Pros: * Versatile for different activities
* Durable and well-constructed
Cons: * Expensive retail price
While scanning Craigslist for a Learning Tower, I stumbled upon a seller who was offering both the tower and this Nilo Multi-Activity Table. I immediately snatched up both items and frankly, am much happier with this purchase than the one I was intentionally seeking. For $80, I secured the Nilo table and two of its matching roll-out storage bins that slide out from underneath the table. One storage bin normally retails for $79, so this was a fantastic deal if you estimate that the table cost me $50 and each bin $15!
About the Table
As you might be able to see in the photo, this handsome table has hardwood legs and hardwood trim along the edges of the melamine work surface. The trim is raised along the table edge (so crayons and other items can't roll off its surface) and also has holes in it evenly spaced along the edge, which can be used with the optional accessory packs (e.g., the Nilo Jax allows train tracks to actually go off the edge of the table). The edges of the hardwood are all rounded and smooth, so there is no risk of splinters.
From Nilo's website (where they sell just the table for $219 with free shipping):
* measures 50.5"L x 34.5"W x 20"H
* play surface 48.25"L x 32"W
* double-sided melamine surface (so if one side is stained, you can disassemble and flip over to the other side!)
* easy to clean
* 18.5" table legs
* includes FREE N65 playmat
* Nilo exclusive "holes" around table railing for an expanding line of playtime accessories
Since we purchased this used, I can't speak to the installation process. I do see that its joints all have allen screws so the ability to use an allen wrench seems to be the bare minimum requirement. Our used set is also missing the included plastic playmat (which has roads, trees, bridges, beach, etc.) and sells for $32.
My three year old daughter's eyes lit up when she saw us bring this in. She absolutely loves having a special table of her own, at the perfect height for her. She goes to the table to draw, spread out her favorite picture books, do puzzles, and lay out her family of dolls. It also is a great surface for Play-Doh, though she hasn't been interested in playing with that in the past month or so.
She managed to get her dry erase markers from its hiding spot and drew on paper without supervision, resulting in some accidental marks on the melamine surface. I was disappointed, as I figured it would be permanent, but they actually wiped off easily!
Nilo sells a 12" stool ($29), but my daughter prefers to either stand or just pull over one of her IKEA children's chairs or a full-sized dining room chair. There are also 24" table legs ($59) you can buy later to raise the table higher.
We haven't invested in a train system yet, nor does she play with Legos, but those may be future additions since they can take advantage of this table's large surface area.
Personally, I love the storage bins as I can now organize all her art supplies in one area. See that review for more details.
Unlike other tables, this has a removable play mat rather than a painted train table surface, so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb if you place it in your living room (as we have). A quick scan of other train/large activity tables confirms that this is the most attractive option (IMHO). I also like that it is a very large work surface and has the raised edges to prevent items from rolling off the table.
We have this table positioned right near an indoor wood play structure so my daughter occasionally will climb on the table to get to the play structure. While I prefer she not climb on the table, it's incredibly sturdy and doesn't wobble at all with her nearly 35 pound weight.
The family that sold this to us have a 9 year old daughter, but this table looks nearly new. Its durability, attractiveness, and versatility make it a 5 star winner in my book, especially at well below its standard $219 price!