Easels are so great for young children. And so worth the extra time it takes for set up and clean up. When young artists paint at an easel, not only are they exercising their creativity, they are also giving their shoulder and arm muscles a workout. These are the muscles that will give them support and stability when they start writing. Learning to make strokes with the paint brush also helps them learn to extend their wrists, something that is essential for the development of pencil grasp. So, developmentally speaking, painting at an easel is art with benefits.
On sunny days, we set up our easel outside. For one thing, it minimizes the mess. But, even more importantly, nature provides a perfect source for artistic inspiration. And there is nothing better than seeing my son's works of art drying on a clothesline in the breeze.
Our easel is a basic, inexpensive one from Ikea. Nothing fancy at all. It has stood up to use by many children, weathered the outdoor elements, and is light enough to move easily from place to place. You definitely don't have to break the bank on an easel. As long as it's sturdy, it'll work.
How do you use your easel?