To say the MAGIC Stargaze Playmat & Gym is interactive would be an understatement, but unlike the harsh sensory overload items on the market, Mamas & Papas delivers soft lights and crisp, pleasant sounds. Pull toys on the overhang arch and a sensor touch pad stimulate and encourage young development, all encompassed within modern yet baby-friendly design. This playmat is the whole package.
I’m the first to admit I am willing to sacrifice certain conveniences for clean, modern design. To me, it’s worth it because when my surroundings are unpleasant, I am unhappy. It used to be when kids came into the picture you had to put your personal style preferences aside. This is not so these days thanks to innovative, current-minded companies such as Mamas & Papas.
The Stargaze Playmat offers all the sensory stimulation a baby could need, the brains of the operation being a touch/kick pad at the bottom of the arched canopy. For young infants who are not great with their hands yet, the kick-activated lights and sounds is ideal (genius even). You just have to see these babies go! They can reach up above and grab the hang toys as well. These are interactive and sounds/lights activate when they are pulled and touched. The symphony that develops is unique and easy on the ears. Back further (or clipped onto the playmat) are chew-friendly toys, great for teethers. There are also crinkly bits on the floor mat, which has beautiful, contrasting modern colors and designs. Entertainment on every level.
my one week old is even mesmerized
activated arch with Play, Sleep, Relax hang toys
You’ve probably noticed already that this playmat is absolutely a grow-with-me item. Baby can enjoy the Stargaze from day one, case in point my one week old. Newborns do not respond to much, but my Gabriel was quickly mesmerized by the soft lights in the arch. He also seemed to be soothed by the relaxed mode music and I now find myself putting him here when he’s a bit cranky or tired (well, he’s always tired, he’s one week). With the cushion included, the Stargaze is also awesome for tummy time. The mat is stimulating in color and touch and it’s a fun place for baby to explore. And when they are even older, you can pop off the arch for just a nice, cushy place to play.
Included with the gym are two cards to be inserted in the kick pad, one operates an mp3 player — yes, you can plug your iPod right in and baby can listen to music or stories on your device. The light show will continue and marry with the custom sounds playing. The other card is Musical Fun, one of 5 themes available. With over 150 songs, rhymes, voices and sound bursts on just this one card, baby will not grow tired of repetitive sounds. What I like most is how pleasant the sounds are. The music is kind to the ears, none of those annoying baby blasts typical to gyms and bouncers. I don’t know about you, but the average musical gear gives me serious anxiety after awhile. Not so with the Stargaze — I could, and do, listen to it all day!
top: card in console, iPod sleeve, arch bottom: kickpad
When you are ready to venture into other themes (card and 3 matching hang toys) you can because there is also Jingly Jungle, Playtime Farm, Play, Sleep, Relax and Mini Explorer. Spanish and French versions also are available. I love this feature because it really extends the lifetime of the playmat by keeping your baby interested. Gotta keep em on their toes! The cards also go with the other items in the MAGIC collection (bouncer, rocker and mobile).
There are a lot of items you will waste your money on thinking baby will love them. This is not one of them! The MAGIC Stargaze retails for $159.99, a decent chunk of change but when you factor in the length use and quality of product, it is easily worth it.
Product was provided by Mamas & Papas to facilitate this review; all opinions are 100% my own.