The Best Kids Easel


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 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 kid’s easel. 

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Kids Easel

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Kids Easel

 The perennial favorite children’s brand, Melissa & Doug’s Deluxe Standing Kids Easel has two play surfaces, a chalkboard, and a whiteboard.

Why a Kids Art Easel?

Painting with little kids can be a hassle without a kid’s art easel. Digging through cupboards for supplies, laying down something to protect the table, and setting up paintbrushes, but it’s all there already with the easel. 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: 

  • Hand-eye coordination.
  • Fine and gross motor skills.
  • You’re also giving your child a sense of control. You allow them to choose which type of art they’re going to create – paint, marker, chalk, magnet play – and be in charge every step of the way. They choose which colors to use, where the colors go, and decide when to step back and say, beaming with pride, “All done!”.
  • They learn independent decision-making skills crucial to a child’s social-emotional development. 
  • You’re providing a sensory play opportunity because they can use the kid’s easel to finger paint. They can discover the texture of paint and paper, and they can understand that by gliding the paint on the paper with their finger in different ways leaves different shapes.

Bear in mind that things can get messy when creating a masterpiece. See our tips from a mom down below for tips on keeping things clean.

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 a 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 my 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! 

Suggested Accessories

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 kid’s 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 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. 

Although most of our easels come with a few paint pots, 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. The chubby rounded handles on these Melissa & Doug brushes will be easy to grab for a young toddler.

These thick-handled brushes from U.S. Art Supply are of great value for older toddlers. 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 get covered in the 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, smaller sizes for chalkboard-sized chalk; this package also comes with a couple of erasers.

And a bigger size that fits sidewalk-sized chalk 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 daily. 

The whiteboard puts up 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 with better fine motor skills and who can make more elaborate drawings, I recommend buying a combination of chisel tip and fine tip whiteboard markers, so your little artists can add more detail to their pictures. 

What to Look for When Buying a Kids Easel

Number of Boards Available

When looking at a kid’s easel, you need to consider the number of boards you need. Most kid’s easels have two boards, but there are a few that have three boards. We recommend you consider how artsy your child is, how many children you have personally or in your life, and what you will use the board for. 

Types of Boards Available

Kids easels generally provide four mediums, or types of boards, that your children can explore. These types include a chalkboard, a whiteboard, a magnetic board, and a paper roll that you can pull down and place on a board. The paper rolls don’t have their own board; there is usually a paper roll holder set above or between the boards, and from there, you pull the paper onto the board you are working on. 

These different boards allow your kids to experience paint, markers, chalk, and magnets. All of these provide great stimulation for your child, mentally and physically. When considering which boards you’d like to have, consider whether you have access to non-toxic paints and chalks, dustless chalks, and paper rolls specific to the board’s size. Unfortunately, some brands create a custom paper roll size, which means you cannot get it at a craft store. 

Also, keep in mind if your child has any allergies regarding the art supplies. For instance, if you cannot get your hands on dustless chalk, will your child sneeze every time chalk dust accumulates. 

Non-toxic Paints, Glues, and Chalks

Not all the manufacturers and big corporates out there have your child’s best interest at heart. Some brands use harmful chemicals and ingredients when manufacturing their products and can make your child sick when ingested.

If you have a child that likes to taste everything, we’ve all been there; consider investing in non-toxic art supplies. Just to be safe. 

Accessories Included

A great place to look for ease of assembly is the review section. Although, take the reviews with a pinch of salt because a frustrated parent might not always have the best opinion. But you can gather how easy or difficult the easel is to assemble by how many frustrated parents there are. 

I would recommend going through a few reviews before making up my mind because sometimes the reviews are on the older side, and the manufacturer has improved the product’s design. So pay attention to the date of the reviews. 

Easy to Store

This goes hand in hand with assembly. An easy-to-store easel is handy when you need to free up some space or take it traveling with you. Look at if the board can fold in or collapse to some degree. 

If not, consider if it’s easy to assemble. If it is easy to assemble and disassemble, it won’t be a mission to complete the exercise when it needs to be done. 

Size and Footprint

For those of you living in apartments or have limited space, the size and footprint of the easel are essential. Math might be involved in determining the footprint size as not all manufacturers provide that information. But they might give you the measurements for one side. 


The most common material used for kid’s easels is wood; some brands leave the wood untreated, others paint the wood and even offer you color options. Wood is mainly used for the easel frame and the artboards. The accessories, such as the storage bins, may be made from plastic, material, or metal. 

When purchasing an art easel for your kids, keep in mind where you will be using the easel. What I mean by this is, will you be using it outdoors or indoors? Will it be placed by a window in the sun or further indoors and in the shade? Will it be in a position where it could get wet or be eaten by the dog? 

All of the above things need to be considered when looking at the easel’s material to ensure it has the longest life possible to entertain your little one. 


Possibly the most crucial feature to consider with a kid’s toy is the durability of the product. Kids can often be very hard on their toys. To determine how durable the product is, look at the reviews because the reviewer’s children have already put the product through multitudes of tests for you. 

Look at the product description and the provided pictures of a trusted toy brand. Try and zoom in on the photo and look at the quality of the materials, the connections used, all the joints, etc. This should give you a pretty good idea of whether it will survive your child’s handling. 

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. 

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