Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 10/52


 Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life  

When Kitty was born we didn’t own a baby gym. I’m not quite sure why, I think it just hadn’t really crossed our radar as one of those things that the baby might need.  We had quilts for her to roll around on and lots of arms to hold her and that was that. But as we visited friends from our NCT group and she tested out all of their baby gyms we decided that she might just like one of her own to have a little roll around in. And so for Christmas that year we bought her the one she liked the best. 

She loved it. I think she spent the whole of that Christmas rolling around inside it fascinated by all the lights and dangling toys and its happy little tunes became part of the soundtrack to our daily life. 

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And four years later it’s still a favourite toy. Just not for Kitty, although she and Elma are still quite often found tucked up inside it playing with the lights and turning the tunes off and on for Pip.  No now it’s all Pip’s.  And where Kitty was obsessed with the lights, and Elma’s favourites were the dangly toys, Pip loves the whole kit and caboodle equally.  He’s bemused by the baby that lives in the mirror, opens his eyes in awe when the lights go off and one, and spends a great deal of time trying to haul himself around by the hanging bars.  And as it’s a nice slippery mat he can do a good few circuits on his tummy too.

I know that this is one of those toys that is utterly beloved but only in our lives for a short period of time.  You might save your childhood teddy, or a book that your read so much that it started to fall apart at the seams, but baby gyms are a bit cumbersome and not very cuddly.  They’ve also got quite a limited period of interest; Pip will be sitting up soon and at his great height it will just clonk him on the head so I’m sure that by the time he’s one he’ll have moved on to other things and be merrily attacking his sisters with a piece of railway track.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

And by the time they’re grown I suspect all three of them will have forgotten how much they loved their gym.  But I won’t.  Or at least I hope I won’t.  It’s provided hours of entertainment for my three.  Sometimes the sort where we could lie on the floor together and look up at the canopy, and sometime when I really needed to do the washing up because we were about to run out of plates.  And after four years of battering by three different children it’s still standing, with only a little wobble where one post has acquired more than the intended curve, and even more impressively, we’re still on the first set of batteries.  You can’t ask for m0re than that!

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life


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  • Jodie Fisher 09/03/2015 at 2:54 pm

    wow that baby gym looks like so much fun!

    • Carie 09/03/2015 at 9:06 pm

      I think it would be quite fun if I were a baby and if the kids are anything to go by it’s great!!

  • Charlotte 09/03/2015 at 4:18 pm

    Ah, lovely photos again. We never got a baby gym, apart from the Ikea one, but it was never the same, always slightly regretted not having one as both kids LOVED playing with others.

    • Carie 09/03/2015 at 9:05 pm

      When we decided to get one for Kitty I spent lots of time watching her play in everyone else’s and then bought the one she seemed to like the best so we knew she’d like it!!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 09/03/2015 at 8:18 pm

    Such gorgeous photos Carie- I swear your photos just keep getting better and better. x

    • Carie 09/03/2015 at 9:04 pm

      Aww thank you – hopefully practice makes perfect!

  • Sarah (@tobygoesbananas) 09/03/2015 at 9:04 pm

    Aww, he looks like he’s having so much fun. And the first set of batteries? That is impressive!

  • Donna 09/03/2015 at 10:35 pm

    Both of ours loved their baby gym, such a great invention. I still can’t get over how big Pip has got! x

    • Carie 10/03/2015 at 8:21 pm

      I know, I swear he grows while I watch him!

  • Polka Dot Family 10/03/2015 at 5:45 pm

    So lovely to see that they have all had the same play gym, my children loved theirs too

    • Carie 10/03/2015 at 8:25 pm

      I’m pretty impressed it’s lasted so well to be honest, and it’s lovely to watch Pip start to really explore it and roll around on the mat!

  • Hayley (@hayleyfromhome) 10/03/2015 at 9:49 pm

    That looks like I lovely gym and Pip is looking so big. Lots of smile so you can tell he loves it! None of mine really took to ours but I think it was a little overwhelming 🙂

    • Carie 11/03/2015 at 10:46 pm

      I’ve been really pleased Pip and Elma liked it too – those arches are great for deflecting over enthusiastic sisters!

  • You Baby Me Mummy 10/03/2015 at 11:50 pm

    Gorgeous pictures x

    • Carie 11/03/2015 at 10:45 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com) 11/03/2015 at 12:47 am

    beautiful photographs! My 3 children loved their play gym, and now we have passed it down to our puppy, yes truly she loves it! So your play gym might have years in it yet. Here is a link to a pic of my puppy with her play gym http://dogblog.reflectionsfromme.com/?p=27

    • Carie 11/03/2015 at 10:45 pm

      Aaaawww! That’s just so cute!

  • Natalie @ Little Jam Pot Life Blog 11/03/2015 at 12:11 pm

    Your photos are getting so great Carie, love the colours. I love the little memories we have of our play mat. they seem to grow out of the stage so fast!

    • Carie 11/03/2015 at 10:41 pm

      thank you 🙂 – they do get past the play mat so quickly don’t they – Although I may be getting to my limit on the tunes!!

  • Sian 13/03/2015 at 10:26 pm

    Gorgeous photos, I just love all the bright colours. I feel SO sentimental about our playmat, both my girls spent so much time on them whilst tiny, playing and exploring. But we’ve put it away for the last time now.

    • Carie 14/03/2015 at 9:04 pm

      I think I shall be sad to see it go the last time it goes away for us, it’s such a part of daily life when it’s out!

  • sally 19/03/2015 at 11:07 am

    This post made me all nostalgic, it seems so long since we had a baby gym out on the floor :(. It was very popular here too, though not so high tech as yours (we’re talking 14 years ago here!)and after Maria’s turn it was too battered to be good for anything. Yours is looking great still, I think there’s plenty of life left in it for a 4th baby!

    • Carie 19/03/2015 at 9:49 pm

      Well maybe one day – I haven’t ruled it out!!