I’m very inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophies, specifically the atelier. It’s a dedicated space where children can create art using open-ended materials and supplies.
While we still have a crawling baby that gets into everything, we decided to go for a portable atelier where the children can set up at our dining table to create. But it has been hard trying to find an easel that easily folds for storage!
Today I’d like to share our simple DIY art easel which cost us less than $8.00 per easel!
As I mentioned earlier, we have a portable art trolley set up near our dining table. It’s full of art supplies and tools ready for the children to access and create whenever they like.
While I’d absolutely love a permanent space, we are finding that really hard with Audrey who gets into everything. So the Raskog Trolley means we can put it away and wheel it out whenever the kids want to create. It allows them to have access all the time but also keeps things safe for a curious baby.
I had been searching high and low for a table top easel to add to our trolley. They ranged from about $40-$100 each and I wanted two so it was going to be quite an expense. I needed it to be able to fold down easily so that the kids could pop it back on their trolley when they were finished…but this greatly impacted my options!
So of course we decided to create our very own art easel and it cost us less than $8 so much more cost effective!
I had an A-Frame Chalkboard from Kmart (just $4.00 each) at home already and went and got another so we had two. By using wood glue, my husband was able to attach some cheap clipboards from the dollar shop to the front! It worked so perfectly because they were nice and light, easy to fold up and down but stood nicely on the table.
The kids both loved the new addition to their art trolley and have been creating all sorts of amazing artworks since we made them!
Working on a vertical surface has a tonne of benefits like strengthening the core and posture, developing spatial awareness and correct pencil grip. It allows our little learners to use big arm movements which really work those arm muscles.
Grab our favourite art supplies below!
- 36 colour Micador paint palette from Educational Experience
- 6 colour paint palettes from Educational Experience
- Powdered watercolour paints from Works at Play
- Non-spill water container from Riot Art and Craft
- FLISAT children’s table and stool from IKEA
Now I also know that the stock at Kmart here in Australia changes often, so I’d love for you to check out these amazing IKEA hacks by the clever Emma over at @play_at_home_mummy. She has used the new LUSTIGT Weaving Frame to create a tabletop perspex easel and three large RIBBA Photo Frames (perspex instead of glass) to create a gorgeous foldable outdoor easel. So clever!
If you’re looking for some simple ways to inject more play into your day, be sure to pop your name down on the Little Play Club waiting list! It’s my monthly membership for parents that want to create magical memories of playtime with their little learners!