If you want to jump directly to the Play Kits breakdown and skip cool details, click HERE. I strongly recommend you don’t.
In this article, we will (deep) dive into the world of Lovevery Play Kits.
The good, the bad, the ugly, it’s all here.
I am not keeping anything out so please enjoy your time reading it.
I must warn you that this concept will turn your life upside down in a good way.
Currently, they have 3 online stores available, depending on 3 areas:
By skipping this article you will lose:
- hours of research
- your patience
- time you could have spent with your treasure
So buckle up and enjoy!
Please remember this is NOT a sponsored review. I bought the Lovevery Play Kits with my own money and all opinions are unbiased. I also interviewed other people in the same situation as me.
During the first 3 to 5 years of life, children’s brains grow faster than they do at any other time.
This is the ideal time for them to learn and acquire knowledge that will set them with a solid foundation for the future.
When our baby girl was born, our first thoughts went toward the above idea exactly.
We wanted to give her developmentally appropriate toys. To give her an edge.
Since we still want her to enjoy her childhood and don’t want to burn her out, our top priority is to always provide something really fun and interesting, that will captivate her.
Because there are certain areas where you don’t want to do trial and error.
And your child’s growth is one of them.
You should get it right from the first time.
Your (same) child will be 1 year old, 2 years old, etc ONLY ONCE.
Before jumping on Google, my wife and I had a short brainstorming session (project management background, remember).
We came up with the following 5 must-have criteria:
1. Safety – We can all agree that when it comes to babies, safety is first, and first is safety.
2. Endurance – Critical aspect, first to ensure our baby is not in danger (cracked toys with sharp or pointy edges, small parts, etc.), and second to save money by not investing in toys that break during the first day of use.
3. Price – Another critical aspect, on the same level as safety.
We wanted appropriate toys but didn’t want to spend a fortune in the process.
4. (Easy) Cleaning – Yes, toys need cleaning to prevent the development of potentially harmful bacteria.
5. Sustainability – I must emphasize how important it is to reduce the carbon footprint when possible, so buying toys produced with consideration to the natural resources and environment is a good perk.
Research results(drum roll please):
- Lovevery Play Kits
- Monti Kids
- Hoppi Box
- Nido Box
Reaching these results wasn’t easy.
It took me around a week of (intensive):
- Reading blogs/online newspapers/forums/Reddit/ Quora/reviews on specialized websites
- Reading the information available on the companies’ websites
- Identifying people willing to share their experiences and talking to them
- Finding some friends using the products and visiting them to see the toys in action
This post will focus on Lovevery Play Kits because they won the race in our case.
In the future, I will also create dedicated pages for the others as I already have the research done.
The end game is to make a comparison between them, so stay tuned for more interesting posts.
Early Baby Brain Development
We’ve all heard about early childhood development, but many don’t know where to begin.
When purchasing baby products, most people just hope they are getting the right thing but don’t have any way of knowing for sure.
Fortunately, the Lovevery Play Kits take away the confusion and guessing by providing researched toys, fun activities, ideas, and instructions to engage children while fostering early learning abilities.
Abilities they can carry with them as they grow older.
Remember, it’s never too early to start your child on the path toward success!
Therefore, without further due, let’s answer the most important questions about Lovevery and their Play Kits.
What Is Lovevery?
Lovevery is a global company with one of the best Montessori and Waldorf-inspired concepts on the market.
They provide an award-winning subscription toy service.
The company specializes in creating developmental experiences for babies and their families.
Their goal is to help parents feel confident in nurturing their children’s natural curiosity.
Lovevery offers a variety of baby products and information to help you create the best possible stage-based experiences for your little one (and for you):
Where Is Lovevery Located? Where Does Lovevery Ship?
The company is US-based and is currently shipping to:
- US and Canada
They were planning to start shipping the Lovevery Play Kits to Australia in the summer of 2022.
So far, they didn’t, and there are no recent updates.
The best thing you can do is to subscribe to their newsletter and/or follow them on social media to be the first to hear out about it.
You could still get most of the toys, except the Kits, from Amazon.
Is Lovevery Montessori?
Lovevery is inspired by the Montessori method, emphasizing independence, STEM skills, and products developing real-life related skills.
One of their best STEM products for 1 year +, The Block Set:
Lovevery is not pure Montessori, which I believe it’s good.
Imagine drinking only water your entire life.
Yes, it’s healthy, but do you want to miss the taste of a cup of coffee or tea?
I truly believe we need balance in everything to maintain a healthy life.
The way Lovevery is embedding various concepts (including Montessori) in its products is the perfect example of balance.
Although not fully Montessori, most of the toys are built for an “open-ended” play style, which favors continually inventing new ways to play with them.
Where Are Lovevery Toys Made?
I know there is a lot of debate online regarding manufacturing locations lately.
Yes, Lovevery products are made in China, although they are designed in Boise, Idaho.
That doesn’t automatically mean there is a quality issue.
I am a Lovevery user for over 2 years now and my conclusion is they need some fine-tuning here and there.
Yes, we would all like everything made in the US or Germany.
Now take a few seconds and imagine the prices.
The outcome of a product is strongly related to the quality of the resources you are committing.
And Lovevery is not doing any monkey business in this department: Quality IN – Quality OUT.
Let’s be serious, our most trustworthy companion, the iPhone, and its siblings are manufactured in the same location.
What Materials Are Lovevery Toys Made Of? Are Lovevery Toys Safe?
Lovevery is running everything around safety and sustainability.
- Organic cotton
- OEKO-TEX® certified fabrics in some products
- FSC-certified, sustainably sourced wood
- Recycled packaging and paper, also focus on keeping the packaging at a minimum
- Biobased plastic in some products (54% sugar cane inside The Sink for example)
- Soy ink
- Water-based paint and finishes
- Handcrafted felt
Is Lovevery Expensive?
It depends on your budget and how one defines “expensive”.
Some people say is expensive.
I am providing the relevant information in this post to decide for yourself.
Considering only the first 3 most important aspects behind Lovevery:
- The research (done with professionals in Neuroscience, Psychology, Human Behavior, Baby Brain Development, Montessori education, etc.)
- The quality (baby-safe toys built with sustainable materials)
- The subscription system (delivering the items exactly when your baby needs them, also allowing you to cancel anytime or skip a delivery)
Then accounting for the money vs. the quality and sometimes the quantity received (Play Kits toys’ number here) Lovevery is anything but expensive.
How To Clean Lovevery Products?
Nothing fancy is the short answer.
The organic cotton items should be machine-washed using cold water and a gentle cycle. Also, ideally, all fabric items should be air-dried.
The wooden or plastic items should be cleaned with a damp cloth and non-abrasive cleaner.
Nevertheless, Lovevery included a materials and care guide with all their products, containing detailed information about the topic.
I strongly suggest checking that before anything else.
How Does The Lovevery Play Kits Subscription Work?
The “Lovevery Play Kits” is a subscription box service that delivers research-backed and stage-based toys straight to your doorstep.
You get the delivery every 2 months, for the first 12 months, so 6 boxes in your baby’s first year.
And every 3 months starting with the second year until your child’s 4th birthday, so 12 boxes.
Their motto, “We did all the research so you don’t have to” is the best description of their products.
The Lovevery Play Kits subscription works like a charm if you don’t have the time to invest in the research yourself.
I believe this is the case for most working parents these days.
Although I spend a fair amount of time researching, I love when someone already did the work for me.
In creating their products, Lovevery collaborated with experts, academics, researchers, and specialists in Neuroscience, Psychology, Human Behavior, Baby Brain Development, Montessori education, and more.
Aside from the Lovevery Play Kits subscription, the company also has various high-quality standalone products like:
- The Montessori Play Shelf
- The Block Set (alternative buy on Amazon)
- The Book Bundles – only available with an active Play Kit subscription
- The renowned and best-selling Play Gym (alternative buy on Amazon). The review for this ultimate Play Gym is also available here.
A great touch is coming also from their Add-Ons:
- Lovevery app – only available with an active Lovevery Play Kit subscription & in App Store. There is a plan to release the Android version by the end of ’23.
- “My New Life” podcast – available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Amazon Music.
- The Gifting/Registry features (with Lovevery & Babylist as options).
IMPORTANT: Some add-ons are available only in the US and Canada (like the Registry).
Is Lovevery Worth It? Are Lovevery Play Kits Worth The Price?
It depends because every person is looking for something different when purchasing a product.
Some important aspects to keep in mind when deciding to subscribe or not:
Depending on your budget, it may seem quite expensive.
If you read this entire post, you might change your mind though.
The products are top-notch, but if you (or someone in the family) can’t invest the time into engaging your baby, there is a very high chance they will turn into furniture or your child will not benefit them at their maximum value.
3. The developmental gap
It goes the same way as for shoes.
It’s different from brand to brand. In this case, it’s also different from baby to baby.
In our case, our baby completely ignores their puzzles after the first completion.
I don’t want to brag but at the age of two, our daughter is doing puzzles recommended for 4-5 years old.
You might find yourself in a similar situation where the challenge raised by various toys will be below (or above) your child’s level.
4. The number of toys
You will receive around 108 toys over the course of 4 years.
So a total of $/£1920 or €2016, and about $/£/€18 per toy, not counting the possible discount.
You will invest $/£40 or €42 per month from the beginning to the end.
You might spend less on similar toys, but you take a risk with the quality.
However, based on my research is impossible to go cheaper than this while maintaining a decent level of quality.
I will publish a separate post about Amazon alternatives to confirm this statement.
There is high quality behind the Lovevery Play Kits in regards to both the research behind it and the materials used in the manufacturing process which is hard to find somewhere else.
How To Save Money On Lovevery Play Kits
Since using Lovevery (2 years +), I have seen the Kits on sale on various occasions (Christmas, Easter, etc.) but mostly if you extend an existing subscription.
However, I found at least 2 ways to get some or all Lovevery Play Kits cheaper:
This is saving you 10% ($/£48 or €50.4)/year, so a nice total of $/£192 or €201.6 if you go from 0 to 4 years old.
While you are subscribed, you will have the option while logged in to your account to again prepay for another 4 Play Kits.
If you don’t see the option, you need to cancel your subscription in the last month and create a new one to keep the 10% prepay discount rolling.
2. On Babylist you can find only the First Year Lovevery Play Kits.
Sometimes they are on sale.
The positive thing is that you only need to prepay for 3 Kits at a time and not 6 as from Lovevery, so less money upfront.
The problem is they don’t generally match Lovevery’s 10%.
So far, I’ve seen a maximum of 5%.
Is The Lovevery Play Kits Subscription Worth the Money?
The simple answer will be YES.
But as I mentioned above, there are various factors to consider.
The decision is up to every parent/family.
The biggest challenge we have had so far, as I already mentioned, it’s the development gap between the age and the actual progress of the child.
If the baby is behind, it’s not real trouble as the items will become useful at some point.
If the baby is ahead, you need to cancel your subscription and make a new one with a “fake” birthday so you can receive more advanced Lovevery Play Kits.
This can be tricky and frustrating sometimes so I strongly suggest also talking to their support service for advice.
Some items are, unfortunately, untouched by our daughter despite all our efforts to engage her.
It will happen. Don’t worry. You are not the first, you will not be the last.
These people are doing their best but they are not working with an exact science.
I am sure that every family will face various issues but all in all, I genuinely believe the Lovevery Play Kits are totally worth it.
Can You Buy Standalone Items From Lovevery Play Kits?
The items from the Lovevery Play Kits come as a bundle so you can’t buy them separately, from Lovevery or their partners.
At least not the exact ones you find in the current kits.
Some items were initially part of the Play Kits but they were retired and replaced with new versions.
These “retired” items, very similar to the current ones, can be purchased from Target.com.
You can, however, find some of the standalone items from the current Lovevery Play Kits on various locations like Facebook groups, eBay, Mercari, etc.
You can be lucky enough that the item is unused for the reasons mentioned above.
I hoped for this standalone purchase feature when I started researching Lovevery myself.
I believe this could be a great option for Lovevery to provide but they made a clear statement that this option is off the table:
“No, we will not make the toys in The Play Kits available for individual sale. We have crafted each Play Kit to be developmentally appropriate for each age group. As a whole, each Kit has even more value than the Playthings do independently.“Lovevery blog – Lovevery for Target
What To Do With Ignored Or “Outdated” Items From The Lovevery Play Kits?
Up to you, but here are some suggestions:
- Donate them to friends, family, charity, etc.
- Sell them on your favorite platform.
- Keep them for a while and use them as a “filler” in other games. Some of the early pegs, balls, or figurines can be used with The Scale or with The Modular House, for example. Be creative.
What To Do If You Can’t Afford Lovevery Play Kits Or A Similar Subscription?
First of all, relax and don’t feel guilty.
It’s not the end of the world.
Yes, these toys are helpful, but your child will be totally fine without them.
It’s more important that you are there, present, engaged, and dedicated.
You can look at the sets presented by Jessica then try to find a cheaper dupe or try to DIY.
Most likely, you already have in your house some of the items or parts.
Chin up! You got this!
The Lovevery Play Kits Breakdown
1. The name of the kit, the recommended age, and the number of toys.
2. A picture displaying Kit’s content that links to Lovevery’s presentation page.
On that page, you will find a few short written details about each item and a video presentation from Lovevery’s CEO, Jessica Rolph.
The only presentation page without a video is The Inspector one, but I will drop it below for you.
You can also see the Book Bundle assigned to each kit.
3. Our daughter’s favorite and less favorite items from each box up to The Helper box.
Past this, I will fill the section as she grows up.
For now, I will give feedback based on my friends’ experiences.
What’s In The Lovevery Play Kits Box?
What you will find in every box, apart from the toys:
- A Board Book – stage-based, with a few exceptions contains pictures of real people, animals, plants, and objects. It will support you in teaching your child various concepts.
- The Play Guide – contains expert tips, child development research, ways to play, and additional at-home activities to promote healthy brain development.
Lovevery Play Kits Only Add-Ons
1. The Book Bundle – for $18 per Kit, you can receive 2 additional books together with the standard content.
The books contain short stories backed up by clear images you can read to your child.
Once you add the Book Bundle to your subscription, you will also have the opportunity to purchase previous Bundles.
Available only on lovevery.com (US & CA).
2. The Lovevery app – FREE, the app contains a lot of cool features such as:
- articles and tips specific to your child’s stage
- ideas to engage with your child and DYI activities
- an option to submit questions and browse various FAQ categories like Sleep, Food, etc.
- information about what to expect from your child at the current stage
A friendly reminder that the App is currently available only in App Store, for the US and Canada.
Other Lovevery Play Kits Cool Perks
Of few perks you should be aware of upfront:
- You can cancel your Lovevery Play Kits subscription at any time.
- You can skip a delivery (or more).
- When setting up the subscription, you have the option to also purchase the previous 2 Kits (considering there are 2 previous Kits) together with the one system assigned to you based on the age of your child.
The Breakdown Of Lovevery Play Kits
There are a total of 18 Lovevery Play Kits divided over 4 years.
They contain between 5 and 10 unique toys.
Worth mentioning that some toys are quite versatile having 2 sides or 2 levels of complexity, or, together with other toys, brand-new toys can be created.
The Kits between 0 and 12 months will be delivered every two months in the following order:
The Kits between 13 and 48 months will be delivered every three months in the following order:
Where To Buy The Lovevery Play Kits
The Lovevery Play Kits can be purchased only from Lovevery’s webshops as listed below, with 1 exception:
Lovevery definitely cares about its customers and you can see that in the quality of the products.
I agree that some of the Lovevery Play Kits are more valuable than others but I can’t argue with the reasoning behind the items since I am not an expert.
Our favorite item from all the sets is so far The Sink.
The concept really excited our family and we are playing daily for hours.
Our daughter didn’t really fancy the felt toys.
And we are with her. They don’t feel so nice when touching and playing with them.
The top 3 value boxes are in my opinion:
Like most material things in life, the Lovevery Play Kits are good to have.
I can’t say they are a must, but they will definitely make your life easier and I dare to say cheaper.
Unless you plan to buy 1-2 toys/month for your child/children. (Between us, you know that’s not going to happen, right?)
Most of the people I talked to about Lovevery mentioned they were spending more before subscribing to the Lovevery Play Kits.
By any means, they are not rich, and nor am I.
As you know, we parents, tend to compensate for what we lacked as kids.
No matter the financial power, we always find a couple of bucks to buy a new toy.
My wife and I are constantly fighting this “call” of buying new toys, especially puzzles, for our daughter, Anastasia.
I must say, we are not always successful.
I hope I was able to put in the spotlight all the useful information about Lovevery Play Kits and that you enjoyed the lecture.
As I promised, this article will be a living thing, so make sure you recheck it from time to time for updates.
Since this is the first blog post ever from many to come, I am quite excited.
I already started the next one, small spoiler, it’s Lovevery sequel.
I am looking forward to your feedback regarding your experience with Lovevery Play Kits so please drop a comment (or more) below.
Until next time, I wish you good health, and may the best decisions nest in your mind.