So (apparently I say this a lot, as Harper has taken to crossing her arms and saying, “So!” before she speaks), there are some holidays coming up that involve showering presents upon children who are too young to really care that much all because their parents feel like it would be weird not to give them anything and/or are trying to recreate or improve upon their own childhoods and/or want to take advantage of gift-giving opportunities before said children are old enough to ask for annoying toys deemed unfun, over-priced, or in other ways offensive to said parents.
What these unsuspecting children are given is probably very revealing of how families see themselves or want to. Last year for Christmas, we gave Harper a shiny red toy piano.
This year, I was thinking of getting a kid-size table and chairs for art projects, until I saw how much she loved drawing and painting on an easel at my parents’ house. Convenient of her, since an easel will take up much less space! But which to get?
The Land of Nod Honey Art Easel, in addition to having a cute name, is sort of what I picture in my head when I think of the platonic kids’ easel. The alphabet-bedecked chalkboard and roll of paper are appealingly schoolhouse-ish. The description warns that the laminated side is not magnetic, which I originally read as “not magic,” which I thought would have been too bad. But in the end, $129 is probably more than I’m looking to spend. Although, I don’t know. It’s pretty cute.
I swear that the instant Harper was born I somehow started getting the One Step Ahead catalog. While I think its products tend toward the Absurdly Large and Too Specific Too Be Much Fun For Long I have to say I’m weirdly drawn to their Kids Wood Easel/Art Desk. I love things that are two in one! And look at all that storage space beneath! But it seems, of course, rather large (I suspect this is a catalog for people who live in big suburban houses and I am only getting it by mistake), and I’m not terribly into its general aesthetic.
Realistically, we’ll probably go, as always, with Ikea. The Ikea Mala easel is simple in that oh-so-appealing Scandinavian way of theirs, takes up very little space, and is — hello! — only $19.99. Although I wish it had a larger tray for storing crayons and paints and things, and I wonder if it will be sturdy enough, at that price… and this logic is how I end up buying everything at Ikea.
I’m not completely off the little table and chairs either. I have a little time to think, I guess, and to figure out exactly what combination of products will encourage Harper to be the most creative and innovative artist/musican/thinker of her time. I mean, have fun.