Alpha Mom’s Favorite Gift for the Holidays: Last Minute Idea

By Isabel Kallman

By Heather B. Armstrong of

When the Buddha Board arrived and I removed the red laptop from its sleek packaging my husband had to pick his jaw up off the floor. “You shouldn’t have!” he said, convinced I had bought him a new computer.

“I didn’t!” I shot back, hiding the tablet behind my back so that he wouldn’t eat it. “This is for the kid.”

The Buddha Board is the perfect art surface for kids who don’t appreciate the fact that Mama spent a lot of money on that rug in the living room so that the couch would look like it matched the curtains, not so that they could practice tracing its patterns with an orange crayon. The laptop folds up to form a portable easel, and using a sturdy bamboo paintbrush dipped in nothing but water your child can create magical designs. Once the water evaporates the design disappears leaving a seemingly new surface, a clean slate. No mess.

When I explained this to my husband he shook his head. “Knowing our child, I’ll see it when I believe it. She could make a mess out of air.” We’re constantly cleaning up the waxy remains of crayons and finding ball-point pen murals on our wood floors. I decided to test out the Buddha Board because I want my daughter to explore her world artistically, just not in a permanent way on the legs of my antique furniture or across her forehead.

After filling its shallow trough with water, I set the laptop on the coffee table in the middle of our living room. I trusted that it would deliver on its promise that it wouldn’t stain my house – it is just water, after all – but I did cover my expensive rug with a series of bathroom towels so that when I told my mother about this experiment she wouldn’t fall over on her face after gasping, “YOU DID WHAT?”

The towels proved unnecessary, however, because the Buddha Board is amazingly clean. My daughter painted a few boards with the brush, but she eventually just dipped her fingers in the trough and created her masterpieces that way. She was able to fingerpaint without damaging her clothes or the color of her skin, without requiring a steam bath afterward. That’s all I ever wanted for Christmas.

To learn more about the Buddha Board and how to get one for your own young Picasso, visit their website at

Isabel Kallman
About the Author

Isabel Kallman

Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.

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