We love our Melissa and Doug standing floor easel!
There are so many creative ways to use it with the most obvious being painting and drawing. One side has a dry erase board. My kids love drawing on it! When my daughter was 2 yrs old, I placed a foot stool in front of it so she could reach it easier. It has an adjustable height, but this way both kids could easily use it together.
The other side features a chalkboard – perfect for drawing and learning! We have practiced tracing with it plus it can easily be used for teaching. For example, for younger children, drawing a number 1 with an ‘x’ next to it. Then erase it and write the number 2 with two X marks, and so on. Preschoolers and kindergartners can draw the X marks (or circles, smiley faces, anything simple) themselves. I love to incorporate hands-on learning with the kids!
It comes with 4 colored clips for using clipping paper to. Kids can draw or paint and then take their artwork to keep instead of erasing it. Bonus: leave paintings to dry hanging and out of the way. We use the Melissa and Doug easel paper pad, but really any paper would be just fine. The easel paper is almost as big as the easel dry erase board – it’s what my daughter is using in the photo above.
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There is a tray on each side. One side has spaces for the spill-proof cups. You can purchase the easel separately or with the accessory bundle. If you choose to purchase it separately and buy just one accessory to go along with it, the spill-proof cups are a MUST HAVE! They come with a unique lid: unscrew it to fill with paint or water, then screw the lid back on. Lift up the top part of the lid to reveal a small hole for the paintbrush. If the cup gets knocked over, the mess is minimal. Place the lid back on to easily store in between uses.
We use these cups for many activities without the easel. The kids use it at the table with water for watercolor painting. We have made puffy paint inside it.
I do have to say that I am not in love with the art smock. I might be using it wrong, but I can’t seem to figure out the velcro part.
Besides the spill-proof cups, the accessory bundle also includes: Felt Chalk Eraser, Paper Roll, Paint Brushes, 4 (8oz) bottles of assorted Poster Paint, Triangular Crayons, Jumbo Rainbow Chalk, and a Dry-Erase Marker.
Other great features:
- It easily folds up for storing when not in use.
- Besides using the easel paper pad, there is a place to attach a paper roll.
- There are lots of accessories sold separately!
- Easy to set up and easy to clean.
- For ages 3 and up (my daughter used it at age 2).
Fun Easel Activities:
Set out a cup of water with a paintbrush and have the kids paint the chalkboard side. It’s amazing how this simple, open-ended activity provides hours of fun! As a fun twist, draw numbers, letters, or shapes with chalk first and have them trace back over it with water.
Add googly eyes as a starter/prompt. Maybe they’ll draw a monster, dog, or themselves. It’s a fun way to get them to think creatively and use their imagination.
Make a sticky easel by hanging contact paper with the sticky side facing out. Kids can have fun sticking on things such as torn paper, tissue paper squares, buttons, sequins, feathers, and so on.
Alphabet Activities: 1. Write uppercase letters at the top. Write the lowercase ones at the bottom but in a jumbled order. Have the child match the uppercase with the lowercase by drawing a line between the two. 2. Write dashed lines in the shape of a letter. Have the child trace over it. Or, write the letters and have the child write the letter underneath by looking at yours for an example.
See our previous post: 10 Easel Activities
Kids Holiday Wish List: Reviews!
This post is part of a collaboration with other kid bloggers. Each participating blogger is reviewing one toy that they recommend for kids.