Children are natural artists. Give them a crayon or a marker, and they’re off – sometimes, unfortunately, on the walls, the floor, the fridge, or whichever surface they can get their hands on. While modern technology certainly has its benefits, you can’t replace the feeling of creating something with your own two hands.
Giving your children a spot of their own to explore their artistic inclinations is an ideal way to encourage their creativity. Whether it’s painting on a roll of paper, drawing on the whiteboard, or playing school on the chalkboard, there are multitudes of ways children can engage with a kids easel.
The Ciro Standing Art Easel is a two-sided A-Frame easel with a chalkboard and whiteboard. There’s a paper roll mounted a wooden dowel attached to the two horizontal supports between the two sides of the easel.
Best Kid’s Easel Overall
The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Kids Easel has a lot going for it. It’s made of high-quality wood, has two boards (one chalk and one whiteboard) plus a paper roll, and comes with great storage options. The best news of all for parents is that this easel assembles without much trouble at all.
Best Value For Money
If you’re looking for an easel that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, look no further than the Dripex Kids Art Easel. This easel adjusts in height from 33 inches to 55 inches, meaning kids of all ages and sizes can use it, and it will last you for years. It comes with a ton of accessories, too, including paper, chalk, dry erase markers, and tons of magnets. They even give you the screwdriver you’ll need to put it all together.
Best Multi-Functional Kid’s Easel
If you want an easel that can have several different functions, check out the US Art Supply Children’s 3-Sided Art Activity Easel. Chalkboard? Check! Whiteboard? Check! Paper? Check! Magnetic boards? Double-check! It folds for storage, has a wide storage tray, and comes with a ton of accessories. What more could you want?
Most Aesthetically Pleasing Easel
Looks may not be everything, but they certainly don’t hurt. We’re not always able to keep kids’ toys tucked away in a playroom, so you might as well choose a kids easel that has an aesthetic appeal. This Little Partners 2-sided A-Frame Kids Easel comes with bins to keep art supplies tucked away and has an attractive wooden frame that comes in six colors – apple green, turquoise, dark grey, espresso, soft white, and natural light wood – that can suit any room’s decor.
Best Three-Sided Easel
Most of the easels on our list are two-sided A-Frame easels, but this model from U.S. Art Supply adds a third surface. This triangular easel has a bigger footprint than some of the others on our list. Still, the additional play surface can be invaluable for parents with multiple children or anyone who runs a daycare or preschool.
Why a Kids Art Easel?
Without a kids art easel, painting with little kids can be a total hassle. Digging through cupboards for supplies, laying down something to protect the table, setting up paintbrushes, but with the easel, it’s all there already. Does your child want to paint? No problem, it’s set up! Do they want to draw on the chalkboard? Go right ahead!
Art is a wonderful medium for exploring a child’s imagination and creativity, but there are many physical benefits:
Our Top Ten Kids Easels
1. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Kids Easel
Next up on our list of best kids’ art easels is the perennial favorite children’s brand, Melissa & Doug’s Deluxe Standing Kids Easel. This standing easel has two play surfaces, a chalkboard, and a whiteboard. Parents should note that there are no magnetic play surfaces on this easel.
There’s a paper roll holder for more painting and drawing fun. While most of the easels on our list have the paper roll holder mounted at the top of the easel, the Melissa & Doug easel instead has it suspended on a wooden dowel attached to the two horizontal supports between the two sides of the easel.
The paper feeds straight up, and you can pull it down to be used on either side. The easel also comes with a child-safe paper cutter and convenient clips that attach to the top of the easel, so you can easily cut off a piece of paper for each painting session and anchor the paper in place. Parents should be aware that they do not include the paper roll with this easel.
The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Kids Easel is made of unsealed wood and has a footprint that measures 27 inches by 26 inches. Its height is adjustable at three different levels, the tallest of which extends to 47.5 inches. Assembly is required, although some people have found the directions for assembly to be a little difficult to follow at times. You can fold this easel for storage if needed, but you need to remove the paper roll holder first. With regard to the chalkboard, several parents have noted that its surface doesn’t always work well with standard chalk. The manufacturers recommended using dust-free chalk markers instead on this surface.
There are two plastic trays that come with the easel, one red with an open tray for storage of art supplies and one blue with spaces for four paint pots, plus two extra compartments. The paint pots are not included with this easel but can be purchased separately; see the list of suggested accessories at the end of this article. The wood is a light pine color and has many bright primary-colored accents, with the screws topped by colorful plastic knobs.
The Melissa & Doug name carries a reputation of high quality, and this easel definitely has a lot going for it. Assembly can be tricky, and it is advised that two people are needed, but it’s very sturdy and will last for a long time once assembled. Parents should be aware that neither its chalkboard nor the whiteboard is magnetized. This won’t be a dealbreaker for everyone, but if a magnetic board is a feature you’re after, you’ll probably want to give this model a pass.
Reasons to Buy the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Kids Easel
2. Dripex Kids Art Easel
They made the Dripex Kids Art Easel of solid wood, and its two-sided design allows your little one to explore four different mediums – paper, chalkboard, whiteboard, and magnets. Not to mention you get a LOT of accessories included – in fact, this is the only easel on our list that comes with art supplies like chalk, markers, tons of magnets, and even the screwdriver required to assemble it all.
This wooden easel is available in two colors – a dark reddish-brown or a light oak – and has a footprint measuring 21.5 inches by 25 inches. It’s adjustable to three different heights too. The lowest setting, 33.5 inches tall, is a tabletop easel and would work nicely for a young toddler. The middle setting stands 46.5 inches tall, and this height would be suitable for preschool-aged children.
The tallest setting is 55 inches, high enough for even adults to use, so this is an easel that can truly grow with your child for many years, and the solid wood construction means it won’t disintegrate before your child has outgrown it. This easel does not fold easily for storage. Assembly is required, but Dripex makes things easy for you by including a screwdriver.
The Dripex Kids Art Easel has the added benefit of both chalkboard and whiteboard sides being magnetized, giving you more play options. The paper roll attached to the top is a standard 18-inch size, making it easy to replace. A word of caution, both writing surfaces come covered in a transparent plastic film to protect the boards in transit, so make sure you remove the coverings before letting your little ones loose.
The easel has a tray that extends under both sides, one side having four built-in paint pots. There’s plenty of room on the rest of the tray to store the supplies that come with the easel, although I would recommend buying a few small baskets to keep small items organized, like the magnets.
Dripex doesn’t skimp when it comes to including art supplies. Besides the paper roll and the paint cups, this easel comes with a magnetic whiteboard eraser, a magnetic chalkboard eraser, four dry erase markers, one magnetic ruler, six pieces of dustless chalk, six magnetic paper clips, fifty-six assorted numbers, and letter magnets, plus a screwdriver to put the whole thing together. Just a heads up about the dustless chalk, many parents found they needed to use a damp cloth to erase the chalk from the board.
With lots of room to grow, two magnetized boards, and plenty of art supplies included, it all comes together to make the Dripex Kids Art Easel the best value easel on our list.
Reasons to Buy the Dripex Kids Art Easel
3. Little Partners 2-Sided Kids Easel
The Little Partners 2-sided A-Frame Kids Easel is stylish enough that it could blend in with your décor. It’s available in six different colors, including natural wood, espresso, Earl Grey, apple green, soft white, and turquoise. It’s made of sturdy pine and has two surfaces to draw on – a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic dry erase board on the other.
There’s a paper roll at the top of the easel that comes with various clips to attach a piece of paper to the easel. The easel’s legs are not adjustable, but you can remove the lower portion of the legs to transform it into a tabletop easel for younger children. It measures 47 inches high at full height and has a footprint of 24 inches long and 19 inches wide.
The Little Partners art easel for kids does not fold for storage, but it has more storage built-in than most of the other easels on our list. It comes with a tray for each side, one of them designed to hold four paint pots; they include the pots in your purchase. Unfortunately, the paint is not included. Underneath the easel, it has not one but two shelves. If you want to lower the easel to tabletop mode, you need to remove the shelves as well. They include two folding fabric bins, fitting perfectly on the lower shelf.
This easel comes with many of the same basic accessories we’ve seen included with other easels, including a roll of paper, four plastic pots with lids for paint, an eraser, and two storage bins.
Because they made it of solid wood, it is sturdy enough to last a long time and has the seal of approval from the Forest Stewardship Council for sustainable wood. The Little Partners Two-Sided A-Frame Kids Easel seems to have it all – great construction for a durable product, tons of storage, and on top of it all, a lot of visual appeal. The rainbow of colors available means that even if it doesn’t fold for storage, you can find a shade that will look great in your house.
Reasons to Buy the Little Partners 2-Sided Kids Easel
4. US Art Supply Children’s 3-Sided Art Easel
The following kids’ easel on our list is the US Art Supply Children’s 3-Sided Art Activity Easel. While several of our easels have 3-in-1 features, this is the only one that allows three children to use three different surfaces at once. This makes it ideal for environments like a daycare, preschool, babysitting in your home, or even if you have multiple small children close in age.
The three surfaces include a green chalkboard, a blackboard, and a dry erase whiteboard. All three surfaces are magnetic, and the easel also has a standard-sized 18” paper roll attachment at the top. Each side of the easel has a painted wooden shelf tray with holes for paint pots which are included, and two that are solid and can be used to store chalk or markers. There’s also a solid triangular shelf at the bottom of the easel, where you can store bins with more art supplies.
As you might guess, this three-sided easel is the bulkiest of our options, measuring 46 inches tall and 24 inches wide. It does not fold for storage. Each writing surface has a surface of 21 inches by 21 inches. They made it out of attractive pine wood, but there are some reports from those who have purchased the US Art Supply 3-Sided Easel that some of the smaller wooden parts, such as the trays, are susceptible to breaking. Assembly is required with this easel.
This easel comes with a few different accessories, including four paint pots that fit into one of the wooden trays. A roll of paper is included, and a set of colorful magnetic numbers and math symbols. All other accessories, such as chalk or dry erase markers, must be purchased separately.
If you’re short on space, this kids’ easel won’t suit your needs very well. But if you have the room for it, the US Art Supply 3-Sided Art Easel is well suited for a variety of activities, particularly for multiple children.
Reasons to Buy the US Art Supply Children’s 3-Sided Art Easel
5. KidKraft Wooden Kids Easel
In fourth place on our list, we have the KidKraft Wooden Kids Easel. The company considered both function and aesthetics in its design, and it shows. The easel is a dark espresso color, with brightly colored plastic trays on both sides and three bins for storage underneath the easel. The A-Frame design features a chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other side.
Neither surface is magnetic, so if that is a must-have for you, you should give the KidKraft kids easel a pass. However, a magnetic board isn’t necessary for everyone, so this kids’ art easel is still worth a look. A paper roll mounted at the top of the easel can be pulled down on either side, so there are still three possible mediums to explore here.
The easel’s footprint measures 25.2 inches by 23.2 inches, and it measures 47.65 inches high. The surface area of the board measures 19.75 inches by 19.75 inches. It is not height adjustable, it doesn’t fold for storage, and assembly is required. The KidKraft Wooden Kids Easel comes with a few basic accessories, including three paint pots with lids that can snap on to keep the paint fresh for tomorrow’s painting session and a standard-size roll of art paper.
One minor feature about this easel that I really like is the plastic trays attached to each side. Most kids’ art easels have wide open trays, but they divided this one into compartments. On the side with the built-in paint pots, there is a trough for paintbrushes to rest and two other small cubbies where you could put a cup of water, an additional paint pot, use for marker storage, etc.
On the other side, the tray is separated into two different compartments, allowing you to sort different colors or sizes of chalk. I like this design instead of leaving things wide open because, given a lot of space, art supplies tend to rattle around and get mixed up. My kids are inherently disorganized, so anything that gives them guidance towards keeping things in order even a little bit is a-ok in my book.
The bottom line is that the KidKraft Wooden Kids Easel is a well-designed, attractive children’s easel. However, neither surface of this easel is magnetic.
Reasons to Buy the KidKraft Wooden Kids Easel
6. Hape All-In-One Wooden Kid’s Art Easel
Hape is a German company known for its high-quality wooden toys, and this All-In-One Wooden Kids Art Easel is no exception. It comes with two art surfaces, one chalkboard, and one magnetic whiteboard. There’s a paper roll mounted on top so it can be pulled down for painting or drawing.
The Hape All-In-One easel is one of the smallest options on our list, ideal for toddlers or small spaces; the easel measures 21.85 inches wide, and its maximum height is 43.5 inches tall. It’s adjustable as well, and the height can go from 37.5 inches to 43.5 inches. This easel does not fold for storage.
Hape’s All-In-One easel has several thoughtful design touches that elevate it past a basic easel, including special screw-down clamps that can hold the paper in place at both the top and bottom, so it doesn’t move around while your little artist is hard at work. What’s clever about this feature is that the way they designed it, the paper can feed straight down on the board and be held in place without having to be ripped off, so you can keep pulling the paper down continuously after you’ve finished with your first picture.
The easel comes with a few basic accessories, three plastic pots of paint, and a paper roll. Due to this easel’s smaller size, it will only hold a paper refill 15 inches wide; this is three inches smaller than the standard-sized paper rolls available at most craft stores, and so you will have to purchase Hape’s refill paper roll. The Hape easel doesn’t have trays that attach to each side, but there is a wide shelf that has built-in spots for the three paint pots on one side, and on the other side, there is a tray for chalk. In between the two sides, there is enough room to store a few small bins of markers or additional craft supplies.
Overall, the Hape All-In-One Wooden Kids Art Easel is a well-made, high-quality item. With its natural wood and brightly painted accents, it’s attractive too. However, it is on the small side, requiring you to buy Hape’s custom-sized paper roll. Still, this is a great easel for a toddler or a smaller space.
Reasons to Buy the Hape All-In-One Wooden Kid’s Art Easel
7. US Art Supply Cardiff Kids Art Easel
Next up, we have the US Art Supply Cardiff Kids Art Easel; this is a basic but sturdy entry on our list of best art easels for kids. With a frame made out of pine, this is a double-sided easel with a chalkboard, a dry erase board, and a standard size 18-inch paper roll.
The design of the paper holder on this easel is unique amongst the easels we reviewed. Instead of being mounted at the top with the paper hanging straight down, a wooden dowel runs through the middle of the easel between the two sides. The paper feeds straight up and can then hang down on either side.
This easel has a footprint of 26 inches by 25 inches, and the height adjusts from 46 inches to 54 inches high. Both board writing surfaces measure 23 inches by 23 inches. Assembly is required. It should be noted that neither side of this double-sided activity easel is magnetic.
The Cardiff Kids Art Easel comes with two shelf trays, one solid for storage and the other with six removable no-spill paint cups. Although there is no shelf across the bottom for storage, the easel comes with two large storage bins for keeping art supplies organized that very cleverly attach to pieces of wood across the bottom of the easel’s legs. They probably won’t hold anything heavy but will do just fine for lightweight supplies like markers and chalk. Other than that, this easel doesn’t come with any additional accessories.
All in all, the Cardiff Kids Art Easel is a sturdy, basic easel that is a great option as long as a magnetic board is not a must-have for you.
Reasons to Buy the US Art Supply Cardiff Kids Art Easel
Keeping Things Clean
It’s going to be messy. It’s best to just accept that right off the bat! Find a spot in your house where the floor is easy to clean or a place where it won’t matter if a few drops of paint spill. I recommend getting some kind of floor covering, even if your easel has no-drip paint pots.
A plastic shower curtain or tablecloth from the dollar store makes a great drop cloth. You might want to get a smock or apron to protect your child’s clothing. In a pinch, a large adult-sized T-shirt will also do the job nicely! Check out this tip below for advice on cleaning your easel.
A Tip From a Mom
With our easel at home, one thing that I never have far from hand is a microfiber towel. When dampened slightly, they work really well for cleaning both whiteboards and chalkboards. Even if we’re not having trouble with the eraser, I usually like to use the cloth to wipe the boards on our easel clean at the end of the day.
These cloths are also great for cleaning up any paint spills, wiping marker or chalk dust off little hands, or any number of other art-inspired messes. We always have a little towel draped over the side piece of our A-frame easel for quick access any time it’s needed. Just toss it in the laundry at the end of the day and tuck a fresh one in its place to reduce waste from baby wipes or paper towels!
Although some of the easels on our list come with various accessories, most of them require you to purchase additional art supplies. Here are a few suggestions for our favorite art supplies to use with your new kids easel:
These Melissa & Doug magnets come with two nifty sets combined- one with all the alphabet letters, upper- and lowercase, and the other with an assortment of numbers and math symbols. These magnets are really durable – I’ve owned a set for eight years, and although we’ve lost a few to the abyss under the refrigerator, they’re still in great condition even with frequent use.
But that’s not the only selling point for these magnets. Each letter and number has a fully magnetized back in this set, meaning no potential choking hazard from small magnets falling out; this is especially important if you’re buying for a toddler under three. If you’re purchasing an easel for a toddler, check the magnets to ensure they are safe for a child under three.
Extra Paint Pots
Although most of our easels come with a few paint pots included, you may want to buy a few extras for additional colors. These Melissa & Doug pots have a spillproof design and come with airtight lids, so if you don’t use all the paint in one session, you can pop the lid on so it doesn’t dry out, and you can use it again the next day.
This Melissa & Doug paint package offers excellent value and comes with four eight-ounce bottles with flip-top lids. It’s washable, and the colors included are red, yellow, green, and blue.
If you’d like a wider variety of colors, try this package of washable Crayola paints available in fun neon colors. At 2oz each, the bottles are smaller than the Melissa & Doug package above, but it’s a fun way for your young Picassos and Kahlos to add a little extra color to their painting.
When buying paint brushes, consider the age of the child. For a young toddler, the chubby rounded handles on these Melissa & Doug brushes will be easy to grab.
For older toddlers, these thick-handled brushes from U.S. Art Supply are of great value. For older kids with refined fine motor skills, this pack from US Art Supply has various wide, thin, angled, round, and foam brushes for all types of painting.
There are two basic types of chalk to choose from – regular chalk and dustless chalk. Dustless chalk will generate less mess and be difficult to erase with a standard chalkboard eraser that comes with your easel.
The dustless chalk linked comes with its own eraser, but you may still need to wipe it off with a damp cloth. Regular chalk comes off more easily with an eraser, but it can leave hands covered in dust. Unless, of course, you get a chalk holder.
Kids love chalk, but their hands invariably end up covered in dust whenever they use it. And then they turn around to grab your leg and show you their artwork, and now your pants are covered in chalk dust too.
With the chalk holder, though, their little hands stay dust-free, and so do your pants. You can buy them in two sizes, a smaller size for chalkboard-sized chalk; this package comes with a couple of erasers as well.
And a bigger size that fits sidewalk-sized chalk and might be better for toddlers. Chalk in a holder is way harder to break, so you won’t have to clean up shards of broken chalk off your floor every day.
Dry Erase markers
The whiteboard puts up with a heavy workload in our house, so we like to keep various markers of different colors and thicknesses on hand.
If you’ve got young toddlers, you might want to stick to leaving out just one or two of the thicker chisel tip markers at a time.
For older kids who have better fine motor skills and can make more elaborate drawings, I’d recommend buying a combination of chisel tip and fine tip whiteboard markers, so your little artists can add more detail to their pictures.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Clean the Boards?
Most easels come with an eraser for use on the boards. Remember to clean the eraser regularly! If you’re having trouble erasing something, a damp cloth can usually do the trick.
Are the Rolls of Paper Included?
Most of the easels on our list include rolls of paper. Those that do not, we have pointed out in the product description.
Are the Boards Magnetic?
Most easels on our list have at least one magnetic board, typically the whiteboard. A couple has both sides magnetized. If an easel does not come with a magnetic board, we have pointed it out in the description.
Are Paint and Paintbrushes Included?
None of the easels on our list include paint or paintbrushes. We have provided a suggestion in our ‘Suggested Accessories.’
The Ciro Standing Art Easel is a two-sided A-Frame easel with a chalkboard and whiteboard. There’s a paper roll mounted a wooden dowel attached to the two horizontal supports between the two sides of the easel.