Originally published June 16, 2021. Updated August 18, 2021 to include a new addition to this Lovevery Play Kit. The sensory links were added and the travel card holder was removed by Lovevery. Updated again on January 11, 2023 to reflect even better alternatives!
The Looker Play Kit for 0-12 weeks is a fantastic toy kit from Lovevery. I got this one with our third baby, and I’m so glad I had it. It gave us activities to do with our newborn that were stimulating and good for development.
While I love and recommend the Lovevery kit, I know some families can’t find room in their budget for it. Or, maybe you only want a toy or two instead of the whole kit.
This kit costs $80 and includes 8 toys, a play guide, and a bonus coffee mug for mom. Here are the very best Amazon alternatives.
Simple and Complex Black & White Card Sets
The easiest items from The Looker Play Kit to find alternatives for are the simple and complex black & white card sets. Lovevery sells these separately (very rare!), so you can just buy straight from the source.
They cost $7, and there are four packs total to choose from. Each pack comes with four 5×7 cards. They’re made from no-tear baby-safe paper and soy-based ink. Cleaning them is also very simple – just wipe them with a cloth!
In the original version of this article, I recommended the Banana Panda High Contrast Baby Flash Cards, but the price has increased a few dollars, and there are many new options available on Amazon.
Now, I think this set of 20 black-and-white cards from hahaland ($7.19) is a great find! The shape is the same as the Lovevery version, and they are very durable. We own these, and they really are great! You can also use code 2mamabears during checkout to get 10% off (enter the code in the Payment method section).
Another alternative is the Black & White Board Book illustrated by Tana Hoban. Though this isn’t a flashcard set, it still achieves the same development goal of stimulating and engaging your baby. Unlike regular books, it folds out completely. This option is a lot cheaper at just $4.59. That price is even less than it was when I first published this article, though keep in mind that Amazon prices fluctuate often.
I also developed a DIY flashcard printable if you’re up for it!
The sensory links are a great stroller accessory – you can switch, hang, and separate the links for new sensory exploration. We also used these on our Baby Bjorn bouncer a lot, which is totally worth it if you’re on the fence!
There are a lot of link-style toys available on Amazon that you can hang on strollers and basically anything with a bar.
In my original article, I recommended the Sassy My First Toys Sensory Toy Gift Set, but the price has gone up and there are newer options that more closely mirror the Lovevery links.
I really like these hanging rattle toys from rolimate ($18.99) – the shape is similar to the Lovevery links, and they also have contrasting patterns to help with baby’s visual development.
Black and White Mittens
The black and white mittens are meant to promote hand discovery, hand control, and body awareness.
A similar item on Amazon is this black and white panda teething mitten set from Pandanamu. This was my recommendation in the original version of this article, and it’s still the best alternative on Amazon!
Silicone Rattle with Removable Ball
The silicone rattle with the removable ball is definitely a unique toy, and it was a bit difficult to find an identical item on Amazon.
However, if you look at the point of this toy, Lovevery says it’s perfect for grasping, and it’s supposed to help baby track moving objects and sounds.
With that in mind, I looked for a silicone rattle that had some kind of noise component to it.
The toy that seemed to hit all the marks was this shaker rattle toy from Bright Starts ($2.39). The glaring difference is the aesthetics – it’s brightly colored and doesn’t have that sleek, black-and-white look.
A different option that sticks with the black-and-white contrast is this plush rattle toy ($13.99).
This item is very unique to Lovevery – I’d never seen anything like it.
The Mobile is meant to be used over your changing table to keep the baby entertained during diaper time. Lovevery specifically says you shouldn’t use a mobile in the crib, but I’ll admit I broke that rule with my first baby.
We got the Looker kit with our third, and holy smokes, this mobile was amazing!! It kept our baby entertained during diaper changes, just as promised.
Either way, mobiles support visual tracking and concentration, which are excellent skills to develop at such an early age.
I hate to break the bad news, but I couldn’t find anything like the Lovevery mobile. Even two years after writing this article, there still isn’t a reversible mobile like this that’s easy to hang over the diaper changing area.
That said, if you just want to mimic the same development benefits, there are plenty of good options to choose from.
Here’s a mobile that’s most similar to the Lovevery one ($59.99).
As you can see, it’s not the same thing, but it does have two sides, and it features those contrasting patterns newborns are attracted to. It also has a hook on the top that would let you hang this over a diaper changing area easily (not a bar that’s meant to attach to a crib).
Lovevery’s wooden book is, of course, made with sustainably harvested wood. It features four black-and-white images of animals.
Two years ago, there was nothing like this on Amazon, but now, there’s a fantastic alternative from the Manhattan Toy Store. This black and white board book features contrasting images of animals, just like the Lovevery version.
It’s not wooden, but the content is basically the same.
Standing Card Holder
Last but not least is the standing card holder, which also houses those contrasting flashcards. It folds out so you can prop it up during tummy time. We used this ALL the time with our third baby. It was one of my favorite parts of this kit.
Two years ago, the best alternative was the Taf Toys Koala Infant Tummy-time Soft Crinkle Activity Book. It features black and white images and props up for tummy time. It even includes a baby-safe mirror and crinkle pages to stimulate your little one.
I still think this is a great option, but a closer option is this new, fold-out book ($11.99 with a $2 coupon clipped) that you can stand up on its edge, just like the Lovevery card holder.
BONUS: Lovevery Mug
This isn’t mentioned or advertised anywhere, but newer versions of The Looker kit have come with a mug for mom. It says “The Days Are Long But the Years Are Short.”
What a fantastic reminder, especially on the really tough days.
I couldn’t find anything like it online, except for this glass mug that has the same phrase on it ($22.49, including shipping).
The Looker Play Kit vs Amazon Price Comparison
Here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Is buying the Amazon alternatives (or our best crack at them) cheaper than buying the Lovevery “The Looker” play kit?
- Flashcards: $7.19
- Sensory links: $18.99
- Black and white mittens: $8.99
- Rattle: $2.39
- Mobile: $59.99
- Wooden book: $13.99
- Tummy time activity book: $11.99
- Bonus mug: $22.49
The total for our Amazon Lovevery alternatives is $123.53, or $43.53 more than the Lovevery play kit we’re trying to recreate. (These prices are at the time of writing and could fluctuate.)
If you add in the bonus mug, your total cost is even higher – $146.02.
If you want all of the items in this play kit, you’re definitely better off purchasing it from Lovevery. It’s a really great value.
I couldn’t find perfect alternatives for each item, and that’s because Lovevery produces and creates its toys. While many of the concepts aren’t new, the way they deliver them certainly is.
Plus, you just can’t beat the aesthetics of Lovevery toys! Everything matches, and when you display them on a shelf, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s almost like decor, not baby toys.
The only way I’d recommend buying some of these Amazon alternatives instead of going for the Lovevery play kit is if you only want one or two of the items. Not everyone wants a house full of toys, so if you’re a bit more minimalistic, I hope this curated list of Amazon alternatives helps you discover toys that follow the concepts behind Lovevery’s incredible research.
Related: Are the Lovevery Play Kits Worth It?