Lovevery Play Kit Review: A Comprehensive Look at the Subscription Service

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If you’re a new parent looking for developmentally appropriate toys for your baby, you may have heard of Lovevery. Lovevery is a subscription service that offers play kits designed to support your child’s development from birth to age three. But is it worth the price tag? In this review, we’ll take a closer look at Lovevery play kits and share our experience with the Lovevery Companion Play Kit for 22-24 month olds.

As a self-proclaimed penny-pincher, the author of this review was initially skeptical of Lovevery’s high cost. However, after receiving a Lovevery box to try out, she was hopeful about learning something new in the process. This review is unique in that it comes from the perspective of someone who was not initially convinced of the value of Lovevery play kits. So, whether you’re a skeptic like the author or a Lovevery enthusiast, keep reading to find out if Lovevery play kits are worth the investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Lovevery offers subscription-based play kits designed to support your child’s development from birth to age three.
  • This review comes from the perspective of a skeptic who was gifted a Lovevery box to try out.
  • Keep reading to find out if Lovevery play kits are worth the investment.

What is Lovevery?

Lovevery is a toy company that focuses on children’s incremental development from ages 0 to 3 years old. Their toys are inspired by Montessori principles and are designed to be simple and of high quality. The company engages developmental experts and researchers to advise on their toys, including professors and psychologists, making them a reliable resource for parents.

Lovevery offers a wide range of resources for parents, including a podcast, app (for subscribers only), and courses. They also package their toys together in kits by age in a subscription model, which are sent every two months for babies and every three months for toddlers. This approach ensures that children receive toys that are appropriate for their developmental stage. Additionally, a small selection of individual toys is available on their website and through Target.

Overall, Lovevery’s focus on quality, simplicity, and developmental appropriateness, as well as their engagement of experts in the field, make them a great resource for parents seeking high-quality toys for their children.

What are Lovevery Play Kits?

Lovevery Play Kits are curated toy collections based on a child’s age. These kits contain about five to seven toys, at least one book, and many contain some kind of puzzle. The toys are designed in consultation with developmental experts, focusing on high-quality and sustainable materials. They are separated into four buckets by age: 0 to 12 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years. Each age bucket is further broken down by specific play kits.

The kits include a guide for parents to explain the toys and offer suggestions on introducing the toys to your child. The parent guide includes activity suggestions outside of the play kit that are easy to implement at home. For example, the kit for 22-24 months had activities like peeling an egg and sorting silverware.

Lovevery Play Kits are designed to promote learning and development in children. For instance, the Inspector Play Kit (Months 7-8) is designed to explore stacking, object permanence, and textures with toys like a ball drop box, felt balls in a basket, nesting drip cups. The Companion Play Kit (Months 22-24) explores bilateral movement, transferring with tools, and diameters with toys like a buckling toy, felt stars with tweezers and an animal matching game. The Helper Play Kit (Months 25-27) explores real-life activities in line with Montessori ideas and includes toys like a working play sink and routine cards. The Storyteller Play Kit (Months 40-42) explores the concept of space and engineering with a build-your-own play fort and puppets.

Lovevery Play Kits are a great way to provide your child with age-appropriate toys and activities that support their development. They are also a sustainable and eco-friendly option as the toys are made from high-quality materials.

Our experience with the Lovevery Companion Play Kit (22-24 months)

How my kids played with the play kit

According to our experience, both our kids loved the Lovevery Companion Play Kit. Our toddler quickly figured out how to play with everything and even explained everything to our baby. They played with the toys for a solid hour before I stopped them for lunch and our toddler raced back down to them after nap.

The animals joined the kids in the bath and the tweezers became a utensil at dinner. A few minor things bothered them, like some of the animals not being able to easily balance on their feet or when they’d lose button pieces. Their favorite way to play with the button board was pulling all the pieces out of the board with buttons flying everywhere, so this was a frequent occurrence.

Since we were using the toys with two kids together, we did not follow Lovevery’s suggested order of introducing the toys but we would have loved this guidance if we only had one kid. Our toddler is still working on sharing with the baby, so making more toys available at once works better for them.

Introducing the toys together also allowed them to mix and match things. They pretty quickly started doing things like putting the animal pieces or wood puzzle pieces in the box for the button board and using the tweezers to pick up button pieces.

Quality

We were impressed with the quality of the toys in the Lovevery Companion Play Kit. The toys feel like they’ll last through the wear and tear of our kids and still be in good enough condition to pass on. We appreciate this because we worry about landfills.

We’ve personally found that our wooden toys from brands like Melissa and Doug chip so easily, so we were interested to see how Lovevery’s tech would compare. We handed our baby a chunky puzzle piece and asked her if she wanted to put it in her mouth to test it (obviously she did, our kids love to chew a wood puzzle piece).

She ended up sucking on pieces for about 20 minutes, and they looked fine after. We haven’t had the toys long enough to see how the paint on the wood pieces wears with time, but if we had done a similar test with our Melissa & Doug puzzles, they would have had some chipping.

One of us also stepped on one of the plastic button pieces with our full weight (which was very painful, try not to lose them on the floor!). We were sure some part of the piece would have snapped off but it came away unscathed, unlike the foot!

Photo Books

We appreciated the Lovevery Companion Play Kit’s photo books. Our kids go nuts for books with photos of children instead of illustrations, and we’ve found the options surprisingly lacking. The Lovevery books are all actual photos, and they’re really nicely done. We have another Lovevery book as well that we got secondhand and it’s been a favorite for both our kids.

The books also focus on real-life situations that kids will encounter. We got our box a few days before a birthday in our family and the timing was perfect to discuss what to expect on that day.

Time Savings

We appreciated the time savings that the Lovevery Companion Play Kit provided. We have spent a lot of time trying to source all our baby stuff secondhand. We also feel like we have to spend time thinking ahead to what our kids will need or enjoy as they’re quickly growing.

Instead of spending hours hunting for Facebook freebies or researching what they may need next developmentally, this play kit simply showed up at our door. And that was an amazing change for us.

There is also time savings compared to finding and putting together alternatives if you know you want equivalent Lovevery-style toys.

Finally, the Lovevery kit bought us some independent play time from our kids. Our toddler and baby played with the kit together for long enough for us to make a meal. Our baby would also play with the toys somewhat independently — she’d bring them to our lap to play (so definitely some room for improvement still). But, while she played we could at least do things like check email on our phone.

What Surprised Me About the Lovevery Toys

During our Lovevery trial, we were surprised by how our expectations of what our kids would enjoy were completely off. For instance, we thought that the buckle toy would be the star of the show, but our toddler immediately honed in on the felt stars and tweezers. He played with those tweezers all day long, even during meal times. We would have never thought to get our kids a toy like that before, but it turned out to be a hit.

We also assumed that the box would mostly be for our baby and not our toddler, but we were wrong. Our toddler loved absolutely everything in the box, except for the puzzle. He continued to find new ways to play with the toys, even though there wasn’t a truck in sight. These moments where we completely misjudged how our kids would play are the biggest factor in us wanting to try more Lovevery kits.

What surprised us the most about the Lovevery toys was how they kept bucking our expectations as our kids played with them. We were also impressed by the high-quality and unique toys that were included in the box. The toys were designed to promote engagement, sensory exploration, and brain development. They were also sustainably sourced and made with nontoxic materials.

Lovevery toys are Montessori-inspired and open-ended, which allows children to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to explore and learn. The toys are also educational, with a focus on cause-and-effect, early learning, and music. The threadable bead kit and tea set were particularly popular with our kids, as they enjoyed using them for water play and pretend play.

Overall, we were surprised by how much our kids enjoyed the Lovevery toys and how they kept finding new ways to play with them. We would highly recommend Lovevery to anyone looking for quality toys that promote learning and engagement in children.

Things We Didn’t Like About our Lovevery Play Kit

Lovevery Play Kits are great, but they are not perfect. Here are the things we didn’t like about our Lovevery Play Kit:

Oh so many pieces

One of the biggest challenges we faced with the Lovevery Play Kit was keeping track of all the pieces. Our kit came with many little pieces, and it was a constant struggle to make sure we didn’t lose any of them. Losing pieces is a concern with all toys, but with the cost and quality of the Lovevery toys, it feels more high stakes to keep them together. For example, one of the buttons to the button board fell on the floor, and we had to search for it until we found it. It is constant vigilance to keep track of all the pieces so they don’t get lost.

Storing the toys

Many Lovevery toys are unique and designed for open play, which is great if you only get Lovevery kits. However, if you have a mix of toys, some awkward shaped Lovevery toys can be tricky to work into existing organizing systems. For example, we found the Wooden Posting Stand toy a challenge to store without losing the pieces. Although the button board is smartly designed to be a box for all the little pieces, it is still a little bulky. If you live in a small space, you may find it challenging to think through organizing and storage.

Not every toy works for every kid

While Lovevery Play Kits expose you to toys that you may not otherwise have sought out, not every toy works for every kid. You cannot customize the play kits, so you may hit a toy that isn’t the best fit for your kid at that time. For example, puzzles have always been a flop with our kids. There was no way to opt out of the puzzle that came with our play kit, and as expected it has not seen much play at all. Given the cost of the kit, you’d hope that every toy is a knock-out, but that’s just not realistic.

Mental load of a subscription model

The subscription model of Lovevery can be a negative for some parents. Although it may be a huge positive for others who intend to get every play kit, it can be an added mental load for some parents because they have to remember to cancel or skip boxes. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like managing subscriptions, this can be a challenge.

Cost

The biggest moment of pause for many parents with Lovevery is the price tag. Lovevery Play Kits are not cheap, and while the quality is great and they’ll last through multiple kids, you still have to make the initial investment which can be prohibitive for families. The cost of the Lovevery Play Kit ranges from $80 to $120 every few months, depending on the subscription plan you choose. However, Lovevery toys retail their value well, so you’d likely have no problem selling toys that don’t work for your family to recoup your expense.

In summary, while Lovevery Play Kits are great, they are not perfect. Some of the challenges we faced with the Lovevery Play Kit include keeping track of all the pieces, storing the toys, not every toy works for every kid, the mental load of a subscription model, and the cost. However, if you’re looking for high-quality, developmentally appropriate toys that will last through multiple kids, Lovevery Play Kits are definitely worth considering.

Cost of Lovevery Play Kits

Lovevery Play Kits are known for their high-quality toys and educational value, but the price tag may give some people pause. The cost of the baby kits is $80, while the toddler kits cost $120. These prices cover two and three months of development, respectively.

At around $40 per month, the cost of Lovevery Play Kits can seem steep, especially when compared to free or cheap secondhand toys. However, Lovevery toys retain their value well, making them a good investment. If you decide to sell the toys after your child has outgrown them, you can recoup part of the cost.

Overall, the cost of Lovevery Play Kits may be a consideration for some families, but the educational value and quality of the toys make them a worthwhile investment.

Reselling Lovevery Toys

If you’re looking for a way to make Lovevery play kits more affordable, reselling them is a great option. Lovevery toys retain their value quite well on the secondhand market, making them an attractive option for parents who want to recoup some of their costs.

To get an idea of the current resale value, we checked listings on our local Facebook Marketplace. Here are the top five listings we found:

  • 16-18 month play kit: $75 (missing one piece)
  • 9-10 month play kit: $60
  • 7-8 month play kit: $55
  • 40-42 month play kit: $100
  • 31-33 month play kit: $100

It’s worth noting that over half of these kits were priced only $20 cheaper than buying new. While there may be some room for negotiation, this still represents a significant portion of the original cost being recouped.

Another advantage of reselling Lovevery play kits is that they are in high demand and often sell quickly. However, this also means that there may not be many secondhand options available in your area.

Overall, reselling Lovevery toys is a great way to make these high-quality toys more affordable, while also recouping some of your costs.

Buying Lovevery Play Kits Used

If you are looking to save money, buying used Lovevery play kits can be an option. However, it is important to note that the resale costs of these toys are very high, which means that the savings may not be significant. For instance, the cheapest Companion Play Kit that we found was $90, which is only $30 off the regular price. Moreover, it was not a local listing.

While you may be able to find individual toys from the kit selling secondhand, it may be challenging to find the entire kit. For instance, we were only able to find the wood puzzle from our kit selling for $10. This may be because another child did not like puzzles.

If you are looking for specific toys from other Lovevery play kits, it may be difficult to find them on Facebook Marketplace or other resale platforms. From our observations, Lovevery toys tend to sell very fast in local parent resale groups, so you have to budget the time commitment of searching for the secondhand listings.

Overall, buying Lovevery play kits used may be an option for those who want to save money, but it may require some effort and may not result in significant savings. Additionally, it is important to be cautious when buying used toys and to ensure that they are clean and safe for your child to play with.

Alternatives to Lovevery Companion Play Kit Toys

If you’re considering purchasing the Lovevery Companion Play Kit, you might be wondering if there are any alternatives to the toys included in the kit. While it’s difficult to find exact alternatives for many of the toys, we’ve compiled a list of some similar options that might be worth considering.

Animal Matching Figurines and Cards

The Animal Matching Figurines and Cards set is the only alternative we found with wood cards, but it only includes five animals compared to Lovevery’s six.

Button Board

The Button Board is an alternative to Lovevery’s Button Board. While the button pieces look equivalent, this option isn’t wooden for durability like Lovevery’s, and the pictures aren’t as open-ended.

Buckle Toy

The Buckle Toy is an alternative to Lovevery’s Buckle Barrel. This option can double in function and be used as a backpack when on the go. It has more variety of fasteners but fewer buckles.

Four-Piece Wood Puzzle

We could not find an equivalent to the chunky wood puzzle included in the Lovevery Companion Play Kit. The Melissa and Doug Four-Piece Wood Puzzle is the only four-piece wood puzzle we could find, but it is missing the chunkiness, which was the coolest part of the Lovevery puzzle. We really wouldn’t consider this a good alternative to what we received, both in function and quality.

Sorting Pegs

This Sorting Pegs is a variation of Lovevery’s that sorts the pegs by shape instead of diameter. It seems like a nice toy, but it would be too advanced for a one-year-old. The holes on the Lovevery version are more forgiving to allow for getting the pegs in even when it’s not perfectly aligned.

Tweezer Toy

There wasn’t a good alternative to Lovevery’s felt stars and tweezers. This Tweezer Toy is wooden, and we personally wouldn’t want to store a bigger wood box instead of the small felt basket. There is a smaller alternative with lots of tiny plastic dinosaurs, but those dinos would definitely end up everywhere.

Book About Birthday Parties

This Book About Birthday Parties isn’t specifically about turning two years old but does include photos of kids instead of illustrations.

If you total up all the alternatives, the cost comes out to $136.89 — almost $17 more expensive than the Lovevery kit (prices as of April 2023). If you wanted to recreate the whole play kit, it’s actually cheaper to buy the real deal through Lovevery.

While it’s possible to find alternatives to some of the toys in the Lovevery Companion Play Kit, it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of the toys might not be as high. Additionally, Lovevery’s curation of the toys is one of the biggest value-adds that the company offers. If you only cherry-pick some toy alternatives, you might miss out on that experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you only buy Lovevery play kits through a subscription?

Yes, Lovevery play kits are only available through a subscription. However, you can cancel the subscription at any time without any cost. This means that if you only want to buy one play kit, you can purchase it and then cancel the subscription.

Can you buy Lovevery toys individually, without buying a full play kit?

Some Lovevery toys are sold individually, but the majority are only available in play kits. You can purchase specific Lovevery toys individually either through Lovevery directly or at Target.

On the Lovevery site, you can buy a block set, a baby activity mat play gym that can transition to a toddler tent, a Montessori play shelf for toy storage, and a few smaller toys like a tunnel. You can find all the individual items available for purchase by clicking here.

At Target, you can buy a handful of toys, some of which are variations of toys in the play kits, like the drip drop nesting cups, puzzles, and rolling ball rattle. Most of the Target toys available are baby-aged toys. You can check the current availability here.

If your baby was premature or has an individual developmental timeline, how should you select a box?

If you have a preemie or a baby on a different developmental timeline, you may have questions about which Play Kit to select. Lovevery recommends using adjusted age, but also offers disability support specialists to work with you one-on-one to find the right fit for your baby. This service is particularly helpful for preemie families.

Conclusion: Pros & Cons of Lovevery Play Kit

Lovevery play kits have both pros and cons that are worth considering before making a purchase. Here is a summary of the main advantages and disadvantages of these kits:

Pros of Lovevery Play Kits Cons of Lovevery Play Kits
High-quality toys that are well-made and durable The subscription model can be expensive
Exposure to novel toys that are tailored to your child’s development Toys are not available to purchase individually
Engaging toys that encourage learning and exploration The cost may not be worth it for families on a tight budget
Time-saving, as the kits are curated and delivered to your doorstep Some families may not have enough space for all the toys in the kits
High secondhand resale value, making it easy to pass on the toys to other families

One of the biggest advantages of Lovevery play kits is the high quality of their toys. The attention to detail and level of craftsmanship is impressive, and many parents appreciate the durability of the toys. Additionally, the toys are designed to encourage learning and exploration, which can be a great way to support your child’s development.

Another advantage of Lovevery play kits is the convenience they offer. The kits are curated and delivered to your doorstep, saving you time and effort. And because the toys are tailored to your child’s developmental stage, you don’t have to spend time researching and selecting toys yourself.

However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. One of the biggest is the cost. Lovevery play kits can be expensive, especially if you opt for a subscription. Additionally, the toys are not available to purchase individually, which can be frustrating if there’s a specific toy you really like.

Overall, Lovevery play kits can be a great investment for families who value high-quality, developmentally-appropriate toys and are willing to pay for the convenience they offer. However, they may not be the best choice for families on a tight budget or those who don’t have enough space for all the toys in the kits.

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