2/27/12

Guidecraft Vanity and Stool Review

I am honored to be a Guidecraft Educator!
As a preschool teacher, I believe it's really imperative that we pay attention to what the children are playing when they begin pretend play. Using their imagination, they can become anyone and often use role playing to learn to relate to others in their life. The youngest children usually begin by being mommy or daddy, since they are some of the first people they admire. As children branch out and meet more people, you might see them pretending to be a police officer or a fireman or a teacher. It's amusing to me when I hear them being "Miss Lisa" and saying the things I say to them. Recently the children have been playing "hair cut" a alot, so when I saw the Vanity and Stool in the Guidecraft catalog, I knew they would love it. It comes in white or espresso and I chose the latter since I'll have eight children playing with it constantly.
It only took my husband about 20 minutes to assemble the entire set. It was really quite simple and all the directions fit on a single side of a piece of paper. The vanity has a three-sided acrylic Mylar mirror so I know the children can play safely. The mirror sides are hinged but stationary. The drawer in the front of the vanity pulls out but does not come out the front.
The stool has sturdy feet that spread out slightly for extra stability. There is additional storage in the stool, but I requested that my husband go ahead and screw that closed so none of my 2 year olds get fingers pinched. I'm really impressed with the quality of materials of this beautiful set.
I set up their little haircutting station in the dramatic play area. In the drawer, I placed a headband, two clips, two hairbands, a brush, and a comb. I found a pair of playdough scissors and tried to cut my hair with them. Then I tried to cut my teenage son's hair with them. He wasn't very thrilled about that. But since the playdough scissors didn't cut hair, I knew they'd be good for this haircutting station. I also added a preschooler-sized vinyl paint smock so they could use it as a haircutting cape. I was so excited for the kids to come and play with it.
The children wanted to play with it the minute they walked in the door! They wanted to brush, cut, and style over and over. There are so many benefits to an open-ended piece of children's furniture like this vanity and stool. We could use it as a dressing room table for pretend shows, or a makeup station to pretend to put on makeup, or a nail salon station with small paintbrushes and pretend nail polish. It would also be beautiful in a child's bedroom!
When the children are brushing each other's hair (or their own hair), they are using their large motor skills by using their whole arm. They practice small motor skills by opening and closing the clips and barrettes, and building important scissor skills with the playdough scissors. They are using social skills by learning to take turns sitting on the stool and using the many haircutting tools in the drawer. Even more importantly, they are building emotional skills by making bonds caring for each other. They are using words like, "Would you like your hair cut?" and "How can I help you?"
My group spans ages 2-5 years, so the toddlers feet swing a bit when it's their turn to sit on the stool, but the older preschoolers have been simply wonderful in helping them up to sit. So far, no one has knocked over the stool and no one has fallen off. We did have a discussion the first day about scissor safety because I don't want anyone lopping off a ponytail during art projects!
Guidecraft has so many wonderful children's toys and products that help to extend children's learning through play and their quality is always excellent. I can always count on their careful attention to detail on safety issues too. You can purchase this fabulous Espresso (or white) Vanity and Stool online at Guidecraft online. Be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter to be first to know about new products and promotions, and you can follow their blog too.
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

18 comments:

  1. how cute it that! I love Guidecraft products!

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  2. Oh, that's super cute!!! I love how it doesn't look cheap and it's not made of plastic! I also really love the extra storage in the stool!

    Sara

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  3. I need to get one of these for my kids!

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  4. Thanks for the review of the vanity. It looks like a wonderful product and I love that it looks sturdy and beautiful!

    Jody
    (A fellow Guidecraft Educator)

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  5. Such a cute vanity! I love things that allow children to use their imaginations.

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  6. Wow! That is beautiful!!! Almost too nice for the kiddos to play with!

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  7. That's really pretty! Love that it's easy to assemble, I am horrible at putting things together. I tend to cry until someone comes along and finishes for me. :)

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  8. It's a beautiful set and the kids are SO cute playing with it! What a great hubby - he did a wonderful job :)

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  9. How very clever! And I love that the boys are getting in on the fun :)

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  10. That is a beautiful piece of furniture!

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  11. That is SO cute!! I've never seen one that isn't 'toy' looking. That's a 'must check into'
    =)

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  12. Very nice! Thanks for the review!

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  13. OMG - this is so cute - I love it

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  14. That is so stinking cute!!

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  15. Love how you show this product is for girls AND boys! Nice job with your first Guidecraft Review.

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  16. I really like that! I would like to get one for my grand daughter who will be 7 in April. I am going to check it out :)

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  17. I had never heard of this company prior to your post. That set is absolutely adorable, my youngest daughter would love it!

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  18. thats really nice! thanks for sharing

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