Everybody loves presents. What if you could get them every other month?
Alright, so in this case, the presents aren’t actually for you. They’re for your little bundle of joy. But they’re still surprisingly fun. In fact, your little one just might lovevery one of them.
An in-depth Lovevery Play Kits review
Enough with the jokes (just kidding). In this review, you’ll learn all about Lovevery’s Play Kits, and how they can benefit your child. Let’s open up and dive in.
Is this the most in-depth review you’ve every read about a subscription box? Maybe. After all, who doesn’t love a steady stream of holistic entertainment magically coming their way?
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What’s in the box? The magic behind Lovevery Play Kits
Let’s start with some basics. You probably know about subscription boxes. This is a subscription box for babies, starting with newborns and going up all the way up through 36 months. Yes, you’ll still need to pay—they don’t have a job yet.
Lovevery prides itself in making toys that “make parents feel confident.” Those toys are based on developmental research, designed to not just keep your little one’s attention but also help them learn. It’s a bold promise, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.
The much-promoted specs of the toys you’ll get certainly make you think so:
- Every piece of wood in the box is sustainably sourced from FSC-compliant sources.
- All fabrics are soft and natural organic cotton, no added ingredients.
- All products in the kits meet or exceed global safety standards for their age.
- All kits are shippped carbon-neutral, so you can feel good about the planet while your little one plays.
Meanwhile, the company’s research advisors make you confident that they might just know what they’re doing. So you go to the website and get presented with two options: The Baby Kits and the Toddler Kits.
Choosing the right one is nice and simple. Enter your little one’s birthday directly on the site, and you’ll get presented with a personalized plan for the boxes you receive based on their age.
Getting deep into a baby kit
Lovevery’s baby kits are designed for the smallest humans among us, from birth to twelve months.
Yes, we did an unboxing video on the first box in this subscription, called The Looker. Yes, you can watch it. Or you can read this brilliant prose. Up to you!
That video is actually the Looker Kit, which is one of six possible kits in this “Baby Play Kits” group:
- The Looker Play Kit, for 0 to 12 weeks.
- The Charmer Play Kit, for months 3 and 4.
- The Senser Play Kit, for months 5 and 6.
- The Inspector Play Kit, for months 7 and 8.
- The Explorer Play Kit, for months 9 and 10.
- The Thinker Play Kit, for months 11 and 12.
And just like that, your baby is a year old. Happy birthday!
As you can probably tell by these names, every kit has a specific theme that’s designed to match your baby’s developmental skills at that age. For instance, everything in the Looker is black and white (those tiny ones don’t see color yet). By the time they get to the Thinker, they’re ready to start developing some imagination and fine motor skills.
What’s behind the toddler kit?
Those little mittens in the Looker Play Kit probably aren’t all that interesting to a toddler like John’s Calvin. That’s why at 13 months, Lovevery begins to suggest its toddler boxes.
Unlike the baby kits, the older-sibling boxes are spaced out in three-month increments. That’s because every box is packed with more items, designed to keep the little one busy for longer.
Again, though, the breakdown is by month:
- The Babbler Play Kit, for months 13 through 15
- The Pioneer Play Kit, for months 16 through 18
- The Realist Play Kit, for months 19 through 21
- The Companion Play Kit, for months 22 through 24
- The Helper Play Kit, for months 25 through 27
- The Enthusiast Play Kit, for months 28 through 30
- The Investigator Play Kit, for months 31 through 33
- The Free Spirit Play kit, for months 34 through 36
Again, the themes change and evolve, but they’re consistent for each box. Lessons get more in-depth, from a simple wooden stacker to an adjustable scale that doubles as a STEM lesson.
What you need to know about Lovevery’s subscription pricing
In these boxes, you keep what you get. No loaning or shipping toys back when the next box comes. You also get a 100% money back guarantee, which is helpful if your baby or toddler just doesn’t want to touch the toys.
That’s helpful, because buckle up: this subscription adventure can get a little expensive.
Lovevery is a monthly subscription, but the boxes only arrive every 2-3 months. So, let’s do the math. If the baby kits are $40 a month, but you get one every two months, you actually pay $80 per box. The toddler kits, which ship every three months? A cool $120.
It gets a little less expensive if you pay ahead. In that case, you can get a 10% discount, which amounts to $36 per month, $72 per baby kit, or $108 per toddler kit. But you do have to pay your entire subscription upfront.
The silver lining here is that through the process, Lovevery is completely transparent. Once you enter your little one’s age, you get to a page that outlines exactly what boxes you will receive and when, with a price for each. You can cancel at any time, so even if you’re about to get six boxes over the course of a year, you can decide you’re done after three of them.
Still, it’s a little confusing. And it’s definitely expensive. Is that investment worth it? Well, why don’t you just ask to skip ahead to the next section?
The awesome, the wish it were different, and a verdict
- It’s a natural draw. When John got the first box, Calvin just started playing with it. It captured his attention. Win-win for all parties involved.
- It’s got the quality. No cheap plastic or worries that anything will fall apart. Every part of the toys you get feels sturdy and ready for those little hands. (And teeth. And feet. Don’t ask.)
- It’s a learning experience. Every box you get has a theme, but it doesn’t end there. The toys inside are built for your kid to learn and develop, not just clutter up their room or the living room.
- It’s repeat enjoyment. Each of the toddler boxes includes different paths of getting to the same end goal. Plus, your little rascal can figure out how the toys make sense together, not just on their own. Pretty neat.
- It has a road map. Yes, literally a map that walks you through how to use every single toy in the box. Given the number of toys per play kit, that helps quite a bit in guiding parents through the learning experience.
- It takes the thinking out of toys. No worries about whether that thing you’re buying is actually age-appropriate. No research needed to see if it’s good for them. You go in knowing that the box you receive is well-suited for that little prince or princess.
- It has a guarantee. You can get your money back if you or your little one don’t like it. Just make sure you don’t lose any of the little pieces before you return it.
The wish it were different
- It’s a little overwhelming. When you first open a kit, there’s a lot to take in. In the one John received, Calvin just wanted to dive in. That was not only confusing, but also resulted in a bit of a mess of fluffy balls. Long story.
- It’s still a bunch of new toys. If you’re already worried about the clutter, this adds a steady stream of new toys coming into your home. Yes, they’re beneficial, probably more so than that gift from the third cousin. But they still need their space, when many babies just don’t need a ton of toys.
- It’s expensive. If you can afford it, the benefits are great. But you’re already spend bunches on diapers, baby food, and more. This adds a cool $40 per month to that potentially tight household budget.
- You don’t unbox in order. Maybe that’s a little nit-picky. But as you might have noticed in the above video, our unboxing resulted in a bit of confusion because the roadmap didn’t match the toys we were getting out at first. That can get confusing.
Gotta be honest: it’s a good one. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives, and you can’t help but feel good when you see your little one playing or developing right in front of your eyes. They grow up so fast.
Beyond the sentimental value, these play kits actually serve a very important function. They give you age-appropriate, simple, learning-based toys that are not easy to find. And they do so without requiring lots of research or worry that you’re choosing the right thing.
By the end of each kit, you’ll be surprised how well the toys educate not just your baby, but you as well. You have to weigh the cost, but it gets a thumbs up from us.
Where to buy
Lovevery only sells its products directly on its website, but that’s probably the best place to buy them anyway as when you buy there you’ll enjoy the best pricing, free shipping on orders over $75, and everything you buy is backed by the company’s guarantee.
Just the FAQs about Lovevery Play Kits
So we’ve seen some questions about these play kits online. Let’s answer them. Just the FAQs, baby.
Is Lovevery a Montessori product?
Short answer? Yes. Lovevery advertises itself clearly as a maker of Montessori-based toys. The development team includes at least one explicit Montessori expert, along with a psychologist, occupational therapist, and more. The toys you’ll get in the box match up directly with the Montessory principles of active participation, developmental focus, and limited choices.
Are Montessori toys better than ‘regular’ options?
That’s just, like, your opinion, man. Better is in the eye of the beholder, but there are some definite advantages to Montessori toys that are worth highlighting:
- They make your child an active participant, requiring their exploration and their own decisions. Active learning tends to work well in the developmental process.
- They offer limited choices. That might sound counterintuitive, but the Montessori philosophy suggests that it’s a good thing. Too many choices means getting overwhelmed, and results in being unable to focus. Calvin’s surprisingly long attention span with one of these boxes is a perfect example of that philosophy in action.
Where are Lovevery toys made?
Look hard enough, and you may find the Made in China label. The company will tell you that the products are designed in Idaho and California, but the manufacturing still happens overseas. That said, Lovevery does say that the manufacturing facility focuses n sustainably-harvested wood toys, sharing the company’s core values. All products are inspected by Lovevery in the U.S. before they find their way into mailboxes.
Can you buy Lovevery toys separately?
Yes and no. You cannot buy the toys available in a play kit separately, because they’re designed to make sense together and for a specific age group. It’s one of those “whole greater than the sum of its parts” things.
That said, Lovevery sells other products on its website that aren’t a part of the play kits. You can find a block set, a play gym, and a few other items like a tunnel (hint, kids looooove tunnels as soon as they can crawl through at about 8 months) and a “pull pup” that follow the same general concept as the boxes. Not a big selection, but worth a browse.
Wrapping up & what’s next
Thanks for checking out our review!
And, if you made it this far, chances are you’ll like some of our other stuff. Learn more about Fathercraft here, or check out our recommendations for essential gear for babies here.