These days, you might not wish to simply purchase the first A-frame model you see at a good price when buying a children’s easel. Given interesting developments in the art world, there are a lot of choices to be had in terms of models and accessories. Here is a brief review to help you make the best choice.
It’s important to consider space when buying a children’s easel. First, you may wish to decide if you want a standing easel, a tabletop easel, or a wall-mounted easel. Standing easels may fold up, but they may also be flimsier and easier for a child to accidentally knock over. Even folded, they take up a fair amount of space, particularly if they have multiple sides for multiple children. Tabletop easels are smaller and more portable, but they do need a surface to sit on to be used at chest height. There is also the consideration of where to store them.
There are two types of wall-mounted easel for children. The first has a hanging system on which the board is mounted, so that a change in the vertical height of the mounting changes the height of the easel. This is not necessarily something you’d want to do often. The easel is essentially flush with the wall, which means that it is at an angle of 90º, and this may not be the best choice, depending on the media the child will use. Other considerations are the likelihood of art supplies getting on the wall itself, and the need for the artist to stand right near the wall in order to access the easel.
The other type of wall easel is on a movable arm, that allows it to be close to or away from the wall and moved to a variety of heights and angles. This something to consider when buying a children’s easel for a child with a disability. The adjustable wall-mounted easel on an arm is an ideal easel type for a child in a wheelchair, or who uses a walker or other adaptive device that would prevent closely approaching the wall.
You should also consider media when buying a children’s easel. Think about which types of art experiences you want the easel to be geared for:
- markers, crayons, or pastels
- dry erase board
- flannel board
This will help you determine what surface(s) to look for. It will also help you make decisions about ancillary items such as whether you need built-in storage for art supplies, a paint try with cutouts for paint cups, a ledge for chalk or markers, a paper roll attachment, etc.
When you are buying a children’s easel for multiple children, there are some other points to consider. It used to be that easels were one-sided or two-sided, and that was the extent of the choice. Now you can easily find three-sided and even four-sided easels. Another possibility to consider with multiple children is a larger board, such as one designed as a whiteboard or for flip charts that can be shared by multiple children.