I'm pretty sure I can't be the only mum who has lists of things that they would buy their children if they had the money and space to do so. Beautiful children's toys, especially wooden ones, that you see in magazine pictures and on other people's Pinterest Boards. Our budget doesn't stretch to all the things I'd like to buy Little Miss C though so I keep a keen eye on the companies that I like on social media so that I can try to take advantage of special offers and competitions where possible. I've made some great savings by doing this and I'm delighted that all my competition entering has finally paid off too!
WoodenToyShop.co.uk is one such company with a website full of beautiful wooden toys and some great competitions on their Facebook page in particular. I was thrilled to win a recent competition (by bizarrely guessing the weight of a Kilner jar full of pasta) to win a Pintoy Table Top Magnetic Easel and Chalkboard as it was exactly what had been at the top of my wish-list for a while. As I've written about many times, LMC loves all things crafty and can spend hours drawing or painting. At her nursery they have some great chalkboards on the walls for them to draw on and I had been on the lookout for something similar for home, but was lacking appropriate wall space. The beauty of this table top easel is that it collapses for storage, yet when assembled it works perfectly on top of her small Ikea table where she does most of her drawing. The non-slip bits on the base mean that it doesn't easily move once on the table top making it nice and safe.
One side is a simple chalkboard, whilst the other one is both a whiteboard and magnetic. There's space to hang a roll of paper (which comes with the easel) and a handy clip to keep a child's artwork in place whilst they work on it. Both sides have a deep ledge section for pens or chalk and the easel also comes with an eraser which seems to have given LMC as much enjoyment as drawing does!
The addition of a box of chalk and our existing fridge magnets mean that she has been kept amused for hours with it already. She almost sees it as three toys in one as she can do her "chalking" on it, play with magnets or do "colours and painting". Depending on what mood she's in and what I'm doing at the time it can either be on her little table where she can stand at it, or on the main kitchen table where I work and she can sit on the chair next to me. It takes up so much less floorspace than a floor standing easel and I can also move it outside easily and have it stood on our patio table to allow her to do things out in the garden too. The easel is beautifully made in high quality wood and appears to be very hard wearing too. If you had more than one child and set things up right you could also have both sides in use at once - probably something that I will find useful a year or so down the line.
I'm absolutely thrilled with my prize, as is Little Miss C. In the time it's taken for me to write this review she has been perfectly content drawing and playing with magnets - pretty impressive for a little girl who had spent much of the morning running round and insisting that she needed to go out to play!
Disclaimer: I won this easel when I entered a competition on the WoodenToyShop.co.uk Facebook page. After winning I was asked if I would also review it in exchange for some gift vouchers for their online shop. Loving their products I readily agreed, but the contents of this review are not swayed by this.