Easels

Children can paint on tables or even on the floor but many prefer to paint at an easel. These are sturdy wooden painting surfaces, often two-sided so that two children can paint at a time and are not to be confused with the traditional three-legged blackboard easel. They can be folded for easy storage, and the whole area of the paper is nearer to the children so that they are easier to use than tables and of course save precious table space. Most manufacturers produce these in almost identical form. It is only recently that they have been produced in a small size suitable for young children. Before that the size used for infant schools and taller children was sold mdisariminately for nursery use. Some groups remembered to put the paper lower for small children, a very few (after a lot of persuading) cut a good four inches off the legs of their easels. Others provided chairs for children to stand on. Perhaps it will shortly be possible to provide small children with a suitable size brush and easel and it will be interesting to see if this makes any difference to how they use paint.

It is still cheaper to make an easel than to buy one and very quick to do. They can be two-, three- or even four-sided. Other possibilities for painting are fixed boards fastened to walls and this might be more convenient in the home. Two horizontal battens can be fastened to the wall with masonry nails and the board can be screwed to these. Thus the damage to the wall is minimal, and the board stands out slightly to take a peg or bulldog clip at the top to hold the paper. It can be finished to match the wall, or as a contrast, or could be painted with blackboard paint to serve a dual purpose. If it is not desirable to have this visible at all times it could be fastened to the inside of a cupboard door instead of a wall. Troughs to hold paint pots can be bought or adapted from one of the many canister holders sold for domestic use. Tooth-mug rings also make good holders for paint pots but do not stop drips. A piece of batten across the bottom of the painting board would do this however and would also provide a suitable place to fix the ring-holders.