Bright Starts Start Your Senses Activity Mat

Bright Starts Start Your Senses Activity Mat

Designed using sensory stimulating principles, this activity mat is packed with activities and features that encourage baby’s development during the first year of life. The large play mat features high-contrast colors, textured fabrics for tactile development, and adorable ladybug characters. The soft, prop pillow promotes tummy time development and fun. The mobile, which can be removed from the gym to take on-the-go, features 9 melodies and sounds and lights that dance in time to the music! Other fun toys include large mirror, spiral bead chaser, apple- shaped rattle, visually stimulating flash cards, and water-filled teether.

Main features

  • Soft prop pillow promotes tummy-time fun
  • On-the-go mobile has lights, 9 engaging melodies and sounds plus 3 soft bugs to delight baby
  • Large baby-safe mirror encourages visual exploration
  • Visually stimulating graphic cards are dual-sided with high-contrast images and familiar baby faces
  • Water-filled teether, spiral bead chaser, and apple rattle encourages reaching and grasping

Verified reviews


Unusable due to toxic flame retardant content

I received the activity mat today, and it didn’t even occur to me that this product would be treated with flame retardants, but it is. The tag says not only that it meets the ridiculous California flame retardant requirement, but specifically that the filling is resin treated polyester. This could have been a fantastic product, but I’ll have to find other ways to entertain and enrich my baby without letting him burrow his face into a toxic mat. I would have appreciated knowing about the contents of the mat ahead of time to save myself the trouble of returning it, and I hope other parents will request healthy products for their children as well.

Alyson Mesa, WA

Nice mat; flexible configuration; lousy packaging

This mat is really nice since it has lots of stimuli and can be configured several ways. Our 1.5 month old baby is a little too young to react to many of the stimuli but I think this is a good mat to purchase as it is can be used as a basic mat or converted to a baby gym.What is maddening is the annoying, frustrating packaging. There are soooo many of those plastic ties (not the twist ones, the ones you have to cut)… maybe around 20 or even more! I’m not a fan of those especially on children’s toys and clothing. Sometimes after cutting one end you lose the other end — what if it irritates the baby’s skin or worse, what if a child finds it and puts it in his mouth.I wish the company would just keep the packaging simple…My rating:B+ for the productF for the packaging

Francisca Perryville, KY

I sort of wish my baby didn’t like this

I realized recently that my husband and I have very few toys for our 3 month old, mostly because I think that a lot of baby toys are obnoxious and/or worthless. I really don’t think this is a problem for the most part, but he is now getting to the point that he notices everything and can be entertained by ‘things’ but not at a point that he can make his own entertainment. So, I decided to look into one of these activity gyms. It took me days to settle on one because they are, for the most part, so visually and auditorily (is that a word?) unappealing, that I hate to have them in my house. Not to mention that they are all plastic and polyester and made in China. I finally decided on this one because it is so high contrast and is reasonably priced. It also seems to have a balance of interesting things, but not too many of them.Pros:1. Our little guy is entertained by this in small doses. I think at some point, though, it becomes too much stimulation for him. He isn’t at a point, developmentally, that he can activate the electronic ladybug thing on his own, but he does seem to enjoy looking at the dangling bugs (particularly the orange one) and watching the disc light up. He’ll attempt to grab at the bugs and the other plastic toys. I have to lay him on a pillow so that he is close enough to touch the bugs, though. You have to tug pretty hard on them to get them to light up and play music when it’s on the motion-activated setting. I’m sure in a month or two he will figure it out.2. I was pleasantly surprised that the music isn’t that bad. It’s pretty inoffensive and each little song only plays a few seconds at a time before switching to another song. I’ve not counted them, but there are probably 10 or 12 different tunes that are cycled through.3. It’s pretty small and can be folded/disassembled relatively easily to be tucked away or transported.Cons:1. Like I said above, it’s all plastic and polyester. I’m not sure why they can get away with charging so much. Nothing really high quality in the box. I would much rather have something made from wood and cotton if I could find it.2. The packaging. I can’t remember the last time that I encountered a package as frustrating as this. It comes in this plastic sleeve (like something a set of sheets or comforter might come in). It took me about 5 minutes to peel the plastic sleeve off of the box. There are at least a dozen zip-tied things in the box. Then another couple dozen plastic tags (like how price tags are affixed to clothing), which ended up all over our floor. The packaging was completely destroyed in the process of opening it.UPDATE:At 6 months our little guy still uses this from time-to-time, although he gets bored with it much more quickly. I switch out the toys that dangle every once in a while to give him something new to play with. He’s not sitting up unassisted yet so we still use it with him lying on his back.One thing that has come up with this–and I assume that it’s the same for many of these types of activity gyms–is that now that he’s rolling a lot, he rolls himself up into a little baby taco in this. He’ll roll to his side and grab the edge of the mat and then roll back so that he can look at what he just grabbed. The whole thing collapses around him. The solution to this is to make sure the overhead bars are criss-crossed, rather than being attached adjacent to itself. I think the picture shows them attached adjacent to itself and I thought that the instructions also said that (the instructs are long gone in our house so I can’t verify this). He’s a pretty avid roller these days so I’m not really concerned that he’s going to suffocate (this might be a concern for a child who isn’t quite as strong or agile yet but is rolling?). He just gets really frustrated by it until someone rescues him. I would say that it’s just something to watch out for. I would still rate it at 3 stars, though, mostly because of the quality of the product.

Ginger Kingston, GA

Our baby LOVES this!

Initially I was not impressed with how this mat looked, even though I know that bright colors and contrast are said to be preferred by infants. I must now admit, our baby LOVES this mat! It plays catchy tunes (on a timer) and flashes different colored lights which, as a newborn, our baby loved to lay and look at. Now that he is 4 months, he also loves to bat and grab at the hanging toys. The mat is soft and washable. We also use it for tummy time, I think that the pattern on the mat helps distract him from his discomfort- our little guy HATES tummy time. We do limit the amount of time he spends on the mat, I don’t want him to get bored with it and there’s so many other things to show him! 🙂 All in all, a great product, though a little pricey.

Mattie Harrod, OH

Keeps baby entertained for a long time!

My daughter loves this playmat.She loves staring, grabbing and squealing at the bugs.This mat has been a life saver. Been using it for almost 4 months on a daily basis. My baby has not gotten bored with it yet!

Ana Weber City, VA


i love the bold bright colors of this matt. nice music with lights and crinkle sounds. my son enjoyed this mat for tummy time

Allyson Stambaugh, MI

Great Activity Mat!

I love this activity mat! The contrast of colors and the toys are great for newborns to infants! The toys are moveable and the musical mobile’s music is actually tolerable compared to other toys with music and I like the colored lights that beat in rhythm to the music! As my daughter kicked I would lay her so that her feet would kick the arches and it would make the bee’s flutter and she LOVED watching them! The mobile is detachable and has a feature for when baby pats it as it lays on the ground it plays other little tunes. I would recommend this product! Bright Starts is a great company! I say this because my first mobile was not playing properly and I went to their website and contacted them about it and they sent me a whole NEW mobile at NO CHARGE! No problems with the new one.

Toni Pleasureville, KY

This is Great!

We love this tummy time mat! We got this as a handmedown and when we received it all it came with was the mat and the sound thingy with the bugs attached. The bars, pillow, mirror, and dangly toys did not come with it. Just the mat and the sound thingy alone are enough to entertain my little one. She loves it. We have washed it several times and it still lays flat, unlike theBaby Einstein Around The World Play Gymthat we also have. She likes both mats equally but this one is easier to travel with since we don’t have the bars that go with it. I think it says a lot about the colors and design on the mat itself since she is happy on it with or without toys.

Jade Darien, CT

Entertains and Educates

This activity mat is great. My little one loves it and can spend a lot of time on the mat before getting fussy, it is a lifesaver. The music and lights are great. I would definitely purchase it again, it is little one’s favorite toy!

Young Clarksville, MD

Disco bee party for your baby

The lights! The music! All of the dangling, swinging toys! My baby loved this gym and could spend forever playing with it- okay, it was more like 20 minutes but 20 minutes of hands-free time to rest for a new parent feels like an eternity. This gym not only entertained my baby and allowed me to rest, but it encouraged motor movement, hand-eye coordination, and tummy time (which my son hated for so long until we started using the included pillow consistently). I loved this gift so much that I decided to buy one for a pregnant friend. BUT, the currently listed price is much more expensive than the $70 that I spent on it. If you can find it cheaper, then buy it! Every baby should have a disco bee party at their disposal!

Antonia San Francisco, CA

Great Activity Mat~

We started using this activity mat when my son was a few weeks old. He’s now 3 months and still LOVES it. I put him on it after his first feeding in the morning and he’ll play for 20+ minutes at a time. So happy I purchased this item. We have been getting A LOT of use out of it.

Cecilia Green Forest, AR

Love it!!

I have a 8 week old and she has been playing on it since she was 2 weeks old and she loves it!! I love that you can move the dangeling pieces around and add new toys!!

Vonda Diberville, MS