Lovevery Adventurer Playkit Review and the BEST Alternatives

When we first started on our Lovevery journey, it was hard to stomach the cost of the play kits. We questioned if it would be cheaper to purchase pieces from the boxes separately.

After deep diving into all the alternatives and dupes available, we found that most of the boxes were better quality and value overall.

We found lots of great alternatives and if you already had toys at home that served the same purpose, you may only want to pick up a few toys from each box.

We also found lots of great toys that supplemented the toys from each box. Read on to see our review of the Lovevery Adventurer Play Kit and all the alternatives and dupes we’ve found for it!

This post is part of my Lovevery Review and Alternatives Series where I review each box and list alternatives and dupes we’ve found available!

The Lovevery play kits shown in this review were purchased by us. All opinions are our own. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full disclosure policy.

What age is the Lovevery Adventurer Playkit for?

Lovevery Adventurer Play Kit Box

The Lovevery Adventurer Play Kit (previously called the Pioneer Play Kit) is made for growing toddlers in the 16-18 month age range.

At this stage, your child is soaking in new experiences, learning to communicate, refining their motor skills, and embracing their creativity. The Lovevery Adventurer Play Kit is tailor-made for this phase of rapid growth and development, designed with months 16, 17, and 18 in mind.

It’s the second box in the toddler age range and though following up on Lovevery’s Babbler Play Kit is difficult, the Adventurer Play Kit brings tons of great new toys and activities.

Inside the Lovevery Adventurer Playkit and Alternatives

The Adventurer Play Kit is a partner in exploring children’s fascination with the world and how they interact with their surroundings.

We love the toys that were selected to nurture a wide range of skills—emotion awareness, problem-solving, language development, and fine and gross motor skills.

Read more below on how each individual toy supports the development of each of the skills.

Our Grading System:

Design: Unique design that works on specific skills

Durability: How durable the product is and if we think it will last years

Replayability: How long do we think our children will play with it

Overall (Keep/Dupe/Skip): What we think overall and if we think it is worth the money

Race & Chase Ramp

The Race & Chase car ramp is a great way for children to explore motion, gravity, and changes in direction. It provides a learning opportunity in cause and effect when they see what happens after placing the cars on the ramp.

The ramp is such a fun addition to our toy collection. It’s unique from other wooden car ramps since it has two tracks, allowing you to “race”.

It comes with a ramp and two cars. We also found other wooden cars on Amazon that work well if you need more or just don’t like the colours that come in the box.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

As already mentioned, this car ramp is unique in that it has two ramps – something we hadn’t seen before on other wooden car ramps.

We also thought it was really clever to paint one side blue and one side red to match the cars.

Our daughter surprised us by turning the ramp sideways and driving the car around as it if were a track along the sides (see in picture above).

Carrying the car ramp is easy as it was designed with a handle at the back which was super helpful.

We just wish there was somewhere to put the cars when stored – either a bag or slot on the ramp; so that the cars can be stored with the ramp easily. We’re very careful to store the cars nearby when it’s not in our toy rotation but I can see them being easily lost.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

The car ramp is very durable and has survived being knocked off our table.

After months of play, we haven’t noticed any paint or wood chipping.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

Older kids love to play with this toy when they come over, albeit not for very long.

When it gets taken out for toy rotation, it’s usually the first toy my kids gravitate towards before moving on to the other toys in rotation.

The cars can also be used in conjunction with other toys (we like using them with our Connetix tiles!)

Overall: Great (4/5) – Keep

We love that the Race & Chase ramp has two ramps so you can play along with your child.

We’ve used the Race & Chase Ramp to promote early speech by racing and saying “Ready, Set, Go!” and releasing both cars at once.

We rarely put the car ramp away because the kids really like it and every time little friends come over, they all love to play with it as well.

Our only concern is that kids do age out of this and there isn’t much you can do with pieces creatively otherwise.

Race & Chase Ramp Alternatives and Dupes

The Wonder & Wise Fast track was the closest we found to Lovevery’s Race & Chase Ramp.

It has two ramps and even has the additional feature of a guard at the starting line so you can place the cars at the top and then release them at the same time. However, this car ramp is not very cheap, coming in at almost half the cost of the Lovevery Adventurer play kit on its own.

We owned the Fisher-Price Little People Toddler Playset Launch & Loop Raceway Race Track for a while and I think it’s a great alternative if you aren’t opposed to plastic.

It offers different ramps and the kids love to see where the cars end up. It also comes with a little gas station area for additional pretend play.

Finally, if you are looking for something more affordable and is also wooden, the Play22 Wooden Car Ramps Race is a good alternative. It does only have ONE ramp though so you don’t actually get to race the cars.

Community Garden Puzzle

The Community Garden Puzzle really steps up the level of difficulty from the Circle of Friends puzzle (from the Babbler Play kit), going from simple circles to complicated garden shapes and a smaller knob on the puzzle pieces.

While still working on the pincer grasp, the Community Garden puzzle offers more variety and is very aesthetically pleasing!


Design: Great (4/5)

We loved that this puzzle is more complicated than the Circle of Friends Puzzle from the Babbler Play Kit. It continues to encourage the child to develop a pincer grasp and offers a bigger challenge.

When we first received the puzzle, we thought it was kind of random in terms of design choice. It didn’t really tie into anything else in the play kit and I felt like there were so many other puzzles out there that it felt like a missed opportunity to do something more cohesive.

But then we saw a set-up online that incorporated the puzzle into a sensory bin. We loved the idea of using black beans as soil and then placing the pieces “beneath the soil” and having the child match from there.

We felt this made it much more inviting and having the leaves peek out of the soil made better use of the puzzle.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

As with most Lovevery wooden toys, it’s well made and pieces are thicker than other alternatives.

Replayability: Ok (2/5)

You can’t really do much other than match the pieces and beyond that, there wasn’t much play with this puzzle in our house.

Overall: Good (3/5) – buy an alternative/dupe

There are tons of alternatives for this kind of puzzle online that we felt did a better job.

We felt it could have been better executed and its only saving point was that it was durable and nice to look at.

Community Garden Puzzle Alternatives and Dupes

One of our favourite types of puzzles at home is the Melissa & Doug Sound Puzzles.

They have sensors on the puzzle that when you cover up a part with the puzzle piece, it will make a sound. For example, moving the cow on top of where the cow is supposed to go would make a “moo” sound.

They are really fun for kids and they have a wide variety of sound puzzles available – musical instruments, animals, vehicles, and even house sounds.

We also love the Melissa and Doug Alphabet, Numbers, and Colours puzzles. They are a great way to introduce these to children and we like using them in our sensory play or playing hide and seek with them around the house.

If you are looking for something more similar to the Community Garden Puzzle, the Home Learning Preschool Early Educational Development Colorful Fruit and Vegetables is your best bet. It also has various fruits and vegetables that you can use for play though it doesn’t have the leaves that you can “hide” in sensory play soil.

Threadable Bead Kit

The threading kit is just like any other threading kit right?

Here is where we were pleasantly surprised when we learned how the Lovevery threading kit works.

Most other threading kits we found were a fun collection of various animals but had bead holes that were the same size on all pieces.

The Lovevery ones change the size of the hole on the “beads” so you can actually introduce this toy in stages – starting from beads with the biggest hole, to the one with the smallest.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We loved that the beads had different-sized holes, allowing our toddler to start on an easier “level” and work her way up to the smallest bead holes. The size of the beads are also different sizes so ones that are “thinner” would be easier to thread while ones that are thicker would be more difficult.

The beads are too big to be a choking hazard and it comes with a nice drawstring bag to store everything.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

With a mix of plastic and wooden pieces, the Threadable Bead Kit is very durable. All of the wooden pieces are very large and it would be very difficult to break any of the beads in the kit.

The only item that might see wear would be the “thread” – I can see it fraying over time.

Replayability: Excellent (5/5)

Every time the kit comes out for toy rotation, my kids are all over it.

I even find they come up with creative ways to pay with the pieces. I’ve found them dropping the beads down the Car Ramp, using them for pretend cooking or even just hiding them in the Fuzzy Bug Shrub.

Overall: Excellent (5/5) – Keep

Before actually having the Threading Bead Kit, I didn’t really understand why it was any better than any other one in the market.

Having had it for a couple of years now, it is definitely the best one on the market since it has varying levels of difficulty and is very durable.

Threadable Bead Kit Alternatives and Dupes

We couldn’t find any lacing bead kits that had varying sizes of bead holes but the PlanToys Wooden Lacing Beads was the closest in that it does have beads that are varying thicknesses of beads.

We’re also a huge fan of PlanToys as a brand since everything we have from them is very durable and toddler-friendly.

Wooden Stacking Pegboard

The Wooden Stacking Pegboard is designed to promote fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, color recognition, and early math concepts.

The Wooden Stacking Peg Board features a set of colorful wooden pegs and a pegboard with holes to insert them. Toddlers can pick up the pegs and place them into the holes, which requires the use of their pincer grasp and fine motor skills.

Beyond its educational benefits, the Wooden Stacking Peg Board encourages creative play. Our kids like to experiment with different arrangements of the pegs, building colorful towers and patterns.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

The set includes a variety of colorful wooden pegs, which capture the attention of toddlers and encourage color recognition and matching. The vibrant colors make the activity visually appealing and engaging.

The pegs are designed with a size and shape that are easy for small hands to grasp. This promotes independence as toddlers can confidently pick up and manipulate the pegs.

We had no fears of the pieces being choking hazards since they were all quite big.

We just wish it came with a bag to store all of the pieces.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

We’ve seen a lot of play with our Wooden Stacking Pegboard and it still looks like it’s in new condition.

We have another plastic stacking pegboard and the pegs can be bent easily. We are happy to see that the Lovevery one doesn’t have this problem since the pegs were designed to fit snugly against each other.

Replayability: Excellent (5/5)

Beyond stacking pegs on the pegboard, my kids have rolled the pegs down the car ramp, used them for pretend cooking, and used them when reading the book Caps for Sale.

Overall: Excellent (5/5) – Keep

Besides the Race & Chase car ramp, the Wooden Stacking Pegboard probably sees the most play from this play kit.

We don’t put it away often in our toy rotation since the kids love it and find so many creative ways to play with it.

Wooden Stacking Pegboard Alternatives and Dupes

If you’re looking for the closest affordable alternative, the Learning Resources Stacking Shapes Pegboard has colourful pegs that don’t have a huge peg so they should be pretty durable.

We also came across the Battat – Toddler Peg Board – Stacking Peg Board Set which is cool since it also doubles as a threading toy.

Fuzzy Bug Shrub

The Fuzzy Bug Shrub features small, colourful bug-like critters with Velcro attachments. These critters are designed to stick to the “shrub” or the plant-like base, thanks to the Velcro.

The Velcro attachments are designed to securely hold the critters in place, and the toy is constructed to resist damage from normal toddler handling.

The Fuzzy Bug Shrub works on fine motor skills to pull the bugs off AND it also helps develop children’s motor planning and problem-solving as they have to hold the container with one hand, in order to pull the bugs off with the other.

We’ve also stuck the bugs to other things in the house like our Nugget couch and various throw pillows, and you can also teach prepositions like on and in.


Design: Great (4/5)

Though felt pieces with velcro attachments aren’t a new concept, we thought it was adorable that you stick the bugs onto the tree shrub.

We also love that it comes in a container to store the pieces and to play hide-and-seek with them.

Durability: Great (4/5)

The bugs have a plastic-feeling coating similar to iron-on patches that makes them feel very durable.

Our only concern is the shrub base coming off after a lot of play from the velcro pulling.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

My toddler has a lot of fun with the fuzzy bug shrub but it IS short-lived.

If you bring it out with other felt toys though, it definitely gives it more replayability.

We’ve also used it with the book Some Bugs as an extension activity. Each bug is represented in the book and there’s a ladybug on every page which makes it a good matching and search and find activity.

Overall: Good (3/5) – Alternatives could work but wouldn’t be as great quality

The Fuzzy Bug Shrub feels more durable than other alternatives and we love that the bugs feel like iron-on pieces rather than normal felt.

While my kids do like playing with the Fuzzy Bug Shrub, the play was short-lived. I don’t see them playing with it much when they are a little older.

Fuzzy Bug Shrub Alternatives and Dupes

We weren’t able to find any direct alternatives to the Fuzzy Bug Shrub but we did find other insect-felt toy alternatives.

The Insect Teaching Felt Board Story Set has all the insect pieces (and more) and comes with a large board to place the pieces on. However, it’s not the most durable since the pieces are felt compared to the Lovevery bugs that feel more like iron-on patches.

If you’re looking for a shrub, you could also grab the Counting Ladybugs – Montessori Wooden Counting Toy. It comes with wooden ladybugs that have numbers you can count with and though they don’t stick to the shrub, the flowers that come with the set do.

‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’ Board Book

‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’ is a book about processing and managing emotions.

At this age, children start having those “big emotions” and have a lot of trouble understanding and processing them. We like to read this book to our children to help them better understand feelings of sadness and gain confidence to move about their day.


Design: Great (4/5)

We like the story behind ‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’. The way the book approaches things really follows Montessori and doesn’t blame the child for getting hurt.

It also subtly adds some other lessons like turn-taking and counting the steps as he climbs up the stairs.

It’s a great little book that is really relatable for this age as the kids begin to really run around and have fallen as depicted in the book.

We only took off one point because the first page of the book says that they go to the park almost every day and for some families, this doesn’t feel very plausible.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

Like all of Lovevery’s board books, the books are very durable and we haven’t had any problems despite having read the book many times.

Replayability: Great (4/5)

I feel like all kids love going to the park and at this age, all kids love to run faster than their little legs and feet can carry them. So the material is very relatable and can be read every time your toddler needs a reminder that everyone gets sad when they hurt but that’s okay.

Overall: Great (4/5) – Keep/Buy this book

We really like Max and Nana Go to the Park and thought it was very clever how they found ways to incorporate simple math concepts along with the story.

The content is very relatable for children at this age and the expressions displayed in the book are genuine.

‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’ Board Book Alternatives and Dupes

We weren’t able to find any direct alternatives to ‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’.

If you would like a book with real-life pictures and cover different emotions, Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions book is a great choice. This doesn’t have a nice story demonstrating a situation that you would feel sad but you could still practice the different emotions with your child.

For a book that has a similar story to ‘Max and Nana Go to the Park’, Boo Hoo Bird is a great alternative. In the story, the Boo Hoo bird gets hurt and navigates his emotions and what makes him feel better.

In Poor Little Rabbit, readers can help the rabbit get better by blowing on his boo-boo three times, trying a bandage, and wiping away his tears. It’s a nice interactive book that encourages empathy and caring for others.

Play Guide for Months 16, 17, 18

We always appreciate having the play guide available with each kit. It really helps cover how and why each item was designed and selected for the play kit.


Design: Good (3/5)

We found that we knew a lot already about this age range and some of the explanations of why you should use each toy are somewhat obvious.

We also thought they could have selected better extra activities included at the back of the play guide.

We actually recommend downloading the Montessori Noteboook’s list of activities for babies, toddlers and preschoolers for supplemental activities.

Durability: Great (4/5)

We love that the cards are of laminated quality and aren’t afraid that some “sticky” fingers would damage them.

The tabs can be easily folded over though if you aren’t careful.

Replayability: Ok (2/5)

We mainly used the cards to go over the explanations and to make sure we were showing our children how to use the items properly.

There IS an included play-doh recipe included on one of the cards that I could see you using over and over again but there are also plenty available online.

Overall: Good (3/5)

We still like having a play guide with each kit to make sure we understand how to use each toy properly. The milestones section and extra activities at the back are always appreciated but we found some of the ones listed in this particular play guide lacking.

Definitely download the Montessori Noteboook’s list of activities for babies, toddlers and preschoolers instead.

Play Guide for Months 16, 17, 18 Alternatives and Dupes

There are not many suitable “dupes” for the play guide as it is specific to the toys in their box.

Lovevery does have Parent Resources available on their website that you can read up on for the development and milestones of your child.

We also recommend the following books for more Montessori ideas and child development.

The Book Bundle Add-On

Lovevery’s real-life picture books have become so popular that Lovevery has book bundles with each play kit.

The Adventurer play kit includes some books that were previously discontinued and are wonderful additions to your library.

‘Opposites’ Board Book

The opposites board book has lots of lovely pictures inside featuring real-life people and covers things like up/down, little/big, over/under, clean/dirty, etc.


Design: Great (4/5)

We always love Lovevery’s use of real-life pictures in their books. We really appreciated that the representations of items are realistic (for example for big/small, they used two different-sized balls of the same colour instead of blowing a small object up bigger to an unrealistic size).

We took off a point because we found this book a little short (which I guess is why they also have their “More Opposites” book available).

Durability: Great (4/5)

Since this book is shorter than Lovevery’s other books, it’s naturally less durable than its other thicker books. It IS however still printed on the same thick board book material.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

It’s a fun read while toddlers are learning opposites at this stage and I like that you could easily recreate the scenes at home but I don’t see much use beyond this age range.

Overall: Good (3/5) – It’s good, but there are also other great alternatives (below)

We felt that overall, the book was good with its realistic images but found it to be too short. We also found some other good alternatives to the book and felt there were a lot of other “Opposite” books available.

‘Opposites’ Board Book Alternatives and Dupes

We love both Abrams Appleseed’s Baby Up, Baby Down: A First Book of Opposites and the National Geographic Kids Look and Learn: Opposites!. We have many books from both authors/series at home and highly recommend all of them, especially all the books in the Look and Learn series from National Geographic.

All of the book alternatives we have suggested offer real-life photos when making a comparison. However some pictures in the My First OPPOSITES Padded Board Book suffer from being unrealistic since pictures were just “made bigger” to do demonstrations of big/small.

Mini Board Books (Set of 4)

Mini books are a favourite in our house for diaper changes.

I don’t know about you but at this age my toddler DOES NOT want to lie down and be changed. That’s where Lovevery’s mini board books come in to save the day.

My little one loves the real-life pictures in these books and gets a great laugh out of the silly photos.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We love the real-life photos, how simple these books are and the wide variety provided across the books.

The kids are being silly in the books (like wearing shoes too big)

Durability: Great (4/5)

We have a set of one of the alternatives below at home and though both the Lovevery and the alternative books are both mini board books, we found that the Lovevery ones shomehow held up better.

Both eventually show signs of wear when played with enough though.

Replayability: Great (4/5)

We actually started using mini board books during diaper changes starting with Lovevery’s Animals I see book from the Thinker play kit.

We STILL use that book in rotation with all of our other mini board books during diaper changes and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

Overall: Great (4/5) – Buy these or the alternatives below (but Lovevery’s are more fun)

The mini books are such a welcome addition in our home and we’re so happy to pick them up since we’ve read Lovevery’s ‘Animals I see’ book a bajillion times already and welcome the variety.

We also highly recommend some of the alternatives below for even more variety!

Mini Board Books (Set of 4) Alternatives and Dupes

All of these mini board book sets are pretty similar. They don’t really have a story or are as playful as the Lovevery mini board books, but they all offer pictures of real-life things.

You really can’t go wrong with any of them and they are nice to throw in your going-out bag to bring around with you for a quick distraction.

Is the Lovevery Adventurer Play Kit Worth It?

We really liked the Adventurer (previously Pioneer) play kit and found it was worth it.

Our kids enjoyed all of the items in this play kit and we’ve found lots of ways to use the items beyond their intended purpose.

As our kids grow and we get more of these play kits, we’ve found the increasing need for space so we always appreciate when a toy can be repurposed at an older age.

When pricing out all of the alternatives to the Adventurer play kit, you’ll quickly realize that the total cost becomes very close to the Lovevery play kit cost. We personally didn’t find it worth it to spend time duping or paying almost the same amount of money for alternatives that were worse quality.

However kids do grow up (and learn) quickly. If you have other toys at home already, picking up some of the mentioned alternatives would also work.

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