In partnership with Lalo.
When my older daughter was born, I truthfully had no idea what to do with her (beyond of course, feeding, sleeping, and changing diapers). Was I supposed to talk to her? Dangle a mobile above her head? As she got older, I knew she should be playing with toys, but which toys were best? Should I just let her run around the house or backyard to tire herself out?
Nobody gives you a playbook when you go home from the hospital with a newborn, leaving you to rely on your own research – and if you’re lucky enough to have friends who are parents – your “mom” community. This is awesome, and I’ve learned a ton from my village of friends and websites, but when it comes to play, not everyone has hours on end to research, purchase, unpack, and set up a million different toys. So many parents either turn to completely unstructured playtime, or just buy a bunch of plastic light up junk to put in front of their kids.
Luckily, there are a few brands changing the game, including one of our all time favorites, Lalo. Their new line of Play Boxes curate perfect, developmentally appropriate toys for littles aged 0-24 months. Here’s our honest review.
- With ten boxes to choose from, you’ll get play things that are specific to your child’s exact birthday and developmental stage
- Each box comes with a specialized Play Guide that helps you understand how to create meaningful play experiences for your little
- The toys are all created with durable, Earth-friendly materials so they’re good for the environment, and they’re easy to pass down
- You can choose between a subscription (a new box every 2-3 months) or a single box purchase
We don't like
- The boxes only go up to 24 months, so if your child is older, you’ll have to petition Lalo to add more boxes :)
DESIGNED BY EXPERTS FOR YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPING BRAIN
Each Play Box is specially curated by parenting coaches and educators for your child’s exact developmental stage. When you first sign up, share your baby’s name and birth date and you’ll be sent boxes full of toys according to age. Each box comes with 4-10 thoughtfully designed toys that cultivate imagination and encourage meaningful playtime that will actually help your baby grow and develop. You’ll also find a super handy Play Guide inside each box. This guide explores the toys, helps you understand how to play with your little one, and how to support them over the next couple months. This was so helpful for me in feeling confident and “in charge” during playtime (sounds silly, I know, but play is more than just “play”!).
Much to my surprise, the items in my daughter’s box were really simple. As someone who oscillates between buying whatever light-up toy will keep my kid occupied for the longest and buying “only” cute beige toys that will blend in with my house, I was delighted to find that Lalo’s options were perfectly curated and without the complicated list of parts, batteries, etc. that many other toys offer. The 16-18 month old box, for example, includes a race track that helps teach cause and effect, a wooden veggie cutting set to work on fine motor skills, a color coordinating sorting-and-counting toy to help in early color recognition, and a simple but colorful puzzle featuring basic shapes.
CREATE MEANINGFUL PLAY EXPERIENCES YOUR BABY WILL ACTUALLY ENJOY
So the toys are simple, yet because they meet my daughter exactly where she is developmentally, she’s excited to play with them and they’ll occupy her for hours. When we recently unpacked the 22-24 month, my two year old squealed with delight. The Cleaning Set was her favorite as she pretended to sweep, spray, and mop – it’s the first toy she goes for when she wakes up each morning (to be honest, I’m surprised she doesn’t try to sleep with it!). I love that it offers open-ended imaginative play, plus improves cognitive skills like problem-solving and object recognition. We also brought the colorful Lacing Beads on a recent airplane flight and she loved the accomplishment of getting the bead on the string just as much as she loved learning about all the different colors and shapes the beads offered.
There’s nothing better than purchasing toys your little one actually loves (and, I’m thrilled with the curation – why overrun your house with a million toys when you could have a few, more thoughtful ones?).
CONSCIOUSLY CRAFTED, BUILT TO LAST
Say goodbye to mountains of plastic toys that are cracked or otherwise broken and weathered. Lalo worked closely with eco-conscious Plan Toys to develop durable, Earth-friendly play things that not only look great, but will last for generations to come. They’re all non-toxic and sustainable, made with materials like rubberwood, leftover sawdust, and water-based paint – so they’re even safe for little mouths!
And of course, because they’re built to last, these boxes make for the ultimate hand me down. Or you can participate in Lalo's recycling program to give used toys a new life. We’ve already passed down a few and my friends have commented that they look “brand new” despite hours and hours of play.
If you want to take the guesswork out of being a parent (or at least, playtime) look no further than Lalo’s new Play Boxes. They’ll help you create meaningful and developmentally appropriate play experiences for your little one, and they’re so high-quality you’ll pass them down for generations to come.