Each summer, as I plan curriculum and activities for my school-age children, I also try to keep my preschooler in mind. Over the last few years, I’ve used various workbooks, apps and activities to homeschool preschool with my daughters. This year, all the girls are officially “in school,” while Joey is less interested in the alphabet and more interested in different types of diggers. I wondered how I’d keep him busy while the girls were all sitting at the table studying. Then I found Lovevery’s preschool play kits.
I received these products in exchange for this review; all opinions expressed are my own.
Lovevery offers stage-based play essentials for babies and toddlers up to age 4. These toys are designed by experts for your child’s developing brain. I fell in love with the toys as soon as I began browsing the website. I decided to order the Problem Solver Play Kit, which is designed for toddlers ages 43 to 45 months, and the Wooden Block Set for him. Joey is 45 months right now and I knew that he’d love the toys in this preschool play kit. (What I didn’t expect was that his big sisters would love them too!)
The Wooden Block Set
Wooden blocks are the classic children’s toy. Over the years, we’ve had several different sets of wooden blocks for the kids. In a world of electronic apps and fancier toys, I’m often amazed that my kids choose to pull out the blocks and build castles and towns. There is sometimes timeless about wooden blocks which appeal to kids of all ages and encourage imaginative play. The Lovevery Wooden Block Set is a beautiful, engaging set of blocks has kept my kids busy for hours.
The Wooden Block Set includes 70 blocks of different shapes and colours. The blocks have rounded corners and a soft, smooth feel. All 70 blocks stack neatly into a wooden box. This box itself is part of the fun. It has two small, round holes on the bottom, so that kids can put two rods through them, attach the round wheels, and make the box into a car. The lid of the box also has five shape holes in it, to create a shape sorting toy. There are round blocks, square blocks, long thin blocks, and four “peg doll” style blocks.
My girls like creating obstacle courses with the wooden blocks. They use all the blocks to create bridges, walls, tunnels, slides, etc., and then have the wooden people hop or slide along the obstacle course. Above, you can see a little peg doll at the top of the picture, poised to begin his obstacle course. At the bottom of the picture, the wooden box that holds the blocks has been used to form part of the obstacle course.
Did I mention that these blocks were created for children ages 18 to 48 months, but my 8-year-old and 11-year-old have just as much fun with them as my toddler? While I ordered these toys with Joey in mind, I’ve been delighted to see how all the kids are playing with them together.
Wooden toys also offer a beautiful, tactile, open-ended “blank canvas” for a child to explore at their own pace and on their own terms. The extra bells and whistles that can make other toys more instantly appealing tend to restrict and direct how children play with them. ~ “Why Wooden Toys Make the Blest Playthings”
The Problem Solver Play Kit
This preschool play kit includes:
- Turtle Hatch Game
- Number Sense Nature Counters
- Wooden Wobble Puzzle
- Uncle Rob’s Pizza Party book
- Montessori Math Bars and Number Tiles
- Size It Up Measuring Tape
- Liquid Color Lab
- Play Guide Months 43, 44, 45
All of these toys are packed into a neat cardboard box, and I’ve kept them in this box (which slides neatly into a space in my coffee table). When Joey wants to play, we get out the box and get out the toy that he wants to play with, then put the box back. When he’s done with that toy, he can swap it for a different toy in the preschool play kit.
All of my kids like puzzles (and they don’t get that from me). The Wooden Wobble Puzzle is a cool riddle-style puzzle that requires certain blocks to fit within a wooden frame. It reminds me of Tetris a bit, because some blocks are square, some rectangular, and some Z or T shaped. The frame separates into three pieces.
The puzzle can either be done flat on the floor, as Joey is doing it above, or you can stand the half-circle frame piece on edge and try to build the puzzle vertically (without tipping it over!). The solution is provided on the outside of the box but my kids all like trying to figure it out on their own.
Our play products are designed by child development experts and distilled to their simplest, purest purpose: to be exactly what children need at each stage. ~ Lovevery
Joey’s favourite game in the Problem Solver Play Kit is probably the liquid color lab. (What toddler doesn’t like playing with water?) Six test tubes with colourful lids sit in a sturdy white test tube holder, while your child can squirt water from tube to tube with two toddler-friendly pipettes. A little container of colour tablets are included; simply drop a red, yellow or blue tablet into each test tube and your child can watch them fizz and dissolve, then mix the colours up to make other colours!
I love how this game teaches fine motor skills (squeezing the pipette) as well as color awareness. It also helps generate an interest in science, because doesn’t this look like a mini science set? Joey is learning how to do experiments—to see what happens when he mixes two things together.
Hint: if the colours aren’t too disgusting when your toddler is done playing, put the lid on the test tube and keep the coloured water for future experiments. Joey took about a month to use up all his colour tablets, so now I need to find more for him. These colour tablets do wash out very nicely and don’t stain hands or clothing (unlike food colouring).
Joey was delighted to get his own measuring tape with this preschool play kit. He loves to play with my tape measure whenever I’m using it. The measuring tape has a soft pull tab, push button to retract it, and shows both cm and inches on it. Joey took it everywhere, including on our camping trip to Wells Gray this summer, where he measured the circumference of the rocks he found on the beach.
More about the Preschool Play Kit
Joey is a busy, active three-year-old who likes jumping on the couch, climbing on his sisters, and running circles through the house. He’ll sit at the table colouring with his sisters—for about five minutes, and then he begins sword-fighting with the markers or dropping them on the floor. I knew he wouldn’t sit quietly doing workbooks while his older sisters were doing school, and I wondered how I’d be able to help Jade and Pearl with their schoolwork without Joey constantly interrupting.
The Problem Solver Play Kit has been the perfect solution for my hands-on little guy. I’ve highlighted his favourite toys above, because these are the ones he pulls out over and over again each day. He also enjoys the turtle hatch game, which Jade and Pearl have tried to play “by the rules” with him, but he just dumps the water back and forth and watches the turtles float. This preschool play kit lets him build, pour, experiment, and learn while playing.
The Play Guide is a sturdy, index-card style booklet that provides parents with more ideas about the toys in this kit. These ideas are encouraging and helpful, with tips about your child’s development and ways to foster learning and growth. A list of milestones are provided, giving general guidance about your child’s development over a variety of areas, such as social, emotional, and motor skills. There are specific activity ideas provided for each of the toys in the set, such as sprouting beans in the liquid color lab, baking together, creating sensory bins and memory trays, and more.
If you are looking for educational, high-quality, fun toys for your baby or toddler, drop by the Lovevery website. I guarantee you’ll be just as impressed as I am. For more research-based preschool tips and ideas, check out the Lovevery blog too.