Using an art easel can help young and budding artists accurately depict what they visualize, while also aiding in keeping paint strokes and spills contained in one place.
"Creating art teaches kids to use their imagination and ingenuity and create work uniquely on their own," says New York-based artist and teacher Charles Basman. He adds that parents can certainly help in this process by encouraging imagination through art projects that an easel would aid in.
Help foster creativity in your kid, no matter their age, with our picks for the best art easels for everyone from toddlers to teens. Many offer storage for art supplies or two sides for play with friends or siblings, while others fold up for easy storage outdoors or in the playroom.
We researched the best art easels for creative kids, considering the height, features, and storage options of each, so you can find the best option for your kid.
Delta Children MySize Kids Double-Sided Storage Easel
Four ways to play
Included storage space
Aesthetically pleasing design
This double-sided easel can be used a grand total of four ways: One side is a chalkboard, and the other is a magnetic, dry-erase board that also triples as a blank canvas for paint or crayons. It features a pull-down paper roll with 33 feet of white craft paper.
Underneath the easel is space for two bins (included) where your artist can store their crafting supplies when they’re finished. At 3.5 feet tall, it’s the perfect height for toddlers and younger elementary school kids.
Users love the stylish design and find that it does not look overly childish. Also, the paper roll is easy to replace for hours and hours of creative fun. The only downside as far as we can see is that once it doesn’t fold down, so once set up, prepare for it to be a fixture in your playroom.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 20.5 x 21.63 x 40.75 inches | Material: Wood, fabric | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
IKEA Mala Easel
One side of this affordable classic easel from IKEA is a chalkboard and the other is a whiteboard with a roll for sheets or art paper—just add in a paper roll for just three dollars more. Each side has a tray underneath for holding chalk or whiteboard pens with ease.
This particular easel is low to the ground so it would be suitable for young artists. When they begin to grow, pop it on top of a table for an art piece that grows with them for years to come.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 44 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Beka Deluxe Child's Easel
Paper roll not included
This sturdy easel is made of maple wood in Beka's Minnesota wood shop for a homemade rustic feel that is durable enough for the most intense little artists. The best part about this easel is that is completely customizable. Choose from a white marker board, green or black chalkboard, or washable magnet board for each side of the easel. The included storage boards can be wood, plastic, or both. For an extra cost, add a paper roll, chalk, or erasers for complete art kids that will make a perfect gift for a creative toddler.
Price at time of publish: $85
Dimensions: 24 x 47.5 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 2 years and up
Guidecraft Desk to Easel Art Cart
Lots of storage space
Two items in one
Difficult to assemble
Upgrade your child's art space with this two-in-one desk and easel set from Guidecraft. Made from durable wood with laminate surfaces and a child-safe UV finish, this dual-purpose art cart can be stood up as an easel with a chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other, so it's a great option for twins or siblings. Or, place both sides flat for a desk so that kids can continue to draw and paint or even do their homework after school. This option has ample storage space with four fabric bins, five paint cups, and a replaceable roll of art paper for hours of fun.
Price at time of publish: $200
Dimensions: 22.5 x 26 x 42 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
West Elm Ultimate Art Easel
Wheels on one side
Included plastic cups for art supplies
This deluxe art easel, crafted of solid pine wood, plywood, and MDF, has everything needed to inspire creativity in your pint-sized artist. The two-sided easel has a chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other, plus a dowel to hold craft paper. Parents will appreciate that there’s plenty of room for storage, including a handy shelf directly underneath the board, a soft shelf that is the perfect spot to let arts and crafts dry, and one at the bottom for extra supplies; it even comes with cups for storing brushes and paint. Lastly, it has two wheels on one side so you can store it out of the way when it’s not in use.
Price at time of publish: $229
Dimensions: 17.7 x 20 x 42.7 inches | Material: Wood, plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Best for Toddlers
Step2 All Around Easel for Two
Comes with magnet set
Difficult to snap pieces into place
The double-sided easel boasts a chalkboard on one side and a magnetic dry-erase board on the other. It comes with a 94-piece magnet set that includes brightly colored foam letters and symbols, which little ones will love arranging on the dry-erase board. The desk has ample storage including bins and a tabletop caddy for all their crayons, markers, paints, stickers, glue sticks, and more. There’s even a bonus space on the back that’s just the right size for coloring books.
Price at time of publish: $60
Dimensions: 20 x 22.2 x 41.5 inches | Material: Metal, plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Melissa & Doug Double-Sided Tabletop Easel
Compact and portable
Built-in paper holder
Comes with art supplies
Slips around easily
No space for a full easel? No worries. This tabletop version offers many of the same benefits yet can be neatly tucked away into a drawer or toy chest when your child is done creating—you can even tote it along on your next road trip. The double-sided easel has a dry-erase board on one side, and a chalkboard on the other, and holds a built-in wooden paper holder that holds a 12-inch paper roll up to 50 feet long (one is included). The easel also comes with 36 letter and number magnets, five colored chalk sticks, a dry-erase marker, and an eraser.
Price at time of publish: $45
Dimensions: 20.7 x 17.5 x 2.7 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Hape All-in-One Wooden Kid's Art Easel
Storage cups included
Wood is not finished so it may stain
At 43 inches tall, this natural wood easel is the real deal. One side is a chalkboard and the other is a whiteboard, and both can be transformed into a blank canvas using the included pull-down paper roll. The special clamps on each side hold the paper securely in place, while the three paint cups provide storage for markers, crayons, and more. The bottom shelf that holds the paint cups also provides ample space for other creative accessories that your child might reach for.
Another standout feature is that the height is adjustable so that this easel can grow with your little one, eliminating the need to replace it with a larger product down the line. Note that this easel does not fit the standard 18-inch paper roll. It requires a 15-inch roll, which can bit a bit harder to source.
Price at time of publish: $133
Dimensions: 27.6 x 4.7 x 20.1 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Crayola Creative Fun Double Easel
Includes art supples
Not as sturdy as other options
This easel from the first name in children’s art comes with everything they need to tap into their inner Basquiat, starting with a two-sided easel with a chalkboard on one side and magnetic dry-erase board on the other; both sides have paper clips and small trays to hold their supplies. Also included are 77 magnetic letters and numbers, four pieces of assorted color chalk, stickers, and three large magnetic spinning gears, and ten stickers. The plastic board can be easily wiped down and it folds so it can be stored in a closet when not in use.
Price at time of publish: $54
Dimensions: 23.9 x 20.7 x 42.4 inches | Material: Plastic | Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Childcraft Wall-Mounted Easel
Suitable for multiple children to play at once
Easy to assemble and hang
Cannot function as whiteboard
If you have multiple children, a wall-mounted easel that’s just over 4 feet long provides the surface you need for each little artist to have their own creative space. The all-birch panel with white melamine easel surface has four built-in clips and a lower ledge that holds a total of eight paint cups. (Unfortunately, it can’t be used as a whiteboard, though it is easy to clean any paint spills off of it). The easel doesn’t sit flush against the wall but rather comes out at an angle which makes it more accessible for little hands. It weighs 40 pounds and comes with mounting hardware.
Price at time of publish: $1,277
Dimensions: 48.88 x 10 x 27.38 inches | Material: Wood | Recommended Age: Not Listed
The best overall art easel for kids is the Delta Children Double-Sided Storage Easel, which has a chalkboard and dry erase board that doubles as an open canvas thanks to the pull-down paper roll. If you're able to spend a bit more, we recommend the Ultimate Art Easel, which is a stylish and durable option that has two wheels for easy mobility and two shelves for ample storage space.
What to Look for in Art Easels for Kids
Before you start looking at art easels for kids, take a few minutes to think about what easel activities they would like to do. Kids' art easels can come as simple as a frame that holds paper or as an all-out arts and activity center with just about every feature you can imagine.
One key feature is a paper roll: This lets paper be rolled out so kids can change what they're working on or start again. If there isn't a paper roll, you'll need to secure single sheets of paper with clips. Luckily, our Best Overall pick already comes with a paper roll, but you can easily buy one for an affordable price if your option doesn't supply a roll. Other major features in kids' art easels you'll want to consider would be a chalkboard and a dry-erase board.
There's also storage to think of—you'll want some space to store markers and paints while not in use. Some of the easels come with holders for art items, while others will require you to work out your own solution. The West Elm Ultimate Art Easel comes with ample storage to dry pieces and hold supplies, so it's always on hand.
It may be important to consider the type of art that the child is creating, New York-based artist and teacher Charles Basman says. "If it's to be used for painting, then I suggest a sturdy Julian easel, which can even be taken outside and folded when not used. There are also tabletop easels for smaller work. There are many French easels varying in price which can easily be stored away when not in use."
Are you looking for an art easel for a small toddler or a school-aged child? Art easels come in different heights, and height will be specified for each easel. There's usually an age range specified for each easel to help you choose what height is best. When in doubt, opt for an adjustable easel, like the Hape All-in-One Wooden Kid's Art Easel, which is great because it can grow with your child.
With kids' art easels, there are options that must sit out all the time and others that can be compactly stored away so they're only out while being used. If you have the space, you can place an art easel in the corner of a room and let it stay out, encouraging your child to use it. If you don't have the room, you can still have a great art easel—just look for one that folds up for easy storage, like the Crayola Creative Fun Double Easel.
What type of paper should you use with a kid's easel?
The last thing you want to do is run out of paper when your budding artist is feeling inspired. Many easels use paper rolls that you can find easily in stores and online. If your easel just holds flat sheets of paper, you'll want to look for an easel paper pad. Easel paper is usually made out of white bond paper, but you can also find them made out of newsprint.
How do you clean a kid's easel?
Kids' art easels can quickly become the centerpiece of a mess. Luckily, since they're made specifically for kids, most of them are made to be easily cleaned. For any plastic or wooden parts of the easel, use a wet cloth to wipe away any paint, chalk, and markers. If the easel has a chalkboard, you can clean that by using a cloth wet with water and a bit of vinegar. A whiteboard can be cleaned with warm soapy water or a window cleaner.
How do you hold paper in place on a kid's easel?
Many kids' easels will already have a clip or roller for the paper to be secured with, so use that if it's available. If yours doesn't, consider using heavy-duty clips to secure the paper. In a pinch, you can use masking or painter's tape, but you may find that this easily comes off the easel if too much pressure is put on the paper.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Julia Fields, an associate editor for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays. She's also covered similar topics in other roles, including toy reviews, product roundups, expert-focused articles, and more. For this article, she spent hours researching art easel for kids from popular brands considering the height, features, and storage options of each one.
Expert advice was provided by New York-based artist and teacher Charles Basman.