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.
Joyoushousehold.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
|Name||Height (inches)||Our Rating|
|Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Around The Town Learning Table||15||9.4 / 10|
|LeapFrog Learn and Groove Musical Table Activity Center||15.6||9.4 / 10|
|Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table||18||9.4 / 10|
|Skip Hop Explore and More Baby’s View 3-Stage Activity Center||18.5||9.4 / 10|
|Bright Starts Around We Go 3-in-1 Activity Center Zippity Zoo||28||9.4 / 10|
|VTech Magic Star Learning Table||14.9||9.2 / 10|
|VTech Sit-to-Stand Learn & Discover Table||17.7||8.8 / 10|
|Baby Einstein Discovering Music Activity Table||15||8.6 / 10|
|WinFun Letter Train and Piano Activity Table||13.3||8.6 / 10|
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.
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.
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.
There are numerous benefits associated with owning an activity table for your baby, including:
When deciding what activity table to buy for your baby, you need to give consideration to the following factors:
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.