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Oribel or SkipHop: Compare the leading Baby activity centers
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Oribel or SkipHop: Compare the leading Baby activity centers

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When you are a busy parent with one (or more!) tiny tots, taking a moment for yourself is a real challenge. A baby between the ages of six to twelve months is a tiny Indiana Jones, eager to explore everything around with no fear. So how does a frazzled parent ensure a few uninterrupted moments to catch their breath? Meet the activity center!

 

Designed to keep your baby in one place safely, activity centers typically come with a seat to pop your kiddie in and colorful toys that develop their vision and fine motor skills.

 

Also read: PortaPlay: The #1 Activity Center in the UK


At Oribel we have just launched a new Stage-based PortaPlay Activity CenterWhile there are many activity centers around, a common question we get asked by moms and dads is,

 

“How is the new PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center different from the Original PortaPlay and from SkipHop’s Activity Center?”

 

We have been asked this question so, so, so many times that we decided to put together a handy guide. We analyzed information from the respective product pages and Amazon reviews, distilling the information into the 6 most common parental concerns.

PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center Oribel

PortaPlay Stage-based Baby Activity Center

Launched in 2020, Oribel’s new PortaPlay Stage-based is the first and only Baby Activity Center with Stage-based playtime for babies from 5 months until they start walking. This means it comes with two sets of age-appropriate toys, that can be transformed or changed as the baby grows.

Like the Original PortaPlay, it can also become a play table, which can be used till the age of 5.

It comes in only one theme: Monsterland Adventures (Golden beige color)

 

PortaPlay Convertible Baby Activity Center

Launched in 2014, PortaPlay Convertible is a foldable activity center designed for toddlers from 4 months till walking age. It is intended to grow alongside your toddler to become a play table, which can be used until they are 5 years old. 

It comes in 2 color themes: Wonderland Adventures (Gray) and Forest Friends (Green)

 

Skip Hop Explore and More Baby's View 3-Stage Activity Center

Skiphop’s Activity Centre was launched in 2015, shortly after Portaplay. It’s also designed for toddlers 4 months and above. Similar to Portaplay, it is intended to accompany a child as they grow and converts into a play table too.

It comes in 2 color themes: The Original, Skip Hop Explore and More (White) and Silver Lining Cloud (Also, white)

 

How entertaining is the Activity Center for baby?

PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center

Comes with 8 toys and 11 play modes!

It's the only Activity Center with changeable stage-appropriate toys. This means a 5-month old baby and a 10-month old baby are not expected to be entertained with the same toys! New toys, suitable for a more grown-up baby, can be changed at around 8 months.

The seat rotates 360 degrees and has an integrated elastic system, which can jiggle and bounce up to 2 to 3 inches depending on your toddler’s size.

PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center

Comes with 5 toys, geared towards entertainment and development.

The seat rotates 360 degrees and has an integrated elastic system, which can jiggle and bounce up to 2 to 3 inches, depending on your toddler’s size.

Skip Hop Explore and More Baby's View 3-Stage Activity Center

Comes with 5 toys, geared towards entertaining, including 1 light-up musical piano.
The seat rotates 360 degrees and stretches for bouncing. The stretch will be limited by the footrest.

 

Can I purchase extra toys for the Skip Hop 3-Stage or PortaPlay Activity Center?

PortaPlay Stage-based

It already comes with 2 sets of stage-appropriate toys, which are meant to be swapped as the baby grows. All the toys of other original PortaPlay Activity Center also work with this! You can get them here.

PortaPlay Convertible

Yes, you can buy the Advanced Activity toys of the new PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center and swap them on the original PortaPlay.

Skip Hop Activity Center

No, additional toys cannot be purchased.
This information is updated as of Sept’20 and obtained from Skip Hop’s official website.

How portable and compact is each Activity Center?

PortaPlay Stage-based

At a push of a button, you can snap out the legs of PortaPlay Play Table and keep them. 

PortaPlay Convertible

The only Foldable Activity Center! Its legs fold inwardly so the whole activity center folds flat, making it easy to carry or store.

Skip Hop Activity Center

Does not fold, but legs do detach.

What's the material used?

PortaPlay Stage-based

The Activity Center and base of toys are made of Plastic. All mouthable parts are made of Food grade Silicon. The seat is made of Polyester. 

PortaPlay Convertible

The Activity Center and base of toys are made of Plastic. Some parts of the toys are made of a softer EVA material. The seat is made of Polyester.

Skip Hop Activity Center

As per the company website, the materials used in the product are: Polyester, Plastic and Metal.

How long will the Activity Center last?

PortaPlay Stage-based

Grows and evolves with your toddler at 3 distinct development stages.

  • Stage One:
    Early Development Toys (5 to 8mths)
  • Stage Two: Advanced Activity Toys (8 to 12mths)
  • Stage Three:
    Play Table (Up to 5 years old)

PortaPlay Convertible

Converts into a table with the addition of a tabletop insert.

Skip Hop Activity Center

The seat is removed, and the footrest is converted into the tabletop. Chairs can be bought separately.

How easy is it to assemble each Activity Center?

All the 3 Activity Centers are fairly easy to put together, and will take between 5 to 10 minutes.

 

Which Activity Center looks the best?

Activity Center often live in the living room, so yes judging them by how they look is totally allowed😊 Of course, looks are subjective, but here's what you can consider.

PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center

Being the newest Activity Center, this goes well with the trendier au neutral, warmer house décor. If you are a lover of wood, rattan, and everything earthy this is one of the few baby gears that’s perfect for you.

PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center

The two color options serve 2 décor styles: Gray if you like a muted monochromatic, or white décor. Green, if you like a nice bright pop of color in any space.

Skip Hop Activity Center

Will work best if your décor style is largely white. Both the themes of Skip Hop Activity Center follow a similar color scheme.

Conclusion: PortaPlay or SkipHop Baby Activity Center?

So, there's no one right answer.


If space is not a constraint and you are looking for equipment to grow alongside your toddler, Skip Hop’s Activity Centre gets the job done. It's white in color and widely used, so that can be an option.


If you value portability and compactness, the original PortaPlay Activity Center is the only one that folds easily. It is convenient to put away or take away in the car for the weekend.


If baby’s entertainment and development is the most important thing for you, we would recommend investing in the PortaPlay Stage-based Activity Center. Stage-appropriate toys are so essential to ensure that baby is getting the right level of stimulation for their age. This makes sure they are entertained even after 6 months of using the same Activity Center and you can be assured of their holistic development.


Hope this helps you make an informed decision. Stay in touch with us by following us on Instagram. Don’t miss out!