Lovevery Babbler Playkit Review and the BEST Alternatives

It’s no secret that we LOVE the Lovevery Playkits in our house.

With how expensive each box feels, we wondered for the longest time if it was worth it. I had even spent hours looking up alternatives on Amazon and other shops for each toy to see if I could price it out cheaper.

In the end, it actually ends up being more expensive to purchase each piece separately BUT it IS cheaper if you only want a few items from each box. Read on to find which ones we felt were worth it and where to purchase alternatives on Amazon and other shops.

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 Babbler Playkit for?

The Lovevery Babbler Play Kit is tailor-made for those adorable 13 to 15-month-old bundles of energy. This is the phase where your little one is finding their voice, exploring balance, and getting cozy with the concept of “mine.” Oh, and they’re also dipping their toes into the amazing world of physics!

Inside the Lovevery Babbler Playkit and Alternatives

Full Kit of Lovevery's The Babbler Play Kit

Alright, let’s dive into the real fun – the goodies inside this play kit. We’re talking about toys that are engaging and sneakily educational. Here’s the rundown with our thoughts on how much our kids loved it and what alternatives are available.

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

Slide & Seek Ball Run

Picture of the Slide and Seek Ball Run

The Slide and Seek Ball Run is a wooden box where balls roll down and disappear into.

It’s like a mini-magic show teaching your tot about cause and effect.

The Slide and Seek Ball Run comes with two balls (that rattle) and can rest at the top of the slide before being pushed to move down the slide.

At the bottom, there are four different doors your toddler can open – practicing different types of motor skills (lifting up, pinching, and opening in a swing-like door style, reaching in to find it sensorially, and a handle to pull down).


Design: Excellent (5/5)

It has multipurpose and develops multiple motor skills. Our kids love this at any age and will try to put everything from balls to small cars and cubes down the slide.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

As I mentioned, our kids have stuck all sorts of things down the slide and there has been no visible damage to it so far. The only thing that has been a pain to clean is when our kids stuck crayons down the tube.

Replayability: Excellent (5/5)

The play kit comes with two balls but you can really try putting anything down the slide. You can also use this in a similar fashion to the older Lovevery Analyst Playkit (46, 47, 48 months) which works on sensorial matching.

Overall: Excellent 5/5 (100% Keep!)

This may be our favourite Lovevery toy. Every child that comes to our house loves this one.

Dupes are hard to come by that serve the exact same purpose and just don’t compare in terms of quality, durability, and overall cost.

Slide & Seek Ball Run Alternatives and Dupes

No matter how hard I looked, there weren’t any very good dupes or alternatives to the Slide and Seek Ball Run.

None of the alternatives were able to cover all of the skills the Slide and Seek Ball Run did.

The closest we found was the Ball Tower for Toddlers that still held the ball in place and waited for the toddler to push the ball down. But it doesn’t have the box on the bottom that develops the different pincer and grip motor skills the Slide and Seek Ball Run does.

It also doesn’t teach object permanence.

To add this, you could try to build different flaps on a Kleenex box and place the spiral at the base in it.

Bunnies in a Felt Burrow

Picture of Bunnies in a Felt Burrow

The Bunnies in a Felt Burrow comes with three cute bunnies and a felt burrow with a handle that makes it easy for littles to carry around.

Furry, huggable bunnies introduce your kiddo to coordination and containment. Watch them play hide and seek with these fuzzy pals while boosting their tactile skills.


Design: Good (3/5)

We’ve found that there seems to be a lot of variance in how big the hole is. We ordered a 2nd Bunnies in a Felt Burrow and it had a much larger hole that feels too big for the bunnies. We’ve also read that some people received burrows where the hole was too small and too difficult for the bunnies to go through.

Durability: Great (4/5)

When we first received our Bunnies in a Felt Burrow, I was worried about the durability since there was an attached handle. I thought it would just pull right off but after tons of play, it is still attached no problem. The only issue is that velcro parts attach to it very easily so the burrow gets “fuzzy” from the felt being moved around.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

My daughters love carrying their bunnies around and also playing hide-and-seek with them in other areas of the house but after a few months they quickly got bored of them and haven’t reached for them since.

Overall: Good (3.5/5) – Dupe or purchase an alternative if not buying the box

Overall we liked the Bunnies in the Felt Burrow but because of the lower replayability, if we had not purchased the box, we would have purchased an alternative instead.

Bunnies in a Felt Burrow Alternatives and Dupes

There were some good alternatives available for the Bunnies in a Felt Burrow.

Our favourite one is the Lambs & Ivy Interactive Plush Mushroom House. It has multiple doors for the animals to pop out of and a nice handle for kids to carry around their animal friends with them.

Flexible Wooden Stacker

Picture of the Flexible Wooden Stacker, also showing the flexible middle post

The Flexible Wooden Stacker comes with 12 colourful rings (two each of six different colours) and a base and pole in the middle that moves around (making it more difficult than other stackers).

This is one of the few Lovevery toys that have ALL of their signature colours.

The Stacking rings in bright colors become your child’s first lesson in how things fit together. Plus, it’s a super fun way to build those fine motor skills.

You can learn how to introduce the Flexible Wooden Stacker to your children from the Lovevery website.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We have a lot of stackers in our house but this is one of the most unique stackers we have.

We were so surprised to find that the post moves which really adds a level of difficulty to the stacker.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

Like all of Lovevery’s products, the Wooden Stacker is made out of durable wood.

We were worried the post would be damaged pretty quickly since it’s only attached to the base with an elastic piece but we’ve had this for a few years and it has held up through multiple toy rotations and kids.

Replayability: Great (4/5)

This is one toy that always gets played with (even by our 4-year-old) when it is brought out for toy rotation.

Though stacking on the post can get boring after a while for the kids, the rings are used for so many other things. (If you find you’re missing some, check inside the Slide and Seek Ball Run!)

Overall: Great (4/5) – Keep!

This is another one we love from this box. It might just seem like a simple ring stacking toy but our children always amaze us in how they end up playing it.

Our children have used the rings for “cooking” in their play kitchen, colour sorting in bowls, and used the base as a “candlestick” when we read “Jack Be Nimble”.

Flexible Wooden Stacker Alternatives and Dupes

There are some great alternatives for the Flexible Wooden Stacker but none of them are “flexible” (the middle post is fixed).

The Adena Montessori version is the closest to the Lovevery Flexible Wooden Stacker since it has a similar base and six different colour rings but it only has one of each colour and is much smaller.

We have the Melissa & Doug Rainbow Stacker at home and it is a very cost-effective toy to put rings on a post. It IS smaller than the Lovevery Stacker but does the job and also serves as a way to teach size differentiation.

We also really like the Fat Brain Toys SpinAgain. This is quite a bit different as the rings are placed at the top and gravity spins the rings down to the base. But it is LARGE which is great for toddlers and kids of all ages LOVE this toy. I think everyone is just fascinated to watch the rings spin down.

Circle of Friends Puzzle

Picture of the Circle of Friends Puzzle

Circles, circles everywhere! This puzzle is just right for your toddler’s level. They’ll sort, arrange, and conquer this challenge while improving hand-eye coordination.

The Circle of Friends Puzzle comes with five different-sized knobbed circle puzzle pieces that reveal the faces of different toddlers underneath.

It builds on the pincer skill gained from the previous “First Puzzle” from the Inspector (7-8 months) play kit with all of the knobs and teaches size differentiation with the size gradient of pieces.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We found this puzzle very well thought out.

It teaches size differentiation and has a lovely colour gradient as well. The knobs practice the pincer grip to prepare kids for writing.

The pictures that are revealed underneath are also inviting for kids to play.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

We have some other puzzles at home that chip around the corners of pieces after they are played with a few times. Luckily the Lovevery puzzles don’t seem to have this problem.

We have a few different Lovevery puzzles and they have all held up very well and are made of thicker wood material than comparable brands.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

I was originally going to rate this lower as I didn’t find there was much play beyond when children are able to play with it with its designed purpose but my kids have continued to surprise me and I found my daughter (at 3 years old) one day stacking all the circles to make a large tower.

Overall: Great (4/5) – Purchase alternative if not buying the box

This is a great puzzle that develops lots of different skills and is very inviting and durable.

We didn’t find it had too much use beyond the targeted skills so if you have a similar product, you could get by with that.

Circle of Friends Puzzle Alternatives and Dupes

As time passes, more and more dupes that are released are becoming more like Lovevery’s products.

We found the Familiar Faces Peekabook Photo Puzzle the closest match to Lovevery’s Circle of Friends Puzzle. It has size differentiation and real-life pictures of children. We can’t speak on the quality of these puzzles though but have found most Amazon purchases to be of a lower quality.

The Montessori Multi Shape Wooden Puzzle resembles the usual Montessori puzzles you find in a traditional classroom environment (Inset Puzzles). This type of puzzle is tailored to develop gross hand-eye coordination and also introduces them to “figure-ground” concepts, where distinguishing a figure from its backdrop begins.

The Montessori Toys for 3+ Years Old-Shape Puzzle Board is our last choice out of the options since it is hard to see the gradual size difference among the pieces. However, it IS a good option to develop the pincer grip and can be customized with photos from home (should you choose to add images to the puzzle).

Wooden Coin Bank Set

Picture of the Wooden Bank Box

This wooden coin bank set comes with coins, carrots, and interchangeable lids that offer various options for playtime. Perfect for fine motor skills!

Lovevery also makes it easy to take out the items in the box by removing the bottom of the box (attached by magnets).

Our favourite is with the carrots as my kids like using them for pretend play in their play kitchen as well as feeding their pet rabbits from the Bunnies in a Felt Burrow.

We weren’t sure what to do with the blue lid at first but found that Q-tips and mascara wands fit well in these slots. You definitely have to be creative with this one!


Design: Great (4/5)

We love the interchangeable lids that offer many different posting options.

The lids are made of a thick silicone as well as the carrots.

The Wooden box is similar to the one from the Magic Tissue Box (Senser 5-6 Months Play kit) in durability and you can remove the bottom easily to get the items out.

We took off a point because the blue posting lid seemed like an afterthought with nothing included to use it with.

Durability: Excellent (5/5)

Everything feels very well built with quality materials and will last through lots of play.

Replayability: Excellent (5/5)

There are so many creative ways to continue to use this box.

Beyond the carrots and coins, the blue lids push you to be creative to find something to post in it (it doesn’t come with anything to put in it so it’s up to you to find something).

The coin box can also serve as a ballot box in the future for creative play or educational learning activities.

Overall: Great (4.5/5) Keep

The Wooden Bank Set is very durable and there are so many ways you can use it in future play. We think it’s a great addition to the Lovevery Babbler Box and love finding new ways to play with it.

It’s ok to purchase an alternative but I worry about the quality of the alternatives available.

Wooden Coin Bank Set Alternatives and Dupes

The Adena Montessori Toddler Play Kit is the closest alternative to the Wooden Bank Box. It also has all three lids and comes with carrots, coins, and the addition of sticks for the last posting lid.

We like that it comes with a storage bag as well to keep all the parts together.

Another cool alternative we found was the 5-in-1 Wooden Play Kit Montessori Toy.

We love that it has all the Lovevery lids (and new ones) but also acts as an object permanence box like the Ball Drop Box from the Inspector (7-8 months) play kit.

They also included a simple shape sorter lid and a fishing game.

The only thing we question is the way the “base ramp” is held up by the elastic piece. I know my kids would be far too distracted playing with that part and would lose focus on the task at hand (posting in the lid).

The nanayo 4-for-1 Play Kit Includes Object Permanence Box is another great choice since it also includes the Ball Drop Box from Lovevery and keeps it separate so your kids can focus. But it is also more expensive than the other two options so if you’re only looking for an alternative to the Wooden Bank Box, the other options would be better.

Overall, you should note that with all of these Amazon options, the wood looks to be lower quality and there have been many reviews of the products chipping.

‘Bedtime for Zoe’ Board Book

One of the things I love about the Lovevery books is that they feature items from their play kits in the actual books.

This board book is a bedtime superstar – it’s got steps for a bedtime routine that children love to follow along with and adorable pictures that take them from cleaning up their toys to bath time, brushing their teeth, changing into their pajamas, and heading to bed.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

It’s got real-life pictures your children can relate to, high-quality graphics, and features Lovevery products that children can find in their homes.

Durability: Great (4/5)

This board book is similar to others you would find.

If you get water or stains on it, you can give it a quick wipe but over time the pages will start to peel (as is the nature with board books over time).

Replayability: Great (4/5)

This particular book was part of our toddler’s routine for months.

It was one of the only ways we could convince our daughter to actually go have a bath and go to sleep since all she wanted to do was play all day.

It was our first book that became a “3rd party role model” that wasn’t mom or dad telling her what to do.

Overall: Great (4/5) – Keep (at least during the toddler stage)

We love this book for establishing routines and was used a lot in our house during the toddler stage.

The pictures are relatable and I haven’t found many real-life picture books that would be a great alternative.

‘Bedtime for Zoe’ Board Book Alternatives and Dupes

We found some similar bedtime routine board books that COULD make a good alternative to Bedtime for Zoe.

However, none of them are at the same level of quality in terms of durability and how well they are thought out to tie into all the Lovevery products.

The I’m Not Tired!: A Bedtime Routine Book was the closest we could find that had real-life pictures and offered a similar routine. It also has a fun dog to find on every page.

Play Guide for Months 13, 14, 15

Lovevery Babbler Play Guide

We think the Lovevery Play Guides are actually the most important item in the box.

They are your complete guide to what is developmentally appropriate for your children at this stage and teach you not only how to play with each toy but WHY the toys are important for this stage of your child’s life.

Lovevery Babbler Play Guide Additional Activities

They also offer additional developmentally appropriate activities at the back that may or may not include the use of their toys.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We love how the information on the play guide comes in a ring of laminated cards.

It makes it easy to pull out the card related to a specific toy and read it while with the child.

Durability: Great (4/5)

The cards in the play guide feel heavy and could stand some food or water disasters, but are still thin enough that they could be bent in the hands of a toddler.

The edges of the tabs also stick out and can be easily bent (see in the picture above).

Replayability: Good (3/5)

These cards are intended to teach a skill or promote the development of one and once mastered, they wouldn’t be used again.

Overall: Great (4/5)

We always have a good read-through of the play guide when it arrives to understand what milestones our child hitting and what they are experiencing physically and emotionally.

I hear some parents say that their children have zero interest in Lovevery because they purchase the boxes expecting their children to go and disappear with the toys.

As great as it is to have the kids explore toys on their own, children need guidance and someone to SHOW them how they should be interacting with the items.

Modelling is super important to help them understand the world and these play guides teach YOU how to teach them.

Play Guide for Months 13, 14, 15 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.

One More Thing – The Book Bundle Add-On

One thing Lovevery subscribers have been asking for is more of their books.

Lovevery subscribers can now add a book-bundle to your box subscription that contains two extra books!

This add-on brings stage-based books that’ll charm your kiddo and make storytime even more special. (Note that many of these books are actually retired books from older boxes.)

Colorful Foods

This board book is full of colour displayed through various foods.

It’s a nice quick read about half the size of most of the other Lovevery books.

As always, it displays real-life pictures of kids and contains plenty of diversity in the children and food images.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

We love how simple the book is. Each page simply displays the colour and images. The book doesn’t feel very busy in imagery either. We just wish there were more pages and colours!

Durability: Great (4/5)

Colorful Foods is printed on the same material as all of their other books but is much shorter than Lovevery’s other books. Though we aren’t concerned about the book bending, it could be much more easily damaged because of it being thinner.

Replayability: Good (3/5)

Beyond learning the colours, I’m not sure this book would get much play otherwise.

I love the aesthetic as an adult but it’s a very simple and quick read that older kids would show no interest.

Overall: Great (4/5)

Overall, it’s a nice addition to Lovevery’s other books. Our toddler would recognize the fruits and vegetables and identify them along with the colours. She would point to “nana” for a banana for example.

Colorful Foods Alternatives and Dupes

While there aren’t any direct alternatives to the Lovevery Colorful Foods book, there are a few options that display real food sorted by colour.

The Rookie Toddler’s Eat Your Colors DOES have real-life pictures of children in it but the kids are sitting on enlarged fruits and vegetables that aren’t realistic. This IS the closest we could find to the Lovevery Colourful Foods book though.

‘Where is Crew’s Shoe?’ Book

This lovely book is one of our favourites from Lovevery.

Where is Crew’s Shoe has lots of interactive flaps as you look for Crew’s Shoe throughout the book.

It’s really fun for kids and this one was asked for quite a few times at bedtime.


Design: Excellent (5/5)

Where is Crew’s Shoe is such a cute little hide and seek book.

After receiving this book, we went on a search for more of them because we loved it so much!

Durability: Great (4/5)

Since this book has lots of flaps, they can get torn off easily. This is no different than other board books with flaps though.

Replayability: Great (4/5)

While it CAN get repetitive after awhile, we loved that it naturally gave our children the idea of hide-and-seek. (Though as parents, we don’t necessarily love that our kids will hide one shoe in random places in the house…)

Overall: Great (4/5)

As I’ve said, we love this book and definitely recommend it for toddlers.

Where is Crew’s Shoe? Alternatives and Dupes

One of our favourite books is Let’s Find Momo. We have all the books in the series and my kids have so much fun looking for Momo in many different real-life settings.

While this book doesn’t have any flaps, it feels the same level of quality as the Lovevery books and is a great addition even if you have Where is Crew’s Shoe.

The closest alternative to Where is Crew’s Shoe however is the First 101 Words board book. It has tons of flaps and real-life pictures throughout the book. There is no storyline like in Where is Crew’s Shoe however.

Finally, Dear Zoo is a classic that while it doesn’t have real-life photos, is such a fun story to read.

Is the Lovevery Babbler Play Kit Worth It?

The Lovevery Babbler Play Kit was one of the harder kits to find great alternatives and dupes for.

We loved everything in this box (which is not true for all of the boxes), and we used most of the items in this kit well beyond the advertised age range.

When you take the time to add up how much it would cost to purchase each of the alternatives on Amazon, you’ll find that the price difference really isn’t that big (and depending on prices could actually end up costing you more!)

And then you lose out on the quality products that Lovevery puts out and will have to figure out HOW your children are actually supposed to engage with the items.

I always tell people who ask if you’re only going to purchase one kit from Lovevery for each age year, this is the one to get for the 1 to 2-year-olds.

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