Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Art Table For Two, Without The Fighting

I'll admit that a lot of the big kids' furniture we have in our house is really more space than it might be worth. A giant easel, a kid-sized chair (especially when they insist in sitting in our chairs anyway), a small kid table that tips over easily, etc. Our house doesn't have a lot of floor space, so deciding which items can stay in the living room is difficult.

But recently I had the chance to review the new Step 2 Creative Projects Table, and I think I've found the one piece of kids' furniture that is worth every square inch. When I first saw the picture of this table, I knew it would be big, but I hoped my girls would like it. This table is designed as an art table for one or two kids. Got two kids who fight over the easel or art table? This is the table for you!

The table has two stools and two seating areas - one on each side of the table. This is way better than having two kids sit side-by-side, which inevitably ends in pushing, stealing crayons from hands, and tears. There is a wooden shelf in the middle which not only provides more storage, but serves as a good dividing line for determining each little artist's space. More storage is provided with four little storage cups, molded storage areas, and two lower wooden storage bins that are large enough to hold coloring books, sketch pads, or other books.

Set up was relatively easy, although I'd warn you to be sure to read all instructions before starting. There was an errata that came with the instructions that we missed at first, and had to repeat a step as a result. I'd also recommend a power screwdriver, or someone with good arm endurance, because there are several screws. I really like the mix of molded plastic and wood - the wood gives the desk extra stability and weight.

The stools are the perfect size for my slightly larger preschooler, and even my 18 month old can sit on the stool, too, although when she does her feet don't touch the ground. They should both be able to use the table for several more years.

Cordy started using the table exactly 2.5 seconds after seeing it.

While we're using the table for art, we've also found it works for nearly anything. Cordy has asked to sit at the table for dinner, and Mira occasionally uses it for climbing practice. (Like I said before, it's very sturdy, so I'm not worried when she climbs on it.) I think in the summer we'll take it outside for days when they paint, so it can be easily washed down afterward.

Mira excels at finding unconventional seating arrangements

My girls love this table, and I love how versatile it is. If one of them should ever lose interest in it, the upper wooden shelf can be moved back to create a single-user desk with lots of desk space.

If you have two or more kids who like to draw or color, the Step 2 Creative Projects Table is a must have. Even if you have an only child this table will provide ample space for any art or craft your child should want to pursue. My two use their table daily with few disagreements unless Mira climbs onto the table and sits on Cordy's artwork. The table not only gives them a place to keep all of their crayons, papers and coloring books, but it gives me a few extra moments of peace each day while they color.

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