Studies show that access to artistic activities not only encourages a child’s imagination and creativity, but it also helps them do better in school. What better way to encourage your budding artist than to purchase an easel for kids? Children love to draw and paint, and, unfortunately, may use your walls. An easel will help prevent paint destruction, while giving your child a fun outlet for their artistic creativity. Encouraging your child to express their imagination and nurture their talent by creating original masterpieces is a great way to build your child’s self-esteem. An art easel for kids is one of the best “toys” you can give your child.Easels for kids now come in a wide variety of styles and use different media. The most popular varieties are the classic paper or canvas, dry erase, and chalkboard. There is even an easel for kids that has an interactive, light-up paintbrush. To help you decide which easel for kids is right for your family, we’ve created a simple guide that breakdown the different types and styles of easels that are available.Easels for Paper & CanvasThe most common type of easel for kids is an easel that uses paper or canvas. These easels use either rolls or pads of paper or canvas, which clips to the top of the easel. The Rose Art Smart! easel has a roll of paper attached so your child can create art in a variety of sizes. You can also attach pads of Crayola Color Wonderpaper to most of these easels. Many of these have trays for art supplies; some even have cups for paint. You While many of these easels are made from plastic, some are made from the more traditional wood. With either material, the easel usually folds up for easy storage.Dry-Erase EaselsDry-erase easels have become a popular choice for many parents. With dry-erase easels, there is no need to purchase pads or rolls of paper. Parents also do not have to worry about paint getting everywhere. Non-toxic dry-erase markers are available in a variety of colors. Some of these easels also have clips to attach paper for drawing with crayons or paint. Crayola’s Magnetic Double Erase easel has a magnetic dry-erase board and a chalkboard, and includes magnetic numbers and letters for more creative fun.Chalkboard EaselsChalkboard easels are a little harder to find. There are a couple nice double easels that have a chalkboard on one side and a dry-erase board on the other side. Most of these are standing easels, rather than table-top models. A popular chalkboard easel is the Beck Children’s Wooden Pencil Art easel, which has a chalkboard on one side and a dry-erase board on the other.Table- or Lap-top EaselsParents with small children or who want to keep their children occupied on trips might want to consider table-top easels. These easels are smaller and more portable than larger easels and can easily fit on a child’s lap for hours of entertainment in the car. Easels designed specifically for travel usually have a carrying case to store the easel and art supplies. Table-top easels come in a variety of media, including paper and dry-erase. Most of the easels designed for very young children are table-top easels (check out the Vtech Paint and Learn Art Easel).Double EaselsIf you have more than one child, you may want to purchase a double easel. These standing easels have art stations on both sides, allowing two children to draw at the same time. Some of these easels, such as the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel, have two different surfaces to draw on, in this case chalkboard and dry-erase.Art Supplies & Easel AccessoriesNo matter which easel you choose for your child, you will want to make sure they have plenty of art supplies available. Some of the supplies you may need are refill rolls and pads of paper, crayons, paints, dry-erase markers and erasers, and chalk. An easy way to make sure you have enough supplies available is to buy a refill kit, such as the Melissa & Doug Easel Companion Set. This set contains all the markers, crayons, and paints you will need. You may also want to consider purchasing a long-sleeved art smock to help keep your child somewhat clean while drawing, and an art mat to cover your floors in case of spills. No-spill cups for paints are available to help prevent spills, but a floor mat is still a good idea.