Lovevery “The Pioneer” Play Kit Review For 16, 17, 18 Months: Worth It vs Amazon in 2022?

Trying to decide if “The Pioneer” Play Kit from Lovevery is worth it? I'd say skip it!

You can self curate this play kit for around $100 with Amazon Alternatives. And while we did enjoy the original version of this play kit, they removed some of our favorite items. In this post, I'll share our experience with the current and discontinued items, as well as where to purchase similar dupes!

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

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

What is inside The Pioneer Play Kit for Months 16, 17, 18?


Race track ramp!

A side-by-side race track ramp with 2 little cars to gain a deeper understanding of motion, direction, and velocity.

R didn't play with this the first couple of weeks I put it out, but then I started playing with it alone and she quickly started playing with it too.

I think it's one of those toys to introduce more towards 17 or 18 months for some kids and will last a longggg time from there.


“Max and nana go to the park” board book

Again, it's a Lovevery book so my kid is obviously obsessed – though I have some issues with this book I discuss here.

book, child on playground on the cover


Bead and threading kit

My daughter is IN LOVE with this toy.

She got frustrated at first. She'd thread a bead on but didn't realize she had to move her hand away from the “needle” to let the bead drop so I spent a good amount of time doing it with her.

Regardless, she loves it now that she's mastered it. We also use some of the thinner beads as rings or I'll pretend hold it up as a necklace or bracelet. Super fun fine motor activity and imaginative play toy.

different sizes big beads and thread with solid end

Drawstring bag

Organic cotton bag for the bead kit above.

We always model cleaning up for her and she's really good about putting this toy away with the bag since it's another lesson in containment.

material bag

Sticky bug bush

So this is a fun little toy! It's a container, but the outside is a felt material and looks like a bush or a tree. Inside is an assortment of velcro critters that your toddler can stick to the “bush”

My daughter was skeptical about this at first, but seems to play with it more and more the older she gets, but not enough I can justify this play kit.

toy with material bugs to stick on
Toddler Play Kits by Lovevery

Veggie garden puzzle

Chunky puzzle that doubles as a matching game (pictures of the veggies are also under the puzzle pieces!). Giving your little one a chance to work on their pincer grasp while learning about root vegetable and gardening!

My daughter likes this, but doesn't play with it as long as the previous puzzles we've received from Lovevery. It's a solid choice to introduce at the 19, 20, or 21 month mark!

She did end up enjoying it again around 3 years old when she got into pretend play and would use the pieces to “feed her bunnies.”

wooden puzzle with vegetables shapes and illustrations

Wooden stacking peg board

My daughter is also obsessed with this toy and started playing with it around 13 months!

You can stack the pegs into a tower, but because of how they are interlinked, when she goes to knock them over they sort of just tilt. It's a lesson in physics!

Discontinued Lovevery Items From The Pioneer Play Kit

Geometric friends puzzle

Under each different geometric shape is a child's face! We practice identifying colors and shapes out loud as she works on problem solving the more complex shapes of this puzzle.

NOTE: You can now purchase this item individually here.

hidden faces wooden shapes toy

“Simons Says” Cube and Cards

Super fun “roll the dice” style game. The cube has pockets you place the cards in and teach about all the different parts of the body. The cards are double sided.


“Things I Can Do” board book

Okay, I know I always say my daughter is obsessed with all of the Lovevery books… but she is really obsessed with this one.

I think she particularly loves the ones where she can easily point/act out the things in the book. Anyway, it's beyond adorable to watch her stand on one foot, clap, brush her teeth, etc. as we go through it.

book girl on the cover

The Play Kits by Lovevery


Organic cotton big kid ball

…and big kid ball it is.

Honestly, I don't know how much my daughter has even played with this as my husband and I have kind of taken it over.

We kick it, toss it, and catch it while she climbs her Pikler Triangle.

She'll hop off the triangle and want to jump into a three way came of catch or kick passing it in the playroom.

Honestly, she just loves watching us enjoy playing with it though.

big material ball

Mouse in sleep sack

This is the CUTEST toy ever.

My daughter just holds up the mouse to her face and nuzzles it. She treats it like her own mini finger pet and is obsessed with it.

She struggles to push it out of the sleep sack, so I still help her with that right now.

tiny soft mouse wrapped in blaket


Compact Mirror

Ahh we love this toy!

Again, perfect size for traveling. I also don't own a compact mirror, so it's great for her… and if I did own one, I'd probably be happy to have mine back.

She loves looking at herself from the multiple angles too!

small wooden frame mirror

Toy box

A little box for the mouse and mirror on the go.

We just use the zipper pouch from previous play kits for that though.

Honestly R hasn't had much interest in this yet. I do anticipate as she gets older, she'll use this as a sort of “treasure box.” With that said, I wouldn't be surprised if they get rid of this in future iterations of this play kit.

small colourful box to pack mouse and mirror

Play Guide

A complete guide backed by research with ideas on how to play with the items in your play kits and the skills your toddler is developing at 16, 17, and 18 months old.

pioneer play guide book

Is The Pioneer Play Kit from Lovevery worth it?

No… I would probably recommend skipping the current version of this play kit.

While my daughter LOVED the original version, they removed so many items in their 2020 update that I think you're better of self curating it.

Financially you can self curate this with Amazon alternatives for around $100.

While we do enjoy the race track and wooden peg board a lot, we don't get enough use out of the bug bush or veggie puzzle for me to consider this worthwhile. If you do get it, you will certainly get use out of the items, but I don't think most families will love all of the items combined with the poor price point, it's a skip for me.

Self curating on Amazon:

Current items:
  • Race track (that only allow for 1 car at once, so you aren't actually “racing”) start at $20 on Amazon.
  • Going to the park book – I actually prefer it to Lovevery's since it provides a tactile experience and walks through the steps of walking to the park
  • This thread bead kit is the most similar threader and the pieces double as wooden stacking stones which is pretty cool. Alternatively, this threaded bead kit costs $15 on Amazon though it has more going on and is more vibrant, but features a similar grip.
  • Bug bush alternatives: I couldn't find anything with the same canister style, but did find some very engaging “felt story board” picks. This one is themed for the Very Hungry Caterpillar which kids LOVE; and this one has a bunch of pieces to act out common nursery rhymes.
  • This wooden veggie garden puzzle also features the pincer grasp and a similar quality.
  • For the wooden peg board, I found this alternative or this one instead.

Discontinued items:
  • Geometric puzzle is now sold individually here
  • Roll and play cube is $25 on Amazon
  • Things I Can Do board book: This one is most similar with real photos, this is a good cartoon one, though may be a little advanced on the things the child can do at this age.
  • Organic cotton kid ball: this one isn't as large as Lovevery's but is organic cotton and has a little chime inside.
  • Mouse in sleep sack: This alternative is a little larger and comes in a choice of bunny, cat, or bear.

I couldn't find something as safe/well made at the compact mirror in this kit.

How much does The Pioneer Play Kit from Lovevery Cost?

The Pioneer 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 Pioneer” Play Kit from Lovevery:

Quick Shop Amazon Alternatives:


You can read the FAQs and full review of Lovevery Subscription Play Kits here including my thoughts on the 2020 update.

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 Pioneer" for 1 year olds, 16, 17, and 18 month olds. #montessoritoys
7 Shares
Pin
Tweet
Share
Share
Share