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P'kolino Chalk Table and Benches
What it is: This little gem of a table has a chalkboard top that's perfect for doodling – just flip the top over for snacking. Underneath there's a secret compartment for stashing crayons, markers, and other small art supplies. The two handy benches tuck neatly beneath the table to save space.
What to watch out for: The benches are adorable but lack back support, so they aren't great for really young kids. (The table is recommended for ages 3 to 6.)
How much: $99 at P'kolino
Guidecraft Nordic Kids' Table and Chair Set
What it is: Simple yet sophisticated, this set is sturdy enough that grown-ups can crash a tea party or get messy finger painting with the kids. The stools add a fun pop of color to the natural wood, and they fit completely under the table when not in use.
What to watch out for: Some parents say the paint on the colored stools wears off unless you apply a few coats of sealant.
How much: $149
What it is: It's made for kids, but adults will drool over this hip little seat. But we're not judging the Cubino on looks alone. It's the perfect size for pipsqueaks, and the soft foam construction makes it super comfy. Plus, the chair's durable micro suede covers are machine washable and come in soothing color-block combinations.
What to watch out for: Unless you splurge on the larger loveseat version, you won't be able to sit with your child – so it won't work for cuddling up during storytime.
How much: $119 at Monte Design Group
Cool Beans! Beanbags!
What it is: Groovy, baby. There's a reason beanbag chairs live on: For comfort, they're hard to beat. And this version is cute and well thought out. The washable cotton cover can handle spills, jumping, and plenty of lounging; the locking safety zipper won't pinch little fingers; and a handle makes it easy to drag the bag around. For six bucks more, you can personalize it with your child's name.
What to watch out for: It's fairly pricey: $39 for the cover and $60 for the insert. (You'll need both.)
How much: $99 at The Land of Nod
Kids' Sling Bookshelf with Storage Bins
What it is: Not many bookshelves are this toddler-friendly. Book covers face front so little ones can easily choose the stories they want – and return books to their places. The sling is made of soft but durable polyester with staggered shelves that display books of all sizes. Below are two roomy storage baskets to stash more books or toys.
What to watch out for: Some parents say they needed two to hold their child's library. And since the fabric is cream-colored, it may get grimy over time.
How much: $79.95 at One Step Ahead
Spruce Tree Bookcase
What it is: Branch out from traditional shelves: Your child can pluck books off this clever tree bookcase instead. The Spruce Tree displays up to 15 books per limb, or you can showcase special toys, picture frames, or other knickknacks. It attaches securely to the wall and is made of poplar hardwood with a high-gloss finish in either bright green or modern white.
What to watch out for: Putting books away on higher shelves may be difficult for toddlers.
How much: $249 at Babyletto
Trofast Storage Combination
What it is: A storage workhorse from IKEA, Trofast comes in several sizes and configurations to mesh well with your space and needs. After picking out your base (pine or white), customize with durable colored-plastic bins that slide in like drawers. They come in sizes that range from shallow to super deep to hold all sorts of kid stuff.
What to watch out for: Since the bins aren't clear, your child may dump out everything to find that one missing toy.
How much: $61.99 to $113.99 at IKEA
Circo Storage Organizer
What it is: This attractive storage system won't break the bank, and it comes with 12 colored bins to keep your child's toys neatly contained. The bins are tilted, giving little ones a clear view of all their stuff. Plus, shallow bins mean less digging around for that special toy.
What to watch out for: To keep this unit solidly upright (and safe), you'll need to secure it to the wall.
How much: $59.99 at Target