We've been encouraging Eleri to find her inner artist for many, many months now, but no matter what medium we offer her, most of the "art" happens on and around her mouth, when she tries to eat the paint, or markers, or crayons, or play doh. Or stickers, glitter, feathers, ribbons, stamps, stamp pad, scissors, glue stick or glue. So I was thrilled when, in desperation or inspiration, depending on how you see that glass go halvsies, I set this table top easel in front of her, and.... she drew. On the surface designed for drawing and only there.
My parents got the girls this kit for Christmas, and it's just now coming into its own. I have no idea what particular quality dissuaded Eleri from eating the supplies- the fact that it's upright, the nice well in the middle for putting supplies into and out of, or the two-sidedness (one whiteboard one chalkboard) all of which make the whole thing fun in itself, as an object.
I don't know, and I don't care: I'm thrilled that we have found something with which Eleri will sit still for an extended period of time, allowing her parents a little break to, oh, I don't know, pick the individual grains of rice out of the dining room rug, from lunch, when Eleri flung her entire plate off the table while attempting to perform that whole pull-the-tablecloth-out-from-under you trick.
Also, the easel comes with plastic, magnetic shapes, for sticking, stacking, and tracing.
Oh, and peek-a-booing, eating, and throwing on the floor.
At least these pieces are big enough, and colorful enough, to make clean up a snap. Or, at least, not entirely terrible.