3/11/12

Guidecraft 4-in-1 Flipping Floor Easel - Review

This month, the Guidecraft Educators are all reviewing the 4-in-1 Flipping Floor Easel. If I could only have three things in my early childhood classroom, one of them would be an easel. This one from Guidecraft is a wonderful multi-fuctional easel. It has a chalkboard on one side, then flips over to a white board side that can be used as a magnet board, a write-on/wipe-off whiteboard, and a paper-project easel.
Set-up was quick and simple. It arrives in a flat shipping box, nearly fully assembled. We needed only to attach the board and paper roll. Paper was even included. I'm always impressed with the high quality of Guidecraft products. The easel base is made of unfinished wood and the easel board trim is painted in bright primary colors.
I love how the paper roll comes up and over the top, then feeds into a paper slot at the top. The two Guidecraft magnets hold the paper down at the bottom. When the child is done creating their masterpiece, the wooden paper slot at the top becomes an easy-tear edge. The front tray has five sections for paint cups, crayons, chalk, markers, stickers, and any other creative supplies you'd like close by. I especially like how the 4-in-1 Flipping Floor Easel does not take up huge amounts of room. I set mine up in front of the teacher bookcase, using previously unused space and blocking curious hands from teacher stuff.
We first tried out the paper with crayons. My group is currently aged 2-5 years and all eight children took turns. Using an easel is such a different experience from coloring on at a table. Because the child is standing up, they are using their leg muscles to stand and balance, while using their whole arm to color on a much larger area than a coloring sheet. Often times, children will even grab a crayon in each hand, challenging the usual way to create.
Even my smallest two year old could reach towards the top of the paper. I love the big wooden pegs on each side of the easel board that easily screw into the base to keep the board from moving while they make their art. Using art supplies help children develop their hand and finger muscles so that when it comes time to begin writing the alphabet, they can easily hold the pen or pencil.
Magnets are always captivating to children and I often use letter magnets to help children learn to sound out first words. The large size of this board makes it a great classroom tool for teacher-led lessons. I have two children who are beginning to read and we used the magnetic side to create words that end in "et" such as let, wet, met and set. By changing just the first letter, the child grasps the concept of rhyming words more quickly.
Even though I have several toddlers, I believe it's important to expose children to all types of art media so I bravely left markers in the easel cups for the entire afternoon. Fortunately for me, none of my markers walked off during the day. I learned many years ago that washable markers are a preschool teachers' best friends. Supervision is also a key ingredient to successful art exploration.
The children were so surprised to come in the next morning and find a chalkboard on the easel. I filled the cups with multiple colors of sidewalk chalk and gave them a dry washcloth for erasing the board. Within a couple minutes, my almost five year old assumed a teacher role and gathered all her little student friends to come sit on the floor by her while she "taught" them. What a bonus that they can use this for dramatic play as well! You can purchase this product and many other educational toys and learning materials at http://www.guidecraft.com/. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Go enter to win a Guidecraft 4-in-1 Flipping Floor Easel at
Hurry! Ends March 16, 2012.
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4 comments:

  1. I like the art activity center!!!

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  2. I love the Deluxe Art Center and the Desk to Easel Art Cart.

    debi
    debisemail on hotmail

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. I love Art easel and I must say that this one is a great post. Thanks for sharing this one! I will surely be back.

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