Melissa & Doug Bernstein are real American people and parents of six children. Their company, which is formerly known as Lights, Camera, Interaction!, Inc., manufactures toys for kids, including activity pads, developmental toys, children’s furniture, puzzles, art and craft products, plush toys, and more. They produce more than 1,000 toys for toddlers, babies, and bigger kids.
Founded in 1988 in a basement and their parents’ garage, the company has now factories in the USA and abroad with a thousand of employees involved. Their products have become very popular, so the mass media puts them in the same league with such titans as LEGO and Mattel.
This time, WoWPencils will review their Deluxe Standing Easel, an indispensable thing for all attentive parents and their active offspring.
Melissa and Doug Art Easel Highlights
The following table represents the main parameters of the Melissa & Doug 1282 Deluxe Standing Easel. The package doesn’t include an accessory kit. This choice is rather personalized and depends on your toddler’s interests, so accessories can be selected and purchased individually.
What About Design Elements?
This art easel features a wooden frame, which folds flat for easy storage. The construction is sturdy and height-adjustable. The easel is double-sided and includes two boards – a dry-erase board and a chalkboard.
The product comes with additional accessories that make its assembly and maintenance easier. The easel includes 2 trays attached to each side of the frame. They can be removed during cleanup.
Between the two sides, there is a dowel for holding a paper roll. The easel comes with sturdy clips to hold individual paper that is oversized.
The standing easel is a must-have for every child. It is recommended for young writers to form a proper pencil grip, build their motor skills, and practice the first letters and words.
The stand contains small pieces and is not intended for kids under 3 years old, but it can be used by 3-7-year-olds.
Useful Assembly Instructions
The set comes with necessary details and instruments (as the Allen wrench) to put together all easel elements. The user manual includes helpful pictures and shows a step-by-step scheme on how to assemble the construction in 8 steps. Each page of the manual gives an assembled view of the stand to understand how it really looks when the step is completed.
Before you begin, make sure that all parts are present. Lay out all the pieces on a flat carpeted surface to have everything close at hand:
- Put together 2 upper legs and 4 lower legs. All the elements are labeled with numbers or letters to match each other and to be aligned in a proper direction.
- Attach a paper roll dowel and leg braces.
- Adjust the height of the easel.
- Open the legs and insert special bolts to hold both boards.
- Assemble both boards.
- Fix the trays.
Follow the assembly instructions, and the process will not be as difficult as it may seem.
When the easel is ready, attach paper clips to hold the paper. The construction is usually placed in the kids’ room, but it can fold by loosening the securing bars and lifting them from the securing nuts.
How to Use This Wooden Easel?
As psychologists and pediatricians claim, imaginative play and hands-on engagement are the best choice for kids. All toys designed by Melissa & Doug encourage child learning and development, stimulate their creativity, and improve eye and hand coordination. With this Deluxe Art Easel, children can create art with markers, paint, crayons, chalk, and other mediums.
This can be done at one convenient station by two kids at a time. The easel has a multifunctional design and consists of two sides to experiment with various drawing instruments:
- one side is a white dry-erase board to draw with special markers;
- the other side is a black chalkboard to draw with multicolored chalk;
- the paper roll can be attached and used with both sides of the easel.
The easel guarantees hours of creative activity that can be both enjoyable and educational. The manufacturer even offers a list of activities and games that can be used with small learners.
Pros and Cons
All products made by Melissa & Doug are developed by a team of designers led by Melissa. Regular users of the brand are satisfied with the materials and quality of their products, but there are a few points that have to be improved.
- Very sturdy
- Includes two boards and two different surfaces
- Adjustable height
- Can be used with a variety of drawing instruments
- Useful trays to store mediums
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a safe paper cutter
- Replacement parts can be ordered if necessary
- The sides of the boards are sharp and can cut hands
- The chalkboard is covered with laminated wood, and the chalk barely shows up
- The knobs are made from plastic and come loose
- The assembly is quite complicated
- Neither side is magnetic
- The price is higher than for similar easels from other brands
If you can put up with these downsides, buy this easel for your children. It is a good option to stimulate their screen-free activities and spend less time using gadgets.
Where to Buy ? Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel?
Melissa & Doug has made more than 5,000 products. Their Deluxe Standing Easel can be purchased from the official store of the manufacturer or via online trading channels. Find this product at Amazon, Walmart, Costco, Target, eBay, Best Buy, and other e-shops. The company sells its products outside the US, so they are also available for caring parents of Canada, the UK, and NZ.
Using imaginary play, children are trying to create, explore, take risks, and discover themselves. If you express concerns that your kids have low academic performance, high stress level, and they can’t get along with others, diminish their time watching media and change their indoor interests.
Buying an easel may help encourage preschoolers and reveal their creative potential. Follow the Melissa & Doug philosophy and see how educational art works and if their recommendations are true to life.