Melissa and Doug Wooden Standing Art Easel
- Helps develop fine motor skills
- Teaches your child how to draw and write
- Has storage areas to keep your child organized
- Dual sides allow for two or more children to play at the same time
- Creates an activity away from technology
- Encourages group play
- Assembly can be difficult
- The quality of the parts is questionable
How it works
Melissa and Doug have been making toys for over twenty years, and their products have always brought learning and fun to playing. Their name and brand have been featured on several high profile news outlets and have been praised by millions for the quality and fun that their toys have brought to countless children. One of their most popular items is their Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel that is a two-for-one toy that allows children to use one side for using chalk on a blackboard, and the other side allows for painting and drawing on white paper that is held onto the board via a roll of paper and clips. Although a lot of accessories have to be purchased separately, many parents have been happy with the hours of creativity that the easel provides away from televisions, tablets, and smartphones. There have been other mixed reviews of the product as many parents have not been impressed by the quality of the materials that make up the easel or the fact that assembling the product can be time-consuming and difficult. For the most part, the Melissa and Doug Wooden Standing Art Easel has been a welcomed addition to several children’s playtime.
The other side of the Melissa and Doug Wooden Standing Art Easel is a whiteboard where you can use dry erase markers to draw and write as you would on the chalkboard with chalk. The whiteboard is a standard whiteboard and wipes away with ease and is easy to clean. An additional item on this side of the board is the ability to put paper over the whiteboard so that your child can use paint and paintbrushes to create works of art. In the middle of the easel behind both of the boards is a long wooden rod where you can put a roll of paper.
The paper gets pulled up between the boards and through a slot that allows the paper to be run down the whiteboard. The easel comes with four clips that will hold the paper in place and then your child can begin to paint on the paper. The board has a child-safe paper cutter so that you can take the finished work of art and either have it framed or hung on the refrigerator. Underneath the whiteboard area is a bucket for keeping all the painting and dry erase accessories like paint, paintbrushes, and dry erase markers.
The easel is held together by large plastic screws and bolts. In the past, many of Melissa and Doug’s products have required the use of an Allen wrench to put all of their parts together because the bolts and screws were metallic. With the wooden art easel, the plastic components eliminate the need for the Allen wrench in the spirit of making assembly easier without the need for tools. The concern for some parents is that plastic fasteners tend to strip easy and do not hold as sturdy as having a metallic screw that can be tightened with a wrench. Some parents have found that the easel has a greater risk of coming apart because of the lack of grip in the plastic screws.
The other concern was the quality of the wood. Some parents were of the opinion that the wood was not first-rate and that it was flimsy, which made them feel that they were purchasing a product that could easily snap or break. On the other hand, many parents have been nothing but pleased with the Melissa and Doug Wooden Standing Art Easel and have said the youngest of their children used the easel thoroughly and they never had a problem with the sturdiness or safety of the easel. The easel will come in several parts and by following the directions you will be able to screw all the pieces together until the easel is complete.
Other than the clips, there are no other accessories that come with the easel. Any other accessory will need to be purchased separately. The only thing that comes in the box is the easel itself.
Paint, paintbrushes, dry erase markers, chalk, chalk markers, and the chalkboard eraser will all have to be purchased by you through whatever manufacturer or website or major retailer you choose to shop with for these accessories. The paper roll will also need to be purchased separately, and the easel can hold the paper between twelve inches and eighteen inches long. Anything longer than that will not fit in the easel.
On the other side of the easel, the storage bin is designed a bit differently. The storage bin for the dry erase side of the easel has cup holders for your child to hold paint or a jar of brushes while they are working.
There is a slot for holding markers or brushes as well. This storage area is great for keeping your child organized and keeping their tools organized so that they can maintain a clean workspace while they are creating and they can keep their mess to a minimum. There is also extra room underneath the easel for more storage bins that you can buy separately.
Toddlers also get the opportunity to hold a pencil, a paintbrush, chalk, or a marker in their hands and learn how to properly hold the instrument as they learn to write and sound out letters and numbers all while they are playing. It’s great for parents and children to spend quality time together as parents help teach their children how to draw, write, and learn.
The easel also helps promote organizational skills for your child as there is a place for everything on the easel and your child can learn to keep their space organized. Your child will have the ability to fully express themselves creatively and they can begin to discover their talents and their passions. With a price that is reasonable, the Melissa and Doug Wooden Standing Art Easel is a great buy for the parent who wants to get their child away from technology and learning and having fun at the same time.