A childrens easel can be a wonderful art space for kids, especially as it allows young children to stand and use a full range of motion while they create.
However! You may want to shake things up a bit in order to keep the interest alive in an easel. If you leave an easel in one place with the same art materials all the time the children will start ignoring it (as Maia was doing with ours). Duh!
This makes complete sense to me now. But I really thought I was doing the right thing by provided a “dedicated art space” in the form of the easel set up with basic art materials.
I’m still all for dedicated art spaces, but I understand now that dedicated does not mean static. I’ve tried many new ideas (thanks for the recommendations!) and am happy to say that they work!
6 New Ways To Use Your Childrens Easel
#1. Try a new location.
Our Melissa and Doug childrens easel was standing in the living room for over a year. I’ve since set up the easel in the kitchen, Maia’s room, and the backyard. I haven’t tried the studio yet, but that’s up next.
#2. Collage at the easel.
Maia found her easel set up with collage materials (glue sticks and construction paper shapes) first thing in the morning and started gluing while still in her pajamas! Later, when art group kids came over, some of them continued with the collage making at the easel.
Here are lots of collage art ideas for kids.
#3. Paint with water
Set up the chalkboard side of the easel with a cup of water and a paintbrush for water painting. Maia loved this! She painted over the entire chalkboard surface, requested a cloth to dry it off, and then painted with water again.
#4. Create felt board scenes on the easel.
Attach a large piece of felt (or a felt board) to the easel with clips and provide a variety of felt shapes, animals, people, etc. to stick to the felt board.
Here are lots of DIY felt board ideas and scenes to try.
#5. Try a new art material on the easel.
I bought Maia a set of squeezable glitter glue because of her fascination with squeezing and with glitter.
Some other new materials you could try include ::
#6. Paint at the childrens easel!
Why didn’t I do this before?!! This is what easels are for, right? And Maia absolutely loved painting on it. She even surprised me by making deliberate shapes and naming them.
From left to right (above): a grandma with a baby, a person, a girl, and an eye (I?). She also made a painting that she said was a stream, and several that she called “a grandma with her babies sleeping in a nest.”
The paint cups and brushes pictured are part of a Melissa and Doug easel accessory set.
Maia really enjoyed painting with two colors simultaneously, mixing her colors directly on the paper.
And here, her paintings from the morning’s painting session (about 20 minutes total) on the drying wall.
So, as you can see, all I needed to do was shake things up a bit.
UPDATE :: We’ve had the same Melissa and Doug adjustable childrens easel for almost 10 years now and it’s still going strong! The kids continue to go through phases with it and I continue to change things up (sometimes) but it still gets regular use.
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