Product Review

Product Review: Lily & River

Posted by Anneliese Lawton

Family-Tested, Family-Approved

You’re here because you want to know if Lily & River is awesome - we did, too. That’s why real parents put everything on our marketplace to the test. Every play essential brand on Peeka & Co. is vetted - aka, played with by real families to ensure it meets our standards and values. After racing toy cars, rocking baby dolls, and building with blocks - we review our experience. Only the best products make it to our marketplace. This is our family-tested, family-approved approach. And most importantly, it's how we ensure a brand aligns with your values, too.

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Who is Lily & River? 

As a student of the Montessori method, dad and designer David, had grown to appreciate natural toys designed for play, learning, and growth. After having a difficult time finding toys for his daughters that weren’t made from plastic, he created his own. Lily & River designs all-natural activity and sensory toys that enhance creativity, self-confidence, motor skill development, balance control, and muscle growth.

Which items from Lily & River Little did we Review?

We opted for pieces that made the ultimate playtime experience for littles ages 1-6+ years. We tested out Lily & River’s Little Climber, 2-in-1 Rockwall/Slide, Little Rocker, Little Gymnast, Little Steps, and Little Surfer. Each piece creates an ultimate indoor playground for your littles to explore through play, while practicing gross motor skills, balance control, and muscle growth. All items are made with all-natural, non-toxic materials at Lily & River’s USA family-owned and operated workshop. 

Toddler balances on the Little Rockwall/Slide, Little Rocker and Little Climber balancing with Lily & River Little Ninja set.
First Impression

I have wanted a climbing set for my kids since my youngest was a baby – but I was never able to convince myself to invest in one. Climbers are a big-ticket item, both for space and cost. But now when I reflect back on all of the toys that made their way into our house (and shortly there after, into the donation bin) – I realize investing in a climber would have been our best bet. Especially knowing that we’d have more kids. 

These Lily & River pieces are beautiful, all-natural, and non-toxic. They look beautiful in our home when set up, but also tucks away easily when we’re finished with play. These items offer a wide range of activities that help promote gross motor skills, balance control, muscle growth, and imagination. Tiny person balances on the Little Surfer from the Little Ninja Playset by Lily & River

My three kids (ages 2, 4, and 6), were ecstatic when the set arrived. We got the Little Climber, 2-in-1 Rockwall/Slide, Little Rocker, Little Gymnast, Little Steps, and Little Surfer.

The Little Climber resembles a traditional Montessori pikler triangle. It’s a foldable playground for your little one that will encourage them to climb and slide – we also love throwing a blanket over the triangle to turn it into a tent.  

The Little Rocker is Lily & River’s play arch, designed for climbing, rocking, resting, hiding, and play. My big kids immediately turned it into a “boat” and sailed the seas on a grand exploration for gold and treasure. While my little one loves bringing her stuffies and blankets into the arch for reading and snuggles. The rocker is wonderful for promoting motor skill development, balance control, and creativity. Mom & baby lay together in the Little Rocker by Lily & River, with the rest of the Little Ninja Playset

The Little Gymnast is also loved in our home. We love setting it up among the other Lily & River pieces for a game of “the floor is lava.” This love beam helps boost physical activity and inspires your little ones to practise their balance. 

Along with the Little Rocker, Lily & River also have a Little Surfer. This smart wobble board is perfect for standing, twisting, and practicing balance control and coordination. My kiddos love flipping it over as a ramp for racing their cars! 

Lastly, the Little Steps – another must have for “the floor is lava” or creating an awesome indoor obstacle course (we love these on rainy days). The Little Steps help my little ones with balance and coordination. They come in a beautiful range of colors – and I love the soft bottoms to keep them in place on the floors (and the floors free from scratches). Tiny toes balance on the Little Gymnast set with the Little Steps nearby on the floor.

What makes this brand/product special? 

Lily & River is an incredibly run and special brand – and their climbing and Montessori play pieces are a must-have for families. Headquartered in Arizona, Lily & River makes their products in the U.S.A. From Ohio and California to Italy and the Baltic, they partner with the finest hardwood, fabric, and steel mills in the world to create their products. They’re very cautious about the type of materials they use, and everything's made to play – and while playing, your children also have the benefit of developing new skills and using their imagination. 

One of the things I love most about Lily & River is that they plant a new seedling every time a customer orders a Lily & River product – and not just in America, but in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Pacific. Little feet jump from one Little Step to another playing inside with Lily & River.


Playtime is SO much fun with Lily & River! We play with all the pieces we got everyday (and make extra use of them during the colder months and rainy weather). It’s been so great for developing my two year old’s confidence in climbing and balance. From climbing, sliding and creating forts – my kids find endless uses for each item. The Little Climber folds down easily for storage, while the Little Rocker stays out as an extra piece of furniture for cuddling and reading (even for me). Everything blends in beautifully in our home thanks to Lily & Rivers natural, timeless features and finishes. I only wish we got a set like this sooner (but there’s still years of play ahead of us).

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