Lovevery Toddler Play Kit: The Babbler
The Babbler by Lovevery is a high-quality play kit that includes four board books, three differently textured and colored soft balls, three felt nesting baskets, and five wooden toys including a ball run, a wooden coin bank and coins, a wooden stacker with colorful discs, a wooden car and figurine, and a “Circles of Friends” wooden puzzle with chunky sized knobbed pieces with faces underneath each piece.
The Play Guide clearly explains the developmental stages and milestones as well as ways to further that development. In just a few pages, the handbook proves more helpful and practical than a shelf-ful of books. The guide describes each toy’s skill building properties as well as instructions for how to further expand on the targeted skills with typical household activities (such as finger painting, or building a ball run with paper towel tubes).
The toys and activities hone skills across all developmental domains on Parents’ Choice Foundation’s PlayAbility Scale™: the board books scored high for developing school readiness skills including mathematical concepts such as relative size and pre-reading and language skills as the child learns to label different objects. The beautiful balls, nesting baskets, coin bank, ball run and puzzle all scored high on developing fine motor and cognitive skills. And of course, all items work to encourage conversation.
For example, the ball run develops motor skills as the child places the ball on the slide as well as when he opens the box to retrieve the balls. The concept of object permanence is introduced when the ball “disappears” into the box and the child must understands not only that the ball exists, but also to search for where it went. The bank and coins enhance the child’s ability to pinch a small item between their fingers and thumb (pincer grasp). In addition, to successfully put the coin in the narrow slot, the child must use their cognitive skills of problem solving and attention.
Although the manufacturer indicates this kit is for children ages 13-15 months, children will play with these fun, engaging, and educational toys well beyond the suggested age range.
Karena Rush, Ph.D. ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Karena Rush is a professor in the Psychology Department at Millersville University. Karena, her husband and two teenage daughters spend their free time outdoors away from screens and with their old English sheepdog.