- Chaunie Brusie/Business Insider
- The Oribel PortaPlay Convertible Activity Center is a foldable portable activity center for babies 5 months to 1 year old.
- The activity center features simple yet engaging toys and a 360-degree rotating seat.
- Once your baby has outgrown the PortaPlay, it can be converted into a toddler play table.
- The entire center can be wiped clean, and the toys can be removed for washing and sanitizing.
As my daughter passed the blissful sleep-all-day newborn stage and headed into the I-want-to-move-but-still-can’t-do-too-much-so-I’m-kinda-grumpy stage, I set out to find a simple, portable activity center that wasn’t too busy to help keep her entertained (and free me up from holding her all of the time).
I settled on the Oribel PortaPlay Wonderland Adventures Convertible Activity Center, which checked off all the boxes.
Designs and assembly of the Oribel PortaPlay Activity Center
The activity center is lightweight, at just under 14 pounds, and has adjustable legs, which means you can lengthen the legs as your baby grows taller. It’s designed for babies who can hold themselves upright, about 5 months old, and up to about 1 year old, or 25 pounds. I put my baby in the activity center right at 5 months, and she absolutely loved it from the first time she used it.
I was first drawn to the Oribel PortaPlay because of its portability. You don’t have to detach the legs – just fold them right up underneath the tabletop. When folded, the center measures 25 inches wide and 8 inches tall, so I can carry it with me to grandma’s house or the gym to keep my baby happy while I work out.
Simplicity is important to me as a mom of five; I don’t want to spend a lot of time putting baby gear together, so I was immediately impressed by this activity center. The table turned out to be incredibly simple to put together. The legs were already attached, so all I had to do was snap each toy onto the top and then fasten the seat cover on. I put it together one-handed while holding my baby in my lap. It also has the unique feature of converting to a play table with the included snap-on cover when your baby outgrows the seat function.
What it’s like to use
In its default position, the activity center is the perfect height for my daughter. At almost 6 months old, her feet reach the floor perfectly and she has just enough leverage to rotate herself around with the 360-degree seat. The activity center is not the “bouncy” kind, but the seat is designed to allow a baby to freely and easily bounce and spin around.
My daughter was born a preemie, and even though she’s 6 months old, she is a little behind developmentally. So I was really surprised when I put her in the seat and found that she was capable of spinning herself around. The 360-degree rotating seat allows even younger babies to engage with the toys and gain strength from moving themselves around.
- Chaunie Brusie/Business Insider
I also love the simplicity of the toys. I had no interest in an activity center with tons of flashing lights, annoying music, toys that needed batteries to operate, or a million pieces to put together. I wanted something with simple, interactive toys that encourage the growth of gross and fine motor skills.
There are five woodland-themed toys on the activity center, and each one can be snapped into place. They have just enough features to hold my daughter’s interest. She especially loves the mirror that flips over and spends lots of time admiring herself and talking to the adorable baby she sees.
There are also plenty of levers to push and pull, attached rings to move, and an attached bowl that has been a big hit. I put another small toy or rattle in the bowl, and she is very focused on getting the toy out and putting it back in. My daughter was incredibly proud of herself the first time she accomplished this, and it’s been so fun to watch her reach for all the toys. Over the course of several weeks of using the seat, we have seen her developmental skills grow.
The Oribel PortaPlay will last your baby beyond their first year, too. After they have outgrown it, it can be converted to a kids’ table by removing the seat and toys and attaching the included cover.
Since the entire table is made of plastic, I wipe it clean. Some of the toys are chewable but still detach at the base so I can handwash and sanitize those. Oribel says on their website that all of the activity center’s materials, including the toys, are made of plastic that is free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and heavy metals. The materials also adhere to US and European safety standards, so I don’t have to worry about my daughter chewing on them.
The pad itself is made out of 100% polyester with polyester fiber filling, so it’s soft enough to be comfortable for a baby to sit on, but also very sturdy. It is also easy to clean. The second time I put my daughter in this seat, she had an accident that leaked through her diaper. But I am happy to report that the seat wiped clean in seconds. You can also unsnap it and throw it in the washer on cold for heavy-duty moments.
The potential cons
The only possible drawback I could see is if your baby has very short legs, there is a slight possibility they may not reach the floor because the center does not have a tray for the baby to rest their feet. However, the legs are adjustable in height, so it seems like this would be a very rare issue. My daughter started using the table at 5 1/2 months old, and as a preemie, she still could reach the floor.
The bottom line
The Oribel PortaPlay activity center has provided hours of entertainment for my 6-month-old at home and away, and it has given me a chance to exercise, cook dinner, and accomplish other things around the house. Overall, the Oribel PortaPlay is perfect if you’re looking for a simple, straightforward, and high-quality activity center that is portable and compact. That it can be converted to a play table once your baby outgrows it is a big bonus.