SLP's Honest Review of Lovevery Play Kits

Ever since my daughter was a newborn, I have been seeking high-quality toys, books, and educational materials.  Lovevery has been on my radar for some time during my search for both Montessori-inspired resources and products that inspire creativity and play.

You can probably imagine my excitement when I recently had the pleasure of receiving The Observer Play Kit (for 37, 38, 39 months) from Lovevery!  As a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), I have a lot of thoughts to share about this play kit as well as some easy therapy ideas that anyone can use to facilitate speech and language development in their little ones.

I made a couple videos to share on YouTube, which are linked below. Feel free to check them out! 

Video Links:

If you have a younger toddler, you may be interested in reading about speech and language activities for The Enthusiast Play Kit (28, 29, 30 months) below!  I also have a video of this content if you prefer watching.

What's in the Box?

Before I head into my review as a pediatric speech therapist, here's a look at what's in The Observer Play Kit.

Upon first glance, you can see that there's a wide array of fun and enticing toys, books, and objects for your little one to engage with.  Here's a breakdown of what's included:

Now, I'm going to go ahead and do a dive into the major parts in this box.

Emotion Dolls & Book Set

These are what initially drew me into The Observer Play Kit!  Both the emotion dolls and book set are such didactic and wonderfully educational tools.  

› Social Stories that Facilitate Connection 

Let's start with the books.  The books all include photographs, rather than illustrations, and they feature characters and situations that this targeted age (3-year-olds) can connect to, as they feature activities of daily living (e.g., getting dressed, going to the store) or other common scenarios (e.g., facing a challenge, managing emotions, understanding and navigating a problem).  The books are formatted in a way that teaches children social communication and behavior skills, similar to how "social stories" - a common tool used by SLPs - work.  Social stories are used to teach children about expected versus unexpected behaviors, or in other words, what is appropriate to do or say in different situations.  

Awareness of Emotions & Physiological Cues 

I am very impressed with how Lovevery matches the emotions that are discussed in the books with the emotion pegs.  They highlight physiological symptoms or sensations that children may feel when they experience these different emotions.  This goes to show how well thought-out and well-designed these materials are.  

For example, the emotion sad is described as: "My face is full of tears and I feel like my tummy is missing."  

The sad peg doll has a drawn tear on its sad face, as well as a hole where the stomach would be.  This is a great visual for children to become more aware of their emotions so that they can begin identifying their emotions.  Kids can also hold and feel the different shapes of these emotion dolls, giving some sensory input as well.

As little ones are developing more abstract thinking, it is helpful for us to teach the identification of such cues, because it connects emotions with physiological symptoms that kids can notice.

› Problem-Solving

Each of the books feature two different sets of emotion.  Altogether, they include: happy, calm, sad, frustrated, angry, worried.  During each story, the main character faces a problem, during which they experience a change in emotion.  What is powerful about the Lovevery books is how the adult figure in each book demonstrates and models supportive behavior and ways to prompt the main characters to help them manage these emotions and problems.  After reading these stories to your child, you can use consistent language and verbal prompts from the books during a similar real-life situation to help your child through these problems as well.

› Rich Vocabulary

The book set includes rich vocabulary, allowing children to improve their emotional literacy skills.  Getting increased exposure to this language will help children be able to better express themselves when they are feeling certain emotions.

› Extension Activities

You may refer to the wooden peg dolls when reading other books as well.  Identify characters' emotions and talk about how their moods may change from situation to situation. Match up their emotions with the emotion peg dolls. Infer how they may feel next before turning the page, allowing your little one to work on their social inferencing skills.

Point out nonverbal language cues as well.  This is important as children begin to increase their proficiency with understanding nonverbal communication.  This includes understanding facial expressions, body language, and gestures. The emotion dolls' faces are drawn with simple lines, which is a great starting off point for talking about the differences between how an angry face versus a sad face would look.  Talk about the shape of one's eyebrows, eyes, mouth, etc.  

Weather Board

The weather board is such a fantastic start-of-the-day activity to incorporate into your toddler's daily routine!  It offers a lot of opportunities for building language and communication skills.  

› Vocabulary

Naturally, there is vocabulary pertaining to weather, seasons, temperature, and days of the week.  At this age, we also want to work on temporal words, such as: before, after, first, then, last, early, late.  

› Asking WH- Questions

You can also work on having your child ask you questions, instead of being the only one asking questions.  This is important for developing expressive language skills, especially grammar and sentence structure.  There are built-in opportunities on the weather board, such as: 

"How warm is it today?" 
"It's hot; what should we wear if we go out?" 
"Which day of the week is it?" 
"Which season are we in?"

It's important to practice a variety of WH- questions, not simply questions starting with the word "what".  I overhear a lot of that, especially when parents are reading stories to their children.  You can probably guess it -- the overused question is: "What is this/that/it?"  Let's venture away from that with questions that involve more than just the communication function of labeling. 

Modular Play House

This is a fun, pretend-play house that can be configured in many different ways!  There's so much to do with this toy as well.  

› Narratives & Storytelling

For one, you can practice narratives and storytelling.  Have your child make up a story or build on an existing story.  You can begin by telling stories while acting out the scenes, and then try starting a similar story and prompting your child to finish it.  This is a great opportunity for creativity and imagination!

Talk about activities of daily living with this set, such as: going to bed and waking up (morning/bedtime routines), going out for a drive to the store or library, and more.

› Semantics

Word meaning and vocabulary can also be easily practiced with this toy.  
  • Talk about opposites with your child.  Some words you can use include: big/little, inside/outside, open/close, fast/slow, tall/short.
  • Work on receptive language skills, such as following multi-step directions. While you're doing this, you can add in the basic semantic concepts mentioned earlier with the opposite words.  An example is: "Wake Daddy and baby up, help them get into the car, and drive them to the store!" 

Whatever you do, have fun with it!  Lovevery makes it easy to create a fun, engaging, and interactive play time.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, I am so impressed with Lovevery's play kits.  I love knowing that I am providing my child the best start with stage-based play essentials that were designed by experts for my child's developing brain. 

Here's what I think.

  1. These toys are all very well-designed and crafted with impeccable quality. 
  2. They are minimalist and have a simple aesthetic.  For that, they are not overly distracting and help children maintain focus and attention skills.
  3. They are made with high-quality materials.  Little ones can really feel the difference! 
  4. These kits are very parent-friendly; you can take it and roll with it!  The guide book is very resourceful and includes developmental information, such as how to facilitate play with these items.
  5. These are great for not only parents, but pediatric professionals as well.  I know I will use these toys in speech therapy after my daughter grows out of them. 

Oh, and as a bonus for all you busy parents out there (I know I'm not alone!) -- a subscription to Lovevery's all-in-one play kits get conveniently delivered to your door every three months.  You can rest easy knowing that you'll always be getting beautiful, expertly-designed, and educational toys perfect for challenging your little one at their developmental age. What a treat and gift it is for them as well! 

I hope that my review is helpful to you! Happy playing!

Warm wishes,

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