Lovevery “The Babbler” Play Kit Review For 13, 14, 15 Months: Worth It vs Amazon in 2022?

Wonder how Lovevery's Babbler play kit financially compares to self curating with Amazon or other similar dupes? Look no further!

I'm sharing our personal experience with this play kit after having it since 2019 with two kids. In this post, I'll share how the items have held up, the changes made to this play kit, where to purchase similar dupes and alternatives for both current and discontinued items, + a qualitative and financial comparison is to those alternatives!

You can read the FAQs and full review of all the Lovevery Subscription Play Kits here.

Video review: “The Babbler” Play Kit in action:

What is inside The Babbler Play Kit for Months 13, 14, 15?


Slide and seek ball run

Words cannot describe the level of obsession and GLEE my daughter has with this toy.

It comes with a set of balls (one doesn't make noise, and the others make different types of noise). Your baby places the ball in the top and it rolls down the slide only to disappear into a wooden box that has four different style “doors.”

A lesson in object permanence as your baby learns things still exist, even if you can't see it.

I'm also pretty sure it's teaching her some other stuff because she tried it with all the balls from the other play kits, blocks, puzzle pieces, and even her breakfast muffin.

Alternatives:

There is nothing exactly like Lovevery's which does an impeccable job of providing lots of challenge from the ball drop fitted top, to the four different “doors” for fetching the balls that disappear after they slide down. Plus, it's wood. It's probably one of the best Lovevery toys out there.

The alternatives are all plastic (though BPA free) and do not have a hidden box they disappear into:

  • Cheapest option: Definitely the most flimsy but the “basket” provides a similar fine motor challenge to the top of Lovevery's slide.
  • Second cheapest option: No fine motor for dropping the ball in, but is a decent height and comes with four rattle balls and has better reviews than the previous pick
  • Most expensive option: Comes with 5 balls and the way the balls “finish” you could probably use a cardboard box to create a similar effect to Lovevery's where the balls “disappear”


Balance wooden stacker

Ohh I love this toy! So we keep it on a shelf, with the colorful stacking rings on the center totem.

The center totem actually is flexible (full on 360 rotation and 90 degree bend).

When my daughter goes to play with it, she has to balance the board to keep the totem upright and not drop the rings. It's really fun to watch her concentration as she works on this skill.

We also use the rings for sorting and faux dress up on our fingers.

wooden stacker and colourful wooden circles with holes
Alternatives:

This is a pretty classic montessori item, with the big difference being that Lovevery's midrod moves and it comes with two rings for each color, while the similar dupes use a static wooden peg. The etsy one is most similar, and the Amazon one provides an added color sorting challenge.

“Circle of Friends” puzzle

Under each circle is a different child's picture.

The puzzle is great at this age, as all of them are the same shape, but different sizes. It's fun to watch her sort out which piece goes where as a result.

Similar to the Lovevery books, since kids love watching other kids at this age, she also enjoys just looking at the children.

hidden friends faces wooden toy
Alternatives:

The cheapest alternative will be this one, which is just the graduated circles with nothing underneath and half the size of Lovevery's.

However, this pick allows you to slide family photos underneath for a personalized experience without cutting or fussing and it features five puzzle pieces like Lovevery's.

Wooden bank set

Lovevery revamped their wooden coin bank to now feature multiple lids and grips.

The original version was one of my daughter's favorite toys for a solid year and a half, so I have no doubt kids will love the updated version with even more options!

Alternatives:

Adena Montessori came out with this nearly identical alternative, plus a carrying bag for the unused pieces. And be sure to check the price of that with this one (same item, different seller).

This set is almost identical to Lovevery's with the added bonus of including an object permanence box. Check price here!

Bunnies in a Felt Burrow

Practice bilateral coordination and containment with a set of sweet furry wool bunny friends

Amazon Alternative:

I couldn't find any wool alternatives like Lovevery's, but this item and this item are both bunny themed with a similar containment feature.

While those Amazon alternatives are technically dog toys, I can attest to the fact toddlers love them. We had a squirrel version for our dog that my toddler used to LOVE playing with at this age.


“Bedtime For Zoe” Board book

A sweet little bedtime book teaching routine, sequence, and timing.

book with sleeping girl on the cover
Amazon Alternatives:

This book is illustrated with a nice walk through of bedtime steps and tips for parents/caregivers.

This book features real photography, but I would personally only introduce this to a child protesting bedtime as the main character “isn't tired.”

Play Guide

Discover ways to play and reimagine the items in this play kit, plus what skills they are working on during months 13, 14, and 15! All backed by research.

babbler play guide book

Discontinued Items From The Babbler Play Kit:

Stella and her Speedster car

A little race car that gets some serious speed! Teaching force, mass, and velocity.

Plus it's just a ton of fun. I don't know who loves playing with this toy more, me or R.

Either way we have a BLAST with it.

small wooden car with human figure riding on it
Alternatives:

Lovevery sells this item individually here. 10/10 recommend it!


Felt nesting baskets

I've said this once and I'll say it a million more times probably: so much of keeping toddlers entertained have to do with finding different containers to put things in and out of.

She LOVES these nesting baskets. She'll put the rings from the stacker in, balls in, and see if she can still nest them. We put them on as hats and try to balance them, we use them for sorting colors and so much more.

three felt circular baskets in various sizes
Alternative:

Lovevery now sells this item individually here. 10/10 recommend these! We use them for SO MANY activities!


Rainbow ball

Made from organic cotton. The texture makes it easier for little hands to grasp and throw.

TBH, this is probably the toy we play with the least for some reason. Maybe it's because I've never modeled playing with it for her, but it sort of just sits in the nesting baskets.

colourful flowery shaped cotton ball
Alternative:

Haba makes a similar rainbow textured ball (check price here). I'd probably give this to a baby, not a toddler.


Watercolor ball

Also made from organic cotton and looks like a mini beach ball. This was the first ball R started to learn how to throw with actually.

She seems to like it more than the rainbow ball. We roll it, put it in the baskets, and kick it.

cotton ball
Amazon Alternative:

While this ball is not organic cotton, it is a similar size and a good plush starter ball.



Felt ball

A larger felt ball than in previous play kits. Great for rolling, catching, and hiding.

Since it's the same texture as balls from previous kits, I think it's been interesting for her to learn that things can be the same texture but a different size (e.g. this doesn't fit in the sliding top box from “The Thinker” Play Kit like previous felt balls do.)

felt ball
Alternative:

I'm not positive the exact size of our Lovevery one, it's definitely larger than 4 cm (golf ball), but doesn't seem quite as large as a dryer ball (7-8 cm).

You could certainly purchase wool dryer balls, or I like this pick on Etsy for the fun colors and quality.


“Big and Little” Mini board book

Diving deeper into the big and little concept. I don't have a ton to say about this book, as it's one of the mini books so often I find R is just sitting and reading it by herself. I honestly don't even know where she keeps these mini books now that I'm thinking about it… they aren't in her book bin, haha! So I guess they are her special secret book stash!

small book, feet with too big shoes on the cover

“Messy and Clean” Mini board book

Pictures of kids getting messy while doing sensory play activities to continue teaching the opposites concept.

small book, messy girl on the cover
Mini board book alternative:

I'm a huge fan of mini board books for 1 year olds. They foster independence, love of reading, and are just great to have in your diaper bag.

You can purchase a set of 12 mini board books here that are montessori aligned with real imagery as well.

“Where is Crew's Shoe” Board Book

I'd been wanting a “flap book” (works on dexterity) for R and sure enough, one comes in this play kit!

As with all Lovevery books, my daughter is obsessed.

little book with childs feet on cover
Alternative:

While this book doesn't have lift flaps like Lovevery's it does provide a practical life lesson teaching toddlers about how different settings need different shoes.



“Colorful Foods” board book

Each page has a main color, with the word, and a child eating a food of that color.

Again, she's obsessed.

As we read it, I try to name other foods that share the color of the page we are on too.

small book, girl holding fruits on the cover
Amazon Alternatives:
  • This book features real imagery and a similar concept (colorful foods) but is missing a slew of colors that Lovevery includes
  • This book doesn't focus on colors, but really lots of foods and their names. If you have a speech delayed toddler, this could be a helpful resource in allowing them to point to what they'd like with 100 options.

Is The Babbler Play Kit from Lovevery worth it?

Financially compared to Amazon/ Self Curating:

If you were to self curate this play kit on your own you're looking at spending $90 for the cheapest alternatives, or as much as $193 for the most expensive.

Here's the thing though: the cheapest dupes aren't going to match the quality/detail of Lovevery's so I'd personally get Lovevery's, especially if you want the ball run. If you do not care about the ball run, then probably self curate. However, the ball run does have an amazing resale value, as do the other items in this play kit.

Personal Experience:

This is the first of the “toddler” play kits where we move past baby's first year. The items in this play kit are some of R's favorites! From the ball slide, puzzle, and piggy bank – all of which we got well over a years use out of!

Like I said, if you want the ball run then this play kit is 100% worth it versus self curating!

How much does The Babbler Play Kit from Lovevery Cost?

The Babbler Play Kit is $120 for 3 months of toys, or you can get a 10% discount if you pay up front which would bring the price down to $108, or “$36 a month” as it says on their website here.

Shop “The Babbler” Play Kit from Lovevery:

Quick Shop Amazon Alternatives:


You can read the FAQs and full review of Lovevery Subscription Play Kits here.

SAVE FOR LATER
Lovevery play kits are a montessori toy subscription service. You receive a box every 2-3 months based on your child’s age. Each Lovevery play kit comes with waldorf inspired toys refining fine and gross motor skills, books, etc. All the toys are made with wood and organic cotton so they are also extremely well-made. The toys are created based on what children need at each stage based on research. Here I look at "The Babbler" for 1 year olds or 13, 14, and 15 month olds. #montessoritoys

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