This is our Artisto review, a double sided easel bench made for two. It is over 4 ft long and 2 ft wide, so it's a sizeable toy. It is self assembly, with the pieces mostly slotted together and the frame screwing together with a Phillips screwdriver. The finished bench is sturdy.
Two children can sit comfortably at the table, Kizzy 8 and Freddy 2 fitted equally well. They each have a desk and spacious pen and equipment holder on either side, and are separated by a perspex screen which doubles up as an easel and a board for writing and drawing on using washable felt pens. A clip on each side allows a piece of paper to be attached easily on either or both sides. So no arguing over who gets to paint first!
The perspex screen is a really unique addition to the art desk. For Freddy it offered something to scribble on and a window to peep at his sister through. For Kizzy it was great for playing noughts and crosses with her big sister and she practiced writing backwards to send messages that were readable from across the table. Even I had a bit of fun with it drawing glasses and a moustache onto Kizzy's face!! It definitely adds an element of entertainment to an arts and crafts session.
The Artisto is a good investment if you have a couple of arty children who would enjoy having an arts desk and easel built for two. It is a big piece of kit though and takes up a lot of space as it doesn't fold for storage. It is a shame it didn't come with some felt pens suitable for writing on the perspex screen. Make sure you have some if you buy the Artisto for a child, as they'd be very disappointed otherwise. We used white board pens (left over from my days spent in front of the classroom...I knew they'd come in handy one day) which cleaned off easily with a damp cloth.
Here is a video of the Artisto in use with my two Tiny Testers!
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