I was SO excited when I first heard that Lovevery was coming out with play kits for ages 3-4. It was almost perfect timing as my daughter was getting ready to turn 3, and I did not want the Lovevery play kits to come to an end!
And boy, Lovevery did NOT disappoint with the 3-year-old play kits. There are some incredible toys in here that are very high-quality, and to be honest… I’m kind of afraid to start my Lovevery Amazon alternatives hunt. A lot of these toys are very unique, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to find good alternatives. But I am not a quitter!
Be sure to subscribe to this blog series for updates, and read on for more information and Amazon links for the Observer play kit toys.
Plan Ahead Weather Board
The Plan Ahead Weather Board is a beautiful toy to display on a cube shelf or dresser. It stands up and can be used every morning to talk about the day – the weather, the day of the week, if it’s a home or school day, and more.
I love that there’s an educational component to this toy, but it’s also just fun to play with! My daughter loved sliding the weather meter, spinning the sun around, and swapping out the tree’s leaves. This toy, to me, is the perfect example of why Lovevery is my favorite toy company – they make learning fun!
There are some wonderful weather board alternatives available on Amazon, but you’re either going to sacrifice the price (which defeats the whole point of this blog series) or you’ll sacrifice the aesthetics.
Tender Leaf Toys has a very visually similar weather board, but its price is over half that of the entire Lovevery play kit.
A similar option from Pidoko Kids offers an “All About Today” board for under $20, but the overall aesthetic is not comparable to the Lovevery version. It also focuses less on the weather and more on the calendar.
I do think the Tender Leaf Toys weather board is the best Amazon alternative, but if you plan to buy that, you may as well purchase the Lovevery play kit as you’ll get many more high-quality toys for a better price.
Modular Playhouse with Wooden Accessories
The modular playhouse, which comes with wooden stairs and a little peg doll bed, is a family favorite here. Yes, it came in the play kit for 3-year-olds, but my 2-year-old son often joins in on the fun!
It’s a great toy to have if you have multiple toddlers because they can play together and use their imagination! We keep this playhouse set firmly in our toy rotation – we haven’t swapped it out yet because my kids have not tired of it, and we’ve had it for over 6 months.
While there’s no perfect dupe on Amazon, there is a great alternative from Melissa & Doug. Their fold & go wooden house includes two play figures and 11 pieces of furniture.
I love that it’s made of solid wood, and it comes with plenty of accessories to inspire pretend play. It’s a great Amazon alternative!
The two-seater speedster is really a companion to the playhouse because you can roll it down the little slide that’s part of the playhouse design.
However, finding a wooden playhouse that also featured a car was quite difficult! I did find one from the brand Hape, but the Hape wooden dollhouses are quite large (and pricey, at nearly $150!).
That said, the Hape family car is more affordable and is a great alternative to the Lovevery two-seater speedster.
While the Hape family car is compatible with the Hape dollhouses, I just can’t justify listing the Hape dollhouse as a good Amazon alternative to the Lovevery playhouse, considering the steep price tag.
Note: It’s my understanding that Hape manufactures the wooden Lovevery toys, so in reality, the quality is probably very similar to Lovevery if you’re interested in adding onto what you have or want to splurge for a larger, more robust version of the Lovevery playhouse.
Left & Right Shoe Stickers
The left & right shoe stickers in this play kit were a huge fail for me. I was really excited about the idea, and the concept is completely age-appropriate. However, the stickers did not stick to any of our shoes!
There is a very similar Amazon alternative, but I cannot vouch for whether or not they really work.
Wooden Emotion Dolls
We use the wooden emotion dolls all the time to guide my daughter through difficult moments. I credit a ton of our emotional literacy progress to these peg dolls!
If she’s having a tantrum, I’ll often sit with her and show her the peg dolls, asking her to point out which one matches how she’s feeling. We’ll identify and name that emotion and then practice some things to calm down, such as taking deep breaths together.
We also bring these out when we’re reading books. If a character in the book is showing a clear emotion, we’ll find the matching peg doll. I really love these things!
There’s an adorable alternative on Amazon from Hape called Eggspressions.
Unlike other peg emotion dolls on Amazon, I like that this option has a base for each egg, similar to how the Lovevery version has a base. It also comes with a supplementary book, which is nice!
Emotion Book Set
I’m a huge fan of the Lovevery board books, but the hardcover books in the play kits for older ages, like this Emotion Book Set, have not been my favorite. Some of the writing feels a little clunky and the stories don’t always keep the interest of my toddler.
I do love that each book in this 3-book set explores a pair of emotions, but the actual stories are really wordy and fairly boring. Yes, we read them, but my daughter has never chosen one of these books and asked me to read it.
The good news is that there are a ton of great books for toddlers that tackle emotions. Even if the book isn’t marketed or labeled as a book about emotions, just think of all the books with characters that get mad or sad as part of the story arc.
Here are some popular book options that will help your toddler process and start to understand emotions:
- The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions (board book)
- In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (hardcover book)
- Little Monkey Calms Down (board book)
- When I Feel Frustrated (paperback book)
I’ve also personally found that the books I get in the Literati book boxes have wonderful stories that explore a range of emotions. They aren’t “empty” books, so to speak. If you haven’t checked out the Literati Kids program, I highly recommend it!
Lovevery vs. Amazon Price Comparison
It’s that time again! Here’s a look at how the Lovevery Observer Play Kit toys compare to the alternatives available on Amazon:
- Plan Ahead Weather Board alternative: $64.99
- Modular Playhouse alternative: $53.99
- Two-Seater Speedster alternative: $22.62
- Left & Right Shoe Stickers alternative: $10.99
- Wooden Emotion Dolls alternative: $18.18
- Emotion Book alternative: $8.99
*Please note that Amazon prices fluctuate, so the price I saw at the time of this writing may be different from the price you see when you click a product link.
If you wanted to recreate the Observer play kit on Amazon, you’d be spending $179.76, or just under $60 more than the Lovevery play kit.
While the Lovevery play kits do seem expensive, they are actually a great value when you consider how much it costs to find suitable alternatives elsewhere.
I definitely think the standout toy from this play kit is the playhouse. It fosters imaginative play and works for a wide range of ages, though it is definitely ideal for 3-year-olds. So, if I had to choose one thing to recommend buying, I’d suggest the Melissa & Doug wooden playhouse. The Hape playhouse also looks incredible, but that playhouse alone costs more than the entire Lovevery kit.
Lovevery continues to blow me away with the quality of toys it offers as a stand-out price. At first glance, you definitely do think, “Wow… $120 for 3 months of play?” But these toys will entertain your child for longer than 3 months – this is just the ideal time to introduce them, developmentally.
Plus, very similar alternatives on Amazon cost more than their Lovevery counterparts. If you like the look of the items in this particular play kit, it’s well worth it to splurge on the Lovevery play kit, as you’ll be getting more bang for your buck.
Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you again soon with the next article in this Lovevery Amazon Alternatives series!