Monti Kids Program: Level 1 Review & Lovevery Comparison

Jun 22, 2022Child Development, Montessori, New Moms, Product Reviews

By Rebekah

By Rebekah

I'm a work-from-home mom with a supportive, hard-working husband, two toddlers, and a newborn. In the business world, I'm a copywriter with a deep background in marketing and SEO. At home, I'm always looking for mom hacks, the best projects and toys for my growing kiddos, and ways to solve everyday mom dilemmas. Whatever I find, I'm sharing on this blog, which is my passion project!

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Monti Kids Program: Level 1 Review & Lovevery Comparison

I’ve been a Lovevery fan for many years, so I was naturally intrigued when I discovered Monti Kids. Monti Kids creates authentic Montessori toys for babies and toddlers.

I’m a sucker for high-quality, age-appropriate toys for babies, but the price of Monti Kids deterred me for a long time. Until May 10, 2022, Monti Kids charged $297 per kit. Each kit was designed to last 4-5 months.

However, as of May 10, 2022, the program has been overhauled and each 3-month kit now costs $195. This price point is so much more accessible – it’s effectively $65 per month for very high-end Montessori toys. Definitely still not for everyone, but much easier to wrap my head around.

grasping at the ring

While Monti Kids Program Level 1 for 0-3 months now costs $195, I bought it before the program overhaul, so I paid $297 for it. Yes – the old program and the new program include the exact same items for Level 1, which stinks for people like me who invested in this before the huge price cut!

Nevertheless, I’m excited to share our experience with Monti Kids Level 1 as well as some comparisons between Monti Kids and Lovevery.

I plan to explore each level of the Monti Kids program with a comprehensive brand review when all is said and done. Please be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter for updates on the blog series:

Note: I purchased the Monti Kids program with my own money, and this article is not sponsored or reviewed by Monti Kids in any way. I am an affiliate with Monti Kids, meaning if you click a Monti Kids link in this article and purchase the program, I will earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

What Is Monti Kids?

Monti Kids is a modern Montessori toy subscription for ages 0-3. Their approach combines the values of an authentic Montessori education with:

  • Approachable curriculum
  • Relevant and innovative products and toys
  • Personalized coaching
  • A supportive community

Studies show that 85% of the brain is formed by age 3, so companies like Monti Kids are hyperfocused on supporting your baby’s specific stage of development from birth through the toddler years.

baby smiling at the dancers mobile

The Monti Kids educational program comes with timelines, guides, and videos backed up by decades of research from experts in education and Montessori educators. You can really feel that expertise in the toys and online videos, as well. I was blown away by the fact that everything was cited and so eloquently explained.

Monti Kids also checks a lot of other important boxes:

  • The subscription can be paused or canceled at any time
  • Toys are manufactured in Vietnam and safety tested in the US
  • All wood is sourced sustainably and is FSC certified
  • Toys are designed to grow with your child, presenting new challenges as he or she develops
  • All toys meet and exceed all U.S. safety certifications for ages 0-3 including ASTM and CPSC physical, mechanical, chemical, and flammability tests done by a leading third-party lab
  • 95% of all Monti Kids toys are wooden to ensure your toys last for years to come

In sum, these are toys you can feel good about buying. They will last for all of your children and likely your children’s children! When you’re finished with them, you can keep them for the next generation, donate them through the Monti Kids donation program, or resell them (they retain their value).

Unboxing Monti Kids Level 1

Monti Kids Level 1, designed for months 0-3 (all the way through 4 months old), is based on an activity gym. The activity gym comes with four mobiles and several batting, hanging, grasping, and kicking accessories. Basically, everything in this first level can be hung on the activity gym to either look at or interact with.

The packaging was really nice – everything was packed neatly in this long, slim box. And within the individual toy boxes, everything was supported well, which was critical for those hanging mobiles, which are very delicate.

The activity gym was very easy to assemble. I still asked my husband to do it, but we didn’t need any tools, and he was able to get it together – without looking at the instructions – in about 3 minutes.

setting up activity gym from monti kids

Once we got the activity gym assembled, we were off to the races! I took the online video course, which walked me through all of the toys and how to introduce them. And I have a lot of thoughts to share with you!

Pros of Monti Kids Level 1

I’ve had over three full months to really test out Monti Kids Level 1 with my newborn, and I have a running list of pros and cons to share. Yes, I totally took notes throughout this time using the Notes app on my iPhone!

  • All of the mobiles are very thought-out and backed by science. I loved learning about how each mobile introduced and helped develop different skills, like mathematical sense, chromatic sense, primary colors, and visual tracking.
  • I love how everything in this kit works together. All of the accessories can be hung on the activity gym, and you can even hang other toys or objects you have!
  • The online video course for Level 1 is INCREDIBLE. It’s so well done and takes you through everything you need to know about every toy in the kit. I was able to maximize my usage of everything thanks to the amazing guides. I also shared my username and password with our nanny so she could also take the course. It not only goes over the toys but also shares developmental milestones and how to use a Montessori approach in day-to-day life.
Monti Kids online video course-min
  • Monti Kids emails you each week with reminders and instructions on which toy to introduce and tips on how to use it. Time flies with a baby, so I found these reminders super helpful.
Munari Mobile Monti Kids email-min
Excerpt from Level 1: Week 2 Email – Munari Mobile

Cons of Monti Kids Level 1

I don’t care what the product is; there are bound to be some cons. And I did have a few despite having overall positive feelings about these toys.

  • The mobiles are super delicate, and they kept getting twisted and tangled, which drove me nuts! I came to understand that they have to be delicate and lightweight so that they can flow with the air current in the room, but it was still frustrating.
mobiles getting tangled
  • The activity gym is physically large – I have a hard time keeping this out of the way when it’s not in use. It’s also too large to fit through our baby gate, so if I want to move it from my office to the living room, I have to hoist it up and over (or disassemble and reassemble).
zoomed out view of playing with hanging disc in my office
  • If you have toddlers, they will try to destroy the mobiles.
toddler messing up monti kids mobile
  • The items in Level 1 are not very conducive to tummy time, something my pediatrician encouraged quite a bit.
  • I didn’t get the feeling that the items in this level were worth what I paid. Keep in mind I paid $297 for this kit, and the kit is now sold for $195. At $297, I definitely thought it was too expensive. But even still, at $195, it feels a little excessive.
  • You need to buy a mat to go under the activity gym unless you already have something you like (a thick blanket works, but I ended up buying a soft sheepskin rug from IKEA, which cost just under $50).
Gobbi mobile

Monti Kids vs Lovevery

Monti Kids and Lovevery definitely give off a lot of similar vibes, but my overall impression is that Monti Kids is 100% classic Montessori whereas Lovevery is Montessori-aligned.

Both Monti Kids and Lovevery have:

  • A+ aesthetics
  • No flashy, loud, battery-operated toys
  • High-quality, natural materials
  • Unbelievable guidance and support

Also, both Monti Kids and Lovevery are expensive. Expensive is subjective to your budget, but these toy programs are subscription-based, so it feels like you’re constantly spending money on toys. The toys are also quality, often wooden, and in a world where we’re used to plastic prices, it can be difficult to justify the price of natural materials.

Here’s a chart comparing the first set of toys for infants, offered from Monti Kids and Lovevery.

The First Set of Toys for Infants

Monti KidsLovevery
Price for First Kit$195$80
Price Per Month*$65/month$40/month
Age Range0-3 months (~17 weeks)**Weeks 0-12
Manufactured InVietnamChina
Toy Guide?Yes, a complete online video courseYes, a booklet on a keyring + a smartphone app for 0-12 months
Level of SupportOne-on-one parent coaching via phone or emailNothing special, and response times from customer service can be lengthy (from my experience)

*When you look at the program over the course of a year and divide out the cost of the kits, this is the price you can expect per month. Keep in mind you are not billed monthly, though.
**The Monti Kids Program Level 1 is designed to last from 0-3 months, with the next program starting at 4 months. The first Lovevery play kit is designed to last from 0-12 weeks, with the next play kit starting at 3 months.

Monti Kids Level 1 vs first Lovevery Play Kit

The chart above shows how the first Monti Kids level compares to the first Lovevery play kit. And I think that comparison is valid, but I have to say – Monti Kids Level 1 is really similar to the Lovevery Play Gym. I think this is a far better comparison.

Monti Kids Level 1 vs Lovevery Play Gym

Monti Kids Level 1 is basically an activity gym with a bunch of accessories. And the Lovevery Play Gym is also an activity gym with a bunch of accessories. 

Monti Kids Level 1 vs Lovevery Play Gym

Here’s a table comparison:

Monti Kids Level 1Lovevery Play Gym
Price$195$140
Age RangeSold for 0-3 months but recommended for up to 5 months and beyond0-12 months
# of Accessories109*
Contrast Accessories?YesYes
Batting Accessories?YesYes
Mobiles Included?YesNo
Comes with padded mat for baby to lay on?NoYes
Instructional guides/videos?Yes, a complete online video course + one-on-one parent coaching via phone or emailYes, a booklet on a keyring

*Lovevery counts the black & white cards, common objects cards, and faces cards as three separate items. I kind of look at the cards as one accessory, in which case the Lovevery play gym has 7 accessories.

Length of Use

For me, the biggest difference between Monti Kids Level 1 and Lovevery’s Play Gym is how long it’s appropriate for your baby. 

Both brands are focused on creating toys and products for micro-stages in your baby’s life. That’s what makes them so good for age-appropriate development. But still – do the items have different challenges that grow with your baby? Are there different components to the activity gym that help extend its life in your home?

The Monti Kids activity gym is meant for the first full three months, but the online video course says, “the visual mobiles will stay in your baby’s toy rotation until they are about 5 months old or beyond – even after your baby progresses to Monti Kids Level 2.”

holding baby to look at munari mobile

The Lovevery play gym is designed for 0-12 months, but Lovevery says babies 12-18 months still enjoy the play gym with the place space cover added. I can vouch for this – my toddlers are 29 months and 46 months, and they LOVE using the place space cover to turn the play gym into a fort. They climb inside and read books together.

Toddlers in play gym

Rug/Padded Mat for Under the Activity Gym

I also like that you don’t need to buy or produce a rug or padded mat to go beneath the Lovevery play gym – that’s built-in. 

Lovevery play gym

With Monti Kids, there is no rug or mat provided, so it’s an added expense (​​$48.78 in my case) – and the Monti Kids activity gym is already $55 more than the Lovevery play gym.

Number of Accessories (+ Quality)

Where Monti Kids has an edge is it comes with many more hanging components than the Lovevery play gym. 

Each mobile has a clear purpose behind it, which I loved learning about, and there are several additional toys you can hang for batting, grasping, and kicking.

Both Monti Kids and Lovevery are super high-quality. I’d say most everything is very comparable. I did notice the black and white cards that come in Monti Kids Level 2 are higher quality than the black and white cards that come with the play gym, but I’m not covering Level 2 quite yet!

Monti Kids vs Lovevery toy comparison
Monti Kids contrast card on the left; Lovevery contrast card on the right

Which Play Gym Is Better?

In my home, we use both the Monti Kids activity gym and the Lovevery play gym. I think we use the Lovevery play gym a little bit more, just because it’s easier to move around. But I use the Monti Kids activity gym more intentionally, thanks to all the instruction I received in the online video course.

baby looking up at gobbi mobile

So… I like both. If I had to choose one over the other, I think I’d go for the Lovevery version as it’s less expensive and will last a lot longer in your home.

baby playing with lovevery play gym

But I’m glad we have both! (Though you don’t need both. I’m obviously conflicted here.)

Is Monti Kids Level 1 Worth It?

For me, yes – the Monti Kids Level 1 program has been 100000% worth it. I have watched my son hit tiny milestones in his first weeks of life, like tracking movement with his eyes and batting objects for the first time, which has been incredible.

I didn’t have that with my first child… I didn’t even know the word Montessori when she was born.

As you can tell, the experience these toys have given me is priceless.

But if you’re a little less emotional and more practical, I’m not sure you’ll think Level 1 is worth it. Lovevery’s play gym is incredibly similar and will save you $55. While it doesn’t come with as many accessories, and you won’t get an online video course to help you maximize the toys, it’s still a great investment.

Conclusion

I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of Monti Kids Level 1 and am so excited to start diving into Level 2 with my infant!

Monti Kids Level 2

Join me on this journey by subscribing to my email newsletter. You’ll get updated when I publish new articles in this review series.

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