Lovevery “The Inspector” Play Kit Review For 7-8 Months

Trying to decide if “The Inspector” Play Kit from Lovevery is worth it? In short: Yes! To recreate this play kit using Etsy and Amazon dupes, you're looking at spending a minimum of $84 or up to $108 – both of which are more than the cost of this montessori subscription box!

Plus the items in it have been some of my kids ABSOLUTE FAVORITE since we got them back in 2018! Below, you'll see a video review with a look inside the montessori based toys from Lovevery, Amazon dupes to curate it yourself, the pros and cons to it, and which of the toys my daughter still plays with as a toddler!

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

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

How much does The Inspector Play Kit from Lovevery Cost?

The Inspector Play Kit is $80, or you can get a 10% discount if you pay up front which would bring the price down to $72, or “$36 a month” as it says on their website.

This breaks down to about $8 a toy in the subscription box. So it's actually a really good deal as some of the comparable items on Amazon cost about $25!


What is inside The Inspector Play Kit for Months 7-8?

Montessori Ball Drop

A classic montessori item that my daughter still pulls out to play with at 2.5 years old. I

It builds gross motor skills while teaching the concepts on cause and effect and object permanence.

box with a hole for a ball and drawer
Dupes

There are loads of dupes for this, given it's a classic toy and one I recommend EVERY parent have in their toy box, but this one has amazing reviews and is at one of the best prices and this one includes 2 extra balls which works as a dupe for the next item in this play kit…


two wooden balls

Wooden balls

As with all of Lovevery's toys, these are made from sustainably forested wood and painted with soy ink.

Another reason I love the Lovevery subscription toy service: these work fantastic with a bunch of toys in future play kits!


“My First Signs” Book

Like I said in “The Senser” Play Kit review, my daughter is obsessed with every single Lovevery book, and this one is no different; which was super helpful since her asking us to read it 5 million times ensured we actually stayed on top of teaching her sign language.

my first signs book
Amazon Dupe

There are two books I'd recommend for this Lovevery Dupe:

  • The Toddler's Handbook – It has 100 words, with a mix of real life pictures, and the gestures drawn out making it easy to understand. With that said, there's a handful of gestures per page, which may be overwhelming for a baby compared to Lovevery's single focus approach which I love. However, this book will last through the toddler years and teaches significantly more in the long run.
  • Baby Sign Language Made Easy – Features 101 words and teaches one word per page, which I like from both a long lasting standing and deepening focus. While it's technically for parents, I think baby's will enjoy reading this alongside as the drawings of little kids are very realistic!
  • ABC Signs: A board book with 26 signs. While it features cartoons instead of real kids/objects like the others, it is a durable board book and also has a solid illustration of the gesture, making it easy to follow!

things I see magnet box

“Things I See” Textured Cards

I AM SO HAPPY THEY ADDED THIS!

These were not in the original version of this play kit, and I always felt like they needed a touch and feel item as kids ALWAYS love them! NAILED IT!

Dupes

The brand DK tends to have a lot of great books featuring real life objects and they actually have sets of touch and feel cards similar to Lovevery's! They come in a few different themes to choose from and would make a great addition to this play kit or dupe:


The Play Kits by Lovevery

Nested stacking cups that drip

A MUST HAVE!

Seriously, these teach stacking/tower building, nesting items into one another, containment, pouring AND all of the cups have different designs of holes in the bottom, so you can fill them with water and watch it make different shapes as they flow out the bottom.

colourfull nesing stacking dripdrop

My daughter can play with these in the sink, bath, or pool for SO LONG. We've gotten weekly use out of these the last 3 years! I use them in so many activities too!

Amazon Dupes:

The cheapest dupe is this set of 8, which we also have. Just like Lovevery's, there are a graduating number of holes on the bottom (smallest has 1, next has 2, etc.). I will say, our Lovevery one's are in perfect condition, but the dupe ones have struggled with some mildew.

Now the best dupe for this is actually a Lovevery dupe! Yep, Lovevery released a line of stand alone items with target, including their nesting cups which is the original set of 12 cups. We get SO much use out of the bigger cups included in that set. We use them for sorting activities, to hold puzzle pieces and organize our play shelf, water play, and so much more! If you're going to buy nesting cups, this is really the best set.


first puzzle with smiling baby picture on them

Baby's first puzzle

Another huge hit, my daughter still plays with and I love because it's the perfect size for traveling!

Baby can develop fine motor skills and problem solving with the puzzle. Plus, if your kid is anything like mine, they will be captivated with the baby face on the puzzle and love to mouth the knob of the puzzle piece.

Dupes

Nothing exactly like Lovevery's puzzle but there are a couple of montessori shape puzzles dupes, and you can always cut pictures of your family to fit into the puzzle piece slots to recreate the inside of Lovevery's, but with family members!

  • 3 Shape puzzle: this is one board with 3 shapes on it.
  • 4 Separate puzzles each with its own shape. Personally, I'd go with these over the other opt, even though they are a little more expensive. These are about the same size as the Lovevery one. We used it all the time for the first 18 months as the size made it perfect for travel, the car, or even at appointments to keep her busy.

Felt balls

My daughter also LOVES these balls. She uses them with the ball drop and toys that came in future play kits.

We use them to teach colors, learning to throw, rolling them, and so much more. Another item that has maintained its engagement/interactivity level over a year later!

three felt balls
Dupes

Most felt balls for sale are smaller, designed for DIYs and banners. So finding larger ones that also work with Lovevery's ball drop/the object permanence box is a little challenging, but I have a few options for you!

  • This set of rainbow balls – This is technically not a dupe, but I always recommend it to people. We use the for SO many activities and counting! They are 2.5 cm and about half the size of Lovevery's. I did a custom order with the shop, 100 balls, the primary rainbow colors plus the white, black, and royal blue. My tip: choose ball colors that match your nesting cups for a sorting activity!
  • This set is the most similar to Lovevery's. Choose from a ton of colors, quantity, and sizes. I'd suggest the 4 cm to dupe Lovevery's most accurately!
  • This is a set of 10, also the same size as Lovevery's.

basket

Basket

I love that Lovevery includes baskets to store the items in the play kits!

We use this to collect the balls, help sort, and keep things organized on her play shelf. She loved learning the concept of “in and out” in the early days.

In my post on activities to do at home with your toddler using household items, you may remember me saying, “the secret to keeping a toddler entertained is just finding new containers to put things in” Yep, this is just another container that is a unique texture and will keep your kid entertained!

Dupes

You can really use any basket that matches your home decor! But I do like this set of 3 affordable woven baskets, which you can use for sorting activities, store the balls from this play kit, nursery organization, and so much more. Honestly, with kids I feel like you can never have enough baskets!


Drinking cup

I'm pretty sure this cup is made from Unicorn feathers or something because it's my daughter's FAVORITE cup, even over a year later.

metal drinking cup

It's the perfect size for little mouths and helps them build muscles for forming sounds later on.

She even puts her pinkie out while using it… too cute!

Dupes

Lovevery's actually no longer features a handle, but does still feature the unique lip. I think the small size and lip of the cup makes it very easy for small mouths learning to drink from an open cup. For that reason I chose stainless steel espresso cups with a similar rim. These are all basically the same size as Loveverys but come in a 2 pack – Amazon changes prices up quite often so just look to see which has the best price below!

inspector play guide book

Play guide

Discover new ways to reimagine and play with the items in your toy subscription box! Plus insight into the skills your baby is working on, all backed by research!



Discontinued Items:

Things I See Board Book

While we enjoyed this board book, it's not worth purchasing a used copy of IMO and getting rid of it for the other items was a huge improvement!

Dupe:

Instead of buying this Lovevery book, I'd actually suggest this first 100 words book. We have a few books from that author/collection and my daughter has always been obsessed with them! They feature real kids, animals, and objects just like Lovevery but give you significantly more items in the book. With that said, there are tons of montessori aligned “first words” books to choose from:

Is The Inspector Play Kit from Lovevery worth it?

YES YES YES! Financially speaking, to recreate this play kit using Etsy and Amazon dupes, you're looking at spending a minimum of $84 or up to $108.

Qualitatively, this is one of our favorites from the first year! All of the items lasted us at least 18 months and are in wonderful condition to reuse with my second. It really is a great selection of items!

Without a doubt, if you've been skeptical on buying the Lovevery Play Kits up to this one, this is the one to jump in on and buy it here!

Shop “The Inspector” Play Kit from Lovevery:

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

Quick Shop Amazon Dupes:

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Wondering if the Lovevery play kits are worth it? Here are all my thoughts on "The Inspector" playkit from #lovevery for 7-8 months old babies. First time moms looking for montessori and waldorf based wooden toys to support their newborn baby in reaching those milestones during the first year for growth and development. Is it the best montessori based toy subscription box for 7-8 months? Find out if it's right for your baby and you in this post! #lovevery #theinspector #montessoritoys

Originally published 7/27/2020; Updated 10/20/21
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