Wondering if the Lovevery Problem Solver Play Kit for Months 43, 44, 45 is worth it vs Amazon self curating? In short: YES!
In this post, I”ll walk you through each item included in The Problem Solver Play Kit from Lovevery, our personal experience with it after 6+ months of use followed by how the items compare to Amazon Alternatives and other toy dupes (with links to shop those as well if self curating this Lovevery play kit!).
What’s inside The Problem Solver Play Kit from Lovevery? [+ Amazon Alternatives!]
Turtle Hatch Game
A fun collaborative sensory game for toddlers to practice taking turns while learning about baby sea turtles journey to the ocean.
We LOVE this game! It’s really well thought out and focuses on cooperation and turn taking with some engaging sensory elements.
Living in South Florida sea turtles are a huge part of our life, we have books about them, see the nests every day at the beach, and this was just another fun way to talk about the journey baby sea turtles need to make.
It’s a bit more complex than previous board games we had in terms of steps and following instructions which I think provided a very age appropraite challenge and we have a ton of fun playing.
Dupes for this range between $15 to $30 depending on what you go with. If you’re most interested in the animal figurines and life cycle aspect, this set is a great option.
If you’re more interested in cooperative board games for toddlers check these out:
Number Sense Nature Counters
A set of 55 different silicone pieces coming in 10 different animal and nature themed characters.
We LOVE these! So they work with the next item in this play kit, montessori math bars and number tiles, but can also be used independently.
They are hollow at the base, so you can use them as finger puppets actually. We also use these for a STEM challenging in stacking. MY daughter has also always been obsessed with mini figurines for pretend play, and these are perfect for that. You can easily use them with blocks or a train set in building a playscape. Super versatile and great little item.
Realistic animal and nature figurines as an alternative which can cost anywhere from $16 to 30 per pack.
However what these actually remind me of most, are Waldorf mandala loose parts which is an item actually on our Christmas list this year. The colors, nature inspiration, and organic soft shapes are all very reminiscent of Waldorf so if I were personally self curating this, that’s what I’d go with and depending on the number of pieces that costs between $25 and 80.
Montessori Math Bars & Number Tiles
A set of ten wooden bars and matching number tiles to work on core math concepts using a concrete learning tool.
These work perfectly with the previous item, and can be used with other objects too as a versatile educational toy. While we like these, my daughter hasn’t been too interested in math these last few months so beyond using them to count we haven’t gotten a ton of use out of them. I do see how we will get plenty more use with time as she works on addition and subtraction and think they are a great homeschool item.
I found this set most similar to Lovevery’s in that the number tile is moveable and the board is self correction. It also includes wooden pegs and a carrying bag.
Size It Up Measuring Tape
A toddler proof round measuring tape, with a soft pull tab, push button close, and rubberized outside to absorb shocks from throws. One side is in centimeters while the other side is in inches.
This item is great quality, perfectly sized, and my toddler loves it. I did recently have someone ask me to identify all the Lovevery items that are Waldorf inspired, and I’d say this is another nod to Waldorf with the all round design as waldorf doesn’t use right angles.
There are actually a ton of circular measuring tape dupes in all different colors and designs with unicorns and penguins and stuff. The cheapest dupe I found was this 2 pack. Alternatively, this tape measure is a bit higher quality and features a handle and wind up.
Wooden Wobble Puzzle
A STEM puzzle that can be used both lying flat or standing up as a 3D puzzle.
This puzzle is SO much fun, parents will likely enjoy it just as much as toddlers. It’s definitely a bit of a challenge, so be prepared to do it with your child at first or hold off on giving until they are a bit older. My daughter does love it though and it was one of the first puzzles she really worked on in a while.
Nothing exactly like Lovevery’s but this one is the most similar. Alternatively, this one features tetris style shapes with a fun animal design. Lastly, you can get a moon themed balance puzzles with a dice for a fun gamified version where you roll a dice and need to place that color puzzle piece onto it.
Liquid Color Lab
A stand with 6 different test tubes with colored lids, 2 water droppers, 2 reusable bamboo towels, and a container of primary color tablets.
We really like this item and get use out of it, but it’s also the most underwhelming item in this play kit.
We’ve used it for tons of activities from making little pictures on the towel set to Easter egg decorating. It’s certainly a handy item, but not one your toddler is likely to use on their own for another year. The little color tablets do encourage more independence though where they will be able to set it up more independently quicker. Additionally it works well with Lovevery’s science lab kit since you need water containers for the mixing.
Nothing exactly like Lovevery’s but Blippi’s First Science Color Experiments kit is the most similar. It features 6 plastic containers (3 test tubes and 3 beakers), a dropper, funnel, and and fizzy color tablets. Unlike Lovevery’s where the containers have color coded lids, this one includes a color wheel which I’m actually okay and really like this alternative.
‘Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party’ Book
A story featuring a loved one with a disability to help your child understand differences
We really enjoy this book. While it’s meant to showcase disabilities and differences, it’s text is actually really transferable for toddlers with baby siblings who don’t have as developed communication skills. I was able to use language from this book in explaining to my toddler why her baby brother grabs stuff and what he’s trying to say with his hands or grunts. I found this book really helped her understand that it wasn’t malicious when her baby brother did those things, but just a different way of communicating.
So I’m hesitant to give a recommendation for an alternative to this, since Lovevery books are so unique, but I was able to find My brother’s keeper: A story about autism. I haven’t read it so I can’t say for sure if it’s a good alternative, but from what I did read it seems the most similar as it features siblings and unseen differences that can be harder for kids to grasp compared to physical disabilities we can see with our eyes.
Play Guide for Months 43, 44, 45
Basically a cheat sheet to your 3 year old!
- Expert tips
- Developmental info
- At home activities to do
- Ways to play with the items
The Problem Solver Play Kit Book Bundle
In case you missed it, Lovevery launched “book bundle” add ons for subscribers. For $18 you can add ‘Measurement Day’ and ‘You Decide’ to your play kit with a subscription.
$9 per book is a great price in my opinion and a no brainer to addon.
Lovevery has done a truly fantastic job with the 3 year old play kit books, and this book bundle includes one of our absolute favorites: ‘You Decide.’ Which is a choose your own adventure book. If you’ve ever gotten into a struggle with your toddler about leaving the park, it’s well worth the additional cost!
Check out my full review of the book bundle and read alongs for these here.
How much does Lovevery’s Problem Solver Play Kit Cost?
Lovevery’s Problem Solver Play Kit costs $120, but they do offer prepaid bundle options for up to a 10% discount here.
Is Lovevery Problem Solver Play Kit Worth It?
Personally, I think it is due to quantity of truly unique items found in it as well as the books included in the book bundle.
However, it’s ultimately a personal preference. Financially, it’s not a clear cut “must have” or “skip.”
Let’s take a deeper look:
Financially speaking, you could recreate this play kit for as little as $101 which does come in less than the Lovevery price tag. However if you were to purchase all of the most expensive dupe options you’re looking at spending $218, which is about $100 more than the cost of this play kit from Lovevery.
When you keep in mind the ease and quality of Lovevery versus some of the cheaper dupes, to me it’s worth the extra $20.
Like I said, for us personally this play kit is definitely a great one.
You get a really nice, well rounded selection of items. There are open-ended educational toys that encourage independent play like the figurines and montessori number tiles.
You have items that focus on practical life like the tape measure. There are STEM lessons with the puzzle and color lab.
And the board game and book are truly unmatched while teaching social skills as well.
While you can purchase other cooperative board games, the sea turtle game really brings a montessori lesson into play here as homeschooling families can do an entire turtle themed week of books, field trips, and playing the game to explain the concepts of hatching and survival.
Additionally, with the rise of neurological disabilities, it was really nice to see a book that tackled the subject in an age appropriate way while simultaneously presenting the information in a way that transfers to typical social situations kids will run into at this age.
The Book Bundle:
The book bundle is part of what makes this play kit a “buy” for me.
‘You Decide’ is one of our favorite add-on books from Lovevery so I would suggest getting this one! Additionally, if you have siblings, the ‘Measurement Day’ book may not become your child’s new favorite but it’s a useful tool and does a great job of teaching how to work through conflict.