The Enthusiast Play Kit from Lovevery is all about helping your two-year-old with spatial understanding and pattern recognition. There are some really fun toys in this play kit, including the Sort & Stack Peg Puzzle and Pinkies Up Picnic Set (basically a tea set).
I found some really great Amazon alternatives for the six items included in this play kit, which costs $120. See the alternatives and check out the price comparison and final recommendations at the end of this article!
Interested in other age ranges? Check out Lovevery Amazon Alternatives for Every Play Kit, which includes links to all of the articles in this blog series.
Sort & Stack Peg Puzzle
The Sort & Stack Peg Puzzle is a classic way to teach your two-year-old about shapes and basic problem-solving. This puzzle has been a toy rotation favorite in our house for a long time!
There’s a great Amazon alternative for this toy from Wood City. It has great reviews and looks nearly identical to the Lovevery version.
Pinkies Up Picnic Set
Pouring of any kind has been a favorite activity for both of my toddlers. My 3.5-year-old daughter loves having little tea parties, and my 2-year-old son is happy to join in on the pouring and sipping.
The Lovevery picnic seat includes a tin tea set as well as organic linens and a basket. It has to be one of the most photogenic Lovevery toys ever!
When searching for a suitable Amazon alternative, I had a bit of a hard time! Almost all of the tea sets for toddlers are flowery or feature very girlish prints. I wanted to find something similar to Lovevery’s style, which is bright colors and simple patterns.
While I wasn’t able to score a true dupe, I did find this great Stainless Steel tea set from Melissa & Doug. It doesn’t include the organic linens or carrying basket, but it does include everything your toddler needs to practice pouring. Plus, it’s stainless steel, which I think is a little better than tin.
A close second, if I may, is this tea set basket from Alex Pretend & Play. The color scheme definitely leans more feminine, but it includes napkins, a tablecloth, and a carrying basket like the Lovevery version.
The tea items are porcelain, though, so you do need to closely monitor your toddler to ensure they don’t throw it across the room (does it sound like I’m speaking from experience here?!) 😉
Every Which Weigh Scale & Pails
The Every Which Weigh Scale & Pails helps you introduce early STEM lessons in balance and measurement. You can experiment with adding different things to the buckets so your child can see how the scale tips when one item weighs more than the other.
For some reason, this toy never took off with my daughter. Or, I should say she never used it as intended. She’d just take off the pails and walk around the house filling them with things.
I tried to show her how to balance and add items to each side of the scale, but she never cared or paid attention!
My son just turned 2 and will be in the target age range for this toy soon, so I’ll test it again soon with him.
Just because my child didn’t love this toy doesn’t mean it’s not worth introducing in your home. I’m sure you’ve heard a million times that every child is different, and I do think there are valuable STEM lessons to learn with this toy.
There’s a great option on Amazon from hand2mind that operates just like the Lovevery version. The only downside is it’s plastic instead of wood.
Squeaky Clean Squeegee Set
Around age 2, most toddlers LOVE to help with anything and everything. I know our son, who just turned 2, is eager to help with cooking, cleaning, and outdoor projects with my husband. It can almost be frustrating sometimes because he constantly wants to help me in the kitchen, but it can get really messy or it’s just unsafe (stirring a pot over the store, for example).
That said, I totally get where Lovevery was coming from with this squeegee set. It’s sized for toddler hands and allows your little one to participate in household chores.
Our problem is my kids use this for everything BUT cleaning. They spray each other in the face or random things around the house until they’re soaked. I know this is labeled as a “gentle mist so nothing gets soaked,” but my kids are nothing but persistent. They will spray a stuffed animal 100 times if they have to.
In addition, the top of the spray bottle constantly flies off. I haven’t reached out to Lovevery for a replacement, because frankly, I don’t want one!
And as far as cleaning tools go, I just don’t find the squeegee to be particularly practical, either. The kid-sized Swiffer in a later play kit is a home run in our house, but I wish this particular set would be replaced with something else. Perhaps a kid-sized duster.
In any case, if you are looking for an Amazon alternative, Melissa & Doug has a spray, squirt, and squeegee set that is functional. A lot of kid’s cleaning toys on Amazon are not actually usable, but the Melissa & Doug version is.
Sticky Shapes Glue Station
The Sticky Shapes Glue Station is a great way to get crafty with your toddler. My daughter immediately gravitated toward this particular item when she was two, and I loved that all the components were contained in the box.
Lovevery’s presentation is killer on this one, but you can easily DIY this at home. Just grab a small paintbrush, a tiny dish, and some glue. Cut out some shapes and let your child experiment!
As far as an Amazon alternative, I like this Crayola art case, which includes washable glue, toddler-safe scissors, and multi-colored paper. You can easily cut out some shapes and have everything you need for craft time (and more).
UPDATE: I’ve since found these shape punches that I’m in LOVE with! Just cut out any construction paper you have lying around, and you can refill your shapes station anytime.
‘My Favorite Nature Buddy’ Board Book
Last but not least is the nature-themed board book in this play kit.
There are so many incredible books in the world… finding book alternatives is always the biggest challenge because there are SO many choices. At the same time, there seem to be so few books with real photography, so that can narrow down the most suitable options.
However, I think I found a really great book, called May We Have Enough to Share by Richard Van Camp.
It features photography (not illustrations), which is very much in line with Montessori philosophy. That’s also what you get with all of the Lovevery books (real photos).
This board book is all about nature and gratitude.
Lovevery vs. Amazon Price Comparison
- Weigh scale alternative: $16.17
- Peg puzzle alternative: $14.59
- Tea set alternative: $23.12
- Squeegee set alternative: $13.99
- Glue station alternative: $14.99
- Nature book alternative: $10.95
The total cost to recreate the Lovevery Enthusiast play kit* is $93.81, or $26.19 less than the Lovevery play kit. If you follow this blog series, you’ll know that typically, it costs more to recreate the Lovevery play kits on Amazon, so this was quite a shock!
*Amazon prices fluctuate often
While not every alternative is an exact match (they never are), I’d still be happy with these items. They help you reach the same developmental milestones on a bit of a budget.
What I’d Buy
If I had to pick and choose what to recommend from this set of toys, I’d go for the peg puzzle and tea set. We use these two items often in our toy rotation, and my kids love going outside with the tea set to have a little tea party! Don’t think the tea set is just for girls, either. Boys love pouring activities just as much.
We also loved the glue station that came in the Lovevery kit, but I bet you can DIY this at home with what you already have. Just cut out some shapes and check your junk drawer for some glue. 😉
The weigh scale and squeegee set don’t get used often if I’m being honest. I include them in our toy rotation but my kids ignore them for the most part. Also, the bottle that came in the Lovevery kit broke for us (the piece part falls apart all the time). I didn’t bother reaching out to Lovevery for a replacement because my daughter’s favorite way to use this toy is to spray her brother in the face.
Books are always great, but I don’t typically buy them one-off from Amazon. We visit our local library weekly, and I also grow our children’s book collection through Literati (use this link for $25 in book bucks for Literati Kids) and Amazon book box.
Hope this helps, and happy shopping!