Nearly every kid loves to draw. Give them a pen and paper and you will find them scribbling away. That is why an easel for the kids is a practical buy. Rather than having them draw on the wall, get them a place where you can let their creativity roam free. What we have highlighted below is one of the best kids’ easel that we have come across.
Hape Early Explorer All-in-1 Easel
What attracts us to the Hape Early Explorer All-in-1 Easel is its adjustable height. As your child grows taller, the easel too needs to be higher to accommodate her height. You can extend it from 37.5″ all the way up to 43.5″ high.
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The painting easel has two sides which kids can work on – a magnetic whiteboard on one side and a chalkboard on the other. It utilizes a paper roll which is easily replaceable when it runs out. There are special screws that clamp down on the paper, so no additional paper clips are necessary.
The kids’ art easel comes with 3 paint pots and a shelf for other supplies. Made of wood, the manufacturer’s recommended age for this item is 3 to 8 years old. Hape is an ec0-friendly toy manufacturer and its product lines include dollhouses and puzzles.
Should You Buy The Hape Easel?
Quite a few parents have commented online that this wooden easel is solid and sturdy. The fact that the height is adjustable is a big plus. It is also a chalkboard easel that naturally attracts kids to draw and scribble. The chalkboard works well which is not the case for some other brands while the whiteboard side is great for younger kids who are still playing with magnetic letters and numbers.
Changing the paper roll is simple and even your kid may be able to handle it on her own. The paper holder sits on a hole at one end and you just need to lift it up to insert a new roll when it is time to replenish.
The downside to this Hape paint easel is that you can’t fold it up. You will need to leave it in one corner once you have set it up as it is not foldable for storage when painting is done. Also, paint stains are difficult to remove from the plain wood surfaces of the easel. It is not a big deal as an easel is meant to be that way but if you are particular about cleanliness, you might like to cover them up to keep things neat.
If you do decide to buy the Hape Early Explorer Easel, remember to get extra paper rolls too as the one that comes with it is just a starter roll and will finish up pretty quickly.
Hape Early Explorer vs Kidkraft Deluxe Wood Easel
KidKraft may be famous for its wooden toys like play kitchens but for easels, the Hape Early Explorer still gets our pick. The KidKraft Deluxe Wood Easel is sturdy and the height is also adjustable. You can get it in espresso color (apart from white) which may be more appealing to some. An additional tray at the bottom gives more room for art supplies or space to dry out paintings. It can be folded up for storage convenience if you remove the tray at the bottom.
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However, the KidKraft Deluxe loses out to the Hape easel because it lacks a magnetic board. The chalkboard too has had complaints of it being too slippery. The price too is much more expensive and for a kids’ easel, we don’t think the high price is worth it when you can get a comparable model with a magnetic board for much less.
Hape Early Explorer vs Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel
Melissa & Doug is another popular brand for wooden toys. For a wooden art easel, you can also take a look at the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel with magnetic board. They also have a model that comes without a magnetic board and it is selling for about $15 cheaper at the time of review. While the Hape Early Explorer has a magnetic whiteboard, the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel has a magnetic chalkboard.
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The features of the two easels are more or less the same. The Deluxe also has 3 adjustable heights with a wooden frame. It has trays for art supplies and paper is fed through slats at the top and bottom to keep it in place.
The extra that comes with the Melissa & Doug easel is the 39 magnetic letters and numbers. You would not find this bundled together with the Hape easel. However, some parents prefer the magnetic strength to be a little stronger for the Deluxe. The letters and numbers too may not be sufficient for play as what is provided is only one of each. For example, you may not be able to spell out your kid’s name if hers has a repeat letter in it. While it is still better than none at all, the listed price is also higher for the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Easel compared to the Hape Early Explorer at the time of writing.
Table Top Easel For Kids
If you are looking for further alternatives, you can check out a table top easel for kids instead. It may not be the best kids’ easel but the Step2 Flip and Doodle Desk is a change from the usual standing easels because it has a flexibility to transform into a desk when the upright board is folded down. This will give a work space of 20″ wide and 13″ deep. But instead of wooden like the ones above, this Step2 easel desk is made of durable plastic just like its other toys like sandboxes and wagons.
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There are molded-in trays for color pencils and a cup holder. There are also areas for small and large bins at the bottom for storage of art supplies. The easel is a magnetic dry erase board with a paper clip to hold your kid’s art work in place. The desk comes with a matching stool.