Starting your day with a “clean slate”? – well, this is not that kind of clean slate – but it’s a “slate” by a similar name that got my attention because it’s a really cool and environmentally friendly tool for children and adults.
I’m typically not a product reviewer, but sometimes, a really excellent product or service gets my attention and I want to share the news about it.
My daughter and I try to be green. She’s in second grade and has spelling words to practice among other things, that she can only really learn by repeatedly writing them at home….over, and over, and over again. That’s a lot of paper! There’s got to be a better way to doodle and write without killing so many trees in the process. Chalkboards are fun, and she has one; but when she wants to hang out in her bedroom and write things again and again for her school assignments, I really don’t appreciate the chalk dust on the carpet…and on her bed…and on her computer….and on the dog…. You get the idea. This is what led us to search for a wipe-off board – but not just any wipe-off board – the ultimate wipe-off board. We found one, from KleenSlate Concepts, and this is why it’s so cool.
First, color may not be important to you as a parent, but to my child, if she has a choice, she’d like something “cool”, in her favorite color of the moment. KleenSlate wipe-off boards come in black, green, orange, yellow, red, purple, pink, pink, and blue. Color selected – now onto the practical points.
As a parent, I got tired of drawing those “penmanship practice” lines on regular white boards, so she could align her letters when writing. Plus, even when I drew the writing guides, they would smudge as she wrote on top of them. KleenSlate must have felt my frustration because they have paddles that come with a blank side and on the other side you can customize it with a replaceable “sheet” that comes with writing lines. Tah-dah! So now Manda can erase her letters, but not the lines, and keep on writing! (And I don’t have to keep drawing the lines anymore either! Yippee!) There are also more replaceable, self-sticking sheets you can customize your two-sided paddle(s) with. They’ve got one for writing music, one for drawing graphs, and even one with intersecting circles (Venn).
Wait, let’s back-track. I said “two-sided paddles”. Let me explain a bit about KleenSlate’s innovative design. These white board paddles come in either a circular or rectangle shape with handles. The white board has a handle because if you want to hold up the white board to show your parents your picture, for example, your fingers don’t cover the surface. You’re not blocking your design, and you’re not getting ink on your fingers this way. Secondly, I can see this being used in a classroom where the teachers and students can hold up their non-permanent creations to show their friends and teacher easily. (KleenSlate actually has ordering options which would be very cost-efficient for teachers to implement in their classrooms, enabling them to order them in quantity.)
The two-sided concept is cool because you can customize your paddle so one side is blank, for example, and the other side contains lines. This is the set-up that my daughter uses on hers. That way she can draw her pictures or math problems without lines interfering on one side; yet she has the convenience of flipping it over for another use. As I said, if you don’t want writing lines on one side of the paddle, you can choose other options, like having a double-sided blank board, one side with a graph, or even customize your creation, too.
Let’s talk about erasing, too. Depending on the wipe-off board you have, and the kind of supposedly erasable markers you purchase, erasing the board can be a real pain. I’ve been down this route before. Some boards, you have to wash off, and I’m not a fan of that. If you’re not around a sink, it’s inconvenient. Plus, you wind up with a damp board that you have to dry when you’re done. Extra steps don’t excite me or my daughter. Then, you’ve got the wipe-off boards where the surface and markers are incompatible and you have to put a lot of elbow grease into rubbing it clean. That’s not a way to for a product to score brownie points with me either.
What I love about KleenSlate is:
1 – it comes with a marker that stores right in the handle so you’re never searching for one;
2 – the marker has a cap that contains a soft eraser on the top so you’re not searching for a soft cloth to erase with; and
3 – You can also purchase a microfiber cleaning cloth from KleenSlate if you want to clean your board quickly and easily. The cloth comes on a small ring you can attach to the bottom of your KleenSlate handle, too, so you’ll never lose it.
The marker ink is very wipeable – the microfiber cloth and integrated erasers on the markers remove the ink from the paddles with little effort. This is a plus for kids who don’t have the strength and stamina to rub like crazy to clean off the ink. A black marker is included with each paddle, but you can also order a 10-pack of assorted colors, each with an integrated eraser on them. The colors are bold and not wimpy and the ink doesn’t stink. (Ever get those markers that have that chemical smell? Yuck. You don’t have to worry about that with these.) Thick markers are also available if you prefer.
If after a while your board surface starts looking a little worn from wear and tear (we know kids can be rough), or if you just feel like changing one of the sides, you can order replacement surfaces, again, in the design of your choice – plain, with lines, graphs, or even customize it on KleenSlate’s website. You just stick the replacement surface of your choice right on top of the side of your paddle you want to change.
Don’t just take my word that this is an awesome product for the price. KleenSlate won the Teacher’s Choice Award in 2008 for “Best in Classroom Tools”, too. And I’m all for saving paper and being green.
And here’s a little tidbit for you – KleenSlate is going to be one of the RED HOT sponsors for The Lady in Red’s “Red Hot Birthday Bash” on May 9, 2013! What’s the “Red Hot Birthday Bash”? You haven’t heard? Well, TheLadyinRedBlog.com turns one year old on May 9, 2013, and The Lady in Red wants to celebrate with her readers by giving out some amazing RED or RED HOT gifts to those who enter giveaways sponsored by some RED HOT vendors like KleenSlate. It’s a WORLD-WIDE virtual party!
This means KleenSlate will be offering a brand new KleenSlate surprise pack to a lucky reader who participates in the “Red Hot Birthday Bash” giveaway extravaganza when the time comes. Details will be announced in April 2013. (As a side note, there are a LOT of really cool vendors with RED or RED HOT products that will be participating WORLD-WIDE in the “Red Hot Birthday Bash” next year, by giving away lots of goodies to readers. I can’t wait to announce them in April 2013! If you’ve got a RED or a RED HOT product you’d like to feature in the bash, here are more details on what you get in exchange for participation, and you can contact me here!)