounce around. And it's modular, meaning you can swap out toys, including a doll house for older kids.
Buy Now $112.00
This is by far one of the best activity gyms you can buy. Why? It’s portable and modular. You can take it anywhere with you, and you can detach the toys as kids grow and get bored with the same-old same-old. You an add child tools, and even a musical instrument.
Summer Infant Pop N' Jump Portable Activity Center
If you need a play gym/activity center to take on the road with you, or if you simply don't have a ton of space for one, get this one by Summer Infant. Its lightweight folding frame comes fully assembled, it unfolds in seconds, and has three levels of height adjustment.
Buy Now $54.38
A great option for the beach or park, this play gym has a UV canopy and folds up into a travel bag. The toys include a spinner ball, a rattle, a teether, and a mirror book. The seat can be removed and washed.
Bright Starts Ready to Roll Mobile Activity Center
Babies six months and older, once they're sitting up, can get their kicks in this Bright Starts activity gym. The seat spins 30 degrees so the baby has full access to toys. The train toy detaches and includes lights and melodies. And the moving wheels lock during playtime.
Buy Now $89.99
The fabric seat is machine washable in this activity center. You can adjust the zoo-centric activity saucer to three different heights, and when playtime is done, you can move the play gym with its handy handle. Your tot can learn about flamingoes, monkeys, and elephants, oh my.
Baby Einstein Neighborhood Symphony Activity Jumper
Babies love noise, and babies will love this Baby Einstein activity center. Babies can bang on the electronic bongo drums to activate lights, sounds and multiple languages. They can spin the piano for more sounds, and play the guitar to make colorful beads dance and jump. And there's a mirror so they can watch themselves perform.
Buy Now $99.99
Suitable for babies that are at least six months old, up to 25 pounds, this baby gym is definitely not for those who love zen moments. It’s all about music. Loud music. Babies bang the drums, spin the piano, and rotate 360 degrees for a fully immersive experience. The seat pad is machine-washable.
Evenflo ExerSaucer Double Fun Saucer, Bumbly
This ExerSaucer baby activity center has more than 20 activities to keep your infant engaged. It helps expose your child to shapes, colors, textures, and sounds. The seat spins 360 degrees, as do the others on this list. The seat pad is machine-washable. And babies can take the toys off to play with them.
Buy Now $52.61
One of parents’ go-to brands, the Evenflo ExerSaucer always delivers when it comes to keeping your kid happy. This one has three height adjustments to grow with your child. It helps babies develop their fine and gross motor skills.
3-in-1 Around We Go Activity Center
This baby activity center is great for older babies, because it's usable until kids are 36 months old. This is a two-for-one baby gym, letting your kid run around in circles. The seat rotates all the way around the baby saucer. Running around in circles can be a good thing! Meet the most active activity center for your baby. There are 15 activities to keep your tot occupied, and the walker seat is removable.
Buy Now $79.99
The height is adjustable in this baby gym, and there are 15+ activities including a piano station with crazy sounds and music to keep your baby giddy and happy. The bright colors appeal to kids, and they never seem to get bored of the many “work stations.”
Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Sit-to-Stand Activity Center
We love the fact that this activity center transforms into a toddler table when your baby outgrows it. So less waste, and more use. A win-win.
Buy Now $79.99
This baby activity center has a slew of toys, and a ramp that teaches babies cause and effect. It includes a high-flying giraffe rattle, teeter-totter zebra and lion, and palm tree spinner, an elephant bead bar with fishy clackers, a bee teether, and a removable musical alligator. It’s suitable for babies six months and older, while the toddler play table is safe for kids nine months and older. The seat pad is machine washable and when you’re done with it, the center converts into a toddler activity table.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Related Articles: The Only People Who Get Less Sleep Than Parents? NBA Players. How to Stop Masturbating (If It's Making You Feel Bad) Holiday Gift Ideas for the Wired Dad in Your Life These Wool Shoes Are So Comfortable You'll Never Want to Take Them Off
The post Best Baby Gyms and Baby Activity Centers appeared first on Fatherly.