When I realized that my son loved to draw, I was wondering how I could foster this interest.

Don’t forget that as parents, we’re always set to give our kids the best. Right?

So, I did some research online and among my peer parents to decide whether to get him an art easel or an art desk.

Here’s what I found!

By Lilian.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Easels

Advantages of Easels

Easels Improve the Artist’s Posture

Unlike with art desks where toddlers have to lean or hunch forward over their piece of work, with the easel, when the drawing is propped up, it’s easy to remain in a good sitting position.

So, your toddler will work for longer periods and with no unnecessary tension.

Easels are Fantastic for Working Larger

When using an easel, unlike the art desk, you have space to move your arm, hands and shoulders without so much restraint.

The best thing about this is that you’re more likely to craft more expressive work!

Learners who mostly draw very small stuff are likely to draw larger stuff, with more expressive details while using an easel.

Easels Facilitate Standing-to-Draw

With an easel, your toddler has to stand as they draw.

Standing to draw more often than not creates work that is more energetic, and that is more lively.

Easels are a Safe Spot for Pieces of Art

Have you considered those accidental spills on your coffee or dining table?

Well, toddlers are not the most careful lot, so easels are just fantastic for them.

There’s no way they’ll place that soda, coffee or crumbs on the surface, so the art will be safe!

Disadvantages of Easels

Standing-to-Draw for Long Periods Can Be Physically Exhausting
Well, not many people like to stand for too long. Toddlers too!

When they stand for too long, kids – just like adults – get exhausted. This is a major disadvantage of easels for kids.

Painting on an Easel is Difficult

While painting on the easel, your little one must have a nearby table, work trolley or bench to place the paint and water on.

So, they’ll have to turn to access the paint frequently, which will likely interrupt the flow of work.

A wrong turn could also end up in spills of the paint and water.

Now that you’re set on getting an easel for your toddler, you’re probably wondering, what are some common types of easels? Read on!

Little Tikes Easel

I got my son one Little Tikes Easel when he was 3 and he loves it to date!

Three years later!

It comes with some special containers to place the art paraphernalia on the side.

What’s more, it can also be transformed to a table structure so that it’s like an art desk when he’s tired of standing!

I love watching him seated with his cousin on the two stools (they come with the easel) painting something!

Tabletop Easel

If you have a limited working space, this is the easel for you!

It’s small, foldable and portable design is lovely!

Most tabletop easels come with a storage box for your little one’s art supplies.

What’s more, I realized that these types of easels are quite affordable compared to other types!

Let’s now shift focus to art desks. What are some of their pros and cons?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Art Desks

Advantages of Art Desks

Painting on Art Desks is Less Messy

While working on an art desk, toddlers will enjoy greater control of their hands and fingers.

Because of this, the painting is likely to be less messy.

Art Desks Are Fantastic for Kids with Physical Limitations

Unlike easels which kids have to stand to draw, a child can choose to sit while using an art desk.

So, if you’re shopping for a kid who is differently-abled – for instance, they can’t stand without support – get them an art desk!

Art Desks Allow Easier Use of Thinner Paints

Thinner paints tend to drip off brushes in the painting process.

Lifting such brushes to paint on an easel is very difficult. The paint will most likely end up on the floor almost always.

However, with an art desk, it’s easier because the distance from the paint container to the drawing is quite short and not much lifting.

Disadvantages of Art Desks

Art Desks Enforce Poor Sitting Positions

When most toddlers use art desks, they often have to lean or hunch over their piece of work.

This causes tension on the neck and upper shoulders, which could cause headaches.

Art Desks Have a Higher Risk of Accidental Spills

Toddlers are not very careful with stuff, right?

Well, with the art desk, your little one will have to place the paint and water on the desk, just next to the piece of art.

Like every other parent knows, this is more often than not followed by accidental spills, right?

Photo by Vlada Karpovich.

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