The Best Activity Table For Babies

The Best Activity Table For Babies

Activity tables for babies are referred to by a number of names, including play table, sensory table and interactive table. The idea behind them is to engage your little ones in learning and physical movement activities that will help them to develop and grow.

Below, you can find the best baby activity tables available on the market.

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NameHeight (inches)Our Rating
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table159.4 / 10
LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center15.69.4 / 10
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table189.4 / 10
Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center18.59.4 / 10
Bright Starts Around We Go 3-in-1 Activity Center Zippity Zoo289.4 / 10
VTech Magic Star Learning Table14.99.2 / 10
VTech Sit-to-Stand Learn & Discover Table17.78.8 / 10
Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table158.6 / 10
WinFun Letter Train and Piano Activity Table13.38.6 / 10

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Bi-lingual learning – English and Spanish
  • Smart Stages technology, providing three levels of learning appropriate to your baby’s development
  • Removable legs
  • More than 120 songs and phrases
  • Lots of hands-on activities to develop fine motor skills, such as spinners to spin, buttons to push and doors to open and close
  • Removable toy phone for more interactive activities that are designed to encourage conversational skills and imagination
  • Simple, clear on / off switch lets your baby take charge of their play time
  • Very easy to assemble
  • Bright unisex colours
  • Affordable

The Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table is designed to grow with your baby, being suitable from the age of 6 months.

It has Smart Stages technology that includes three phases, or levels, that match your baby’s developmental stage.

Level 1 is ‘Explore’ and sparks your baby’s curiosity with simple words when they play with the activities.

Level 2 is ‘Encourage’ which provides instructions to help your baby learn to follow directions in order to achieve a specific outcome.

Level 3 is ‘Pretend’ which is all about imaginative play and encouraging your little one to make believe.

The table top is brightly coloured and set up to look like a little town, with there being four different places to visit: the zoo, the farm, the market and Puppy’s home.

Along the way, your baby will learn basic English words and phrases coupled with their Spanish counterparts, such as colours, greetings and numbers.

The removable legs allow you to adjust the height of the activity table to suit whichever developmental stage your baby is at.

Specifications:

The dimensions of this activity table are approximately 18 inches long, 18 inches wide and 15 inches tall with all of the legs attached. It is battery-operated, requiring 3 x AA size batteries. It requires some basic self-assembly.

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LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Has two modes: learning mode and music mode
  • Bi-lingual – English and Spanish, with language selector
  • Removable legs to allow play time whatever your child’s developmental stage
  • Easy to assemble
  • 15 activities and 40 learning songs and tunes
  • Affordable
  • Hands-on activities designed to develop fine motor skills and encourage exploration of cause and effect, including buttons to press, a noise maker to spin and a lid to open
  • Includes activities that don’t require battery power in order to entertain your baby
  • Has a volume control for quieter play-time
  • Introduces early music education with the real sounds of five instruments

This table is easy to assemble and can grow with your baby, thanks to the removable legs.

It has two modes: learning mode and music mode. Whilst in learning mode, your baby can learn about colours, numbers, shapes, letters and more, in either English or Spanish.

When the activity table is in music mode, they are exposed to 40 songs and tunes, including many traditional nursery rhymes, in English or Spanish. Music mode also introduces your baby to the real sounds made by five instruments, namely the piano, drum, guitar, trombone and xylophone.

The language selector gives greater control over when your little one is introduced to another language.

The power button acts as a volume control, giving you the option of high or low volume. There is also an online app called LeapFrog Learning Path that allows parents to explore other ways of engaging with their baby and providing learning activities with or without the activity center.

Specifications:

The dimensions of this activity table are roughly 21.2 inches wide, 21.2 inches long and 15.6 inches high with all of the legs attached. It weighs approximately 6 lbs and is battery operated, requiring 3 x AA size batteries. It requires basic self-assembly.

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Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Removable legs for play at every developmental stage
  • Unisex colours
  • 60 songs, phrases and tunes for helping to educate your baby on things like numbers, letters, colours and opposites
  • Interactive laptop and phone introduce your baby to the world of technology
  • Interactive book teaches first words and provides context
  • Bi-lingual – English and Spanish, with language selector
  • Has four learning modes: bi-lingual, music, learning and imagination
  • Volume control – high, medium or low, located on the underside of table, so low risk of your baby accidentally turning the volume to full power
  • Affordable

This table is an excellent tool for introducing your little one to early language skills. Not only does it teach the alphabet through the use of the toy laptop and songs, but the interactive book teaches first words and provides context for the use of each word. The spinner underneath can be spun to hear the individual word and a sound associated with it.

The laptop mouse teaches the concepts of opposites relating to high, low, up, down etc. and the interactive piano introduces the colours blue, yellow, green and purple, whilst in learning mode.

Your baby gets to learn their numbers thanks to the interactive phone that also encourages imaginative play and early conversation skills.

Whilst in music mode, your baby will hear a variety of music styles and songs designed to engage them in early music education. There are also nursery rhymes and educational songs to keep your baby entertained.

Specifications:

This activity table measures 15 inches wide, 15 inches long and 18 inches high when fully assembled. It weighs approximately 6 lbs and is battery operated, requiring 3 x AA size batteries. It requires some basic self-assembly.

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Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Three stage activity table, designed to adapt and grow with your baby: stage 1 is seated play, stage 2 is a stand-up activity table, stage 3 is a play table for use with other toys, colouring books and the like
  • Created in consultation with an occupational therapist
  • The toys are clipped onto the table top, this means they can also be taken on-the-go and attached to highchairs in restaurants or at relatives / friends houses
  • Suitable from a very young age, the manufacturer recommends 4 months and up
  • Cushioned seat that helps a non-sitting baby to strengthen core muscles whilst sitting in an upright position
  • Most of the toys do not require batteries to operate, they can also be taken on-the-move
  • The seat rotates 360 degrees
  • Fine motor skills are developed with plenty of things to spin, flick and slide
  • Can double as a snack / dinner time chair, also has a bright bumble bee snack bowl that is dishwasher-safe
  • Adjustable, bouncing foot support platform located underneath the chair
  • Detachable legs for easy storage
  • Unisex colours

For something that will grow with your baby, first being used as a sit-in play station and eventually turning into a play table for your pre-schooler, look no further than this activity center. It can be used from about 4 months of age, when your baby can hold their head unaided, and is designed to keep them sitting in a secure upright position whilst playing with the toys.

The toys can be clipped onto the table wherever you feel is appropriate, in line with your baby’s development. For example, when your little one is very young, you might just put a few toys within easy reach of them, but as they learn to twist and move, you can put them at various points around the table.

The 360 degree swivel chair will assist your little one in moving around to grab their toys, thus strengthening core muscles. The adjustable footplate bounces to let them strengthen leg and foot muscles that will help them with learning to stand, cruise and walk.

The musical piano has three modes – piano mode, song mode and sensor mode – and it can be used both on the footplate and on the table top.

The discovery window lets your baby see the piano when it is on the footplate and helps them understand cause and effect.

Specifications:

This activity table measures 31 inches in diameter and is 18.5 inches high when fully assembled. The play piano is battery-operated and requires 3 x AAA size batteries. Requires self-assembly.

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Bright Starts Around We Go 3-in-1 Activity Center Zippity Zoo

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Has a seat that rotates 360 degrees, is adjustable in height and is able to move around the table in both directions
  • Volume control on the musical piano – high or low
  • Significantly supports gross motor skills because it doubles as a baby walker when the seat is attached
  • Plenty of toys that are not battery operated, offering versatility in play time
  • Grows with your baby from seated activity station to stand-up play table
  • Fabric seat is removable and machine washable for ease
  • The flip book on the piano allows your baby to be exposed to a number of different sounds and songs
  • Unisex colours
  • Tactile piano keys
  • Storage tray and cup holder let you provide your baby with snacks and a drink whilst they are playing with the table

This activity table has been designed to support both fine and gross motor skills. When the seat is attached, your baby can walk or run around the outside of the table and rotate in their seat in order to play with the toys that are on it. This exercises and strengthens both core and leg muscles, which will help with learning to stand and walk.

Fine motor skills are developed thanks to the multitude of toys to play with, including the dolphin to slide, rattle to spin and penguins to push down.

The piano exposes your child to musical noises, as well as providing the chance to create their own music with realistic piano sounds. Once your baby is able to cruise, you can remove the seat to allow them to stand at the table to play.

There’s no need to worry about how the table will remain upright whilst your baby is moving around it because the base is weighted, which acts to balance out the motion of the seat as it is moved around the base.

Specifications:

This activity table measures 28-inches at its tallest and 22-inches long, weighing roughly 20 lbs. Most of the toys are not battery-operated, but the musical piano is and it requires 3 x size C batteries. There is significant self-assembly required.

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VTech Magic Star Learning Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Bi-lingual – English and Spanish, with language selector
  • Volume control – high or low
  • Removable legs for sitting and standing play time
  • Plenty of activities to develop fine motor skills, with six play areas to choose from
  • Early years music introduction with do, re, mi buttons
  • Toy telephone designed to encourage pretend play, number learning and early conversation skills
  • Affordable
  • Has more than 65 songs, tunes and phrases
  • Easy to assemble
  • Automatic power down
  • Unisex colours

Suitable from 6 months of age, the VTech Magic Star Learning Table will keep your baby amused with the six different play areas, including a steering wheel that makes realistic car noises and drives the teddy bear around the alphabet.

There is an interactive xylophone that teaches basic colours, shapes and early music skills, whilst the interactive toy phone teaches numbers and early conversational skills.

The page in the book can be flipped to let your baby listen to different nursery rhymes, including ‘Yankee Doodle’ and ‘The Alphabet Song’.

The removable legs allow you to use this activity table in a variety of ways regardless of your baby’s developmental stage.

The bright colours and noises will keep your baby engaged, whilst the volume control lets you decide how loud your baby’s interactions are.

The language selector gives far greater control over when you introduce your little one to another language, unlike some activity tables that just randomly insert different languages into a baby’s play.

The VTech Magic Star Learning Table also has automatic power down, which means that it switches off after 45 seconds of not being used, in order to save battery power.

Specifications:

This activity table measures roughly 14.9 inches tall, 19.8 inches wide and 16.8 inches long with the legs attached. It is battery operated, requiring 2 x AA batteries. It also requires some self-assembly.

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VTech Sit-to-Stand Learn & Discover Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Unisex colours, largely based around the primary colours
  • Interactive activities teach colours, numbers, ABCs and more
  • Clock in the centre of the table helps your baby learn to tell the time
  • Volume control – high or low
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Interactive phone for learning conversational skills, numbers and developing imaginative play
  • Affordable
  • Introduces baby to early music education with do, re, mi, fa buttons
  • Removable legs for floor to standing play
  • Fine motor skills are developed thanks to activities that encourage pincer grip, pushing and pulling
  • Easy to assemble

Your baby gets to learn to tell the time, as well as recognise colours, numbers and letters thanks to the VTech Sit-to-Stand Learn & Discover Table.

The clock face in the centre of the table features the times of the day, as well as pictures to help your baby recognise which activities they might do at that time.

The interactive book tells your baby about letters on one side and words and shapes on the other, whilst the interactive telephone encourages early conversational skills and number learning.

The colourful piano exposes your baby to early music education and has realistic electronic keyboard sounds that allows him or her to listen to different songs and create their own music.

The removable legs let you use this activity table with younger babies on the floor, to encourage crawling. An automatic shut-off feature means that the activity table switches off after 60 seconds of inactivity to save power. It also has a volume switch giving greater control over the noise created during play time.

Specifications:

This activity table measures roughly 12.8 inches long, 15.3 inches wide and 17.7 inches tall when fully assembled with the legs. It weighs approximately 5.5 lbs and is battery-operated, requiring 2 x AA size batteries. It also requires some basic self-assembly.

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Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Multi-lingual – English, French and Spanish, with language selector
  • Affordable
  • Has two modes, which are selected by flipping the book: discovery / learning mode and music mode
  • Teaches a number of concepts, including colours, shapes, numbers and recognition of musical instruments and sounds
  • Develops fine motor skills with a number of things to push, flick and pull
  • Easy to assemble
  • Unisex colours
  • Comes with a volume control, located on the underside of the play table – high or low

For a multi-lingual activity table that provides early learning in English, French and Spanish, look no further than the Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table.

The language selector lets you decide which language your baby learns, which is ideal for any parents who worry about confusing their baby with random language selection. The volume control located on the underside of the table allows you to operate it at a high or low setting.

There are two modes on this activity table, discovery / learning and music, which are activated by flipping the picture book located in the centre of the table.

During discovery mode, your baby will learn a number of things, including colours, numbers and shapes.

Music mode exposes your baby to a variety of musical sounds and songs, including realistic sounds of musical instruments, such as the flute. The shape buttons provide context for learning colours and shapes, e.g. “green star”.

Specifications:

This activity table is triangular in shape and measures 15-inches in height and 23-inches long, when fully assembled. It weighs roughly 6 lbs and is battery operated, requiring 3 x AA size batteries. It also requires basic self-assembly.

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WinFun Letter Train and Piano Activity Table

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Joyous Household rating:

  • Volume control – high or low
  • Unisex colours
  • Tactile play shapes attached to the side of the table
  • Interactive colourful shapes for teaching your baby their shapes, colours and animals
  • Various activities designed to develop fine motor skills, including sliding, pushing and pincer grip
  • Toy train that rides around an alphabet track and initiates the alphabet song
  • Real train horn and whistle sounds
  • Removable legs for floor and stand-up play time

The WinFun Letter Train and Piano Activity Table will help to teach your baby their alphabet and expose them to early language recognition.

The train and train track that are located in the centre of the table have the alphabet very clearly printed on the track. As the train is moved around the track, it trips the little nodules that then play the alphabet song.

In the centre of the track are interactive shapes that teach your baby the name of each shape, the colour of each shape and also the name and sound made by the animal that is on each shape.

The piano exposes your baby to realistic electronic keyboard sounds and allows them to get creative with making their own music. The colourful flowers can also be pushed down to play interesting tunes.

A volume switch allows you greater control over the level of sound that is made during play time and some of the toys can even be played with whilst the table is switched off.

Specifications:

This activity table measures approximately 16.5 inches long, 14.8 inches wide and 13.3 inches high with the legs attached. It weighs roughly 4.7 lbs and is battery-operated, requiring 3 x AA size batteries. Some basic self-assembly is required.

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What are activity tables?

Activity tables for babies are usually made from a tough, non-toxic plastic that allows them to be hardwearing and durable. They contain buttons, pulleys, levers, bright colours, sounds and more that are all designed to engage your infant and make them want to explore further.

They are typically intended for little ones between the ages of about 9 months and 2 years, however there are ways that they can be used before 9 months and many toddlers continue to enjoy them until they are about 3 or 4 years of age.

Whilst toddlers will enjoy standing at their activity table to play with the variety of stimuli available, many activity tables have removable legs that allow you to use them with infants that are not yet standing, cruising or walking.

Most activity tables will include educational songs, numbers, letters, shapes and colours, whilst some now offer multiple languages to expose your child to language learning from an early age.

Types of activity tables for babies

Standard activity tables tend to be square or circular in shape, with a variety of things to pull, twist, push and generally play with, located on the top of the table.

These tables often have removable legs and are usually made from tough plastic, as mentioned above. These are normally the most affordable activity tables on the market.

However, not all activity tables follow this same design; some are made entirely of wood, others are made from a combination of wood and plastic, and some tables do not have removable legs.

Like with some types of highchairs, you can get some activity tables that are designed to grow with your little one. They will often have a built-in chair that can support your baby in an upright position whilst they are small, thus allowing them to engage with the activities.

Once your baby starts cruising, standing unaided and walking, you can usually adapt the table to remove the chair and use it solely as a standing play table.

Ways to use activity tables

Obviously, the most common way in which to use an activity table is by having it in the upright position for your toddler to play standing up. This has the benefit of encouraging them to walk around whilst holding on to the table, otherwise known as cruising.

Toddlers who are already steady on their feet will benefit from learning how to navigate their way around the table, stretching across to access buttons, or finding the optimum position to stand in, in order to reach their favourite activities easily.

These are all referred to as gross motor skills, which start to be developed from a young age and can be supported through the use of an activity table even as young as 6 months.

If your little one is sitting, but not crawling or cruising, then remove two of the legs from the table so that it is propped up at an angle and place it near them.

You can choose to put the table in front of your baby, or to the side of them; both options encourage your baby to stretch and reach out with their hands. Putting the table to the side of them also encourages them to twist and turn their upper body towards it to play.

You can also take all of the legs off of the table and place it out of the reach of your crawling baby, thus helping them to strengthen muscles by moving across the floor. Even for babies that aren’t yet fully crawling, placing the table top slightly out of their reach will help encourage them to shuffle on their stomachs in order to get to the table.

Fine motor skills are developed through the use of an activity table because there are a variety of activities that have to be manipulated using the thumb and forefinger or the entire hand. Hand-eye coordination is also improved because your baby has to learn to connect the movement they see with what they are doing with their hand.

Benefits of having an activity table

There are numerous benefits associated with owning an activity table for your baby, including:

  • Physical development – as mentioned in the previous section, activity tables can be used to improve your baby’s physical development. They can be used in this way from when your little one is crawling to when they are walking. Both fine and gross motor skills are developed through the use of activity tables.
  • Intellectual stimulation – depending on the type of activity table you buy, you can help your little one get an early start on learning their numbers, letters, shapes and more, as well as introducing them to music and other languages. It has become well known that children who are surrounded with plenty of intellectual stimulation are far more likely to have higher IQs than those who aren’t. So, having an activity table around will further support these efforts.
  • Gives you a break – whilst there is no doubt that you enjoy spending time with your little one, playing games, reading and singing songs, it can also get quite tiring. An activity table is incredibly engaging and will hold the attention of most babies, giving you a much-needed break when you have other things, or perhaps children, to tend to.

Things to consider before buying an activity table for your baby

When deciding what activity table to buy for your baby, you need to give consideration to the following factors:

  • Type – by this, we mean do you want one with removable legs? Is the aesthetics of the table important? Do you care about the material it is made from, such as wood or plastic? Do you want one that can grow with your child?
  • Stimulus – this is perhaps the most important consideration because activity tables can vary in regards to the stimulation that they can provide your baby. Nursery rhymes, colour recognition, shape sorting, cause and effect, language learning and more, are all things that can be learned by your baby when using the activity table. Shop around and select the one that best fits your needs when it comes to the stimulation it provides.
  • Other children – perhaps you have twins who will need to share, or your baby has an older sibling that might also want to play with the activity table. Something that you need to consider is the appropriateness of the table for any siblings that your baby might have. If you want them to be able to share the table, then you need to think about the size of it, ensuring that both little ones can fit easily around it to play.
  • Size – do you live somewhere small where you need to be able to pack the activity table away when not in use, or do you have a dedicated baby play pen or space? The size of the activity table will need to be considered when you make your purchase to ensure that it can be appropriately and safely used by your baby. The height of the table may also be something that you want to consider.
  • Cost – there are activity tables to suit every need and budget, you just need to decide how much you are willing to spend on it. If you only plan to use the table for the first year or so of your baby’s life, then you won’t want to spend a lot of money on it. If, however, you want something that can last for a few years and grow with your child, then it is worthwhile investing a bit more money in one. This can then be handed down to younger siblings.

Risks and warnings

It is important to ensure that the activity table you select for your baby is appropriate to their age, i.e. don’t choose something with lots of easily removable items if you plan to use it with very young infants.

You also need to ensure that when it is in use, the activity table is located somewhere suitable and safe for your little one.

If your baby is new to cruising, standing or walking, it is worthwhile ensuring that the table is surrounded by cushions or other soft items, such as teddies, to protect them should they fall over.