Good Design ExerSaucer/Activity Gym Round-Up

If I had any industrial design chops, or the remote desire to manufacture such a thing, I would create an ExerSaucer that didn’t give everyone a migrane when you look at it.  They’re big, they’re over the top, they’re loud, they’re plastic, they’re fugly.

Ok, as someone who leans towards clean, minimalist modern design, I understand fugly is part of the baby game, so I’ve certainly made some concessions already.  But Evie is starting to get really active and her Baby Bjorn bouncer (which I highly recommend) is getting too confining, so I have no choice but to find an upright activity center where she can stretch her adorable legs.  This has nothing to do with me wanting to pawn her off to a circle of neglect, but everything to do with the fact that the kid clearly is craving activity and stimulation.

So here I go with some options:

KidCo Go-Pod $50
I think this is my favorite so far.  It looks like a camping seat, and folds up like one too.  They skip the toy overload and provide toy loops so you can just attach your favorites. Great for taking on trips, and I love the portability even around the house.  Actually, the more I think about this one, the more I like it. Great color options too.

Deluxe Infant Play Yard $90
Design-wise this isn’t my style, but I think the concept is really interesting.  All kids love tents and forts, and this is a great, safe place for younger babies to entertain themselves (albeit they do have to be able to sit up on their own). It even comes with plush toys and music buttons.  I’d try this out around the 6 month mark if it was a wee bit cuter. Sorry to sound snobby, but there you are.

Merry Muscles Jumper Exerciser Baby Bouncer $83
Well that’s a mouth full. According to the name, this thing does everything! There’s hot debate about whether door bouncers are good or not.  I have no idea where I stand, except seeing where Evie is going, I think she might like the mobility of her and and legs that this offers.  The Merry Muscles is designed by an occupational therapist, and they say it can be used as early as two months which seems reaaaalllly early.  Also, this is a permanent fixture so kiss that door jam goodbye, unless you purchase this movable King Clamp for another $40 bucks. Yikes.

Fisher-Price Space Saver Bounce Spin Froggy Entertainer $70
What is with these names??? So we’re entering the plastic world with this one, but it is significantly smaller than most ExerSaucers.  The pedestal is spring-loaded so it bounces up and down and also spins 360 degrees and it’s loaded with plenty of bells & whistles. Literally. It kind of reminds me of those rides we used to take for a penny at the grocery store. Does anyone have those anymore? So sad.

EvenFlo In The Garden Walk Around Exesaucer $75
More plastic but I think the garden theme is cute.  Who can resist flowers and trees.  This is a walker, which means it moves, which I’d rather avoid, but it also has a brake.  Seriously though, for plastic plasticness, this is kind of adorbs.

Anyone else out there have any suggestions? We’re all ears!

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