Do your children enjoy painting, drawing, and coloring? Step 2 has a new art easel for kids that can accommodate 2 different children at the same time, 1 on either side. Given this easel's all around design and inclusion of various magnetic letters, numbers and shapes in the purchase, the Step 2 All Around Easel encourages children to be creative, while developing some of the developmental skills they will need for school.
- Easel is made of durable plastic
- Drawing, painting, coloring surfaces that accommodate 2 children, 1 on either side
- 1 side includes a chalkboard
- The other side includes a magnetic white board where children can attach the included foam pieces or write with dry erase markers
- Paper clip allows children to attach sheets of paper to the easel for using markers, paints, dot paints, and other craft mediums
- 3 storage bins hold markers, crayons and included foam pieces
- 94 magnets(letters, numbers, shapes, and familiar objects like people, house, car, rocket ship) are included
- Magnet pieces are made of thin foam and should be kept out of the reach of small children
- Recommended for kids ages 3 and up
- All additional accessories like crayon, paint, dry erase markers, chalk and paper must be purchased separately
Coloring, drawing and painting can be preferred activities for kids ages starting at ages 2-3 and carrying into their school aged years. Not only that, gone are the days of just buying plain old markers and crayons. During the summer season when I canvas the school supply aisles for unique back to school items , I am overwhelmed with the choices available. Thankfully there are more varieties of washable paints and markers but how do you chose between regular markers, small markers, dry erase markers, fabric markers, Crayola color wonder markers, and window markers? Fat crayons, triangular crayons, glitter crayons, twistable crayons and dry erase crayons? Watercolor paints, finger paints, do-a-dot paints, you name it, the options are endless. So after you buy all these items, where is your space to complete messy arts and crafts activities? In our house it tends to be all over the kitchen island, right in the middle of my cooking space. What I like about easels is that they are a great way to organize materials and keep drawing and painting to 1 specified location.
What I like about this Step 2 All Around Easel is its design. Traditional easels are built like triangles or a capital letter A, where there are 2 sides attached at the top. Whether they are made from plastic or wood, with the older, more traditional design, though they are sturdy once opened, often times they can be big, and awkward to maneuver even for adults. The All Around Easel has 1 coloring space in the middle, but with the legs on the sides, kid's can get close to their art-work while the easel may save a little space in your home. In terms of construction, it will take 15 minutes of so to put the easel together. A few screws will need to be placed to attach the chalk board/white board into the plastic frame. In general there are clear pictures in the instructions that are easy to follow. Though some people might prefer a traditional wooden easel, I'm a fan of the plastic because for young kids who might miss the paper it's easy to clean up with a baby wipe.
In terms of overall use, with chalk and dry erase markers, both the chalkboard and the white board spaces easily wiped clean. I've had issues in the past with magnetic white boards that don't erase cleanly often leaving residue behind, but this easel has a nice smooth surface. The magnetic pieces are made of foam, and not as durable as plastic ones, so keep this in mind with younger children under the age of 3 who might try to bend or bite the materials.
I love the idea of the removable storage bins. Unless you have a lot of washable markers and don't mind your children coloring in spaces where they shouldn't if you turn your head for a second, then I'd also suggest finding a space for these removable baskets in a cabinet or closet where they can't be reached when not in use. Otherwise, be mindful of how many markers and crayons you offer at one time.
One of the best features of this easel is cost. At a suggested retail price of $39.99, it's a great entry point for budding artists without making a huge investment.