Lovevery 5-6 Months Senser Play Kit Review & Alternatives

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The Lovevery 5 to 6 months old play kit, the Senser, is one of the best play kits in Lovevery’s 0-12 months lineup.

We own all of the first year play kits from Lovevery (we also own the Lovevery Blocks and had The Play Gym), and The Senser in particular offers a ton of value, ways to play, baby development, and fun.

6 Lovevery play kit boxes on an area rug. The kits are all the kits for 0 to 12 months, or the first year of Lovevery kits

The Senser Play Kit from Lovevery is also the one with two famous and beloved Lovevery toys: the Lovevery Tissue toy, which every baby I’ve met instantly loves and knows what to do with, and the Rainbow Spinner.

 
5.0
$80.00
Pros:
  • 7 curated toys perfectly suited to this stage (according to child development experts)
  • Toys and activities to develop language skills, dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, and build strength
  • Makes tummy time more fun and easier, and toys can be used as a crawling incentive
  • Contains two famous Lovevery toys: the Magic Tissue Box and Rainbow Spinner
  • Eco friendly and non toxic
  • Cheaper buying as a kit than piecing together dupes from other retailers
  • Low stress way for buys parents to engage and play with their 5-6 month olds
  • High resale value when you're done with it
  • Excellent quality to last multiple children
Cons:
  • Expensive if you only really want one or two of the toys include
  • USD exchange rate makes it expensive for non-Americans
  • Not all babies will love all toys
5.0
$80.00
Pros:
  • 7 curated toys perfectly suited to this stage (according to child development experts)
  • Toys and activities to develop language skills, dexterity, fine and gross motor skills, and build strength
  • Makes tummy time more fun and easier, and toys can be used as a crawling incentive
  • Contains two famous Lovevery toys: the Magic Tissue Box and Rainbow Spinner
  • Eco friendly and non toxic
  • Cheaper buying as a kit than piecing together dupes from other retailers
  • Low stress way for buys parents to engage and play with their 5-6 month olds
  • High resale value when you're done with it
  • Excellent quality to last multiple children
Cons:
  • Expensive if you only really want one or two of the toys include
  • USD exchange rate makes it expensive for non-Americans
  • Not all babies will love all toys

Lovevery’s The Senser box includes 8 items and costs USD $80 when ordered as a stand alone kit, with discounts for ordering multiple kits.

Adding up some of the dupes I’ve suggested in this kit, re-creating the kit using products from retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart and Etsy, I estimate a re-created kit would cost between $96 and $175…making Lovevery seem like a great deal, with less effort involved on your part!

Contents of the Lovevery 5-6 month play kit (The Senser) arranged on an area rug with numbers to indicate what is what. 1) rattle socks 2) Parts of Me book 3) Tummy Time Wobbler 4) Magic Tissue Box 5) Rainbow Spinner 6) Magic Tissue Stack 7) Organic Cotton Rainbow Ball 8) Play Guide
1) Rattle Socks 2) Parts of Me book 3) Tummy Time Wobbler 4) Magic Tissues Box 5) Rainbow Spinner 6) Magic Tissue Stack 7) Organic Cotton Montessori Ball* 8) Play Guide. The organic ball pictured is an old version, and the current kits ship with a slightly different version.

I think this is good value, but also understand some families may not want the entire kit or all the toys, and may prefer to recreate their own Lovevery Senser kit with individual toys from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Etsy, and other retailers.

With that in mind, I wanted to share our Lovevery The Senser review. BUT, I also want offer up some ideas around how you can put together a similar kit of toys from around the internet (which, as it turns out, may not actually save money).

And because I want to recommend toys that are actually good, I went out and bought some of the dupes to test them for myself, so I can offer an informed opinion and pros and cons of each option.

The Senser Play Kit | 5- to 6-Month-Old Baby Toys | Lovevery
$80.00

Lovevery's 5-6 month play kit (The Senser) comes with some of Lovevery's first year all stars, including the beloved Magic Tissue Box and the Spinning Rainbow. It's designed for babies who are sitting or getting close, mouthing and tasting pretty much everything, and gaining strength through their tummy time practice. Toys are designed to help develop language, coordination, strength, dexterity, and fine motor skills...all the while being super fun for baby and you!


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Lovevery Tissue Box and Magic Tissues (+ 2 Dupes)

The magic tissue toy is one of the most beloved toys in all of Lovevery’s first year play boxes. So it seems like a good place to start!

It’s perfect for entertaining a baby who has just learned to sit up, and is good a bit beyond the first year, tapping out around 15 months or so in my experience.

This is one of those “I’m here for a good time, not a long time” toys.

I don’t actually mind this, for two reasons: 1) the babies who are in the intended age range for this toy? They LOVE it. 2) Lovevery kits have awesome resale value. In this way, it’s an outlay of cash up front, but you can re-coup a fair amount of that when you’re done with it, even more so if you keep the boxes and sell them as a full kit.

So what is the shelf life on this toy?

I recently pulled this out for a 13-month-old who was still delighted by it. BUT, once kids are past the 1.5 year mark, or so, this won’t be as interesting, unless they decide to repurpose it somehow, or use it for pretend play (like getting tissues to take care of their dolls and stuffed plush animals when they’re “sick” or using it in performances or magic shows.)

The lovevery magic tissues box against a blue background

Lovevery’s version of the toy consists of a well-constructed wooden box with a hole at the top with a circle opening that’s big enough for me to fit my adult-sized hand into it. The circle is covered by a stretchy piece of bright fuscia fabric that slits open, just as the soft flexible piece of plastic does in a disposable Kleenex® box.

Birds eye view looking down at the opening at the top of the Lovevery tissue toy

To play, a grown up or older child can stuff the wooden box with the 6 magic tissues, via the box’s removable base. Lovevery has a video about how to stuff the box properly, using the clever button holes in each tissue to create a string of tissues that you fill the box in.

When done properly, a new tissue pops up out of the box after one has removed (this is the button hole system), ensuring your baby has another one to grab…over and over and over again until the 6 tissues run out, and then it’s time to stuff the box again!

This is one of those genius toys in terms of how simple it is, and how it offers something up that babies love anyway (most babies I know love pulling tissue from a box).

In my experience, this is typical of the Lovevery brand: many of the toys are simple, and yet somehow genius at the same time.

This particular toy helps build dexterity and fine motor skills, practice their grasp, refine hand eye coordination (figuring out how to get their hand to the spot needed to grab a tissue), and have fun!

Let’s Talk Linkable Magic Tissues

It’s worth specifically mentioning the linkable magic tissues. They are one of the big pros of the Lovevery version of this toy when compared to the magic tissue dupes.

Lovevery uses a “button hole” system whereby you stuff the corner of one tissue into the button hole of the tissue ahead of it, forming a chain that gets stuffed into the box all together.

Lovevery linkable magic tissues

What’s the big deal?

By linking all 6 “tissues” together via Lovevery’s button hole system, it ensures that once baby grabs one tissue, the next one pops up through the purple opening. Just like with real tissues!

I made a GIF of my magic box, pulling out the rainbow colored tissue, and watching the yellow one pop up…like magic.

Lovevery Magic Tissue Box

3 Lovevery Tissue Box Dupes and Alternatives

The magic tissues are a favorite Lovevery toy for many families, which means there are a lot of dupes out there. For the most part, I don’t love the dupes. There are a ton of cheap, overseas brands that don’t (in my opinion) build on the Lovevery version or add anything unique or interesting.

To me, part of Lovevery’s brand promise is delivering high quality toys and activities to parents who value education and the science behind the toys, but don’t necessarily have time to think about it or seek out their own alternatives. Wading through a massive sea of cheap tissue box knock offs with questionable providence in terms of safety and materials? It makes me just want to buy the Lovevery kit and be done with it.

However, there are a few that worth pointing out, including the Sense & Grow Tissue Box (which we own and have personally tested) and the Taf Toys tissue box (which I haven’t tried).

01/31/2023 03:41 pm GMT

Sense & Grow Tissue Box

I think this is the best Magic Tissue dupe I’ve come across, because it offers more than the Lovevery version rather than just existing as a copy.

Lovevery tissue toy (right) next to a dupe from Amazon (left)
Sense and Grow vs Lovevery

What sets this dupe apart is the fact that it comes with tissues with different textures, unlike the Lovevery version. The tissues themselves are also great for multiple uses, such as small play silks.

Fabric squares included in the Sense and Grow tissue sensory toy.
Sense and Grow tissues include some crinkle squares (blue and yellow on the far right), some netting squares (there are 3 included; 1 is not pictured), and some organza-type squares (far left)

It’s also soft, with no hard edges. If your baby is still a bit “tippy” when sitting, as many 5 month old and 6 month old babies are, this means less chance of bonking their head on a sharp wooden corner or hard object if they tumble down.

On the downside, it doesn’t come with the same clever buttonhole system of the Lovevery toy. This means re-stuffing the tissue box isn’t quite as easy, and rogue “tissues” do sometimes get stuck in the box.

If ALL you want is the Magic Tissue Box, and don’t care about the other items in the Lovevery box, I think this is a pretty good option.

See it here

Taf Toys Tissue Box

Taf toys makes another alternative, which I haven’t personally tried, but I love a bit less based on research.

First, it’s definitely not the same minimalistic aesthetic as the Lovevery version, which may or may not matter to you (this doesn’t really bother me, but to each their own).

Like the Sense & Grow, it also contains a few different textures (2 of the tissues are crinkly) as well as some plain colored tissues. However, it doesn’t have as many options as the Sense & Grow, which knocks it down a notch in my view.

Whereas the Lovevery Box is meant to be re-loaded by an adult, the Taf Toys version is meant to be stuffed by your little one once they’re old enough, which is honestly kind of a nice pro for this toy.

Lovevery Wobbler (+ 3 Dupes)

I feel like the Wobbler gets overlooked a bit in this box, lost in the awe and lusting for the Magic Tissue Box and the Rainbow Spinner.

But Lovevery’s wobbler toy is an awesome tummy time toy, as well as a fun little incentive when it comes to learning to crawl (at least, for some babies: my daughter eschewed toys when learning to crawl and would only crawl for cheese, so I know she’s really mine!).

In all honesty, tummy time was a bit of a struggle in our house, so I am up for anything that can make it easier for parents.

Roughly 4.5″ tall, it looks somewhat like a small and colorful plastic bowling pin or babushka doll. For some reason I expected this toy to be soft and a bit squishy rubber, like a blow-up ball, so when I got it I was surprised that it’s made out of a fairly hard plastic material.

The general idea is, baby lies on tummy, reaches out with their hands toward the tummy time wobbler, and pushes it to make it wobble. The wobbler will move back and forth, side to side, and in circles, and also shuffles out of reach a bit, especially if you’re playing on a hard-ish surface like a wooden floor or a play mat (the Ofie Mat is my current top pick for a non toxic foam play mat)

In this way, wobblers are actually a great little cause and effect toy, too, similar to the Galt Pop-Up toy To this day we still occasionally play with both the Lovevery Wobbler and the Galt Pop-Up toy. It only lasts a few minutes, but there’s a general refusal to get rid of these toys.

Another “looks so simple” toy from Lovevery, there are lots of fun ways you can play with the Wobbler.

Lovevery suggests putting it in a tray of water, and knocking it over to create splashes! You could take it a step further by adding some ice cubes (plain or colored with natural food coloring) to the tray for another sense.

3 Lovevery Wobbler Dupes and Alternatives

Whereas I think the Lovevery tissue box is, for the most part, better than most dupes, I think there a number of great alternatives to the wobbler if you’re mostly interested in finding a fun tummy time toy.

Also worth noting, Lovevery has a wobble stacker as part of their Target collection, which would make a good dupe (not covered below).

The Original
Best Dupe
Alternative Dupe
5.0
5.0
4.5
$80.00 (entire Play Kit)
$12.99
$19.99
The Original
Best Dupe
Alternative Dupe
01/31/2023 05:31 pm GMT

Hape Musical Wobbler

The Hape Musical Wobbler is one of the best Wobbler dupes I’ve found. There are others, but most of them are no-name brands coming directly from overseas. Hape, on the other hand, is a long established toy brand, and uses child-safe paint and quality construction to ensure it lasts for multiple kiddos.

I find the name “Musical Wobbler” a bit misleading for this cute penguin. I think the name may turn off somewhat Montessori parents who don’t want flashing lights or electronic sound effects in their home.

To which I can say: this toy doesn’t have any of those things!

This is a battery free toy with a bell in it. The “musical” comes from knocking the penguin over, and activating the bell inside to ring. It’s a mechanical, rather than electronic, process.

The HAPE version is made from a wood base and a plastic top. Since the Lovevery is made of plastic too, I don’t see this as a particularly defining feature.

The HAPE toy is also slightly larger than the Lovevery version – a bit taller, and a bit wider, measuring close to 5″ tall.

Lovevery Wobbler (left) and Hape penguin wobbler (right)

Manhattan Toy Wobbly Bobbly

Manhattan toys makes a trio of adorable wobblers as part of their Wobbly Bobbly lineup, including an Owl, a Bear, and a Frog. The wobbling base is made of silicone, and the top is like a plush toy, with a bell inside their heads for added fun.

Montessori Wobble Pyramid

Finally, The Etsy shop AdvonPlay makes a cool wobbler toy that is all wood, made of solid pine and painted with non-toxic paints. I also love that this is a two-in-one toy, as it works as both a ring stacker and a wobbler. There’s also a few color schemes to choose from, so you can coordinate with your nursery or other decor. See it here.

The Spinning Rainbow + Dupes

The Lovevery Spinning Rainbow is another “Lovevery all star to” included in this play kit…one of those toys that parents love, because babies love it!

It’s a 5-sided tumbler, and each side is a different bright and cheerful color. Inside, there’s a small ball that rumbles and knocks against the wood as the tumbler spins, making a somewhat rhythmic noise as it goes.

The Lovevery Spinning Rainbow

It’s a great toy for this age and stage as babies practice sitting up on their own – it’s something to occupy them as they sit and slowly build up their strength and balance. It also requires some motor skills and coordination to operate.

Lovevery’s spinning rainbow is awesome, but not particularly unique. Rather, it’s their version of a Montessori spinning drum, which is fairly easy to find online. Amazon has loads, as does Etsy.

When shopping for a dupe, check the reviews for wood quality! Most of the dupes also come with a mirror side, which lets your baby catch a peak of themselves as it spins around, but you want to make sure whatever version you buy is good enough that the mirror stays on, and doesn’t lift up (which could poke your baby).

Etsy Dupes

There’s a pretty bang on dupe on Etsy from the seller My Gifted Education. Gentle bells inside the spinning drum.

This is one of those cases where I think the Dupe might actually be better than the Lovevery version, as this one has a mirror on one of the panels, so baby can catch a quick glimpse of themselves when they spin it around!

Organic Cotton Rainbow Ball

My Play Kit is a bit older, and I therefore have an older version of the cotton rainbow ball that now comes with the Lovevery Kits. My version is very similar to the ball that comes with the Lovevery Play Gym, only colorful instead of black and white.

The old version of the ball is what’s pictured below. And happily, you can now buy it at Target as a one-off piece!

Organic ball from Lovevery

To their credit, Lovevery seems to be constantly updating their Kits based on parent feedback as well as their panel of experts. That means the kits occasionally change, with updated versions coming out as Lovevery sees fit.

The new ball looks more like a pin cushion, and has less bumps and grooves, but still has places to grab:

Lovevery organic rainbow ball against isolated white background

If you’re looking for a Lovevery Montessori Ball dupe, your best bet is probably the Lovevery collection from Target. The “old” ball that used to be included in the 5-6 month play kit is now available as a stand alone purchase, available from Target. A perfect dupe for the current rainbow ball, as it has all the same features: lightweight, textured, organic and non-toxic, and really easy to grasp for babies.

A lightweight, easy to grab ball is a staple baby toy, in my opinion. If you don’t like the Lovevery dupe from Target, there are a few other options I’d suggest:

Parts of Me Book

I consider the Lovevery Books a hidden gem within the Play Kits. The toys get all the attention, but families who have the kits pretty much universally love the books!

Us included!

6 Lovevery books from the first year of Play Kits
Our books from the first year worth of Play Kits

Parts of Me is a simple, photography-based book. Each page has a picture of a baby or toddler against an isolated background in different muted colors. The photo on each page includes a body part, with with the name for that body part (i.e. “ear”) at the bottom of the page.

A woman's hand holds the Lovevery Parts of me book open, revealing photographs of children with labels for "nose" and "hair"

I really like photography-based books for this age group – babies are instinctively drawn to looking at faces, so using photographs of real kids (instead of illustrations) really draws them in.

A few alternative books include:

Lovevery Rattle Socks

Rattle socks by lovevery on an area rug

The rattle socks come at the perfect time, as babies get more awareness of their bodies – and what their legs and feet can do! It sounds exciting, and it’s a fun “kicking toy” and a “reaching toy,” both of which help build up back, neck and leg strength, which helps them get ready to roll over and eventually crawl.

To me, this is a good in theory toy, but depends on your baby, too. Some babies hate socks (mine did!), in which case you might not get as much use from these.

For dupes, there are a lot out there, and my preference is to always buy from a reputable brand for safety.

Lamaze makes a cute set that also comes with wrist rattles.

Play Guides

The Senser's parent guide by Lovevery.

One of the biggest pros of ordering a Lovevery play kit is you essentially outsource all the time, energy, research and stress of trying to find developmentally appropriate activities and toys to Lovevery, rather than doing it yourself.

The toys themselves are ready to go, but Lovevery Play Guides are also awesome in this way, offering up different activities you can try with your child.

Is Lovevery Worth it for 5 and 6 Month Old Babies?

Whether it’s worth it to you, and whether it’s worth it to someone else really depends on your budget for baby gear and what’s important to you. I’ve tried to outline who I think it’s worth it for, and who it’s not, as well as compare the cost of buying the Lovevery kit vs making your own with dupes.

The Dollars and Cents of It

The Senser Play Kit costs $80. Re-creating it is more expensive…if you want to get all the toys.

To put together your own Lovevery dupe play kit for 5 and 6 months old, using the items I’ve selected in this post, you’d need to spend an estimated $96 at minimum.

If you just wanted to grab a few main toys – i.e. the Magic Tissue Box and the Rainbow Spinner – you could do if for less. Probably about $50 for both of them, if you opt for some of the less expensive versions available.

When it comes to considering cost of the Lovevery Kits, another thing to consider is the fact that Lovevery Kits have great resale value.

If you buy the Senser for $80, you can often re-sell the entire kit for between $40 and $60 in major US cities, which brings the cost of ownership down quite a bit. That said, you do need to be able to lay out the initial $80 to do so.

Why I think it’s Worth It

I like Lovevery kits because it puts toys on “easy mode” for parents. Developmentally appropriate toys just show up on your doorstep, with little time and effort spent on your part.

The toys are also awesome quality – good enough to last into the toddler years and with multiple children.

Final Thoughts

Generally speaking, I’m a fan of the Lovevery products I’ve tried so far, and would be equally comfortable suggesting them to a good friend as I am to a reader on this site.

Check out all the Lovevery kits and other products on their website

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