When it comes to play time for your baby, you want fun, educational, and safe activities. Below you'll see our picks for the very best play gear on the market.

    Toy: Fisher-Price Brilliant Basics Rock-a-Stack

    This classic toy may be simple and inexpensive, but it will likely provide hours of stimulation for baby. With lots of colors and sizes, plus a rattle in the top donut, it's like five toys in one!

    The Guru's Tip:

    The rocking stand is actually fun to interact with too, and teething infants may even enjoy chewing on it!

    Toy: Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle

    There are a few toys that just about every child will enjoy, and the Winkel Rattle, or Winkel Toy as we call it around our house, is one of them. It's intricate design and multitude of colors gives babies plenty to look at and grasp.

    The Guru's Tip:

    For younger infants, this toy will help develop the ability to pass objects from one hand to the other. As infants grow older, they'll learn to love the Winkel toy again as a rattle and a teether!

    Play Seat: Galt Playnest Farm Covered Inflatable Ring

    This little-known play seat, which hails from the UK, is a perfect play space for your little one before they can fully sit up. With its inflatable sides, it's soft and comfortable, while still providing enough support to encourage baby to engage their core. And unlike a supported hard-shell seat, it also allows them to move around without getting into trouble.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The inflatable ring that supports your child doubles as a shelf to place toys and solid food items.

    Portable High-Chair: Bumbo Multi Seat

    The Multi Seat lives up to its name: it's great for play when baby is learning to sit up during play time, and will later become your go-to booster seat once baby starts eating on his or her own. The addition of the stowaway tray was a brilliant addition to an already classic design, which made the name Bumbo synonymous with floor seats.

    The Guru's Tip:

    We recommend that you transition the Multi Seat from play time to meal time as soon as baby is able to get into a seated position on his or her own. The Multi Seat will probably feel too constricting to them during play at that point.

    Play Gym: Evenflo ExerSaucer Jump and Learn Jumper

    Once your little one starts gaining some core strength, he or she will love to be able to "stand up" in this jumper, and will come to learn how to use its various gadgets to entertain for hours. It includes a number of soft plastic inserts for chewing, friendly animals floating above for jumping and grabbing, plus three game activites, including two with battery-operated sounds and music (which can be turned off if you wish!). There are plenty of jumpers out there, but this one is the absolute "Cadillac" model. With a bouncy base, this model will really encourage your little one to jump around, which is both lots of fun and great exercise!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Just keep in mind that this is a fairly large jumper, and won't fit through most doorways, so if would like to move your jumper from room to room on a regular basis, go for a portable model, like the Graco Doorway Jumper.

    Playpen: Graco Pack 'n Play Playard with Reversible Napper and Changer

    There's a reason just about every family has a Pack 'n Play: there's no better way to give infants a place to play on their own. It's safe, comfortable, and keeps toys from finding their way across the room. And the padded rails will give baby a great place to hold on to as he or she learns to pull up and cruise!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Note that by six months, both the napper and changer components of this Pack 'n Play will probably want to be stored away, as baby will be big enough to play in the lower level of the gym.

    Play Yard: Summer Infant Pop N' Play Portable Playard

    Once your child starts rolling around, they'll quickly learn to roll right out of sight! This wonderful 48"-wide playard gives them plenty of space to test their newfound abilities, without letting them get too far. It's great indoors or out, and in fact makes for a great deck or lawn play space, due to its nylon bottom, which will resist water and stains.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This playard complements the Graco Pack 'n Play really nicely. It's much easier to pack up and provides more play space, but the Graco can double as a crib, and is small enough to tuck into the corner of a room.

    Play Mat: Baby Care Pingko & Friends

    If you'll often be playing with baby in a room with hard floors, this mat is an absolute must-have item. In addition to protecting your baby as he or she rolls and crawls around, it will protect wood floors from impacts when toys go flying! This mat also has educational value, with the many animal illustrations and names to keep your little one entertained for hours.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Because this mat is so well cushioned, your little one may even be able to comfortably nap from time to time in between play sessions!


    Teether Toy: Itzy Ritzy Silicone Teething Necklace

    This brilliant product is a must-have for teething babies. It will keep babies quiet and occupied while being carried around, and we've found that it's also a great distraction while in a car seat. 

    The Guru's Tip:

    We think this necklace is actually kind of stylish - parents can wear it with pride while baby chomps away on it!