Family Traveller’s Amy Hopkins and her ten-month-old daughter have fun exploring Infantino’s colourful Grow-With-Me Playtime Teepee, that transforms from a baby gym into a den for toddlers
An attractive and creative sensory play space with enough features to feed your little one’s imagination from birth to toddlerhood.
The Grow-With-Me Playtime Teepee™ launched in 2017. I reviewed the stylish re-design new for 2018.
Finding stimulating sensory toys for your baby that aren’t plastic and garish isn’t easy, but Infantino’s teepee is the happy exception. It’s colourful enough to fascinate baby, but the tones are soft and the patterns are attractive to adults too. In fact, it’s the first thing my visitors compliment when they step into our sitting room (a bit irksome, given that I’ve just invested in a new sofa). I’d go as far to say it’s a pleasure to have on display in the home.
The Grow-With-Me Playtime Teepee isn’t cheap and to get your money’s worth, it can be used from birth, by placing your baby on the padded play mat beneath the hanging mobile. The mobile features four detachable hanging toys, with a range of colours and textures – all the usual sensory stuff babies love. One of the animal toys plays a tune when you squeeze it. At the centre of the hanging mobile is a large mirror, another surefire hit with infants.
I didn’t start using the teepee until we moved from a flat to a house and had space to set it up in the living room. By this point my daughter Annie was seven months old and too busy learning to crawl to want to lie on her back and stare at a mobile, but I was pleased to discover the mirrored mobile section detaches. This meant Annie could sit up inside the teepee and pull faces in the mirror and play with the hanging toys. Of course, once a baby grabs hold of a toy, there’s only one place it’s heading, so it’s handy that a couple of the hanging toys have teething rings attached.
The sides of the teepee open fully and can be folded back and secured with velcro tabs, creating a tunnel that Annie loves to crawl through. When friends have visited with toddlers, the kids are always excited to see the teepee, pointing it out to their parents straight away. One friend’s little girl, feeling a bit shy, chose to take her toys inside the tent and pull the sides down around her, creating a safe den for herself.
The teepee is simple to assemble, as well as light and easy to move around. I find the material is easily wiped clean. For tackling baby dribble or food residue, a quick swipe with a baby wipe usually does the job.
I have the teepee set up in our sitting room and once Annie is in bed at the end of the day, it’s a fantastic place to store her other (more unsightly) toys.
Unlike a lot of Annie’s gaudy, plastic toys, this teepee is a pleasure to have in my home. Everyone who visits remarks on it and usually asks where it’s from. Annie has already spent many happy hours playing with the detachable toys on the mobile and crawling through the tent, and I imagine the teepee will provide an excellent den (and hide-and-seek spot) for a few years to come. Plus, if a younger sibling should come along in the meantime, we’ll start again with the baby gym.