Most helpful critical review
176 of 181 people found the following review helpful
Good for preschoolers - but has limitations!
on March 5, 2005
Looks like an ideal gift for preschoolers, but after purchasing this for my niece, I realize it has significant limitations.
First - the good: It's a chalkboard, a whiteboard, and has magnetic alphabet letters - what more would you want for your 3 or 4 year old? Plenty here to keep your child occupied doing all kinds of different, creative things.
Now, the bad: First, there isn't a place to put the marker and the chalk when not in use. Not too bad if your kiddo is sitting on the kitchen floor, but can be a disaster if he or she is sitting on the carpet. The natural inclination of children is to set everything down (even if the marker top is off - which it usually is). This also becomes a problem if your artist has just drawn a wonderful picture on the whiteboard side and flips it over to draw with chalk on the other side (whiteboard side face down on carpet - you get the picture). Yikes!
Second, the age range mentioned above is for 3 - 6 year olds - which I think is stretching it by a few years. Most 5 and 6 year olds are already in school and aren't satisfied with just playing with the magnetic letters. They are much more interested in making words to show mom and dad, and find it frustrating when they only have one of each letter. The letters also disappear all over the house, showing up on many magnetic surfaces - significantly reducing the ability to make any words at all.
Another note of caution - don't expect to use this in the car. Seems like a great idea, but it is a little large for that, and as there isn't a storage space for the accesssories - they all end up going between the car seats - argh!
I know this review seemed mostly negative which wasn't what I really intended - but I felt parents should be aware of some of the negatives, as well as the positives, before purchasing!