Hey there! Welcome to my site. Today I’m super excited to write a review for the Melissa and Doug Double Sided Magnetic Tabletop Easel.
For while now I have been wanting to review some Melissa & Doug toys because I have heard great things about them, but I just never got around to it. Then recently, out of the blue, my husband brings home a surprise for the kids and it happened to be exactly what I had been thinking about just weeks before 🙂
When I saw it was an easel that had the signature “Melissa and Doug wooden toys” feel to it, with no buttons or sounds, I was genuinely curious to see how long my kids would play and how much they would enjoy it. We all got a chance to play with this awesome Melissa & Doug product and we were all pretty impressed by the usefulness of the toy as well the quality.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of toys, and I believe they all have their purpose. Check out my post on the best learning toys of 2019 if you don’t believe me. But their is just something special about simple toys that allow for creativity and pretending, and imagination! (I included this toy on the list of the best learning toys BTW)
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So Who are Melissa and Doug?
So first of all, Melissa and Doug are real actual people and they are actually a family of eight. That’s right, you read it right. Melissa has six children!
Their mission is to, “Provide a launch pad to ignite imagination and a sense of wonder in all children so they can discover themselves, their passions, and their purpose.”
They explain in the about page of their website that that they are committed to making products that inspire open-ended thinking and encourage kids to see new possibilities. They also have an even bigger mission called Take Back Childhood. They believe that by giving children a true childhood, with imagination, free play, and exploration, we all give them a path to realizing their full potential.
Hmmm well that’s definitely something I can get behind..
Many critics in the toy industry had told them that they would fail if their products didn’t keep up what was in demand at the time, but Melissa and Doug were inspired by simpleness of the past and hope to continue to have an affect on the future.
What Makes These Toys Different?
Among all of the normal plastic and/or electronic products we are use to seeing is an Amazon best-seller that is composed of simple, wooden toys. They are often colorful as well and promote creativity. You have toys like the wooden scoop and serve ice cream parlor, the wooden chef’s pretend play kitchen, and the top and bake play pizza set. There are plush toys as well.
It’s my opinion that a high-quality toy will keep youngsters engaged for a longer time when they are engrossed in imaginative play and the quality allows it to stand up to abuse. I know that’s a strong word but my kids are rough!
I like the toys offered by Melissa & Doug because they are made of high-quality materials, provide my 5-year-old with plenty of todd’er to let his imagination run free, and keep him away from screens.
Though the company’s toys can sometimes be slightly pricier than other brands, they are built to last and are backed by a “100% Happiness Guarantee.”
Frequently Asked Questions
I decided to include this because as I started doing some deeper research, I realized that these are some pretty common questions about Melissa and Doug puzzles, dollhouses, easels, puppets, blocks, etc. (I mean the list goes on and on) So take a look at these questions below! Please feel free to ask any further questions you may have in the comment section and I’ll do my best to get you the answer!
- Are Melissa and Doug toys safe?
- Are Melissa and Doug Toys Made in USA?
- Are Melissa and Doug toys Montessori?
- Are Melissa and Doug real people?
1. In the past there have been a few issues regarding safeness with some of the products. Some of the toys were shown to have some chemicals in higher amounts than they should. Over the years it seems the company has made a conscious effort to address those issues. Below is a statement from their site:
“We Test in Our Homes, we Test at Different Production Phases , and we Have Independent Agencies Test Our Products“
They operate a testing program that follows guidance from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which includes the use of independent, certified, third-party laboratories. They test all paints and coatings frequently to make sure toys meet or even exceed government recommendations limiting heavy metals, lead, and phthalates in children’s items.
3. Melissa and Doug is a Connecticut-based toy company that has been in business since the 1980’s. Many of the toys offered by this company can be used for the Montessori approach, more-so than many other toy companies. Montessoritoys.com has a great list of toys offered that fit the bill!
4. Yes! check out who they are on their site!
Review Time: The Melissa and Doug Double Sided Magnetic Tabletop Easel
Okay let’s get to it. If you are thinking about buying something with no batteries for your child, this is a must-read.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Double-Sided Tabletop Easel 3Y – 8Y
So this toy was not a part of my original list of desired best toys because I was unaware of it quite frankly. But as I said earlier, recently both of my children had the pleasure of giving this toy a try and I must say we all absolutely loved it! Also my son is in school now and toys are a topic that seems to come up a lot. So here is my quick summary:
My Overall Rank: 9/10
Check it out Here
Easy to Use: YES
This tabletop easel includes a dry-erase board and chalkboard, a built-in wooden paper roll holder, a 50-foot-long paper roll, one bluedry-erase marker, 5 pieces of colored chalk, an eraser, and 36 letter and number magnets.
The sturdy and durable dry-erase board/chalkboard is made from high-quality wood that folds flat for easy storage. The 42-piece set stimulates the imagination and inspires hours of hands-on, screen-free play.
The process of switching between the chalkboard and dry erase board is easy enough for a four year old and the addition of a paper roll is great for me. My four year old spent nearly an hour and a half switching between the two. (literally unheard of lol)
The age limit says 3 years to eight years old, but my two year old has a great time with it as well. Although she didn’t stick around as long as her brother did, I was pretty pleased.
UnBoxing and Set-Up
I don’t know about you, but I always find it helpful to see unboxings so that I can check toys out for myself and already know what I’m getting ahead of time. (that may be a bit much but I know I’m not the only one!)
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS UNBOXING FOR MORE DETAILS ON THE EASEL
In this case, I think it would be beneficial to grab more dry erase markers ahead of time so that you have a variety of colors. Oh and grab some washable paint and a brush from your local Dollar Tree as well 🙂
My Kids Using All 3 Features
(Excuse the vertical videos! Sigh)
Pros and Cons
Tabletop Easel ProsAbove all, my number one pro is that there are three uses in one! This allows my son and daughter to be entertained twice as long than they would be with many of the other toys, even the electronic ones.This easel allows for creativity and imagination without watching a screenThe transitions between easel, chalkboard, and paper are easy enough for a four year old to do on his own, once they have some practice.This Tabletop easel is made with quality, sturdyFolds flat for storageThe company offers a “100% Happiness Guarantee. They state that “We design every toy to the highest quality standards, and to nurture minds and hearts. If your child is not inspired, give us a call and we’ll make it right.”NO NOISE 😉
Table Top Easel ConsThere is no tray to hold the markers and chalk when using the chalkboard side unfortunately. So the markers just end up on the table during that transition. Not a huge deal, but noted.The product only comes with one Marker. Also this is not a big deal because you can find markers ahead of time. My favorite markers to use are these.
Why I Recommend This Toy
In 2019, anyone with a child under 10 has been reminded over and over again about the horrors of screen time 😉 I mean really, it’s a very popular topic and the reason is that all of our kids love it soo much! Sigh. So we have all this technology at our fingertips (and are often addicted to our own electronics) but we simply must find a way to limit our kid’s screen time.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate having the knowledge of the benefits of minimal screen time, but the question is how? That’s where Melissa and Doug products come in, in particular this double sided easel I’m talking about today. I watched my kid sit at the table for 1.5 hours ladies and gents. Can’t stress that enough. One and a half hours. He painted, drew, wrote words, played Tic Tac Toe, you name it. All entertaining, all no screen time.
All in all, my kids and I personally love this easel. I actually have one for each of my kids and keep it on the table so that they can pop in and out of playing with it. There is no noise involved so keeping it out isn’t an issue.
Although I would recommend that any parent buy additional markers and have a container for the markers, I think the easel is a great deal for the price, considering the benefits of a quality toy. I would recommend to any friend.
It’s not a completely perfect product, but allowing me some time to rest while my children are entertained is worth its weight in gold. I give it a 9/10.
I would also advise you to check out their other product lines as well. There are a number of ways to shop for Melissa Doug toys. For great prices you can view Melissa and Doug Toys at Amazon. You can look at products available for specific ages as well. They have categories ranging from birth to over eight years old. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to shop for a bargain! Check out these Melissa & Doug Toys For Under $10!
Have you tried this product? Please let me know what you think in the comment section below! I would love your input and also let me know what you would like to see reviewed!
If you have a few minutes, check out my other reviews as well! I plan to add a lot more to the list in the coming months.
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