The 10 Best Kids Art Tables
This wiki has been updated 31 times since it was first published in February of 2015. If you want to encourage your children's artistic sensibilities and stimulate the creative parts of their brains, you ought to get them one of these art tables for kids. They feature work surfaces that can be used for a wide variety of crafts and projects, and most even provide space to store supplies, too, hopefully motivating little ones to keep their play areas clean. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 08, 2020:
Whether your little one loves painting, sketching, coloring in with crayons, drawing with chalk, or using any artistic medium to create their perfect masterpiece, a dedicated area in which they can express themselves is always a good start.
While updating our recommendations, we swapped out the Step2 Flip and Doodle for the Step2 Great Creations Center, which we felt offered a wider variety of things to keep little ones entertained. This new addition is ideal for households that have multiple kids, as there are three stations at which youngsters can work side by side. It's well-suited to young children, ranging from three to roughly six years old, as the molded-in bench would be a bit of a squeeze for more grown-up kids. Please note that this unit can be quite a challenge to assemble, so if you're buying it as a gift it may be a good idea to put it together before the big day. We chose to retain two more selections from the same company, the Step2 Deluxe Master and the Step2 Creative Projects, as their plastic construction is both sturdy and relatively straightforward to clean. They also offer bright, gender-neutral color themes that might be more attractive to little ones than plain furniture.
We removed the Guidecraft Deluxe Center due to availability concerns and in turn added the Martha Stewart G76809, which has many similar features; a large work surface, side storage shelves, six fabric baskets, and two stools that tuck under the table. This durable selection has a robust wooden frame with rounded edges and an easy-to-clean finish. It caught our eye due to its white simplistic style, which would be ideal for those looking for a sophisticated art station.
February 28, 2019:
Motivating a child's creativity is part of being a good parent, and these art tables will show your little one that you support their artistic expression. Items like the Alex Toys Studio Super, KidKraft 26954, Hape Early Explorer, Guidecraft Deluxe Center, and Alex Toys Studio are great because they feature built-in paper roll holders, so your child can just pull out a new sheet when they want to get to work on their next masterpiece. Most even come with the first roll to get you started.
If you have a toddler, or even a slightly older kid who tends to be a little clumsy, the Step2 Flip and Doodle, Step2 Deluxe Master, and Step2 Creative Projects are worth taking a look at since all of their corners are rounded to prevent accidental injury. On the topic of child safety, we recommend that you always handle the folding and unfolding of the Top Bright 2 in 1 to prevent the chances of kids pinching their fingers. It is also important that your child never try and climb the shelves of the Guidecraft Deluxe Center. While the chances of it tipping are minimal, they could fall off and potentially get hurt.
We made sure our choices come in a range of sizes and with varying levels of additional storage, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding one that fits your needs. If you pair one of these with a great art set, you may wind up inspiring the next Picasso.
Why It’s Important To Encourage The Arts In Kids
Perhaps even more important is that art can have deeply therapeutic effects on people of all ages, including kids.
Our kids today have a million entertainment options at their fingertips. Everything from cartoons and movies to video games and internet dalliances compete on a daily basis for the precious advertising space that is their waking hours. If you’re a stressed out parent working 50 hours a week to make ends meet, these distractions can be lifesavers. The only problem is that they may be doing a significant amount of damage to a precious human commodity: imagination.
This is no new trend, either. By way of example, let’s look at modern movies. There are several reasons today’s film studios rely so heavily on reboots, sequels, and previously proven intellectual properties, but one of the biggest is risk. Studios have been burned in the past by so-called original scripts that had all the hype and star power in the world, but couldn’t translate to the screen. While a handful of factors can account for this problem, one of the biggest issues is a deficit of imagination, both on the page, and in the films’ production. And that’s from writers and filmmakers who were kids before the internet was The Internet.
Encouraging your children to put down their electronic everything and pick up a pencil or a paint brush can pay big dividends down the line, and not just if they want to be writers or artists. The fact is that creativity and problem solving skill are deeply intertwined, and if you’re short on the former, you’re definitely going to struggle with the latter.
Perhaps even more important is that art can have deeply therapeutic effects on people of all ages, including kids. And with the high number of children being treated for things like ADHD and anxiety, the opportunity to express themselves artistically may be just what the doctor ordered.
How To Choose The Perfect Art Table For Your Kid
As you look over the excellent options we’ve included on our list, you’re liable to notice that there are a few features that recur in a lot of kids’ art tables. In order to find the model that’s best suited to your child or children, it’s important to focus on how these similar pieces perform, and on the other features that make each table different.
Kids’ art tables have a dozen different ways to store everything from crayons to paint supplies, and knowing what kind of art your kid likes best can guide you here.
For example, a lot of kids’ art tables feature a paper roll. If your child has a tendency to draw all over the place (read: the walls and floor), then this accessory is a must. It will allow them to continuously feed themselves new, fresh paper from a long roll that’s stored either at the table’s side, or beneath it. The ease with which this roll can feed new paper can mean the difference between your child spending hours of relatively unsupervised fun, and your having to go over and move the roll along every ten minutes.
Another big feature to look out for is storage. Kids’ art tables have a dozen different ways to store everything from crayons to paint supplies, and knowing what kind of art your kid likes best can guide you here. If you know your little one prefers doodling with magic markers and little else, then a unit with fewer or smaller storage spaces may suffice. If, on the other hand, they like to utilize every medium under the sun in the creation of their masterworks, you’re going to need all the storage you can get.
A few other nice features that some kids’ art tables offer are seats that match the units so you don’t have to buy an additional chair for the space, integrated lights to help your children see their work at any hour, and attractive designs that can get your tots excited about spending time at their shiny new table. These are less likely be deal breakers, but they might tip the scales between two viable options.
Ways To Bring Out The Artist In Your Child
If you were forced to take piano lessons as a kid — or you had any other pleasant hobby forced upon you by your parents — you know how much the experience can take the joy out of the art, at least for a good long while. By the same token, it’s important that you not try to force your kids to discover their artistic sides.
Your children might also become writers someday, though this is a less interactive, tactile experience at first.
Fortunately, children are reliably two things: impressionable and curious. Young children begin to imitate their parents at a relatively early age, so all you may have to do to get them drawing and painting is let them see you doing the same. Kids who are more curious, but who are either too young or too old to play the imitation game, actually require even less work. All you have to do is set the thing up, and they’ll eventually investigate it.
The latter way is among the most rewarding, as you can designate an area of your home, ideally in a playroom style setting, for creative expression. This is the best place to set up your kid’s art table. It’s also a great place to introduce other tools for expression, as your child may prove to be less the Van Gogh and more the Van Halen.
Try outfitting the space with a kid-sized guitar. The instrument can be intimidating, but the models intended for children fit much more readily in their small hands, and starting them off early on a musical journey is sure to improve their lives. You might be tempted to get them a kids’ drum set, but, unlike the guitar, this instrument can’t be played through headphones. If you value your sanity, stick to the guitar.
Your children might also become writers someday, though this is a less interactive, tactile experience at first. The best thing you can do to keep their minds open to a literary life is to keep the lion’s share of their favorite books in the playspace with your art table and instruments. That way, they’ll associate expressiveness and reading, and they might even begin to take a tome or two off the shelves and read a little on their own.