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Tired of wiping finger paint off your walls? It might be time to invest in an easel for your little one. Perfectly tilted so they can observe their works of art in progress, the best art easels for kids will encourage creativity while also keeping your walls nice and clean. Melissa & Doug, Colorations, and Hape all make some impressive (and reasonably priced) easels that are available on Amazon. Then again, if you want to go a more bespoke direction, Creative Chaos, Créer & Co., and Whitney Brothers are all small businesses you can support.
The best art easels for kids in 2023:
If you're not quite sure where to start, consider what medium your child gravitates towards: paint, chalk, crayons, or pens. There are art easels with chalkboards, whiteboards, or both. Most come with clips to secure paper to the top, for painting or drawing. There are small easels for young children, large easels for older kids, and we even found the best travel easel for when you're on the go. (A travel easel might actually be the best keep-kids-busy-on-an-airplane hack we've seen.) Below, you'll find 10 picks selected by artists, teachers, and professionals in the childcare space.
What to look for when shopping for art easels for kids
✔️ Weight and durability: Consider who will be using this (kids) and how they'll need to interact with it. If it's a travel easel, the lighter the better. If it's in the home, perhaps you need something sturdy yet capable of being moved. If multiple kids are using it in a classroom setting, a heavy easel might be better so it doesn't get knocked around.
✔️ Type: Not all easels are meant to look and feel like a traditional adult easel. Tabletop easels are great for younger children who may not have the patience to stand long and fold-out easels are better for travel. "For more serious budding artists, A-frame easels are the most appropriate option," says Clare. "They’re sturdier and can support heavier artwork, so they’re also perfect for professional painters who may be working on larger canvases, painting with acrylic or oil paints. If your child is thinking about taking art as a subject at school, this would be a great investment for a first easel."
✔️ Storage: If you don't have a place to store pots of paint at home, get an easel that comes with built-in shelves underneath. It may not hold all their various equipment, but the shelves will help contain the chaos. At the very least, there should be a small shelf for the paint pots directly below the canvas area.
- Are there different easels for different types of art? Yes, Clare says. "There are multiple different types of easels that all suit different kinds of practices and experience levels. Easels made for young kids look a little different to traditional artists' easels. They tend to look more like workstations, are often mobile, with wipeable panels. Of course they're also smaller than regular easels, so kids can easily stand to draw."
- What feature should you look for when buying a beginner easel? "Activity stations with write and wipe panels are great for younger kids, but make sure they come with clips, so you can clip paper on top to produce separate artworks."
- What's a red flag when it comes to buying art easels for kids? All the pros agreed: Sturdiness is key! Whether you're buying for a toddler or an older kid, this thing will be pushed around a bit — especially if they're an aggressive wielder of crayons.
After over a decade as a digital editor, Maggie Panos is navigating freelance writing and full-time parenting. She covered entertainment for POPSUGAR from New York and San Francisco before setting down roots in tree-covered Portland and focusing on local journalism. A self-proclaimed "okay baker", Maggie is interested in all things lifestyle — especially if those things involve Bravolebrities.
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