Customer Reviews

125
3.6 out of 5 stars
Melissa & Doug Magnetic Chalk Dry Erase Board
Format: ToyChange
Price:$16.95 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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176 of 181 people found the following review helpful
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!
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2004
I'm not a big fan of this toy, and usually I love the Melissa and Doug toys.

Problem #1: there are only 26 letters, so you can't spell words that have more than one letter (or names, for example "Sara")

Problem #2: the whiteboard marker is bound to be used on placed other than the whiteboard, and of course, it stains.

Problem #3: There is no place to hold the chalk or marker.

I am going with the larger set of letters for the fridge and will use the blackboard part of this for just drawing with chalk.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2006
We bought this for our daughter's second birthday. Here's what we like and don't like.

Pros:

1. We like the magnetic side. We bought some of the melissa and doug "magnetics in a box" sets to use- our daughter loves to play with the magnetic animals. It's one of her favorite afternoon activities. The magnetic letters that come with it will be used as she gets older.

2. Chalk side- she's had fun with this too. The chalk that comes with it is tiny and breaks so I went and bought some super large, chunky chalk and it is much better. She enjoys coloring, using a wet rag to wipe it off and start over.

3. Size- I like that it is on the smaller side. It's the perfect size to take with us when we go to a restaurant, car ride, etc.

4. We haven't used the dry erase side yet- she is to young for markers.

5. We like the little string that you can use to hang this board up. Our daughter has a child size table and chair set in the kitchen and we hung this chalk board/dry erase board up above the table. She loves to pull it down and play with it while I'm making dinner but it also looks really cute hanging on the wall above her table.

CONS:

1. Chalk is very skinny, small, cheap, breakable. You almost have to go out and buy some of the larger pieces of chalk to use that are more sturdy.

2. No ledge to put the chalk.

3. The eraser that comes with it is only for the dry erase board. It doesn't work on the chalk side so you also have to go out and buy a little chalk eraser. They aren't expensive but still, it's aggravating to have to go out and get it.

4. It would be nice if there were...

a. more dry erase colors

b. if the dry erase markers were washable. Our 2 year old is to young to be careful with markers so she can't use them yet b/c they aren't washable.

Overall, this was a good purchase and we would buy it again. Our daughter very much enjoys playing with the magnetic/chalk side and will grow into the dry erase side as she gets older.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2004
This is a nice idea, but too small to do anything but cram all the letters on at once, and is only magnetic on the blackboard side (letters won't stick to the white board). Also, my 10 month old daughter immediately put one of the pretty, colorful letters in her mouth and that is how I discovered that the colors are from shiney paper stuck to the wood instead of durable paint - she sucked the color off of the edges within 2 minutes. All that said, you are getting a lot of stuff for $10, and the letters look nice on the fridge (just don't eat them!).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2007
Format: Toy
Santa brought this for my two-year-old, who is learning her letters. She loves to play with this and loves drawing on the chalk board. I haven't let her have the dry erase marker yet, but she does have some dry erase crayons (from a craft store) that work really well on it. My only wish is that Melissa & Doug could make this a sliding case so there would be a place to store those 30+ magnets (ABCs + numbers) that inevitably get scattered. One nice thing is that the magnets are contained within the letters, not glued on the back, so it's impossible for the magnet to come off.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2003
I cant believe how convenient this toy is - my son loves to draw pictures and play with magnets on both sides of this board. I told the pre-school teacher about it and she bought three for her classroom!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2005
I purchased this item for my Godchild who was going to be in the hospital so she could play with something from the hospital bed. The board shipped quickly, but she was unable to use the chalkboard because the chalk just took the paint off the board and left little to no chalk on the board. It is completely useless to her because she is too young to be trusted with the dry erase markers. I would suggest buying a different chalkboard if that is what you are going for. The dry erase board works fine as does the magnetic portion. Unfortunately the chalkboard can't be used.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2005
This item is good if your child is advanced in learning with the

proper supervision. My 1yr old loves it and it's a good learning

experience to prepare her for daycare and school. And the marker

is water washable, if you get a stain that is tough to wipe out

get a baby wipe and it comes right off.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2011
Format: Toy
I purchased this to take with us on an important meeting that I had to have my daughter sit quietly through. She LOVES chalk, dry erase markers and just drawing in general. It came the day before the meeting which was quick! The letters were AWFUL, several of them were split in half, some had chunks out of them, and most were scratched up and looked used. The letters were not the reason for the purchase, just a bonus really as she has lots of magnetic letters on the fridge. The board itself was great. I cured the chalk board (take a piece of chalk and rub it the long way all over the board, erased it, did it again, erased and then went over it with a damp cloth. Which did the trick and made it take chalk (it didn't at first and I was SOOOOOOOOO glad I checked). Little trick I learned with any chalk board, try it...it works. The dry erase side is great. Marker, not sure if it washes out of clothing however I am not fussy about that sort of thing, when my daughter is wearing her 'good' clothes I usually don't let her play with markers, but it did come off the couch with a little oxy clean. I like that it doesn't have the awful smell that the other brands do and I ordered more last night. I contacted Melissa and Doug and they are going to send a new set of letters. I have noticed their quality on things has gone down hill lately and have had several issues with purchases, however, they always make good with their product and send replacements. Just an FYI if items are for a gift give yourself plenty of time to inspect items to make sure they are all set to give as gifts. So overall this is a hit in our house. My daughter has to have it within eye shot all day and it worked to keep her quiet at our meeting!! That says a lot about a toy. I think it would be good for travel as well, just keep a basket of some sort to hold the pieces..chalk, marker, magnets we did that on the way home and yes I had to pick up a few stray pieces but it kept her happy and amused!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
Format: Toy
the chalkboard is magnetic paper and was bubbled. The 1 dry erase marker was dried out. the magnetic letters were cheap cardboard that were coming apart when I opened the package. Plan to return this item. I plan to avoid the Melissa and Doug products from now on.
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