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Christmas Baby Toys.. activity mats

Check out this selection of the best soft play mats for even the youngest babies, from pretty everyday options to super-swish baby gyms with extra gadgets and features.

Activity mats make wonderful presents because a parent can probably never have too many – one in the wash, one on the lounge floor and one in the travel bag to take on coffee mornings out.

There is a huge variety to choose from: bright cotton rugs with high-contrast pictures and textured materials for a baby to explore whilst playing on her tummy; mats with over-hanging arches to encourage hand-eye coordination; soft mats with sides that can be raised up to double as a place for daytime naps.

Washable mats can be especially useful if you want to give your baby some time without a nappy on.


Baby Einstein

Hape Wooden Baby Gym

£29.95, birth+

Eco-conscious parents will appreciate this FSC-certified wooden play gym with woodland-inspired fruit to kick and leaves to spin.


Neptune Ocean Adventure

£67.95, birth+

Featuring an electronic water-filled toy with ocean characters, this activity mat plays classical melodies and shimmers with little lights. For slightly older babies there is a whale-shaped prop-up pillow and for babies the animal peek-a-boo flaps on the base will encourage tummy-time.


Brio Baby Gym

£59.95, birth+

Lie your baby on this snug lamb themed mat with an extra thick, sheepskin-like fabric around the edge to protect baby's head and keep everyone snug.



Blossom Farm 3-in-1 Baby Mat

£40, birth+

This is a good starter-gym with detachable soft toys that are suitable even for the youngest babies. The gym can be unfolded for a simple playmat or the bumper reassembled around baby's cot for interest at night.


Gingerbread 5-in-1 Playmat

£60, birth+

This is a classic playmat to suit any nursery. It can be used with its borders tied up for smaller babies to have a draught-free place to rest, and then the sides can be set flat for bigger babies to play on. The toys on the arch can also be used as cot toys using their fabric ties.


Treetop Friends Activity Mat

£66, birth+

A multi-textured playmat with crispy leaves, squeeky forest animals and baby safe mirrors to help baby explore.



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