My oldest daughter, who will turn four later this month, loves anything artsy-fartsy. Whether it’s coloring with crayons, colored pencils, markers or random pens she finds in the junk drawer (my fault), painting (especially on things she’s not supposed to), making things with Play Doh and clay, I really try to foster anything that she can do using her creativity. I also try to mesh learning and creativity together by including letters and numbers when we’re coloring or painting. So, I was thrilled when I got the opportunity to review the Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center ($179.99) from Little Partners.
Little Partners is a company that makes products that enrich little ones and help nurture the relationship between parents and their children. The Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center is designed to encourage young artists with special places to paint, color and play. There are three sides: a chalk board, felt board and a magnetic dry erase board. Underneath the dry erase board is a set of four spill-proof paint containers, making cleanup a breeze after a fun paint session. There are ledges under each board to organize all of your little one’s art supplies to make it easy for them to find and use. Included: a roll of paper, an eraser (used for both the chalkboard and dry erase board) and four paint containers.
FIrst thing’s first, we adore this easel. It’s super sturdy and I love that it’s made of real wood (layered pine) so it is made to last. My daughter (and my husband and I, too) have been having a blast painting, coloring, and playing on the boards together- we’ve been playing a lot of Hangman which brings back memories of playing in school. I’m trying to find letters, numbers and shapes for the felt board because there is a deep mesh holder under the felt board that can hold a lot and I think they’d be a fantastic learning tool. So if anyone knows where I can find some at a good price, please let me know in the comments! Each board is independently height adjustable, so it’s perfect for little ones to grow with. The paint cups are awesome and truly spill proof making clean up after my daughter paints her Picasso so easy. I love how this easel has really encouraged my daughter to be creative and use her imagination even more, she’s been having so much fun. It will be great to have this winter when we’re cooped up in the playroom.
There is one down fall. If you have ever purchased anything from Ikea, you know how difficult and time consuming it is to put it together. That is the comparison my husband used after putting the art center together. It took him over two hours to finally get it all put together (I offered to do it myself but he insisted and I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it). His biggest complaint was the labeling of the parts. They are labeled by numbers but certain pieces were labeled incorrectly, which took more time to find. Some of the screws didn’t fit the holes in the wood so he had to make the holes bigger by hand, again, taking up more time. He said it was a pain in the butt to get it together but he’s happy with the outcome and loves that our daughter is having so much fun with it. However, he said he will never take it apart.
All in all, I am very impressed with the art center, so I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars (only because of the problems my husband ran into while assembling it). The quality is superb and will definitely last, even after being beaten up by children. Check out the Little Partners website to see all of their amazing products like the popular Learning Tower and 3-in-1 Growing Step Stool, along with other great products! And you’re in luck if you’re interested in a Tri-Side Learn & Play Art Center for your little one! It’s on sale now through Labor Day for $149.99 (down from ($179.99). Click here to purchase!
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