As we shift further into the digital age, it’s becoming harder and harder to think of ways to entertain our little ones with something that doesn’t involve a screen. But how can you nurture your child’s creativity by keeping them entertained for hours of fun? Well, a toddler easel is perfect for that!
Early learning professionals believe it’s important for your child to have the opportunity to have hands-on experiential learning – it plays a pretty key part in child development. By giving your child the chance to work on an easel you’re allowing them to experience numerous mental, physical, and even social skills.
The best toddler easels out there are versatile, durable, and easy to clean and are an excellent way to introduce your child into the world of art. Whether you’re looking for a painting easel, dry erase, or chalk there are tons on the market that allow your child to play around and boost their creative spark!
You can introduce an easel to your child’s play activities around 2 ½ years (around the time they learn how to hold a marker) but many of the easels listed are recommended for ages 3 and up.
Below we’ve compiled a list of some of the best toddler easels on the market right now. We’ve also noted a bunch of different factors which are important before picking an easel for your child.
Best Easels for Toddlers
Best Seller: Hape’s All-in-One Kid’s Art Easel
Hape’s all-in-one easel is one of the best-selling children’s easels available on the market today. The company opts for traditional designs which favour natural finishes with bright pops of colour.
Their double-sided easel features a magnetic dry erase whiteboard and a chalkboard. These features allow your child to unleash their creativeness and can be simply wiped away.
But if you want a more permanent copy of your child’s wonderful creations there is a section in which a paper roll can be attached to the easel. There’s no need to worry about running out of paper as the paper roll can be refilled easily.
The height of the easel is adjustable which is perfect as toddlers can grow so quickly! There are also a few additional clamps that can be attached to the easel to create a flat and sturdy surface for your little ones to create on.
The spacious storage shelf underneath includes three separate pots – perfect to store the chalk, dry erase markers, and paints separately.
Hape uses high-quality softwood from sustainably sourced forests to manufacture this product which means the surface will be soft against your child’s touch.
The non-toxic finishes mean your child will be safe as they let their imaginations run wild. This art easel also snagged the award for Oppenheim’s Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award in 2014.
The manufacturer recommends this product for ages 3 and up.
- Fully adjustable height (lowest being 37.6 inches and highest being 43.5 inches)
- Classic design with fun pops of bright colors
- Quick and easy assembly process
- Double-sided with magnetic surface
- Spacious storage tray
- Paper roll is replenishable
- Sturdy and durable design
- Cannot be folded as it needs to be disassembled to be stored away
- Wood is not treated so can become easily stained
- Not standard 18” easel (this Hape easel is 15”) so can be difficult to find a paper roll that fits
- Slightly smaller drawing surface compared to market competitors
- ALL-IN-1 ART TOY: Double sided easel with blackboard, magnetic whiteboard and paper roll on top
- IDEAL FOR CRAFTS: Perfect for painting, writing, or drawing
- REFILLABLE DRAWING PAPER: Refillable Paper roll attached at the top for quick and easy reach
- COMES WITH PAINT POTS: Includes 3 paint pots and holders
- HEIGHT ADJUTSABLE: Adjustable height from 37.5 to 43.5 inches
Most Versatile: Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk with Stool Easel
This versatile product combines an easel and a desk to create the perfect little art space for your child. When the easel is raised it’s the perfect height to accommodate your toddler’s artistic needs. They can secure their paper with an art clip or use the magnetic whiteboard to keep their paper secure whilst they get creative.
Step2 also boasts that this easel can fold down into a desk, turning it into the perfect surface to do more drawing and painting or a host of all sorts of other activities. There are also tons of organizational storage spaces which can fit a whole range of art-related accessories.
- Built-in storage units
- Transforms into a desk
- Lightweight plastic design
- Product fits kids ages 2-8 years
- Magnetic whiteboard feature
- Some customers noted that the board is not magnetic/the magnetic current is not strong enough
- Recommended to attach floor grips to stool if you have wood/laminate flooring
- Can be difficult to assemble
- Skill Level: Fine Motor
- Maximum stool weight - 75 Pounds. Stool height - 11.75 inch. (29.8 cm.)
Most Portable: Next X Kid’s Easel for Two
Out of all the products on this list, Next X has the biggest range for adjustable heights. Standing at just 32 inches on its lowest height setting it’s perfect for smaller kids! It also matches some of its market competitors by reaching a max height of 42.5 inches – which is great for your growing child.
This product offers both a chalkboard and whiteboard which are both magnetic! It also generously comes with all the tools your child needs to get their creative juices flowing as it includes chalk, markers, and magnets.
The easel can also be folded flat, making it pretty easy to tidy away, or perfect for getting up on the go!
- Sturdy and colorful plastic design with no sharp edges
- Huge range of height adjustments (32” at lowest, 42.5” at highest)
- Both the chalkboard and whiteboard are magnetic
- Board can rotate a full 360 degrees
- Large storage tray
- Includes magnets, magnetic eraser, markers, chalk, chalk holder, and storage cup
- Can be folded flat for storage or use on the ground
- Not as high quality as other market competitors
- Can tip over under too much pressure
- Instructions can be hard to follow making assembly difficult
Most Stylish: Delta Children MySize Kids Double-Sided Easel
Featuring a simple and minimalistic design, Delta’s product proves that you don’t need a flashy design for a kid to have fun. Boasting both a chalkboard and magnetic whiteboard, this easel is guaranteed to bring your child hours of fun.
It also comes with a 33ft paper roll allowing for endless opportunities for your kid to create art. The two large storage compartments are perfect to store any tools your little one will need to create their very own masterpieces.
Delta’s easel is constructed using 100% non-toxic materials, so you can rest easy knowing your child will be able to create safely. Delta notes that they use a sturdy wooden design, however, some reviewers have noted that the product has arrived damaged, or has found the wood to split easily, so just keep that in mind if you’re looking to purchase.
The company also specializes in creating kid’s furniture, and you can also find pieces such as bed frames that match this easel – if you’re going for a minimalistic modern look in your kid’s bedroom.
- Available in three color options (grey, white/pink, dark chocolate)
- Features both a chalkboard and magnetic whiteboard
- Ability to attach a paper roll (33ft paper roll included)
- Includes two large storage bins to fit accessories
- Design fits in well with home decor
- Instructions can be quite unclear making for a difficult assembly
- Drawing surface quite small (paper roll is only 9” in width)
- The wood used for the product has a tendency to split
- AGE RANGE: Recommended for ages 3 to 6; DOUBLE THE FUN: this 2 sided easel features a chalkboard side and a magnetic, dry erase whiteboard side
- WHAT'S INCLUDED: Easel; bins and pull down paper roll with 33 feet of paper
- EASILY STORE SUPPLIES: 2 convenient fabric storage bins keep crayons, markers, extra paper, paint or toys within reach
- QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP: Made from strong wood, this easel is durable and built for years of use
- IDEAL SIZE: Assembled Dimensions: 21.625 W x 20.5 D x 40.75 H Inches
Highly Rated: Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Art Easel
Melissa & Doug are a solid kid-friendly brand which creates their products with kids in mind. It’s also one of the highest-rated and MOST rated toddler easels available for purchase on Amazon – which clearly isn’t a coincidence as it’s obviously a popular product.
The ability to adjust the easel to three different heights means that your toddler can use this product long into childhood (Melissa & Doug recommend this product for children ages 3-7).
The product also has the capacity to attach an 18” wide paper roll – one of the largest paper roll surface areas available on this list, but unfortunately, the paper rolls need to be purchased separately.
What seems to let the product down, however, is that neither side is magnetic – limiting the potential usage for the product. But many parents don’t seem to mind as it has thousands of 5 star reviews.
Additionally, the “easy to assemble” design that Melissa & Doug boast can also be seen as a problem, as many customers have noted incidents of their child accidentally disassembling the product during use.
- Three set height adjustments (recommended for kids ages 3-7)
- Features both a chalkboard and whiteboard
- Easy to source paper rolls (Found a 3 pack of the paper rolls for sale on Amazon), and large surface area to create (18”)
- Multiple clips included to attach paper rolls for a sturdy surface
- Durable plastic tray for storage
- Easy to assemble
- Neither the chalkboard or whiteboard are magnetic
- Paper rolls and paint aren’t included
- Too easy to disassemble (as in your kid can easily take it apart themselves)
- The chalkboard can be difficult to draw on
- Paper roll in an awkward position
- KIDS WOODEN STANDING ART EASEL: This art easel provides a creative, screen-free play option for children and includes dry-erase board, chalkboard, locking paper-roll holder, child-safe paper cutter, 4 easy-clip grips and 2 large plastic trays.
- HELPS BUILD FINE MOTOR SKILLS: The dry erase board and chalkboard are perfect for building kids fine motor skills and proper pencil grip. The board surfaces of our wooden easel are the ideal practice surface for a child's first letters and words.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE: This easel features a sturdy wooden frame, is easy to assemble, folds flat for storage, and is height adjustable. It ships in Certified Frustration-Free Packaging, with paper, paint, cups, paint brushes and chalk sold separately.
- GREAT GIFT FOR AGES 3 AND UP: The Deluxe Wooden Standing Art Easel makes a great gift for kids ages 3 and up. To further stimulate children’s creativity, consider the Melissa & Doug Shape, Model, and Mold Play Clay set as well.
- “THE GOLD STANDARD IN CHILDHOOD PLAY:” For more than 30 years, Melissa & Doug has created beautifully designed imagination- and creativity-sparking products that NBC News called “the gold standard in early childhood play.”
Easiest to Assemble: Elk & Bear Double Sided Wooden Art Easel
Elk & Bears wooden easel is the easiest to assemble on this list because it requires absolutely no assembly at all! You simply open the box, remove the bubble wrap and you’re ready to go – no need to screw anything!
The sturdy wooden design features both a chalkboard and a magnetic whiteboard. The product is also completely plastic-free – opting to use wooden numbers and letters that are eco-friendly and non-toxic.
However, as this item comes in one piece, there’s no way to adjust the height of the easel. So, if you’re looking for a product that your kid will be able to use for years to come, maybe find an alternative.
- No assembly required at all!
- Includes dry-erase markers and eraser, colored chalk, magnetic wooden numbers, and letters
- Completely plastic-free (uses eco-friendly and non-toxic materials)
- Magnetic whiteboard
- Cannot adjust the height
- No option to attach a paper roll (although paper can be attached using magnets)
- The adhesive between wooden letters/numbers and magnets isn’t strong enough
- ART EASEL FOR KIDS - Perfect Height for Toddlers. Great Gift for Girls Boys Age 3, 4 or 5 Year Olds
- MAGNETIC WHITEBOARD on One Side, Blackboard on the Other. Two Sides Allow 2 Toddlers to Draw at Once
- INCLUDES Dry-Erase Magnetic Whiteboard Chalkboard, Wooden Letters & Numbers, Pen, Eraser, Chalk.
- NO ASSEMBLY REQUIRED Includes Carry Handle Folds Flat for Easy Storage. Perfect for Playroom Daycare
- PLASTIC FREE & SAFETY TESTED Meets All ASTM F963 Safety Requirements - USA Woman Owned Business
Best Easel for Toddlers Buyer’s Guide
You might think that purchasing a toddler easel may seem like an easy job. After all, how difficult can it be to find the perfect product? But there may be several questions you haven’t yet considered.
Do you pick plastic or wood? Does it come with a paper roll function? How will you store the easel?
Down below we’ve collated a bunch of tips to help you find the perfect easel for your child.
It’s crucial when buying an easel for your child that it’s the right height. But this can quickly turn into a problem when models that you like are too tall or too short for your toddler. This is why we recommend finding an easel that features height adjustment options. This way as your kid grows, so will the easel.
As your child is busy drawing/painting, it’s important that all the utensils they’ll need are within an arm’s length. Luckily, most easels come with reasonably sized storage shelves/bins that are big enough to keep all of their tools. Most easels also come with paint cups which keep the paint fresh and (more importantly) off of your floor.
Although easels are pretty small and don’t take up too much space, some of them can be fairly difficult to store away. Some models need to be disassembled for storage – but do you really want the hassle of putting together the easel every time your child wants to paint? If that’s the case, look out for collapsible models which can easily be stored away without taking them apart.
Easels that feature a dry-erase whiteboard also come with a dry eraser. It’s important that as soon as your child is finished with the easel you wipe away the dry-erase marks as the ink has a tendency to stain/mark the surface if left to dry. Also, if you opt for a wooden easel frame, be sure to check if the wood is treated – that way it’s easier to keep the easel clean.
Most easels are made from either plastic or wood materials. Whilst plastic easels favor a lightweight design and are much easier to move around in comparison to wooden models, they’re far less durable and sturdy. Another feature that you may want to consider is easels which include a non-slip foot pad to prevent it from wobbling or scuffing your floors.
Why You Should Purchase Your Child an Easel
How exactly does using an easel help with your child’s development? Well, we’ve scoured the internet for reasons why you should get your toddler an art easel.
Develops Fine Motor Skills
Introducing an art easel into your child’s daily activities gives your child the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills. The act of moving the chalk/pen to the surface of the easel requires focus and control – two skills that will be beneficial to your child now and in the future.
Develops Large Motor Skills
Using an easel to paint/draw encourages the development of your child’s motor skills. Certain arm movements needed to draw on the easel will exercise your child’s arm up to the shoulder.
Develops Social Skills
It may sound bizarre but drawing on an easel can encourage your child to develop social skills. If you have more than one toddler/young child using a double-sided easel will encourage your child to communicate. But you can always take up the other side of the easel yourself and chat away with your child as you each make your own creations.
Harnesses Cognitive Skills
To a toddler, gaining cognitive skills can seem overwhelming – there’s a lot to figure out at once! But getting your kid used to working on an easel can help them figure out what colors to mix, which colors to use, and how to apply them to the easel itself.
Finally, one of the most obvious benefits of a child’s use of an easel is to harness that creative spirit!
Art knows no bounds (and neither do toddlers), so being free to express their inner creativity freely can make for some truly unique and beautiful designs from your toddler themselves. It’s very important that your kids are able to tap into their creativity in a manner that is fun and engaging!
Frequently Asked Questions
Not all easels are created equal! Some come with a lot more features than others, so it’s important you shop around for the easel that’s going to give you what you want.
Do all easels come with art supplies?
The answer to that is no! A lot of manufacturers include bonus items such as paper rolls, dry-erasers, paintbrushes, paint, and magnets in their packages, but it’s worth noting that that’s not always the case. So, make sure you read what’s included carefully!
Do easels have easily replaceable parts?
One thing you probably have already dealt with as a parent of a young child is how easily things can break. But, unfortunately, it’s not possible to purchase individual parts for easels. However, most companies offer full refunds for faulty models. Also, be sure to check the product warranty.
Do easels need assembling?
Again, as a parent, you’re probably used to putting together so many toys and regularly assembling play equipment but you’ll be happy to learn that plenty of easel products on the market don’t require assembly! The ones that do just require a few hand tools and little effort to put them together.
Are easels easy to clean?
Unless your child is using permanent markers, or they’ve gone a little rogue with their paints, cleaning an easel is pretty easy. Just use a dry cloth to wipe clean any whiteboards or chalkboards and you’re ready to go!