Baby activity center

As your baby learns to stand and walk, you may be interested in finding an activity center to help provide entertainment and stimulation. More than 3,500 Pampers Parents voted for their favorite activity center; we’ve reviewed the top 10 models in detail to help you find the best one for your baby. Read on to discover what makes an activity center so appealing for your baby and what factors to consider when buying one.

What Is an Activity Center?

Activity centers for babies are basically stationary play centers in which your baby sits and hangs with her feet dangling in the center, often in a 360-degree rotating seat. This toy gives your baby something to do while engaging her and fostering her cognitive and motor skills.

Although some activity centers have a platform on which your baby can bounce or jump and are sometimes called bouncy seats, bouncers, or jumpers, what’s typically called a baby bouncer or a baby swing is something quite different and usually only used for younger babies.

When Can Your Baby Use an Activity Center?

Somewhere between 8 and 12 months, which is about the time your baby is getting ready to stand and walk, you may consider getting him an activity center, which gives your baby a safe area in which to play.

Keep in mind that experts recommend the use of an activity center instead of a baby walker because walkers can actually impede your child’s healthy development and lead to dangerous falls if they tip over.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Activity Center

Here are some of the different factors and features to consider when choosing an activity center:

  • Safety. Check that the product hasn’t been recalled and that it’s JPMA certified. If you are receiving one as a hand-me-down, check for broken or loose parts, and don’t use it if that’s the case.

  • Padding. Some may have more comfortable padding in the seat than others.

  • Mobility. Check whether your baby can jump or bounce in it.

  • Adjustability. Some have legs that are height adjustable to grow with your child.

  • Versatile toys. Some have removable toys that can be used elsewhere in the home for play, or taken away on a trip.

  • 360-degree accessibility. Many activity centers have a 360-degree rotating seat, which enables your baby to reach all the way around the activity center.

  • Sensory experiences. Some activity centers have lights, music, or sounds, and often these are designed according to a theme.

  • Storage. Some are collapsible for storage and transportation.

  • Cleaning. Consider how easy it is to clean the activity center; for example, it’s convenient when the seat cover is machine washable.

  • Size. Some activity centers can be quite bulky and end up taking more space than you expect. Always double check the assembled size before buying one.

  • Price. The activity centers on our list range in price from about $80 to $130.

  • Convertibility. Some baby activity centers can also transition into a play table for toddlers, who can use it in a standing position. This means you’ll get more use out of your purchase.

9 Best Activity Centers

Here are the activity centers Pampers Parents chose as their favorites, in ranked order.

1. Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo

Why pick this one? Pampers Parents loved the Rainforest Jumperoo from Fisher-Price and selected it as the best activity center. A favorite feature is that the seat rotates 360 degrees, enabling your baby to reach all the jungle creatures when playing.

The bouncy seat has covered springs, so you don’t have to worry about your baby’s fingers getting caught. The activity center also has three different height positions, allowing you to adjust it to your baby’s height as she grows.

The manufacturer claims the activity center can promote your child’s development in the following ways:

  • The toys offer a variety of textures, which can stimulate his sense of touch.

  • The colors and music engage your baby’s eyes and ears.

  • Your baby can learn about cause and effect as, for example, lights and sounds reward your little one every time he jumps.

  • All the reaching, touching, and grabbing may help build hand-and-eye coordination.

Highlights: The activity center is easy to fold up and tuck away when not in use, or to take with you when you’re headed to the babysitter's or to Grandma’s.

Price*: about $104.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


2. Skip Hop Silver Lining Cloud Baby’s View Activity Center

Why pick this one? What makes the Silver Lining Cloud activity center from Skip Hop stand out is that it’s designed to grow with your baby in three stages:

  1. In the first stage it functions as an activity center for bouncing and playing.

  2. In the second stage it works as a cruising and interacting table.

  3. And in the third stage it converts to a play table with a chalkboard insert. You can even buy a pair of matching chairs to go with it.

Like most activity centers, this one features a 360-degree rotating seat. Other features include a discovery window that lets your baby see her feet as well as a piano, if you’ve installed it at her feet. The toys clip into place and can be positioned anywhere on the table of the activity center for your baby’s enjoyment.

The toys include a light-up piano that can be installed at the feet or on the table in place of the discovery window, peekaboo clouds that pop up and squeak, a lamb with rattle beads, a star that can sway back and forth, and a sun spinner and bead mover. There’s even a suction-cup snack bowl that’s shaped like a bird.

Highlights: When you don’t need the activity center, the legs can detach for easy storage.

Price*: about $129.99 Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


3. Baby Einstein Neighborhood Symphony Activity Jumper

Why pick this one? Encourage your baby’s musicality with this activity center from Baby Einstein. The musically themed toys will both engage and entertain your little one with vivid multi-sensory experiences. The captain’s seat, as the manufacturer calls it, rotates 360 degrees so your baby can reach any of the instruments.

The activity center features drums, a piano, guitar, and a tambourine—basically an entire band for your baby! The electric bongo drum set is removable for when your baby wants to play with it on the floor instead (or when you want a break from all the racket!).

Highlights: The seat pad is machine washable. The activity center has four height adjustments so it can be customized to fit your growing baby.

Price*: about $138.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


4. Bright Starts Disney Baby Finding Nemo Sea of Activities Jumper

Why pick this one? Send your little one on an ocean adventure with this underwater-themed activity center from Bright Starts. Your baby can play with toys like the rollerball fish, which features dancing lights and ocean sounds; the stingray that hangs from above; the sea turtle that has an interactive belly that lights up and plays music; and much more.

Some of the toys can be removed for travel or for when your little one wants to play with one on the floor, for example.

The activity center also features a child-safe mirror and a 360-degree rotating high-backed seat.

Highlights: The buckles can be adjusted to four different heights, allowing the activity center to grow with your baby. Of all the models on the list, this activity center has the most toys, including ones that hang.

Price*: about $139.99 Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


5. Skip Hop Explore and More Baby's View 3-Stage Interactive Activity Center

Why pick this one? This modern activity center from Skip Hop is all about growing with your baby. As the name suggests, it has three stages of use: First it’s an activity center for your baby, then a cruising and interacting station, and finally a play table. The legs are height adjustable so it truly grows with your baby. If you need to store the activity center, the legs are also removable.

The activity center features a 360-degree rotating seat that is springy enough for a little bouncing. Each toy has a clip so it can easily be attached, detached, and placed anywhere along the activity center’s table. The toys can also be used separately from the table.

Toys include a peekaboo owl, a spring cloud with beads, swaying trees, and a hedgehog bead chaser with spinner. There’s also a suction-cup snack bowl that looks like a bee.

The table itself features a plastic window so that your child can look through and see his feet. Not only that, your child can play the musical, light-up piano at his feet. The keyboard has three modes of play: piano, song, and motion sensor. The keyboard does require batteries.

Highlights: A pair of chairs can be purchased separately for when you convert the activity center into a play table for your toddler.

Price*: about $123.99 Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


6. Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Sit-to-Stand Activity Center

Why pick this one? You’ll appreciate the three ways your little one can use this jungle-themed activity center from Fisher-Price. First, the newborn play mat can be used on its own for tummy time; then, the whole thing can serve as an activity center for your older baby; and finally, the activity center can become a play table for your toddler.

The height of the activity center can be adjusted to three different levels to suit your growing baby. The seat swivels 360 degrees so she can reach all the toys, which include different jungle animals and insects that double as rattles, bead bars, spinners, and more. There’s also a removable musical alligator with light-up keys that play music.

When your baby has outgrown the activity center, you can insert the racing ramp into the center to transform it into a play table for your toddler.

Highlights: The play mat as well as the seat pad are machine washable. The legs can be removed for storing the activity center.

Price*: about $94.13 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


7. Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Step ‘n Play Piano

Why pick this one? This Step ‘n Play Piano from Fisher-Price might be the ideal activity center if your little one is a budding entertainer. It includes a keyboard at fingertip height and one at the feet, both of which play music.

With three built-in songs, your baby can choose his favorite as well as play a variety of other notes. The drums light up to provide visual as well as auditory stimulation. There’s even a guitar, clicking synthesizer sliders, headphones, a microphone, and a tambourine for your little one to try out.

This activity center is very versatile:

  1. The foot keyboard mat can be used for tummy time.

  2. The sliding seat encourages your child to step back and forth.

  3. And, with the seat removed, your child can use the activity center into toddlerhood as a play table.

If you’re on a budget, you might like to consider this one, which is the least expensive activity center on our list.

Highlights: Your baby can swivel 360 degrees in the activity center. The seat pad is machine washable. The seat height adjusts to your baby.

Price*: about $78.92 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


8. Summer Pop ‘n Jump Portable Activity Center

Why pick this one? If you need a portable activity center that you can bring anywhere, then you’re looking for the Summer Pop ‘n Jump. This activity center is lightweight, and it’s designed to unfold in a few seconds, making it easy to take and set up anywhere.

A travel bag with shoulder straps is included.

There’s a UV canopy to protect your baby from the sun’s rays if you’re using the activity center outdoors.

The included toys are a spinner ball, rattle, mirrored book, and a teether.

The activity center features three levels of height adjustment so you can customizes it to your baby as she grows.

Highlights: The jumping seat support can be removed for easy machine-washing.

Price*: about $148.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


9. Evenflo ExerSaucer Jump and Learn Jumper

Why pick this one? This jungle-themed activity center from Evenflo is also a jumper in one. The manufacturer claims the bouncy base helps build your baby’s core strength, balance, and coordination.

The jungle character toys include an elephant, giraffe, lion, and a plush monkey, which is removable for taking on trips. Some of the toys even have lights and sounds to engage your baby.

What's missing from this activity center is a 360-degree swiveling seat, a feature you'll find on all of the other activity centers on this list.

This is the most expensive activity center on our list.

Highlights: The seat pad is machine washable.

Price*: about $157.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents pros and cons:


The Bottom Line

Whichever activity center you choose, you can count on your baby being entertained and engaged. Plus, if you happen to pick an activity center that can convert into a play table, you’ll get plenty of use out of this purchase as your child becomes a toddler.

Check out more reviews of top baby gear that thousands of Pampers Parents voted on.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.