Learning to Play & Playing to Learn: A Play Kit Review

How often as a mom do you have doubts about how you’re doing at this whole parenting thing? I can tell you, I’m frequently concerned about if my kids are getting the right nutrients, if I’m teaching them to be emotionally intelligent, if letting them watch one more episode of "My Little Pony" while I tackle the dishes is going to rot their brain, etc. Another concern I have often is whether or not I’m giving my kids enough opportunities to do activities that help their little brains develop. We all want our kiddos to be smart, don’t we?

I think that last one creeps in as a little bit of mom guilt more frequently with Theodore than it did with my older two kids. See, when Joshua was a baby, I was a stay-at-home-mom with only one kiddo. I had plenty of time to read to him, or scour Pinterest to come up with developmentally appropriate sensory activities for him to try. I didn’t start working again until after Felicity turned one, so she got plenty of exposure to the mom who had time to make sensory bins.

Fast-forward to today. I’m a mom of three, and I’m gone for part of the day almost every day of the week. It was earlier this week that I was filling out Theodore’s baby book and I froze when I saw the question, “What is your baby’s favorite book?” I realized I don’t read to my baby enough to have any idea! The last time I read to him was over a month ago.

Cue the mom guilt. But let’s be honest, as much as I want to spend time reading to Theodore or creating developmentally appropriate tactile activities for him, I just don’t have that kind of time. So when the lovely people at LovEvery reached out to send me a play kit perfectly tailored to Theodore’s developmental stage, I was PSYCHED. A curated box full of goodies to help me play with my baby without my having to think about it? Something to tell me exactly what to do to stimulate his little brain in the spare moments I have to play with him here and there? Yes, please!

Since Theodore is almost 11 months, LovEvery Baby sent us the 11-12 month old play kit. All of the activities inside are very well thought out, and the play things are definitely high quality. Lots of wooden toys, which I’m a big fan of, since they last and they’re aesthetically pleasing. They even included a sheet that told me exactly what everything in the box is made of, and how to care for them! I love that kind of transparency, since I am often concerned about what the things Theodore is inevitably putting in his mouth contain.

My favorite part of the box are the cards that explain each activity and how to do it with baby. They even give variation ideas to help you mix it up when the activity becomes to easy for your baby. On top of that, they included a bunch of ideas for activities to do with your baby that are unrelated to the contents of the box, just to help parents feel more empowered and confident in how to interact with their little ones. I love that so much, because I’ll be honest–I am REALLY good at coming up with fun things to do with kids 18 months+, but my children in the baby stages have always been a little harder for me to interact with from a playtime standpoint.

I love feeling more confident in how to play with my baby. I mean, babies and kids learn best through play. It’s great to get to spend intentional, meaningful time engaging with Theodore, and knowing that on top of the enjoyment we both get in strengthening our bond with each other, he’s learning important skills and making connections that he will continue to build on the rest of his life!

I also really enjoyed watching Joshua and Felicity join Theodore on a lot of the activities in the box. Felicity was particularly invested in helping her baby brother figure out the sliding puzzle box. I've never seen her so invested in a task, or so patient with Theodore.

What are some of your favorite sensory/developmental activities to do with babies under 12 months? Have you ever tried a baby play kit?

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