Lovevery Free Spirit Play Kit Review: Is It Worth It vs Amazon Self Curated!?

Wondering if the Free Spirit Play Kit from Lovevery is worth it? In short, yes! These are my toddlers FAVORITE toys from the 2-3 year old montessori play kits.

However financially it's a bit of grey area which I'll talk about below as I look at how it compares financially to similar items on Amazon and Etsy if you were to curate it yourself. Plus I dive deeper into our qualitative experience from both durability and enjoyment (AKA how much my kid liked it!) after 6 months of use!

This montessori inspired toy subscription ships for 34, 35, and 36 month olds and is possibly one of our favorites from Lovevery for 2 year olds! Honestly, you can introduce it way earlier in our experience too and it will last well into 3 years old in my opinion!

It works avariety of skills from shapes, numeracy, imaginative social-emotional intelligence, and more!

What's inside The Free Spirit Play Kit From Lovevery? [+ Amazon Alternatives]

Wooden Camper With Locking Doors

Adorable wooden Camper with two doors and keys to lock and unlock. The top opens a little bit and the wheels are a smooth rubberized type of ride.

Personal experience:

This play kit was by far the one I was most excited about in this 2-3 year old range.

I KNEW my daughter would be OBSESSED with the camper van and dolls in sleeping bags. She literally plays with the dolls almost every day and the camper van weekly. She loves putting them “to bed” and using the tent. This was actually the item I gave her the first week we welcome baby brother home because I knew it'd keep her engaged for hours – and it did/still does nearly 6 months later.

I think the Lovevery one is awesome, but she would probably love the Hape Adventure Van just as much. I probably wouldn't though (more pieces to clean up/keep track of).

Amazon alternative to curate yourself:

A few options here depending on which features your kid would be the most interested in and your budget…

  • Melissa & Doug Toy Keys and Cars Wooden Rescue Vehicles and Garage: This works fine motor skills and features three different lock and key mechanisms (Lovevery's only has 1 type of lock and key even though it's a set of 2), so you get an added problem solving bonus. It also comes with 3 toy cars. Though unlike Lovevery's, these don't open. You're opening the garage instead.
  • Battat 3 Car Garage with Keys and Cars: Basically a cheaper plastic version of the Melissa & Doug one ($17)
  • Surf Camper Van: This does not have a lock + key mechanism, but is a really nice size and does offer a functional camper van option if your child is more interested in putting their dolls in and out of a camper van and pretend play. It's from one of my favorite brands and is definitely one of the cutest toys I've ever come across ($47)
  • Hape Adventure Van, Pretend Play with Action Figures: This is another great sized, functional camper van with no lock + key mechanism. But this one actually comes with dolls and accessories for pretend play which means it also doubles as an all-inclusive alternative for the next item too! $45

Outdoor Adventure Pretend Play Accessories

Wooden dolls with matching colored sleeping bags that fit with the camper van.

This works color theory, fine motor skills, and social-emotional pretend play opportunities.

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Ours also came with a tent, but is not currently showing on their website so I don't know what's going on with that…

Personal Experience:

I talked about this above, but 10/10 my daughter's favorite item in this play kit.

Amazon alternative to curate yourself:

  • Hape Adventure Van, Pretend Play with Action Figures: This is another great sized, functional camper van with no lock + key mechanism. But this one actually comes with dolls and accessories for pretend play which means it also doubles as an all-inclusive alternative for the next item too! $45
  • Wooden Counting Box

    A wooden counting box with interchangeable cards that allow you to place pegs in for a hands on learning experience on quantity.

    There's a wooden pull lever to release the pegs which slide out the bottom.

    Personal Experience:

    What I like about this item is that it controls for error and allows the child to only work on one number at a time. I also like that it has storage for the wooden pegs in the base and you can only work on one number at a time. What I dislike about this item is that the storage doesn't really work for the cards.

    Amazon Alternatives:

    When deciding between these, I would look at price and size of the pegs (potential choking hazard for babies around) and whether or not I want a bag or box for storage.

    Two-Part Geometric Puzzle Board

    Organic shapes and contrasting colors come together in these two piece puzzles to form abstract naturescapes

    Personal Experience:

    My daughter REALLY enjoys this puzzle set! I'd say this one and the puzzle from The Investigator play kit have been two of her favorites this year; and that includes us having a fraction puzzle (see alternatives below) from Monti Kids!

    It presents a unique challenge with the organic shapes, and has definitely taken some time for her to master quickly. I feel confident we'll continue getting a ton of use out of it this coming year too!

    The Play Kits by Lovevery
    Amazon + Etsy Alternatives:
    • BusyBoardBaby: Features 9 contrasting 2 piece puzzles on a wooden board just like Lovevery; only instead of the triangle they have a hexagon. Conceptually this is the most similar to Lovevery has the shapes are more organic.
    • Fractional with hexagon: This is a set of 9 puzzles; 3 circles, 3 squares and 3 hexagons, only it works fractions (whole, half, and thirds)
    • Set of 2 shape puzzle boards: This is a set of 2 puzzle boards. One with 9 single piece puzzles of different shapes, the other is a set of 9 puzzles working fractions (whole, half, thirds) for a circle, triangle, and square. I'd say this is a good set if there is a baby AND a toddler in the house.
    • Fractional puzzle: This is a set of 12 puzzles (circle, square, and triangle) working fractions from whole, half, third, and quarter.

    Solid Wood Stacking Boulders

    These lightweight miniature boulders have up to 18 sides and can be stacked a few ways.

    I store them in the box they came in and love how big they are in case baby brother wants to explore them too!

    Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery
    Personal Experience:

    So this is a very middle of the road item for us. My daughter doesn't LOVE them, but she doesn't dislike them either. If she sees me playing with them, she'll want to try for a few minutes but ultimately always goes back to the camper van and dolls. I like that there are only a few; it feels like a start set and I'm happy I didn't waste my money with a huge set from Amazon.

    Amazon Alternatives:

    There's no shortage of wooden balancing block options on Amazon! Depending on your color palette and how many you want prices range from $13 to 35 generally! You can shop them all here! Here are a few I like:

    Reach For The Stars Matching Cards

    A set of 5 shapes in 8 different colors for 40 cards in total.

    You can do quite a few things with these. Sort by shape, sort by color, match by shape or color, and counting.

    This pack is really customizable and can grow with your child. For instance, you can start with just four cards. Two colors and two shapes and have them match and work their way up.

    Personal Experience:

    We use matching cards a lot around here and these are no different! I love how many there are and all the ways you can use them. With that said, they are just matching cards and I wouldn't be upset if they replaced this down the road since it's not a very unique item.

    Alternatives:

    Honestly, you can DIY shape matching cards yourself. It's SO easy! But if you want to buy some:

    • 54 piece set: Set of 6 shapes in 9 colors
    • Matching card game set: Set of 48 cards working 6 colors and 8 shapes as well as 8 two sided board game mats of varying difficulty teaching how the shapes relate to real life objects

    ‘Now That I'm Three' Board Book

    A book of rhymes and a glimpse at newfound independence and responsibility.

    Personal Experience

    This is by FAR our favorite book in the 2 to 3 year old play kits! I swear my daughter asks to read it 5 times a day, every day, for months.

    Personally I LOVE it because unlike in Bedtime with Zoey (see my qualms with that book here), they actually SHOW mom helping brush teeth which makes things SO much easier when negotiating with a 2 year old. It's a book that finally does a good job at modeling toddlerhood in an age appropriate way IMO.

    Alternative:

    Nothing quite like Lovevery's which is truly an awesome book featuring real people and walking your toddler through daily resonsibilities, being a part of a family, and perseverance. But I do like the “Hands Can” book as an alternative which is a simple rhyming book featuring real people too and modeling positive things we can do with our hands

    Play Guide Months 34, 35, 36

    Ideas for how to play during months 34, 35, 36 backed by all the research you don’t have time to read

    How much does Lovevery's Free Spirit Cost?

    Lovevery's Free Spirit Play Kit costs $120, but you can get up to a 10% discount here with their bundle options.

    Is Lovevery Free Spirit Play Kit Worth It?

    100% Yes in our experience! Shop it here!

    But it's not quite cut and dry for everyone…

    Financially…

    Financially speaking, if you were to get all of the cheapest similar items on this list you're looking at spending about $104. If you were to get the most expensive items, you're looking at spending about $150.

    So ultimately it just depends on whether you plan to recreate the box fully and at which level. Either way, it's in the ballpark of being a financially even exchange if you get everything which leads to the qualitative tie breaker…

    Qualitatively…

    Lovevery's quality is by far some of the best toy quality we own. Their items are durable (way more than Melissa & doug or Battat) and aesthetically pleasing to have out on a shelf.

    Some of the items in this play kit are my daughter's all time FAVORITE Lovevery items. So it ultimately comes down to your child's interest at this age. Personally, I think it's a really well rounded box. I feel like around this time toddlers start to have very distinct play personalities.

    We really see where their interests are and the items in this play kit give a little bit of everything: colors, shapes, numbers, pretend play for social-emotional intelligence, STEM challenges, and plenty of language opportunities.

    Personally, I think it's a great play kit and if there's an item your child doesn't like, you'll be happy to know that Lovevery items are generally in demand and easily resold.

    Shop “The Free Spirit” Play Kit From Lovevery:

    Quick Shop Amazon Alternatives:

    Wondering if the lovevery free spirit play kit is worth in? In this lovevery play kit review I'm breaking down the financial cost comparison to self curate the play kit on amazon or etsy and how we personally enjoyed it after six months of use!

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