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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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the key features to look for in a children's easel?
When selecting a children's easel, consider adjustability to accommodate your child's growth, a sturdy and stable design for safety, and ease of cleaning. Look for easels with a magnetic or chalkboard surface for versatility, and ensure it has storage options for art supplies. A double-sided easel can also be beneficial for simultaneous use or different mediums.
How do I choose the right size easel for my child?
Choose an easel that matches your child's height and can be adjusted as they grow. The easel should be low enough for your child to reach the top without standing on tiptoes but tall enough to prevent excessive bending. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children's furniture should be proportionate to their size to promote comfort and proper posture.
Are there any safety concerns I should be aware of when buying an easel for my child?
Safety is paramount when choosing a children's easel. Ensure the easel has rounded corners, is made from non-toxic materials, and has a solid base to prevent tipping. Check for certifications like the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) seal to ensure the product meets safety standards. Regularly inspect the easel for loose screws or splinters that could pose risks.
What materials are best for a children's easel that will be durable and long-lasting?
Wooden easels are often recommended for their durability and classic aesthetic, but high-quality plastic easels can also be sturdy and easier to clean. Look for easels made from solid wood like pine or maple, or heavy-duty plastics that can withstand frequent use. Avoid easels made from particleboard, which can be less durable and prone to damage.
Can a children's easel be both educational and fun?
Absolutely! Children's easels can be a fantastic educational tool, promoting fine motor skills, creativity, and cognitive development. Opt for an easel with a magnetic board for letter and number games, or one with a paper roll for continuous drawing and painting. The interactive nature of easels makes them a delightful way for children to learn while playing.