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5 Safe Ways to Let Kids Draw on the Walls

It’s every parent’s nightmare: coming home to find your kids creating the next modern art masterpiece … on their bedroom wall. In permanent marker.

Erica Silverstein · 11 months ago

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If your kids love drawing on the wall — or you think they’re secretly waiting for the opportunity to try it — you can make a few quick purchases that will indulge their inner Picasso without sacrificing your interior design. Even better, bringing parent-sanctioned art to the walls frees up your floors and tabletops from collecting your child’s art supplies and burgeoning design school portfolio.

Here are five safe ways to let kids draw on the walls at home:

1. Chalkboard Paint

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Credit: American Crafts

“Shut up!” you are probably saying right now. “Chalkboard paint exists?” Yes, it does, my friend. You can buy a special black paint that when dry functions just like your elementary school blackboard. Paint directly on the wall, or buy a large piece of particle board to paint and affix to the wall, and your kids can write on the walls with no lasting marks. Plus, chalk is easier to erase than Sharpie, should your kids get extra-ambitious and take their creations outside the paint outlines.

2. Chalkboard Or Dry Erase Adhesive Vinyl

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Credit: Shengtang

If you’re digging the chalkboard paint idea but prefer something a little less permanent, consider adhesive vinyl. You can buy sheets of either chalkboard or dry erase board material that applies to your playroom or bedroom walls in a peel-and-stick manner. It supposedly can be removed with minimal wall damage (so says Amazon — your mileage may vary). Dry erase markers are brutal on regular walls, so stick with the chalkboard version unless you are absolutely certain your young Rembrandt knows how to color within the lines.

3. Water Doodle Mats

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Credit: Jasonwell Store

Let’s be honest — you can’t trust toddlers with art supplies. That’s why products labeled “mess-free” and “magic” are irresistible to parents. With a water doodle kit, little kids can use water-filled pens and stamps to create colorful images on a special mat … and nowhere else. Look for mats that come with suction cups to attach to a window or wall for a drawing-on-the-wall experience that will not end in (parental) tears.

Pro tip: The images fade after 10 minutes, so teach your tyke ahead of time that art is ephemeral and her beautiful alicornosaurus will not grace us with its beauty long enough for grandma and grandpa to come over to see it.

4. Coloring Posters

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Credit: Omy Store

Some children need to express their wildly imaginative design theories; others simply want to color in pretty pictures that better artists have drawn. If your child falls in the latter category — no shame, you hear? — you can find plenty of self-stick black-and-white coloring posters that affix to the wall for hours of standup coloring fun. Younger kids can scribble contentedly over castles and spaceships; older kids might enjoy prettifying city or world maps. Once the entire dreamscape is markered over, peel it off the wall and replace with a fresh poster.

5. Wall-Mounted Easels

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Credit: Hershii

For tight spaces, a wall-mounted easel can offer a wall-painting option without dominating your living area. This can work well in crowded bedrooms or in kitchen corners, so Junior can busy himself with mad crayoning while you whip up a batch of mac-n-cheese. The nicer easels can be surprisingly pricy, but there are more affordable versions made for kids. If you’re into DIY projects, a roll of butcher paper and a paper towel holder could be repurposed into a wall easel, as well.