Thursday, January 28, 2021


Scrolling through an alumni email, scanning the headlines while watching Last Time I Saw Paris, a  smile nearly broke my face.  I'm going to tell you why, but it takes a story.

I've never had a problem buying books for kids.  Read alouds and picture books and chapter books and poetry, geographically specific books (Blueberries for Sal for a Mainer's grandson) and interest specific books and books I think everyone should have (D'Aulaire's  Greek and Roman and Norse myths) - 
I could shop like that for hours.

But toys are harder.  

I have certain limits. I won't buy Barbies because you can't run on tiptoes like that.  I won't buy weaponry beyond swords and light sabers.  Beyond that, I'm lost.  While it's hard to watch their interests change from a distance, buying ephemera would give a momentary rush of pleasure.... and then become an offering at the neighborhood yard sale.  

We have enough stuff, Mama usually stops me from shopping.  But when we realized that FlapJilly didn't have blocks to stack (prompted by a pediatrician's developmental questionnaire), Gramma and Grampa sent them in every incarnation imaginable. We knew they were wanted and usable.  Blocks are forever toys.

Buying a truck for Giblet was more problematic.  It took a few days of searching - dump or garbage, plastic or metal, remote control or self-propelled - and, in the end, it was fine but nothing special.  

But when Giblet was 11 months old I stumbled upon Lovevery.  It's a subscription program of age-based, Montessori style toys, sent every 3 months or so, as the baby grows.   The price was steep, but it was for his fist birthday and we love him and we had no idea what else to do.  

The first box was amazing.  We couldn't stop fondling the objects.  They were smooth and rough and soft and colorful and exactly the right size for Giblet's fingers.  There were tips for playing with kids that age, written with intention and purpose.  We were convinced; the boxes have been coming ever since.

Those toys are magical, says their mother.  We all love them all and still even play with the baby toys; and the we includes the whole family.  Sending the ball down the chute around the tower  captivates your eyes and your ears and your body as you lunge to catch it before it rolls away.  The felt flowers that were encouraging conversation about colors with a 1 year old  now sit in a small vase atop FlapJilly's desk in the playroom, just like Mama has flowers on her desk.  There's something for everybody, from Grampa on the couch to Giblet chasing the errant ball across the carpet.

The carpet was probably not the best place to set up the water toys that came last month, though. 
Moving to the washable rug on the tile floor was a smart move for the scientists busily measuring and pouring, slowly and quickly, using the mini-sink from the previous box, too.
Please notice that this box was sent to a 2 year old.  His sister, 6 years old and in first grade, is as enthralled as he is.  

Can you tell that we love this product?  Well, it turns out that a lot of other people like it too.  It's been lauded as a Best Invention (Time) and a World Changing Idea (Fast Company) and, to bring the story to a conclusion, the co-founder  was named Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, which is what I read when the smile broke my face.

I texted the link to Little Cuter, whose responses are repeated here.  We both agreed that this is an award that is well deserved, that confirms our opinion, and which should be recognized far and wide.  This is my small effort in that direction.

(And no, we don't know how to pronounce it.)


  1. What a wonderful gift -- one that keeps on giving in both fun and in learning.

    1. Exactly. Hearing "its so slow"from a two year old as his sister explains why made my heart sing.

  2. It's good to know that there are quality toys out there that so engage young children, and apparently their parents too!

  3. Our just turned 2, very cute granddaughter has really enjoyed the toys.
    Colleen S.


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