Being both a qualified nursery nurse and a primary school teacher, I've had training on the development of most areas of a child's ability from 3 months old to 11 years. One of the areas that I know is important to develop at this age is the fine motor skills as it is a precursor to the ability to write; the pincer grip, hand-eye co-ordination, control of small objects are all important skills to develop.
Therefore threading, lacing, painting, colouring, jigsaws, sticking are all really important activities for toddlers to experience to help develop these skills. A drawing table or art easel would be something that would allow these activities to happen easily. We've got one and The Boy loves it; it's his own little territory and he spends quite a lot of time there.
Combine the two things together and you get the Artisto Table and Easel by Keter which we were sent to review as part of the Toys R Us Toyologist scheme.
Do you notice what's different about it? Yep, an easel and table combined, but for two children!
What I liked:
- that using the perspex, two children can work collaboratively on a drawing or a game like noughts and crosses etc.
- there is an individual table for each child and they both have a pot and compartment for their drawing/sticking equipment
- it's easily cleanable
- bright and attractive colours
- very easy to put together, meaning five minutes after getting it out of the box, it was assembled
- encourages social interaction.
What I wasn't keen on:
- the space on each side is big enough to fit a landscape sheet of A4, portrait won't fit on it
- the perspex is quite high up and is an unnatural position to draw on from a seating position
- when the moving compartments swivel around, one can completely cover the other person's drawing table; I can see arguments happening
- the distance from the seat to the table is quite wide in comparison to other tables available
- it's big, very big! (width 65cm, length 122cm, height 96cm).
At £79.99 (RRP) this is a more expensive table, but does have a lot of functionality and is perfect for twins, near-aged children or playgroups.
This will soon be available to purchase at Toys R Us. Keep an eye on the Facebook page to find out when!
Due to its size (and the fact that we've already got a drawing table) I will be donating this to Ty Hafan Children's Hospice (my local children's cancer hospital).