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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Art Area - Adding an Easel

Can I let you into a little secret? We've had an art easel for awhile but I had been a bit too afraid to add it to our home so it was a strictly outside material! 😬😳For a long time, we used only for painting outside and then during the winter, it was packed in our shed. The kids can paint inside but only on small sheets of paper at the table. I just wasn't sure we were ready to add the potential mess that was larger scale painting to our home. 

Using an art easel in your Montessori home plus a few options to consider

But, when we rearranged our playroom, I added the easel to our indoor space. And, I completely underestimated my children and their ability to safely paint without making a giant mess. It honestly hasn't been a big issue, and has led to some fun art exploration in our home. But, the kids love painting outside so much that I know I will move it back once the nice weather returns. 

But, a couple tips that have made painting with an easel a bit easier have been:
  • keep the paint and water near the easel so it doesn't need to be moved around the room. 
  • keep a clip at the top of the easel so the paper it doesn't fall or flop around. 
  • try to place the easel in a spot where the flooring and things around it can be wiped down if necessary 
  • make sure the easel is set at a good height for your child, stretching or reaching can lead to painting accidents 
  • limit the amount of paint available to the amount of paint you want to clean up 
  • add clean up supplies nearby and get your child involved in the process 

Easel Options

We personally use an Ikea easel (option 5 below) in our house. My kids are pretty tiny so we cut the legs of the easel a bit to make it more toddler friendly. It's a great price and nicely constructed. Downsides are that we will have to get another as the kid's grow and the wood does get stained with paint. Also, the wood makes it difficult to leave uncovered in our yard when we bring it outside. But, there are tons of other options that you might consider if you want to add an easel. 

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I would look for something simple with adjustable legs as my first priority. Other nice to haves are a paper holder and somewhere to store supplies. I also kind of like the plastic option that could be more permanently left outside in all weather types. 

Using an art easel in your Montessori home plus a few options to consider

Do you have an easel? Which one do you use? 

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