12 Best Easels for Kids in 2017

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best easels for kids

Easels are important tools in painting as these provide a framework or platform upon which painters can place and support their canvas. Kids, too, can benefit from these tools as they learn and explore the world of painting, drawing, and coloring. And while we don’t necessarily expect them to be painting like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt, we do know that simulating or pretending to paint a wonderful masterpiece can have a great effect on their development. That’s why we’re bringing you the 12 best easels for kids in 2017. Cultivate their creativity with these products we have in line for you.

12 Best Easels for Kids

PictureProduct NameBrandAge Range
Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool EaselStep22-8 Years
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing EaselMelissa & Doug3+ Years
Hape All-in-One Wooden Kid's Art Easel with Paper Roll and AccessoriesHape3-8 Years
Step2 Easel For Two with Bonus Magnetic Letters/NumbersStep23-8 Years
Crayola 3 In 1 Double EaselCrayola3-15 Years
Discovery Kids 3-in-1 Artist Tabletop Easel MultiDiscovery Kids3+ Years

1Deluxe Standing Easel by Melissa & Doug

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Designed to help your child whip up some fantastic art works, Melissa & Doug’s Deluxe Standing Easel for children is easily one of the best you’ll find. It features a wooden frame with a bi-fold design for easy setup complete with art stations on both sides so your kid doesn’t have to reach all the way to the other side for his or her art materials. One panel of the kids easel is a chalkboard which is perfect for doodling with colorful chalks. It’s the perfect surface for children who would like more erasable drawings. On the other side is a dry erase board which technically elevates the chalkboard experience several notches. Now here’s the really fun part. A dowel is conveniently placed right in between these two panels. You can then purchase a butcher paper roll, pull the paper up, slip it through either side of the kids easel, clip it on, and then let your child use it as another art surface. Let him or her explore and create stunning artwork using crayons, watercolors, pastels, coloring pens and pencils, and even markers. Your child will be bursting with so much creativity and imagination that he or she will be begging you to buy more art supplies. Once he or she is done and fully satisfied with his or her work, your child can easily tear the paper from its attachment and then set aside to dry. Your child can then pull down the next length of paper for another masterpiece session. This Melissa & Doug product is also super easy to clean, although it would require a little help from Mom and Dad. Large knobs secure the different components so these can be easily removed for cleaning purposes before being replaced. Children will love it. So will Mom and Dad. 

What We Like about It – With almost 3 decades of coming up with really ingenious solutions to stimulate kids’ creativity, Melissa & Doug has it made. This product is just perfect for aspiring artists who are now given the perfect tool to whip up some really stunning creations for their age.

2Pink Easel for Two by Step2

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

The Pink Easel for Two is an adorable easel for toddlers who are just beginning to explore the joys of using a variety of media to create wonderful artwork. It’s one great starter kids easel as it comes with a very sturdy and stable construction. The extra-wide stance allows for greater stability while the hinge mechanism at the top ensures ease of folding and storage. The Step2 creation comes with two usable surfaces, one of which is a standard chalkboard while the other side is a metallic dry erase surface. Young girls will love doodling on its writable surface. They’ll be using colored chalks and whiteboard markers to express whatever it is they have in their minds. They will also love the accompanying magnetic numbers, letters, and various signs all made with foam body for a different tactile experience. Its pink frame should provide just the right visual appeal for your young princess’ room. An extra-large clip is fully integrated at the top on both sides of the children art easel, perfect for securing craft paper and other drawing or painting paper. Supplies and materials can then be placed on the tray just under the panels. Pencil ledges have also been incorporated to make sure your child’s art materials won’t be rolling anywhere. This is one great tool for encouraging your child to draw and paint together with her best friend.

What We Like about It – It’s just perfect for toddlers who are just discovering the wonders of creating art. The addition of numbers and letters should also help in their language development as well as numerical skills.

3All-in-One Wooden Kid’s Art Easel with Paper Roll and Accessories by Hape

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

If you get an art easel for kids, you may want to think on the long term, especially if your child has already shown signs of increasing interest in drawing or even coloring and painting. As such, you’ll need something he or she can grow with. Featuring fully height-adjustable painting or drawing panels, the Hape All-in-One Wooden Kid’s Art Easel is a great growing-up tool. The double-sided panels can be easily adjusted with a turn of a few knobs. The magnetic white board makes for an excellent surface for dry erase markers as well as magnet accessories. The blackboard, on the other hand, can make for a fabulous surface for doodling with standard or colored chalks. But the real beauty of the Hape All-in-One is its built-in Paper Roll tube that you can easily refill. Your child will have endless fun creating amazing graphics and images as well as caricatures of his or her favorite things in life. The dip tray is excellent for catching drips and bits from your child’s creative adventures. The same tray can also serve as storage for art materials and other implements. It also comes with three transparent pots which your child can fill with his or her favorite paint pigments. It can also double as a container for water during water coloring sessions. The wooden design of the A-frame should also make your child feeling more like the artists of Paris or Milan.

What We Like about It – The non-toxic finishing of the Hape is admirable. However, you simply have to love the adjustable height mechanism.

4Easel for Two with Bonus Magnetic Letters / Numbers by Step2

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

We know we already featured the Step2 Easel for Two so there simply is no need to provide you with the Step2 Easel for Two with Bonus Magnetic Letters and Numbers unless you want a larger drawing and painting surface area for your child. Yes, this Step2 product actually has the same features as the Pink version. It is differentiated by its larger surface area giving children more space with which to really wok their imagination and creativity. Just imagine being able to draw portraits and landscapes or even create splendid works of art combining magnetic implements with the magnetic white board for a truly unique art experience. Your child can clip on a much larger piece of paper, too, giving him or her the flexibility to draw or paint more detailed images. It’s got the same dual panels plus the sturdy deep tray and pencil ledge that Step2 has carefully integrated into the design of this easel for kids. Having the frame in red color means that it can be used not only by young girls but also by young boys. It’s thus, the perfect gift if you have children of both sexes in your family.

What We Like about It – It’s sturdy, easy to clean, easy to store, and definitely a larger surface area for kids to draw and paint on. Unfortunately, it’s also priced a bit higher than other Step2 products.

5All Around Easel for Two by Step2

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Age Range: 3 to 8 years old

The Step2 All Around Easel for Two is technically similar to the other products of Step2 in this list except that the double-sided panel is slotted into a smaller A-frame stand. This makes the panel be oriented into a straight vertical. The other products are typically inclined at a 20-degree angle from the floor. Slots on the board can be easily slid into their corresponding grooves at the top of the supporting frame which, in turn, has wide-stance legs to allow for greater stability. Your child will never knock or tip this art easel for kids that easily. A deep tray is slotted underneath the panel and in between the leg frames. Moreover, storage trays can be attached to the side of the leg frame on either side so your child has three storage compartments for organizing his or her art materials. Normally, the center tray is used for storing the 94 foam magnetic pieces that includes letters, signs, and numbers. The magnetized white board should be a great tool for children’s pretend teaching play where they can stick the magnets onto the board and learn the different letters of the alphabet, try out spellings, play with words, and even solve simple math problems in addition and subtraction. Like Step2’s other products, a large clip is also integrated on both sides of the panel giving your kid the chance to paint or draw on paper with so much ease. Made of supreme quality materials, you can bet the All Around is going to last until your child reaches school age.

What We Like about It – We think the panel can be removed and used as a tabletop drawing board since it needs to be slotted onto the A-frame legs. This should be an excellent feature for your kids to have.

6Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool Easel by Step2

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Age Range: 2 to 8 years old

The Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk is not actually a kids easel in the strictest sense of the word. When you look at it, it is primarily a kiddie table built specifically for a variety of writing, drawing, or any other art activities. This multifunctionality is further extended by the desktop that can be flipped upright to serve as the art easel for toddlers. The Flip and Doodle comes with a fully magnetized white board which is perfect for doodling with dry erase markers. If your child already has a collection of magnet pieces such as the alphabet, shapes, numbers, and even animals and other things, the Flip and Doodle can actually become a storyboard for your child. Obviously, attaching craft paper or any type of paper to draw or paint on is made a breeze by its large clip on top. Organizing the tools and materials is also easy as the desktop actually has a molded-in tray just under the flip panel, perfect for storing pencils, markers, and even erasers. A cup holder is integrated into the middle edge of the desktop, helping kids with their watercolor paintbrushes. On the back of the Flip and Doodle are storage bins for organizing your child’s books including drawing and coloring books. The cabinet-type desk also features a 2-level storage for 4 additional bins, giving children superb storage capabilities to organize their stuff. And when your child is already done painting, drawing or even playing with his or her magnet toys, he or she can simply fold down the easel and it converts back into a table so your child can continue playing with his or her other toys. The Flip and Doodle also comes with a beautiful sturdy stool perfectly designed for tots and preschoolers.

What We Like about It – Its multifunctionality is amazing. The storage compartments are also very remarkable as this can help teach kids about organization.

73-in-1 Double Easel for Kids by Crayola

Age Range: 3 to 15 years old

Many kids from across generations grew up with Crayola products during their childhood years. In fact, Crayola is almost synonymous with crayons. This doesn’t mean that crayons are their only reputable product. The 3-in-1 Double Easel for Kids is, to put it simply, just like any other kiddie easels in our list except that the Crayola 3-in-1 has a slightly different frame design. It still has the classic A-frame to give it the 20-degree angle from the floor like others. However, the upper corners of the frame are designed in a curve to give it a different aesthetic. The large surface area of its double-sided panel is superb for allowing children to work their magic. It’s called 3-in-1 because one side is a standard chalkboard and the other side is a dry erase board which can also serve as a magnetic white board, giving your child three functions in one simple package. A storage tray is conveniently located underneath the panels, ideal for keeping the different drawing, coloring, and painting materials that children will use. Clipping a large piece of craft paper is done easily with a bright large yellow clip. Once your child is done with his or her creations, he or she can then use the surface for other purposes. The set already comes with 12 pieces of Crayola’s famed colored chalks as well as 77 pieces of magnetic numbers and letters. There’s also a Crayola eraser added into the set so your child will never have issues making corrections on his or her masterpiece.

What We Like about It – Crayola is a trusted name; albeit in crayons. We guess their expertise in this field should come in very handy in the design and production of high quality kiddie easels.

83-in-1 Artist Tabletop Multi Easel by Discovery Kids

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Do you need an art easel for kids that he or she can use on any surface without having to look for space to put the legs on? With the Discovery Kids 3-in-1 Artist Tabletop Multi Easel, children will no longer have to look for space as they can simply prop the Discovery Kids on any surface like on a table, a desk, their bed, their play mat, or even on your kitchen or garden table. It’s an easel except that it doesn’t have the long legs that have become characteristic of such devices. Made of fine quality wood to create a sturdy frame, the Discovery Kids come with three different writing, doodling, painting, and drawing surfaces to really spice up the creativity of your child. A standard blackboard adorns one side while a magnetic dry erase board complements the other side. A paper roller is attached to both these panels by a cord that’s fixed on the middle section of the panels. Your child can then feed the paper up the top slot and then let it dangle on either side of the panels for painting and drawing purposes. A fully rubberized short-stubbed cap is fitted into the bottom of the short legs of the Discovery Kids so it will not be slipping and scratching other surfaces. What you need to buy next is a whole range of drawing, coloring, and painting materials for your child.

What We Like about It – The portability of the Discovery Kids is one of its greatest assets. Using it on a variety of surfaces should be very easy.

9Fold and Go Art Studio by Crayola

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

The Fold and Go Art Studio is similar to Step2’s Flip and Doodle easel for toddlers except that the former doesn’t have storage bins for other things. Nevertheless, the Fold and Go Art Studio is a multipurpose kiddie desk with the desktop doubling as an easel complete with a grip clip for securing drawing paper. Under the cover is a storage compartment for keeping and organizing your child’s painting, coloring, and drawing instruments. There’s also a tray on the back of the Fold and Go Art Studio for organizing boxes of crayons as well as other art instruments and materials. When folded, the desktop can serve as an excellent surface for doodling and coloring while your child is conveniently seated on the accompanying stool. Made with high grade materials, both the table and the stool can serve as a superb way of encouraging kids to make full use of their imagination whether it is through drawings, watercolor paintings, or simple doodling. The solid leg frame helps assure a sturdy drawing platform.

What We Like about It – It’s from Crayola. And while they’re not really known for furniture pieces, their reputation nonetheless, is admirable. Besides, the dual purpose of the desktop makes it a great gift for art-inclined children.

10Art Activity Easel by Art Alternatives

Age Range: At least 6 years old

If you try to look closely at the Art Activity Easel by Art Alternatives, you’d say that it is a larger version of Hape’s All-in-One Wooden Kids Art Easel. While Hape’s product is designed for younger children, Art Alternatives’ primary target users are school children. That alone should give you an idea of just how different its features can be. For one thing, the height adjustment knobs in the Hape model have been replaced with sturdier metal screws which will require some form of a tightening tool. Nevertheless, adjusting its height should not require Dad’s help. Made of high quality pine wood with rounded edges, the Art Activity is designed and built to last many years. The drawing surface provides a remarkable 500+ square inch of prime workspace. Extra-large trays on both sides keep your kid’s art materials organized and within easy reach. It also comes with a paper roll to provide additional drawing or painting surfaces. Replacement paper rolls of up to 100 feet long can be purchased separately. Three durable yet lightweight washable baskets can be placed underneath the Art Activity giving ample storage for your child’s materials. The feet of the Art Activity are also covered with rubber material to prevent slipping. With a chalkboard, mounted paper, and a magnetized whiteboard, the Art Activity is one fundamentally beautiful piece to have for your child’s creative expressions.

What We Like about It – The adjustability and superbly-sized workspace are amazing. The wood grain adds to the beauty of the product.

112 Sided A-Frame Art Easel with Chalk Board by Little Partners

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Beautiful in black. That’s what the 2 Sided A-Frame Art Easel can be best described. It’s technically just like the Art Activity except that it has a sturdier-looking frame and an obviously more elegant styling. A paper roll sits conveniently on top so kids can simply pull the paper, let it hand, and paint or draw in an instant. The superior space of its work area also allows for other arts. Two storage shelves are built in the lower portion of the Little Partners where 2 large bins are located for organizing things. The upper shelf can accommodate your child’s art materials especially watercolor cups and paint jars.

What We Like about It – The Little Partners is never little when it comes to helping your child express his or her creativity. With a sturdy and fully height-adjustable frame, this is easel for kids that your loved one will appreciate.

12MALA 500.210.76 Softwood Easel by IKEA 

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Age Range: At least 3 years old

Simple yet elegant. In two words, we have just described what the IKEA MALA Softwood Easel for kids really is. It has the same whiteboard-chalkboard combination that has become the standard in many easels for children. It also comes with a paper roll which can be easily slipped through the top slot for an added art medium. Made of beautiful and elegant softwood with its grain providing an aesthetic feature, the IKEA MALA is perfect for homes that have a rather nature-themed architecture, making it an excellent way to display kids’ fantastic artwork. The deep tray holds many of your child’s materials, too.

What We Like about It – It’s elegantly simple. But don’t underestimate its simplicity as it’s as functional as any of the others in this list.

How We Chose the Best Easels for Kids in Our List

Like we said, we don’t expect really young kids to be perfecting the art of painting or the use of the easel. With this in mind, we set out focused mainly on introducing these products to children so they will know how to use it and become instrumental in their very own art works. As such, our very first criterion was the design of the easel for kids. Obviously, it should look like the real thing. However, depending on the age of the child, it should also allow for imagination to flourish. Child psychologists say that the only way we can stimulate a kid’s imagination is when we give him or her an item that has features different from the real thing. It would be then up to the child to “fill” in the gaps between the real and the toy by imagining its function.

Since we already set out on a developmental approach to the choice of kids art easel, we thought that it would really be ideal if the design of the product closely matches the recommended age of children who are going to use it. So, developmental appropriateness was a major factor in the selection process. Related to this is the ease of its setup, maintenance, and storage. It’s equally important that these products can be easily managed by kids themselves so they don’t have to rely on Mom or Dad. This fosters a sense of responsibility and independence, something that all kids need to learn.

Because kids will be effectively managing their experiences with these products, easels for children must be safe. We strived to look for components that may endanger children’s safety and health. This includes materials that were used or applied as finishing to the product. Also included are components that may be too small or maybe even too sharp for kids’ safety.

When all these were evaluated, we still came up with an amazing array of selection. Hence, we decided to look at the product rating and considered only those with no less than 4.5 stars. Most consumers will definitely look for the number of stars a particular product has as this gives them some form of security in the quality and usefulness of the item.

Why Creative Arts are Important to Kids

It is no secret that creative arts can have a lot of benefits especially to children. If we feel more relaxed, more attuned with our emotions when we look at stunning works of art, just imagine what these pieces of art can do for children. Kids doing the artwork can derive a variety of benefits, too. Studies have shown that creative arts help kids develop across a variety of domains.

First is their physical development. Hand eye coordination is enhanced which can provide the basis for better control of purposeful movements. This can provide the necessary training for them to master dexterity.

Using colors, drawing lines, and forming shapes are all domains of cognition whereby children are able to form mental concepts and express these through their drawings or paintings. What many fail to recognize is that the process of drawing or painting can entail different problem solving skills. For instance, coming up with a different color typically requires the combination of two or more primary or secondary colors. This can then be refined further by comparing the resulting color to the standards as well as the color required.

Obviously, creative arts can do a lot of things for a child’s imagination. This can form the basis for the development of the child’s divergent thinking which, in turn, forms the basis of their critical thinking and logical reasoning. Many scientific disciplines are based on these two fundamental cognitive processes.

Engaging in creative arts can also help children develop their social and emotional skills. Most of their artwork will be expressions of their views about themselves and their world. This serves as the foundation for their self-concept which is important in building healthier social relationships.

There are many other reasons why kids must engage in creative arts. The whole idea is to give them the opportunity to express themselves.

The Bottom Line

It is in the expression of their thoughts and feelings that children are able to communicate to other people, particularly parents and other caregivers. With the 12 best easels for children, you now have a tool to make this happen.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!

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