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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best easel for toddlers is, I’d recommend the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Easel.
Easels can be a great addition to your child’s creative play space. Easels can be used with paint or crayons and dry erase markers. You can find them with whiteboard, magnetic, and chalk finishes as well. They’ll inspire fun while helping your child reach important childhood milestones. Searching for the best easel for toddlers? We’ve put together some of our favorites here for you.
Here are the easels I will be reviewing:
- Step2 Easel
- Evergreen Kids Easel
- Hape Wooden Art Easel
- Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Easel
- Arkmiido Double-Sided Easel
- Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool Easel
- Gimilife Deluxe Easel for Kids
- Elk & Bear Double-Sided Easel
What Is A Toddler Easel Anyway?
A toddler easel is a vertical surface designed for art activities. They are frequently double sided and have a triangular A-frame shape, though some have only one side. Some easels have built-in storage or space to display artwork.
They can be made out of wood or plastic. The drawing surface may be designed for use with non-paint implements, like dry erase markers, chalk, or magnets.
Easels For Toddlers: What Are The Major Benefits?
Easels are more than just a good time for your toddler. Been wondering what’s so great about easels for toddlers? We’ve put together a list of some of the highlights:
- Great for rotating activities: If you have a child who gets bored easily, art easels make it easy to swap out one activity for another. Tempera paint one day, watercolors the next, and crayons after that? Easels give you a great, fast and simple way to keep your child occupied.
- Encourages exploration of color and sensory play: Set your child up with finger paints and watch them learn how colors can mix and change. They can explore texture at the same time. This kind of sensory play helps encourage cognitive development.
- Develops fine motor skills and muscular control: Art activities at an easel help develop those early fine motor skills that are important to handwriting.
- Builds confidence: There’s a lot that goes into producing a piece of art. Choosing a medium, a color, the scene, and the story behind it all encourages your child to make choices. The successful execution of these choices helps to promote confidence in their ability to choose well.
Using Your Toddler Easel: Tips And Expectations
New to having an easel? Here are some great tips for keeping your art easel use fun and stress-free:
- Be prepared for a mess: No matter what medium your child is using, it will likely get everywhere. Consider using a drop cloth under the art easel that can be easily washed or replaced as needed. You’ll also want to make sure your child is wearing appropriate clothing and has access to smocks.
- Get creative: Paint brushes are great, but they aren’t the only option out there. Consider using sponges, foam, stamps, or even vegetables and fruits for fun art activities at your easel.
my Reviews Of The Best Easels For Toddlers
If you have a toddler that is artistically inclined, you might want to encourage their pursuit of art with an easel. I have taken a look at lots and lots of different options, and reviewed my top five. I’ve also picked my favorite.
Looking for a great art easel that’s easy to pull out and use and then put away when you’re finished? You may be interested in this Step2 model. It’s designed for easy storage when not in use. That means it’s one less thing your limited space needs to be dedicated to. It’s also lightweight, which means it’s easy to pull out for projects.
This is a plastic art easel that’s easy to clean. One side of the easel is equipped with a chalkboard top. The other side has a magnetic dry erase board. A storage tray at the base of the easel helps keep supplies within reach when your child’s playing and creating. When they need to be cleaned, they can be removed from the easel and washed with soap and water.
Included with this easel is a 94-piece set of magnetic letters, numbers, and mathematical symbols. No additional art supplies are included. A heavy-duty clip at the top of both sides of the easel will keep art paper in place while your child is working.
This easel is made out of plastic and is low maintenance. Though it can be used outside for projects, it’s not recommended that you leave it out unprotected for long periods of time. It’s designed for children ages 36 months to 8 years old. At 45 inches tall, it’s suitable for taller children.
Though the easel is made in the United States, some components of the easel are imported. Minor assembly is required prior to use.
- Low maintenance and easy-to-clean construction
- Can be folded and stored when not in use
- Offers multiple art mediums for your child to use, including a dry erase board
- Great for an extended age range of children
- The yellow tray provides stability—it can be easily dislodged by children at the easel
- This easel can be wobbly
Evergreen Kids Easel
This art easel features two different work surfaces for your child to work on their art skills. One side is a dry erase board while the other is a chalkboard. The chalkboard side is also magnetic, so your child can explore magnetic letters and add details to their artwork.
Included with this set are a 12-piece set of chalk, a magnetic chalk eraser, and a paper roll of 18-inch wide art paper. It also comes with a full set of plastic math and number magnets and six dry-erase markers. Four clips are included and can be used to hold the paper in place while your little one makes their masterpieces.
This is a highly functional standing easel features plenty of storage. The no-drip paint cups help limit the mess that can come along with art time. In addition to the paint cups, three large storage bags hook on to the base of the easel. Though made of fabric, the bottom of the storage bins are waterproofed, protecting your floor from potential messes.
This art easel is lightweight and just about 36 inches tall and 22 inches wide. It’s suitable for children 12 months of age and older. The height of this easel is not adjustable and it is designed to be permanently set-up somewhere. It does not fold or collapse, so it’s not that easy to store when you want to put it away.
This easel comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you decide—for whatever reason—this product isn’t right for you, you can simply return it.
- This unit provides plenty of storage for art-related supplies
- Dry erase board and chalkboard
- Accessories included
- Guarantee included
- Easy to clean
- Not easy to store
- Not adjustable to accommodate multiple heights
Hape Wooden Art Easel
This easel features two surfaces for your child to work on. One side has a chalkboard finish while the other is a dry erase surface. This whiteboard surface is also magnetic. A paper roll holder is integrated into the structure and sits at the top of the easel.
Each side of the standing easel measures 17.5 inches by 17.5 inches. When looking for replacement paper rolls, you’ll want them to be less than 17.75 inches wide.
To keep your child’s art paper firmly in place, this unit comes with magnetic bars at the top and bottom. Use the included magnets to keep your child’s artwork where it belongs while they craft their masterpieces. Three paint pots are also included and fit securely into cups to help cut down on accidental spills. When it’s time to clean them, they remove easily from the easel’s tray to be washed.
This easel’s adjustable height is a great feature for a growing child or a household with multiple children. Dials on each side can be used to raise or lower the height of the board. It can be adjusted from 37.5 to 43.5 inches tall.
The frame of this easel is made out of wood. It’s finished with non-toxic paint and details. The entire easel and its accessories conform to current safety standards. This unit is not designed to collapse for easy storage. You’ll want to plan on creating a dedicated art space for it to occupy.
- Also allows for magnet play
- The adjustable height means it has greater longevity for your child
- Integrated paper roll holder
- Double sided easel: dry erase surface on one side and chalkboard on the other
- Easy to clean
- Does require a dedicated place to be set up
- The narrow paper roll dispenser can be more difficult to find and offers less work surface
Melissa And Doug Deluxe Wooden Easel
This multi-use art easel features a wooden frame. It offers two different art surfaces, a chalkboard and a dry erase board. This is a sturdy unit that’s easy to assemble and will provide your child with a safe and stable art center.
This unit is really designed with children in mind. It comes with a locking paper roll holder that will keep your paper roll where it belongs, preventing waste and frustration. A paper cutter that’s safe for children and four easy-to-use clips are included. Being able to use the tools on their own helps encourage children to feel in control of their art experience.
Two plastic storage trays—one for either side of the easel—are simple to remove and easy to clean. These trays provide plenty of storage for art supplies, but those will need to be purchased separately.
This easel is designed for a growing child and offers multiple locations where the storage trays can affix. This means you can choose the right size for your little one. When they need the tray height to be adjusted you can easily do so.
In addition to the tray’s adjustable height, you can also adjust the overall height of the easel. This piece is lightweight and folds for quick and easy storage. The legs can be removed from the easel entirely and it can be used on a table top as well.
Great for kids ages 3–6, this easel comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. It also conforms to current safety standards and all finishings are non-toxic and safe for your child.
- Offers adjustable overall height as well as adjustable tray height
- Easily folds up for quick cleanup and long term storage
- Fast and simple assembly
- Locking paper roll
- Double sided easel: chalkboard and dry erase whiteboard
- High quality
- There’s no magnetic side
- No additional art supplies are included
Arkmiido Double-Sided Easel
This kid’s easel features two different surfaces. One side is a dry erase board, and the other is chalkboard. The whiteboard is also a magnetic surface and works with an included set of 52 different magnets. This easel weighs in at 13 pounds.
In addition to the magnetic letter and number set, this easel features four paint cups. These cups fit snugly into dedicated spaces on the easel’s tray and have lids to help contain messes. The dedicated spots on the tray also help prevent your child from accidentally knocking them over.
Additional art supplies, chalk, magnets, and an eraser, are included with the easel. A heavy duty clip at the top of the easel makes it easy to secure your child’s artwork in place while they’re creating.
This easel offers an adjustable height feature and can be adjusted between 30.7 inches and 48.8 inches. This makes it a great choice for multiple child households and can lengthen the amount of time it’s used in your home.
If you have a younger child, the legs can be removed and the easel can be placed directly on the floor. It can also be used on a tabletop. It’s a sturdy unit that, especially at its lowest setting, resists tipping.
Minor assembly is required with this easel. While directions are included, they aren’t extensive. There are diagrams, however, and it’s fairly easy to assemble. Though it’s not designed to quickly collapse for storage, it can be folded and stored by removing the connective wing nut-style hardware.
- An adjustable frame that works great for a growing child
- Double sided: dry erase whiteboard and chalkboard surfaces
- Accessories are included
- The hardware is easy to unscrew—even by children
- Not easily collapsed for storage
Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool Easel
Step2’s easel is a wonderful little art center for any budding artist or simply a child who wants to express their creativity.
To start with, this easel can both stand upright and fold down into a desktop. It’s 13 by 20 inches, and also has a magnetic dry erase whiteboard.
If mess and clutter is your concern, which it pretty much always is with small children, this easel features medium and large storage bins to keep art supplies tucked away. Extra storage space is also provided via molded-in trays both above and below the desk. And there’s a cup holder, too! You won’t ever find yourself lacking in storage capacity with this easel.
If you’re like me, with no real skill in installing and setting up much of anything, don’t panic. This easel is super easy to set up, and some reviewers even say they’ve managed to do it in less than 15 minutes. Even the most impatient of children will be pleased, as will you.
This is a great option when you want all the little features that make a product extra special. As well as the massive amounts of storage capacity and magnetic board, you get a stool, a magazine-rack-style space in the rear, a clip feature and a large workspace.
The manufacturer recommends an age range of 24 months to eight years old for this easel. Do bear in mind, however, that the stool may not be sufficiently sturdy for older children—it’s best suited to toddlers.
I would recommend this easel as a fantastic all-rounder. The huge storage area gets me on its side, and this truly feels like a little all-in-one art space.
- Large workspace
- Nifty extra features, including stool
- Huge storage area
- Magnetic dry erase whiteboard
- Easy setup
- Can be flipped
- General desk and stool may not be sturdy enough for older children
- May need grips on hardwood or slippery floors
Gimilife Deluxe Easel for Kids
The Gimilife Deluxe Easel For Kids stands out immediately as an environmentally friendly option with its crafted wood construction. It’s true that many parents consider the environment when making purchases, and wood is also a material that we consider safe and free from any nasty chemicals.
Easy to assemble and arriving with all the fittings you could need, this easel stands out in how easy it is to put together and carry around. Both for you and your child.
An interesting feature of this standing easel is that it has two drawing spaces. One is the typical dry erase whiteboard you’d expect, and the other is an old-school blackboard. The whiteboard is easy to wipe clean, and the blackboard is cleaned how you’d expect, if you’re old enough to remember using one in school.
In terms of storage, which is a big deal for all of us, there’s an easel-length holder for all your pens and crayons. For larger options, there are extra storage bins for all your other art supplies. You also get a cool clip so you can clip paper to create the sizes you need.
One of the other advantages of this easel is that it has quite a wide age range of use. The manufacturer recommends ages 2–14 years. Although I’m focusing on toddlers, I’m not 100 percent sure if teenagers will still be so excited to use it, as it may be too ‘kiddy’ for them.
This is another solid option for your child to flex their creativity. It’s not as feature-rich as some other options, but the wide age range means that several siblings can use it.
- Double sided: dry erase whiteboard and blackboard
- Suitable for a wide age range
- Environmentally friendly and non-toxic materials
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Clip feature
- Large surface area
- Not very detailed instructions for assembly
- Wood isn’t as durable as other materials
Elk & Bear Double-Sided Easel
In a similar vein to the Gimilife model, Elk & Bear’s easel offers two sides—a magnetic dry erase whiteboard on one side and the classic blackboard on the other. This means that not only can two children use the easel at once, but you get two different art styles to work with.
Probably the best part of this standing easel is that you don’t even need to assemble it. It comes in its box, you unwrap it, stand it, and your children can get to work. What could be better than that?
Even better, the easel comes with a handle for easy carrying and folds flat to be stored away without trouble. This is a great easel for those who are all thumbs when it comes to assembly—like me!
For those who are more environmentally conscious or who are worried about what chemicals might be in their children’s toys, this easel is plastic-free. I think this is a wonderful feature as less plastic is something we can all agree the world needs right now.
This has a narrower age range than other options, being targeted mostly towards 3 to 5-year-olds, but you can still get a lot of good use out of it for the years beyond.
The easel comes with magnetic letters and numbers that are meant to be used on the magnetic whiteboard. However, there’s one issue here I need to point out: these magnetic letters come in a single sheet on a board and need to be removed before being used. It’s not the easiest thing to do without ripping the glossy paper surface of the letters, and it’s a shame to have such a fiddly issue on an otherwise great easel.
- Double sided: dry erase whiteboard and blackboard
- No assembly required
- Handle for simple portability
- Lifetime guarantee offered if the product is registered
- High-quality chalkboard
- Minimal packaging
- Not many options for storage
- Small age range
- Magnetic letters and numbers are awkward to start using
Bringing Home The Best Easel For Your Toddler
An art easel can be a great way to get your toddler invested in art while providing them with a way to develop fine motor skills, and have a fun time. If I were bringing home an easel for my family, it would be the Melissa and Doug Deluxe Wooden Easel. I love that its adjustable height, and that it’s easy to set up or fold up to put away. It’s dry erase whiteboard and chalkboard provide multiple surfaces for your little one to explore. The locking paper roll holder is a nice touch too, since it keeps your paper roll right where you want it. All in all, it’s a very high quality choice.