Before the boys were born, I pictured myself buying them a few select toys. Mainly made out of wood. Mostly educational. We would sit together, play with them quietly and I would calmly answer their well-formed, intelligent questions.
And then I woke up.
I should’ve known that as one of my favourite places on earth is Las Vegas, there was a chance that my boys would inherit my love of all things bright, shiny and topped with a large dose of flashing lights. That’s exactly what the new Fisher-Price Disney Finding Nemo Underwater Adventure Gym provides and exactly the reason why they love it.
BB was meant to be the official tester of this new play mat but he’s had to battle CK to get a turn. Based on Finding Nemo, it features many characters from the film – a large Dory mirror (BB’s favourite thing), Sheldon with clackers, a Pearl rattle, a Tad teether and of course, the lovely Nemo with a little bead ball.
The toys are well placed for my nearly six month old BB to reach and hold in his hand and they click on and off very easily so you can swap them around if you want to vary what your baby can look at and where they’re placed on the toy bars. In addition, they are perfect for your little one to look at and play with when it’s tummy time – I either take them off completely and place them on the mat or put BB’s current favourites on the lower level of the toy bars. BB loves to look at himself in the mirror (he takes after his papa, obviously) and the teether is proving to be essential at the moment as we have reached the dreaded teething stage. The three toy bars that make up the frame are very easy to assemble and disassemble so if I want to lie on the play mat next to BB, it takes just a couple of seconds to remove them completely so I can play right alongside him.
The thing the boys love most though is the turtle (Squirt) kick plate that when nudged by little feet plays music and sets off a mini fish light show. It requires four AA batteries but is well worth it. There’s two settings that you can choose from – the short play option where a kick to Squirt results in a brief 15-20 second tune or the music lover option where your ears are treated to a twenty-minute melody. As someone who’s not overly keen on children’s music, I have to say that it doesn’t offend my ears at all. I actually find myself humming along.
If I was able to redesign the adventure gym, I’d change two things about it:
1. Make the mat slightly more padded. We have very hard wooden floors and I’d like BB’s head to be a little more cushioned.
2. I have a bit of an aversion to polyester so would prefer the mat, or at least the top layer, to be made of cotton. With a not so inexpensive recommended retail price of £64.99, I think this would have been a nice touch.
If you really are the parent of an educational, wooden-toy loving child, then maybe this isn’t the play mat for you but my boys simply adore it. And that makes me very happy. The gym will be available to purchase in Argos stores from July and you can see a further selection here (the rainforest is my personal favourite).
Disclaimer: I was provided with the Fisher-Price Disney Finding Nemo Underwater Adventure Gym free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all words and opinions are strictly my own.