A Children's Easel is the perfect answer to the ever growing class size and really the best surface too for your students to learn on. Regardless of the age group, students that work on a Children's Easel are more likely to become engaged and passionate about their work. The Children's Easel creates a larger atmosphere of learning and focused creativity. By standing up a child's work space is naturally bigger and in a classroom setting their spaces may even overlap which can encourage them to see one another's art work, and to inspire each other.
A Children's Easel is not new concept, they have been becoming ever more popular over the past 20 or so years. These Children's Easels and Creation Stations originated with the hope that children drawing and coloring on their Children's Easels would become more involved in the paintings and projects they were creating. The main reason being that creating art from a standing position allows your whole body to be involved in the process. For children with a lot of energy a children's easel is perfect. Not only does it allow them to paint more wildly, but the fact that their painting is right in front of their face helps them become less distracted. Contrast this to the level of distraction that can be found on an art table where a child is more prone to starring at and joking with their buddies next to them and across from them. Another reason behind introducing the Children's Easel is that a child can more easily step away from and return to a work in progress. An art teacher sensing that a child is stuck, can instruct them to move on to something completely different, intending for the child to return to their work at a later date. They will be able to step out of their potentially frustrating or stalled creative process, focusing their minds on something else, all the while looking at their art work from a different context, angle and distance. This process of stepping back from your work or even leaving it completely for a time causes artists to take their creativity and talent a step further.
Art educators have differing opinions regarding Childrens Easels as opposed to art tables in the classroom. Altogether they agree that the child getting the most out of their class and helping them to find their potential as artists is the most important thing. One element of concern regarding a Children's Easel vs. a large class art table is organization and class room structure. Some educators might think a class full of easels could be too chaotic and that the disorganization would cause kids to loose focus. However, the contrary is true. Children's Easels put out in an organized way, for example, putting them all in a circle, allows the teacher to walk all the way around the class instructing and encouraging one student at a time. It also allows for the students to take a look around at their classmates' work. Whether they are focused on a still life or not, this is a highly effective class structure for children's easels. There are many other ways to set up your classroom, rows, squares or even clusters. Not all Children's Easels are one sided. Some are double sided, some are even four sided making room for even more class room set up possibilities.
Another misconception about Children's Easels is that cleaning up after the class, folding up the easels and putting them away is too much work. If you are using Children's Easels that require being folded up and stored away everyday, try assigning the students their own children's easel for the year, giving them some responsibility for it in much the same way as there desks in the classroom, or like their textbook. Have an inspection in the beginning and at the end of the year and set up some penalties for mistreated easels.
When choosing your Children's Easel, make sure you look into all the different types. They are not all the same. Some fold up small and are very portable, some have wheels and are more mobile, and many Children's Easels can even accommodate several kids at once, including: Double Sided, Four Sided, and even Six Station Children's Easels. I'm sure you will find the perfect one to suit your needs.