(Binney & Smith $19.99)
A large 2 X 3-foot mat that's big enough for several children to draw on together. Four pastel watercolor markers are included along with a water filled eraser and a terry cloth that removes the drawings. This is an excellent surface for creative drawing as well as practicing writing letters and numerals. It allows for big arm movements instead of kids pinching their fingers to stay inside the lines before they're ready. You can add more water color markers for variety and happily the mat rolls up for easy storage with pockets at one end of the mat to store the markers. 3 & up.
SNAP: We like the big size of this mat, which allows kids to use sweeping motion and big arm movement as they gain control over drawing and writing tools. The markers are a little on the stubby side but you can enlarge them and make them easier to grasp by putting foam around the shaft. Play some tracing games, use lines or dots for the child to trace and write her name. Use it to make patterns…big circle, little circle, big circle and what comes next? Draw it or have the child draw it. Think of this as a big easel or chalk board. Use it on the floor or a table top.
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017
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