Wondering if The Looker Play Kit from Lovevery is worth it? In short: YES!
The cost to recreate this play kit using Amazon or Etsy dupes costs as little as $93 or as much as $146 depending on how similar you want the items to be compared to Lovevery. Either way, it costs more to curate these items in total than purchase from Lovevery! Plus you lose out on the quality and ease with Lovevery!
We've had this play kit since 2018 with two kids and the items DO hold up! But some have changed and are now only accessible in the subscriber shop. In this post, I'll share the current items in The Looker, discontinued items that are worth purchasing or skipping in the subscriber shop, and Lovevery Amazon alternatives if you want to curate it yourself!
- Video review: "The Looker" Play Kit in action:
- How much does The Looker Play Kit from Lovevery Cost?
- What is inside The Looker Play Kit for weeks 0-12?
- Standing Card Holder
- The Mobile
- Black and white mittens
- Wooden high contrast book
- Silicone rattle with removable ball
- Black and white flashcards
- More complex black and white flashcard set
- Sensory Links
- Guide book for play kit
There are so many things to get for a new baby and I often wondered if newborns even needed toys! But the reality is, babies brains are developing SO fast and it's helpful to have items around for them to connect with.
Video review: “The Looker” Play Kit in action:
How much does The Looker Play Kit from Lovevery Cost?
The Looker Play Kit costs $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.
What is inside The Looker Play Kit for weeks 0-12?
I am pulling out the items currently featured in this play kit on Lovevery's website. I do want to note, they seem to be updating and making changes to the play kits.
When I got the Looker Play Kit for my daughter, it came with a swaddle blanket and a mug, but no mobile… which I much would've preferred the mobile! So it seems like as they continue to grow they are only improving the boxes! YAY FOR US PARENTS!
Standing Card Holder
This is a standing card holder for the black and white high contrast cards that come in this play kit.
We use this for tummy time or stand it upright during active awake time when baby is on their back. We've used it for both of our kids and it still looks brand new! With our first, we had a stroller bassinet attachment and it sat perfectly flush along the side and she LOVED it!
My daughter played with this until she was about a year old. She liked to open and close it, hold it above her head and stare at the baby's photos we put in it or mirror card. Now she likes to do the same with it, only holding it open for baby brother!
Baby Einstein offers a somewhat similar option here for $15. While it doesn't fold out like Lovevery's it does offer a mirror and a variety of high contrast cards. The cards are also on a ring, so you can attach it to their carseat bar for traveler – which is a nice option considering Lovevery removed the travel cardholder so you kind of get a little bit of each of the features of both the original card displays with this dupe!
A super cute 2 sided wooden mobile. Perfect for hanging over your changing station to keep your squirmy entertained. This wasn't in the first iteration of this play kit, so I don't have a lot to say about it.
This was a new addition after we received this play kit so I have no experience with it. But kids generally love mobiles!
There's nothing quite like what Lovevery has to offer; not even close! So for this, I'd HIGHLY recommend the Munari Mobile which is an actual legit montessori mobile that can be used from birth thanks to it's high contrast and it actually primes the brain for early math concepts! It's honestly my sons ABSOLUTE favorite mobile (we have 4) and I can see why it's been around for nearly 100 years!
Black and white mittens
These are great for promoting hand discovery, hand control, and body awareness as babies are attracted to high contrast at this time. Plus it protects their sweet face from getting scratched up with super sharp nails at this age!
We honestly never used these with either kid. Baby clothes for these early months come with a little flip typically where you can turn the sleeve into a mitten to protect baby's face if you want. The idea of wrestling my newborns hands into a mitten just never appealed to me personally. I'd rather just use this (seriously, a baby must have!!) to keep their nails short and soft every few days!
I found these high contrast sensory mittens that are $11. Again, I'd just get this to keep baby's nails short instead though!
Wooden high contrast book
An FSC sustainably harvest wooden board book with high contrast animals printed using soy based ink.
Legit, my daughter's FAVORITE book for the longest time. She loved staring at the pictures in the early days.
As she's gotten older, we practice counting the fish and naming the animals.
This has been both of my kids favorite item from this play kit! My first has literally used this book for three years – to this day she has me look at it with her in the morning! It really became our go to in the car when she was teething (she'd chew through board books).
My son loves it just as much. We name the animals, count the fish, count the spots on the turtle. It's super simple but a favorite of ours!
There's nothing EXACTLY like Lovevery's so I'll share a few options:
- High contrast board book – you lose the wooden factor though which was a LIFE SAVER in the teething days for us
- Colorful Animals Wooden Book – Lovevery duped their own item here! Yep, you can purchase an official Lovevery wooden board book (not high contrast) from their Target collection here!
- Wooden board book – this is SUCH a cute wooden board book that's sure to last for years
- Montessori Newborn Kit: This includes an animal wooden board book, and a few other items on this list from the Looker. It's a cheaper alternative to the Lovevery Looker play kit with loads of options baby is sure to love!
Silicone rattle with removable ball
Baby can gum the rattle or start tracking the high contrast colors.
We swapped this out and hung it on our Lovevery Play Gym a points but it has been both of my kids least favorite teether/rattle that we own.
There's nothing exactly like this one. So again a few options for you:
- Silicone teether rattle ring: This offers the same teether silicone end texture and a rattle feature, but no removable ball
- Crochet and organic cotton dumbbell rattle: This offers a similar shape and sound as the Lovevery one, but no silicone teether. I will say, we do have a few crochet rattles and my kids prefer them to the Lovevery one though!
Black and white flashcards
Babies LOVE high contrast images in the early days as their eyesight develops. We put these inside the standing card holder and travel card holder and she adored looking at the shapes!
Also the material of Lovevery flashcards are baby proof somehow. No clue how they did it, but these cards can take a beating and hold up!
More complex black and white flashcard set
From Lovevery, “As your baby's vision develops, they'll become interested in more complex patterns.” My daughter did LOVE these more complex shapes and still takes them out at a year and a half and looks at them sometimes.
We really love the Lovevery flashcards. Like I said, they are made from some sort of magic paper that just doesn't tear and holds up against baby drool! We still use the exact same set from Lovevery with my second.
Because of the travel card holder, we've always had these in the car and out for my kids. In this video, you can see how there are some slight crinkle lines, but they are in SUCH good condition 2 years later with weekly use!
You can purchase a pack of 48 high contrast flashcards for $10 here that range from simple to more complex and basically cover the two sets you get in this play kit. Though I don't think they will “hold up” quite as well as Lovevery's so my actual recommendation would be to purchase a set of flashcards from Lovevery directly as they sell them individually.
The perfect Play Gym and stroller accessory: switch, hang, and separate the links for new sensory exploration.
This item was added after we received this play kit so I have no experience with it, but I've watched a few people use it. They seem pretty cool and can be used for tummy time, hanging from the car seat or stroller, and are overall quite versatile.
Nothing exactly like Lovevery's but there are a few similar options to consider:
- Discover the Senses Set: This is a 6 piece set with rings that allow you to hang items and swap different ones out. The plush ball provides some similar “nubs” as Lovevery's but you miss the “tummy time” wedge effect Lovevery provides which leads me too…
- Infantino Prop-A-Pillar: So this actually unfolds to recreate a similar experience I've seen with the Lovevery sensory links when attached for tummy time and lounging. However it's much larger and not as portable as Lovevery's- although it does come with detachable toys for on the go travel. All in all, I'd say this is THE MOST similar to Lovevery's even though it can't be broken down in quite the same way.
Guide book for play kit
A detailed book on the skills your baby is developing and ideas to play with your baby, backed by research!
What items have been discontinued?
Travel card holder
We still use this item at a year and a half, and don't see us stopping anytime soon and I would recommend purchasing from the subscriber shop if available!
It's a travel card holder that is soft and attaches to a the head of a car seat so your little one can admire it in their carseat. We used the flashcards that come in this kit in the early days, the swapped out for pictures of body parts and nature (flashcards that come with other Lovevery Play Kits and the Play Gym).
You can get this car seat activity gallery for $24 that works the exact same as Lovevery's. It comes with 8 high contrast reversible cards (so 16 pictures in total). It fits 5×5 flashcards in the slots, but the openings that are visually shown are only about 4.5×4.5 so keep that in mind if purchasing to use with other flashcard sets.
Unlike Lovevery's, it doesn't fold over, but it's also smaller than Lovevery's as a whole.
Blanket + Mug
Lovevery also used to offer an organic swaddle blanket and mug in this play kit but discontinued both two iterations ago. We never used the mug but my daughter does use that blanket for preschool nap time actually. It was quite large, lightweight, but still warm. You can find all my tips on swaddles + receiving blankets here!
Is The Looker Play Kit from Lovevery worth it?
This is a tough question for me to answer. On the one hand, HECK YES! On the other hand if money were tight, I'd probably skip it.
The cost to self curate this play kit is either $93 or $146 depending on which versions of the Lovevery dupes you get. Either way it's still more than the cost of this play kit from Lovevery ($80).
Why it's a yes for me:
If you read through the items I talked about above, you noticed that of the ones we received, my daughter still used a couple for three straight years and they all work with our second child. We got this play kit for our first child, so I'm happy to have it for future children as I know the other items are short lived for just one baby. Even if we weren't going to have any more kids, I'd still be so happy to have had them and I'd donate them to children in need going forward.
PIN IT + SAVE FOR LATER!!
The items in this play kit aren't just about being “high contrast” but about making them functional and accessible to a newborn. BIG WIN! Because a new parent, you'll be tired and grateful the cards can stand up on their own and you won't have to hold them.
Why I'd skip it:
I know everyone financial situation is different and Lovevery has some pretty amazing play kits.
So it's not that I'd skip Lovevery Play Kits altogether, but I'd skip this one in favor of future ones if I had to choose between them. The items in here are a bit more short lived than ones in future play kits.
After my second child, we got the Monti Kids Level 1 Box and I did end up preferring it to Lovevery's the Looker – though it costs significantly more.
Shop “The Looker” Play Kit
You can read the FAQs and full review of Lovevery Subscription Play Kits here.
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