Hape All-in-One Wooden Kids’ Art Easel Review [Staff Tested]

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

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The Hape All-in-One Wooden Kids’ Art Easel was our top choice for a sustainable easel that can grow with budding artists. Here’s our review, based on our experience using this easel with our toddler.

Hape kids easel

Hape All-in-One Wooden Kids’ Art Easel with Paper Roll and Accessories [Staff tested]

Leaf Score

Highlights: Adjustable kids’ easel with blackboard, magnetic whiteboard, and paper roll, ideal for smaller toddlers up to big kids and adults! Made mostly from FSC certified wood and grows with your kid.

What we like

  • Affordable and well made
  • Mainly made of FSC certified wood
  • Starts at a low height ideal for smaller toddlers
  • Grows with your kid
  • Two-sided for multi-kid use
  • Comes with paint pots, tray, and paper roll
  • Easy to set up (if you follow the instructions!)

What could be better

  • The paper roll runs out fast (but there’s a workaround)
  • Has some plastic parts that can snap if misused
  • Small plastic pieces can be a choking hazard for younger babies

The Hape All-in-One Wooden Kids’ Art Easel is a fantastic choice for a more sustainable easel that can grow with your kid. It’s fully adjustable to accommodate the artistic leanings of younger toddlers and older kids (or even adults) and comes with three sealable paint pots and a tray as well as a refillable paper roll to kickstart creativity.

The easel is fairly lightweight, weighing 12.11 lb., but feels sturdy and durable. It is easy to put together and you can adjust the height to three settings, from 37.5 inches to 43.5 inches. Overall, the easel measures 18.9 inches long and 15.9 inches wide.

The easel has a blackboard on one side and a magnetic whiteboard on the other, with a paper roll attachment at the top. You can get additional paper rolls for around $10 (view on Amazon, also available through Hape and elsewhere). The paper roll can be held down at the bottom with screw-down clamps.

Sustainable and non-toxic kids’ easel

Hape won the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award for 2014 for this easel, and no surprise. It is made with solid wood sourced from sustainably managed forests, has a child-safe paint finish, is durable and adjustable and smartly designed.

Technically, this easel is meant for toddlers aged three and up, due to the small parts that hold the easel together. If you’re okay with supervising younger kids closely, though, the easel’s dimensions will work for tinier tots.

In fact, this is the main reason we went with the Hape Easel, given that our toddler is on the smaller side. Many similar easels don’t go so low, which would make it hard for tinier toddlers to comfortably use the easel even if they’re developmentally ready to do so.

Durable!

I’ve spotted the Hape Easel in several childcare settings, often quite banged up but still totally usable. This strongly suggests to me that it’s a good bet for durability and safety.

Our experience with the Hape All-in-One Kids Easel

When our toddler hit the ‘crayon everything in sight’ stage it was mid-winter and not very kid-friendly for outside chalk parties. Around this time, a parenting class taught us that toddlers much prefer crayoning on upright surfaces to flat ones.

With those two things in mind, we bought the Hape All-in-One Wooden Easel to facilitate our budding… Warhol, Pollock, Banksy?

The Hape Easel was super easy to assemble, requiring no additional tools and just a little supervision as my wife put it together without reading the instructions properly (!). Once adjusted, it felt stable and sturdy. So much so that our toddler immediately wanted to climb it (not recommended).

The Hape Easel doesn’t have a huge footprint and isn’t especially garish in its colors, meaning it is fairly discreet even in the main living space. That’s a good thing because this easel doesn’t fold down easily unlike some other kids’ easels. It is, however, small enough to easily move around or even lift with one hand, such as when vacuuming bits of broken crayon.

Downsides to the Hape All-in-One Kids Easel

The main downside to the Hape Easel is that the roll runs out really fast. It’s not a huge paper roll, so a few scribbles and tears can quickly mean you’re out of paper.

Our hack? Save plain (or not!) packing paper, flatten it, and use appropriately sized pieces one at a time under the easel’s plastic screw-in pins. No need to buy a replacement roll if you have a constant supply of paper you’d otherwise recycle!

Final thoughts on the Hape Easel

We love having the easel in our living room, for our kid and friends to use whenever the muse strikes. The two-sided design is great for multi-kid households, or for kids and caregivers to use together.

Finally, while I had some ‘the roll is almost out!’ anxiety at first, once we started using the recycled paper trick, we felt much happier about the potential waste and ongoing expense of this easel.

Hape kids easel

Hape All-in-One Wooden Kids’ Art Easel with Paper Roll and Accessories [Staff tested]

Leaf Score

Highlights: Adjustable kids’ easel with blackboard, magnetic whiteboard, and paper roll, ideal for smaller toddlers up to big kids and adults! Made mostly from FSC certified wood and grows with your kid.

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