Panda Crate is a baby and toddler subscription box for ages 0 to 2 (it belongs to KiwiCo, which makes play things for 0 to 16+). I’m a huge Lovevery fan, but their kits can be cost prohibitive for some people ($80-$120). Panda Crate is about half the price with each crate – lasting two months – costing about $40, so basically $20 a month (the Lovevery kits that go for $120 cover enough toys for three months and $80 covers two months). Lovevery kits do tend to have more toys in them as compared to Panda Crate, however.
Like Lovevery, Panda Crate makes boxes curated based on the science of early development and they were put together with the help of researchers at Seattle Children’s hospital. Everything is thoughtfully put together, beautifully made and includes 5-6 developmentally-appropriate toys as well as a Wonder magazine and activity cards for parents. For an additional $9.95 per month, you can upgrade to a Deluxe crate which includes a children’s book tied to the crate’s theme.
That said, the Panda Crate toys don’t have the heirloom quality you’ll get with Lovevery and you also don’t get access to an app as thoughtfully created as the Lovevery one (their app gives you daily ideas – with videos to illustrate – as far as how to use the items in their kits in ways you probably never thought of, plus parenting advice and tips). Lovevery toys are simply beautiful! Plus everything is made with clean, non-toxic materials and there’s lots of wood and natural material in keeping with Montessori philosophies. They are built to last and the toys can not only be passed from child to child, but my son often goes back to toys from previous kits (the app gives tips on how older toddlers can learn from toys in the earlier kits).
That said, circling back on price, Lovevery never goes on sale, whereas Panda Crate almost always has major discounts (we’re talking 30%+ off) and there are plenty of affiliate links where you can get 50% off your first crate. If price is a main factor, you really can’t go wrong with Panda Crate. Your child may not play with the toys quite as long as with Lovevery but I’ve gotten a solid 30 minutes out of many of their toys and while they may not have that same heirloom quality, compared to the run-of-the-mill toys you find online they’re fantastic, developmentally appropriate and engaging options for at-home or on-the-go. The $40 price point also makes them a great gift.