5 best baby arches / activity bars

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Our favorite activity arches for your baby

Many occupational therapists recommend play gyms for in the home, but how can you keep your baby entertained when you are occupied with other tasks or on the go? A baby arch can be a great way to amuse your child while they are in their car-seat, stroller, rock and play, etc., all while helping them reach their early developmental milestones.

The important developmental benefits of arch toys

Best arches for babies

Baby arches promote visual development

Baby arches are important for your baby’s development in several ways. Even before they have begun to learn to reach and grab with their hands or become mobile, babies receive important information and developmentally-critical stimulation from the visual world. However, they are born incredibly near-sighted, originally only able to se items 8-12 inches from their face. Baby arch toys are designed to help baby’s early visual development by giving them something close to focus their attention on while they are developing long distance vision. They also help with depth perception, which begins to arise around 4 months of age

A properly designed baby arch with bright, high contrast patterns and bold, solid colors can be a crucial tool in developing baby’s vision by giving baby’s eyes a near object on which to focus. Additionally, when the moving background environment becomes too overwhelming, it can be calming for young eyes to stare at a single object, which can help keep baby relaxed while supporting healthy eye development.

Baby arches promote physical skills and gross motor development

At birth, grasping and reaching skills are dominated by reflexes, with little intentional movement. Babies must be taught that they have the ability to actively reach for things that they want. Arches keep your child entertained while you are busy with strolling, shopping, and other activities, with easy-to-grip toys kept within reach that cannot fall or roll away. Since most babies can’t lean forward to reach toys until after 6 months of age or later, adjustable arches are crucial to keep toys within their grasp and frame of reference. Arches will help to develop baby’s tactile abilities as well as hand-eye coordination naturally, and encourage reaching, pulling and squeezing, the foundations of more complex motions and activities.

Best activity bar for babies

Baby arches teach the basics of cause and effect

Batting and pulling of the toys on the arch is critical for promoting sensory exploration (which is already beginning to develop at birth) and teaching cause and effect learning (which begins to develop around 5 months). From 6 weeks to 4 months, babies begin to participate in “primary circular reactions” – the building blocks of learning cause and effect. Essentially, an action that is originally performed accidentally (such as causing a dangling toy to move by brushing it) is repeated until the link between the child’s action and the object’s response is understood. Items that encourage the child to interact with them repeatedly will have the greatest benefit in this area. Additional auditory input like jingling, squeak and crinkle also help foster this causal understanding.


Below we have listed our 5 favorite baby arches and their developmental benefits:

#1 Best Activity Arch
1. O Ball Flex ‘n Go Activity Arch Take-Along Toy 
This arch is made of the same soft, flexible material as the Oball (one of our top recommended toys from the ” Toys Every Newborn Should Own ” list). It includes 3 fun Oball toys: the original easy-to-grasp 3″ Oball, a lion rattle, a fun elephant with rattle, and even has 4 linky loops with which you can attach your baby’s other favorite toys. It is simple to affix to almost any stroller, and is even adjustable as baby grows. This is a must have for any seat or chair without it’s own activity arch, and if you need some additional play time in the stroller or for a long trip in the car seat.
Best stroller arches - Oball Arch

Fits most: Rock and Plays, car seats, convertible car seats, strollers, baby Bjorne bouncy seat, and many high chairs
Adjustable: Yes, and toys can be lowered by adding rings as well
Clip-on: Universal
Flexible: Yes
Customization: Yes, swap in your child’s favorite toys

Best baby arch for car seats
#2 Best Activity Arch
2. Taf Toys Rainbow Arch Activity Bar  
This clip on arch includes 3 fun activity toys with built-in sounds, including a rattle and chime bell, as well as 5 “crinkly” tabs in high contrast black and white colors for easy visibility. The sturdy clips affix firmly to fit almost and strollers, pram, baby swing, rock and play, etc. Our favorite baby play bar!

Fits most: Rock and Plays, car seats, convertible car seats, strollers, baby Bjorne bouncy seat, and many high chairs
Adjustable: Yes, clips can be moved easily and the arch clicks into many positions for different angles
Clip-on: Universal
Flexible: Yes
Customization: No

Best baby arch toy for cribs
#3 Best Activity Arch
3. Tiny Love Take-Along Arch
A flexible arch with an angled adjustment, so the toys are always kept at a comfortable reach for the child. Attachments include a pinning bead ball, crinkly frog, baby activated propeller, flower mirror and easy to grasp teether handle. The best activity bar for a car seat!
Best travel take along arch for babies

 

Fits most: Rock and Plays, car seats, convertible car seats, strollers, baby Bjorne bouncy seat, and many high chairs
Adjustable: Yes
Clip-on: Universal
Flexible: Yes
Customization: Yes, swap in your child’s favorite toys

Best clip-on baby arch play gym
#4 Best Activity Arch
4. Singring Baby Pram Crib Activity Arch
This arch creates a multitude of sounds including crinkling and squeaking when it is pressed and grabbed by the baby, which is great for keeping them engaged and entertained. The soft, plush figures that encourage exciting play, while the dangling characters keep baby engaged. Multiple textures encourage tactile exploration, while the mirror develops the basics of self awareness. One of the best car seat activity bars around.
Best activity arches for newborns

Fits most: Rock and Plays, car seats, convertible car seats, strollers, baby Bjorne bouncy seat, and many high chairs
Adjustable: Yes
Clip-on: Universal
Flexible: Yes
Customization: No

Top baby arches
#5 Best Activity Arch
5.  Olsine Baby Travel Play Arch
Features inviting visual stimulation in the form of a zebra squeaky toy, rattling lion, and a teether monkey. The over-sized toys are particularly great for practicing motor skills and eye-hand coordination. Overall a fantastic activity bar for young babies.
Toys for babies in car seat and stroller

Fits most: Rock and Plays, car seats, convertible car seats, strollers, baby Bjorne bouncy seat, and many high chairs
Adjustable: Yes
Clip-on: Universal
Flexible: Yes
Customization: Yes, soft toys are detachable

Best adjustable arch toys and baby play bars
Bonus : If you’re looking for something a little more portable, yet can connect to just about to any surface easily and securely, check out the Fun-Flex Frog Mirror . It’s a fantastic, visually appealing clip on stroller toy (or clip on high chair toy, clip on crib toy … )
clip on pram toy
Baby mirror toys promotes development of self-awareness and environmental discovery, while the bright, contrasting colors and patterns catch and hold baby’s eye.
Fun-Flex has a commitment to support baby’s developmental needs with fun toys, accessories and more that can be taken anywhere you and your baby go, and they have over 42 available combinations to do so. Their products are the winners of countless awards including 2016 Product of the Year Award and 2016 Preferred Choice Award.


Adjustable: Yes
Clip-on: Universal; stroller, twin Stroller, crib, car seat, high chair, pack & play, swing, table, booster, bouncer, diaper changing table, bassinets, bath, gym, mat, and much, much more. 
Flexible: Yes
Customization: The different Fun-Flex attachments are interchangeable and can be swapped out between products to keep them engaged at different developmental stages.

Clip on crib toy

 

Thanks for reading about the best baby activity bars and clip-on stroller toys!

Activity arches are great for use as car seat toys, because they keep baby entertained without the risk of becoming a projectile during an accident, or falling on the floor and getting stuck under the seat. But, they are engaging enough to keep baby from crying during a long car ride. Since they clip and unclip easily from the car seat, it is not time consuming to install when you’re in a rush. We always recommend using a baby activity bar with your car seat so that your child doesn’t get bored during the trip!

We always recommend using an activity arch to keep your child entertained when in a forward or rear-facing car seat. From a baby’s position in the car seat, they are often unable to receive the visual stimulation from looking out the window, so they are much more easily bored by the static environment of the car interior than an adult who can see the outside surroundings. Furthermore, having a nearby, unmoving object to focus their attention on, they may be more distracted from the motion of the car and thus more able to stave off carsickness.

All of the activity bars in this list are great for carseats, prams / strollers, cribs and highchairs.

Read more articles from Smart-Toys:

Best rattles
Best teethers
Best American-made toys

No aggregators or algorithms – all activity bars on the “best arch toys for babies” list are hand picked! Please make sure to confirm manufacturer recommended age and other warnings on every baby activity arch. We may receive commission from certain affiliate links, which allows you to support our site’s mission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here . We strive to bring you the best!