Lovevery Play Kit Review: Honest Thoughts After 5 Years With The Subscription [+ Discount code: TCM]

Wondering if the Lovevery Play Kit Subscription is worth it? In short: YES!

We've had the Lovevery play kits since 2018, and I've reviewed each one in-depth (comparing the cost to self curate with Amazon alternatives or other toy dupes). So I have a lot of thoughts in this post and we're going to dive DEEP into making the best decision for your family. But here are the highlights (I got into signfiicantly more detail on each of these bullet points later in the post):

Key Takeaways:

  • We've received + reviewed all of the Lovevery play kits since 2018 and compared each to self curating with Amazon.
  • The majority of the time the cost to recreate Lovevery play kit's is either less or the same (at the sacrifice of quality) as self curating making it a good financial value and it saves you time as a parent.
  • Individual Products For Sale: You can purchase a small selection of Lovevery playthings via their store and through their Target line. None of the play kit items are sold separately though.
  • Lovevery boxes cost $80 (shipped every other month the first year) or $120 (shipped quarterly)
  • Lovevery toys are made in a German owned factory (Hape) in China using FSC harvested wood, soy-based inks, organic cottons, etc. Non-toxic parents will love them.
  • Lovevery historically only has one sale a year: Cyber Week – this is typically $10 off 3 play kits and isn't a sale worth waiting most of the year for, especially when you can use discount code TCM to save on your subscription today!
  • Pros: Time saving, beautiful, durable, easy to clean, well rounded assortment of playthings backed by research ensuring all your child's developmental areas are getting hit
  • Cons: Not all kids develop at the same time so some items may arrive sooner or later than your child is actually interested in them; around 2-3 years old you may need to supplement with more toys tailored to your child's interest

After having the Lovevery Play Kit Subscription since 2018, with two kids, I can 100% say they are worth it. I've even compared Lovevery vs. Amazon alternatives and other montessori subscription boxes like KiwiCo and Monti Kids to see if the price tag for these educational toys holds up, and it does. In this Lovevery review, I'll walk you through everything you need to know!

Below, you'll discover everything you need to know about Lovevery to decide if it's worth it for your family and child's age. Plus links to all the individual play kit reviews where you can see how Lovevery compares to Amazon, with links to self curate with the cheapest alternative too!

Make sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to catch all the Lovevery Play Kit unboxings + loads more ideas for keeping your toddler entertained!

Lovevery Review:

The baby toys and toddlers toys are high quality, last well beyond the intended age range, and can be used on their own or for tons of montessori at home activities!

Everything is really aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean and organize, and engaging for baby through the toddler years.

Plus, as a new parent, having the waldorf and montessori toy subscription box delivered to our door at the right time with the right toys saved us from decision fatigue and researching!

Even better, they keep clutter to a minimum (we tell people, not to get us toys, just their favorite children's books) since we already had everything we needed. Their award-winning play products have been a big hit with both of our kids, and ultimately saved us money compared to buying the montessori toys separately.

They focus on meeting that are developmentally appropriate to your child's age. Plus they've made things easy as all the toys are already selected for you and are backed by research to support your child at each stage of their development.

Pros

  • Time saving
  • The subscription includes a well rounded assortment of playthings backed by research ensuring all of your child's developmental areas are getting hit
  • Beautiful / aesthetically pleasing while still offering vibrancy to engage kids
  • Durable + well made using organic, well sourced, non-toxic materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Can encourage minimalism during the first few years (they were the *only* toys we had really with my first until about 2 – 3 years old)

Cons

  • Not all kids develop at the same time, so some items may arrive sooner or later than your child is actually interested in them (later in this post I share how to get your play kits earlier than the intended age range)
  • Many families (myself included) find you need to supplement with other toys starting around 2 years old more tailored to the child's interest


What are Lovevery Play Kits?

Lovevery Play Kits are a waldorf and montessori inspired subscription box full of educational toys designed and curated by a team of experts to grow with your child and assist their learning. Lovevery's kits are delivered based on your child's age to meet their developmental stage.

For instance, newborns only see in black and white, so the Looker play kit comes with a set of high-contrast black and white images, mirror cards, and other natural materials. They provide all the developmental toys a child needs to thrive for the best start.

The first year of baby play kits are delivered every other month (6 total), and then the toddler play kits are delivered quarterly (four a year).

Backed by research:

Lovevery works with a team of experts to carefully create and curate their developmental toys. These focus on baby and toddler milestones to meet your child at each stage of development.

They work with academics, researchers on baby brain development, psychologists, montessori experts, and occupational therapists in designing their products! You can see who they work with and their credentials here.

The play guide: Guidance + activities for parents

Inside of each play kit, is a little explainer book known as the play guide. This offers research and guidance about why they included the toy, suggestions for different ways to (re)imagine playing with it, and insights about the skill your baby or toddler is developing at that stage.

From my personal experience, I felt a great peace of mind with my young children, knowing inside of every play kit was the play guide. It's like a little added bonus for new moms and dads to have helpful child development info, ways to play with the toys, and activity ideas for that stage.

lovevery the enthusiast play kit review

I always say the Lovevery play guide is the Spark Notes version of parenting that stage for those of us without much time to read all the attachment theory, discipline, or montessori parenting books.

Are Lovevery toys toxic?

No! They are some of the cleanest non-toxic toys and ethically sourced toys on the market in fact.

I've compared all of Lovevery's toys to Amazon alternatives and I have to say, there is a huge difference in quality and toxicity between Lovevery's and competitors.

Lovevery uses FSC sustainable sourced wood, organic cotton, nontoxic paint, soy based inks, and baby safe plastic. You can read more about their sustainability initiatives here.

The materials are so high quality too! They sustainably source the wood, use certified organic materials, the ink is soy based, and they use baby-safe plastics!

What is the Lovevery Book Bundle?

The Lovevery book bundle is a new add-on service to their play kit subscription.

You must be a play kit subscriber and receive that specific play kit in order to receive the book bundle books associated with it for an additional $18 per play kit.

You can find my detailed breakdown of each bundle and whether or not I like it in this post: Lovevery Book Bundle Review! Full List Lovevery Book List.

Additionally, click here for Lovevery read alongs of the books to see if you want to add them on or not.

Are the Lovevery Play Kits worth it financially?

Yes! Not only are they high quality and designed by experts to engage your baby or toddler for hours, they are a good financial deal! They come in between $8-10 per toy during the first year, then around $15 a toy in the toddler play kits.

Of course, not all the toys are equally valued. For instance a wooden spinning drum in The Senser Play Kit could cost anywhere from $25 to $45 depending on which Amazon dupe you purchase while the Amazon dupe for Lovevery's Sensory socks in that box could be purchased for $12.

Lovevery vs Amazon / Curating It Yourself

Of Lovevery's 18 play kits, I've only found 2 that can truly be recreated for less with dupes on Amazon, but then you are losing out on the quality and clean materials that Lovevery offers in those instances.

Depending on how you look at it, the montessori drop box on Amazon, is about $30! But when you factor the price of the whole Lovevery Play Kit, it comes out to about $8 in their toy box!

You can find those Amazon + Etsy dupes linked in my individual Lovevery Play Kit Reviews:

Detailed review for each Lovevery Play Kit include how to recreate it:

NOTE: Click the play kit name for the complete review with links to shop for self curating. These quick reference “buy or skip” are based solely on the price of Lovevery vs. the price Amazon or Etsy unless otherwise noted.

The Looker Play Kit for weeks 0-8: The Looker is significantly cheaper than Amazon dupes + I would still recommend it after their changes.

The Charmer Play Kit for months 3-4 – Still recommend this over Amazon even after their changes.

The Senser Play Kit for months 5-6 – Still recommend this over dupes even after their changes.

The Inspector Play Kit for months 7-8 – One of our favorites!! HIGHLY recommend this over dupes even after their changes.

The Explorer Play Kit for months 9-10 – This got a huge upgrade actually and I recommend over the dupes.

The Thinker Play Kit for months 11-12 – 100% Recommend over the others

The Babbler Play Kit for months 13, 14, 15 is still 100% worth it IMO. The items in it will REALLY last and are some of my favorites. At 20 months my daughter is now able to take the bottom off the “coin box” and I think would LOVE the changeable tops…

The Adventurer Play Kit for months 16, 17, 18 – SKIP! Even though I love these items, it can be recreated for around $80-100.

The Realist Play Kit for months 19, 20, 21 – Financially it's worth it, but I don't love the changes.

The Companion Play Kit for months 22, 23, 24 – This is a little tricky. Technically you can recreate it for less, but it's NOT the same so I'd recommend Lovevery still.

Lovevery The Helper Play Kit Review For 25, 26, 27 Months: Worth It? – Recommend – better price + quality than dupes.

Lovevery The Enthusiast Play Kit Review For 28, 29, 30 Months – Skip

Lovevery The Investigator Play Kit Review For 31, 32, 33 Months – The dupes on this are essentially a break even tie financially.

The Free Spirit Play Kit for months 34, 35, 36 – Like the last play kit, self curating this comes out about the same financially.

The Observer Play Kit – Get it! The cost of the dollhouse alone pays for this play kit and we use it daily!

The Storyteller Play Kit – This is a tough one and really just depends if you want their fort kit or not

The Problem Solver Play Kit – Get it! It's a solid deal and the book bundle books are great too

The Analyst Play Kit – Skip. While we love a couple of the items, you can self curate it for about the same or less, and there's too many “eh” items to justify not self curating

The Connector Play Kit – Get it! It costs quite a bit more to recreate with the most similar items and my kids love it

The Examiner Play Kit – Yes! One of our favorites and financially a solid deal

The Persister Play Kit – coming in 2024

The Planner Play Kit – coming in 2024

FAQs About Lovevery Play Kits:

Can you just buy one Lovevery play kit?

Yes! You can buy just one Lovevery play kit then cancel your subscription.

How much do Lovevery play kits cost?

Lovevery play kits cost $80 during the 0 to 12 month range for babies, and then $120 per play kit between 1-3 years old.

Lovevery likes to say they cost $40 a month since the play kits ship every other month during the first year, and quarterly the subsequent years.

You can get 10% off by paying for a subscription upfront here.

I know I felt a little sticker shock when I saw the play kit subscription boxes ranging from $72-120 a box; but when you do the math, it comes out to about $8-20 a toy (depending on the kit and whether or not use take advantage of the 10% discount they offer which can be combined with my promo code TCM!)

BONUS: Since they are a done for your toy subscription service, you'll save a ton of time researching toys and debating over the best ones to buy your baby or toddler!

Seriously if you're anything like me you know this is invaluable! Say goodbye to decision fatigue and wasted timed! And hello to actually getting a moment to relax when the baby goes down for a nap!

Can you buy Lovevery toys separately?

Yes, you can buy a couple handfuls of toys from Lovevery separately here on their website, as well as through their exclusive Target line here.

But the toys in the play kits can only be accessed through a play kit subscription here. When you subscribe to the play kits you can get access to a “shop” page where you can buy individual items from past and current play kits (all the details on that here).

Lastly, over the years Lovevery has made product updates. As a subscriber on the Lovevery website you'll get access to the subscriber shop where any of the previous play kits toys that have been retired (while you were subscribed) can be purchased separately. Additionally, if you already received your play kit and they added new Lovevery items, you could purchase new ones.

A look at couple of Lovevery's individual playthings:

Lovevery Block Set:

As our first blocks, we got their block set, one of the products you can purchase separately, and LOVE it.

I saw on Jessica's IG that they are thinking about doing a “add on” pack for it even, which I'm excited about! The shape sorter lid is perfect for little hands. Additionally, it converts to a pull toy and you can make a little Lovevery slide using the ramp in the kit. It's really fantastic.

lovevery block set

IMO, this is the best block set for toddlers out there. You can re-imagine it into 20 different ways of playing. The box it comes in can transform into a pull car. It has tiny people, toggle strings, a shape sorter, and so much more.

Lovevery shelf:

We got the Lovevery Montessori Shelf to easily store the play kit toys and increase toy storage in our home as a whole and absolutely love it!

Lovevery Play Gym:

We also have their play gym which we adore. It's one of the playthings you can start using the day you bring baby home!

We used it a ton during the first year. During the toddler years we like to rotate it in and out, using the tent cover as a fun way to reinvent the product for the age. We'd turn it into a little pretend “home” or reading nook. Both of my children thoroughly enjoy playing peek-a-boo in it too!

What if I'm choosing between the Lovevery Play Gym and Play Kits?

Honestly, both! Remember you do NOT need to get every single play kit! Instead you can skip some play kits, or do a smaller subscription to put some of that money towards the play gym.

Personally I would get the play gym and subscribe to the Charmer play kit. From there depending on budget here's my heierarchy of play kits the first year:

  1. Charmer
  2. Inspector
  3. Senser
  4. thinker
  5. Looker
  6. Explorer

I cover more of the best + worst Lovevery play kits here to help you figure out which to skip in your subscription.

Can you buy used Lovevery Play Kits?

Absolutely! The toys are high quality and designed to last for years to come. Many people resell their Lovevery play kit toys once their child has outgrown them so check your local listings, Ebay, and Mercari.

With that said, if you can't find what you want, you can always buy Lovevery Play Kits and resell your items too (you'll see they have AMAZING resell value) to make back some of your money!

But will my baby or toddler actually enjoy the Lovevery play kits?

Obviously every child is different, but in my experience reviewing Lovevery for the last 3+ years and talking to hundreds of you about your experience, I can wholeheartedly say babies and toddlers love these toys!

Again, they are designed by child development experts and kid tested so it's no surprise. With that said, some parents I've talked to over the years found their kids were interested in the items either earlier than the intended age range or later.

When I was pregnant, I had big dreams like many first time moms: all wooden, montessori based toys to help my child develop.

And I got SO many eye rolls from parents. They would tell me things like:

“Just you wait until baby arrives, you'll see they only want to play with the things that light up and make noise! Your kid will have no interest in wooden toys!”

WRONG!

And Lovevery's play kits proved that. On average, at a year and a half my daughter played with items for 30 minute stretches on her own with her toys from these play kits. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

Part of that is the toys, part of that is because we took the time to model and encourage independent play with them for her, and part of that is utilize toy rotation <– parenting hack you need in your life!!

But the bottom line is, yes, our daughter loves them and prefers them over the 2 light up/noise making toys she has.

I have a newborn, when should I start my Lovevery subscription?

Start with The Charmer Play Kit for 3 to 4 month olds. You still get some high contrast flash cards and a little mirror board with high contrast images on the back. Plus you get a ton of rattles and teethers made from cleaner materials than you'll find trying to self curate on Amazon.

Now if you are like, “Eh newborns don't really need toys, when should I buy if I'm a frugal mama taking a truly minimalist approach and holding off on buying toys for my baby for as long as possible?”

Then I'd say start with the Inspector Play Kit for months 7-8.

The toys in the Inspector Play Kit are, IMO, the turning point from newborn to play fiend. Maybe it's because my daughter started crawling at 6 months? Maybe it's just where kids are at in their development? All I can say is we still use these toys with a 2 year old and 5 year old. The products from the Inspector are 10/10 a must have in our home.

How do I get Lovevery boxes earlier than the intended age range?

Change your child's birthday when signing up to receive the kits sooner.

Is Lovevery montessori?

Yes and no.

Lovevery is inspired by both Waldorf and Montessori – however they feature a wide array of items that were not created by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Many of the products found in their first few years kits follow the montessori principle “control of error” meaning they self correct so the child can spot a mistake. The toys tend to follow montessori sensitive periods as well. They also feature rich sensory experiences and wooden toys that Montessori herself would've likely approved of.

How do you clean your Lovevery toys?

Honestly cleaning the toys from the play kits is really SO easy and each product comes with a care guide.

Since they are all well made, you can either toss them in the wash (I always wash things on cold, and tumble dry on low heat).

Or just use a little soap and water on a soft cloth to wipe them down.

lovevery toys, lovever the analyst play kit review

Since the toys generally have clean lines and not a ton of parts, they are easy to wipe down.

The hardest one (which wasn't really hard) to clean was the “slide and sleek ball run” from The Babbler Play Kit. My daughter decided to put her muffin down the slide to see if it'd work… only crumbs got in where the plastic opening screws into the wooden staff. I just got in there with a q-tip and it came out really easy. It's like they made it a wide opening because they knew parents would need to clean it haha!

What are the best Lovevery toys?

Honestly, there's so many great toys it's hard to choose. But the top three we've gotten the most use out of consistently with BOTH kids are:

The “slide and sleek ball run” from The Babbler Play Kit has always been a hit with both of my kids. They love the ball drop watching it go around the slide.

My son has loved the Lovevery play sink from the Helper play kit and the dollhouse in the Observer gets daily use.

Our Lovevery mop was also so hard for them to share, I had to get this as an alternative.

In the Inspector play kit, the object permanence box has been one of our most used items too. It's great for teaching object permanence, but my older toddler loves using it for pretend play with the block set as a “house” or “barn.”

Lovevery vs. KiwiCo: Which is the best montessori toy box subscription?

Personally, as a whole, Lovevery wins for us.

However Kiwico did make some serious changes to their Panda Crate line with the introduction of Panda Crate Plus (review here).

I still think Lovevery is the best overall buy, but if you're considering KiwiCo, I'd test them out when your child is between 2 years old and 3 years old (click here and use code TCM for 50% off your first month of KiwiCo).

Do you have a Lovevery Discount code?

Yes! You can use promo code TCM to save your new subscription! Lovevery also offers 10% off on your play kits when you click here as an option at checkout which can be combined with my discount code!

lovevery the examiner play kit review

Does Lovevery run sales?

Lovevery runs an annual Black Friday, Cyber Monday / Cyber Week sale:

  • In 2023 it was code FUN30 for $30 off your subscription of 3 play kits or more
  • In 2022 it was $30 off the play kits with code JOY30
  • In 2021 it was $30 off new play kit subscription with code PLAYKITS30

Regardless, the sales are never *so spectacular* that I'd recommend waiting months for it, especially when you can use code TCM for a comparable discount today!

Can I skip a Lovevery box?

Yes, you can skip or cancel under “manage subscriptions.” I've found their customer service to be really good too if you have any problems!

How do I cancel my Lovevery subscription?

Lovevery makes everything SO simple. If you ever have questions, all the information you need can be found here or in the footer of their website.

To cancel your Lovevery play kit subscriptions you simply login to your account and navigate to Manage Subscriptions under account settings.

Things to know: You can stop the shipment of your next Play Kit up to 3 days before the ship date. If utilized the “pay up front” option when subscribing to receive a discount on Lovevery Play Kits, you will be refunded the purchase price of the Play Kits that you haven't received yet, but you will lose out on the discounted price.

You can also contact: heretohelp@lovevery.com if you have any issues!

Updates to Lovevery play kits:

At the end of September 2020, Lovevery updated their toddler “1 year old” play kits (13-24 months) and as well as many of their first year play kits too that led to a slew of negative Lovevery reviews and unhappy customers.

This change caught a lot of my readers (and myself) by surprise. They essentially cut the amount of toys received in those play kits in half. Bringing the average cost per toy from $7-9 to $15-20.

lovevery toys, lovevery play kit review vs amazon

As far as the changes they've made to the playkits, it's honestly disappointing, but I'm also not surprised. The former versions of those play kits were a STEAL. I mean comparable toys on Amazon often times cost at least 50% more and were worse quality than what you got in the Lovevery play kits.

With this change, they also opened up a “shop” where you can buy discontinued and current play kit items (all the details here).

Final thoughts on Lovevery's Play Kits and playthings

We've had the Lovevery Play Kits and Play Gym since 2018, even before we brought our daughter home and absolutely love them overall. We think they make great gifts, that support baby's development and our kids much prefer them to plastic toys.

Everything is really aesthetically pleasing, easy to clean and organize, and engaging for our kids.

lovevery examiner play kit review vs amazon

We also loved the fact they save us time on research and finding toys for her, keep clutter to a minimum (we tell people, not to get us toys, just their favorite children's books), and ultimately save money compared to buying the montessori toys separately AND just the impulse shopping that can happen when shopping for toys in general.

If you've been on the fence and keep wondering if Lovevery Play Kits are worth it, I'm happy to say they are! AND they just keep getting better as they've released their 4 to 5 year old play kits!

What Is Montessori? | Best Montessori Quotes | Montessori Gift Guide For 1 Year Old to 2 Year Olds | KiwiCo Panda Crate vs Lovevery: Which baby subscription box is best? | Toy Guitars For Kids + Toddlers | Toddler Learning Tower  | Busy Boards for Toddlers + Babies | Lovevery Playkit Subscription Review | Lovevery Block Set Review | Baby Dolls That Look Real| Toddler Backpacks | Ball Pits For Kids | Best Toddler Backpacks | Toddler Block Sets

Originally published 7/6/2020 updated 12/4/23

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