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Great Toddler Drawing Toys: Etch a Sketch, Aqua Doodle, Doodle Pro, and Glo Station

Updated on August 23, 2011


Etch-a-Sketch is a favorite of my childhood, and I have found myself waiting in a Toys R Us line for a Black Friday deal on occasion, hoping to nab an inexpensive version, just so I could play with it, too!

Etch a Sketch is sturdy, seemingly indestructible, but I will warn you that it doesn't hold up to the Las Vegas sunshine in the rear dash of a closed car...but then, not much does hold up to such heat and glare. Still, for the money, Etch-a-Sketch is great fun. For the very young, it will be a bit of a challenge to bring much definition to a picture, as it is quite a feat for toddler hands to work together to guide the drawing ball. The moving of the wheels, the erasing of the picture by turning the Etch-a-Sketch upside down....these will be entertaining, but your older elementary aged children( and up) will have the most success with purposeful design.

Put one of these in the hands of an architect or artist, and you may be amused or astonished by the results!  Etch A Sketch Free Style is a newer version, with a roller ball to do the drawing.  Etch a Sketches are available in smaller sizes (great stocking stuffer gifts), and in a few character theme packages, as well.  Also, there are different colors available at times.

Aqua Doodle

As the title suggests, Aqua Doodle involves water, which might be of concern to a parent of toddlers.  However, the water is contained to the pen, which, when filled with water, is used to make designs on the mat.

There are different versions, including travel sized aqua doodle sets.  There are also large wall mats.  When the water, used to make the designs drawn on the mat, dries, the artwork disappears, and the mat is ready for a new drawing.  Great entertainment for toddlers, as well as for early elementary children.

Fisher-Price Pro Doodler With Four Stamps, Red
Fisher-Price Pro Doodler With Four Stamps, Red

Available in many different styles, and color combinations, through the years, a classic drawing toy for kids.


Fisher Price Doodle Pro

 Fisher Price Doodle Pro is particularly well suited to toddlers, as it is easy to simply draw with the attached pen.  The modern version of the old kid drawing pads with the waxy black under a cellophane type drawing surface is much more durable than those little entertainments of old.  Further, it's easy to erase and start again by simply moving the eraser bar across the screen by manipulating the knob at the bottom. 

Many Doodle Pro versions include some shape making pieces, much like rubber stamps, though not the travel versions.  This is a great toy for educational purposes, as it provides a place to practice numbers, letters, and shapes.  Further, it is easy for the youngster to take along on a road trip.

Glow Station by Crayola

Crayola Glow Station is a really neat drawing toy, and my 4 and 5 year olds enjoyed this last year.  The pen operates much like a flashlight, with batteries providing their power source.  The pen is used to draw on a white plastic background, leaving a glowing green picture.  The picture fades a bit slowly, lasting long enough to see the picture, but not so long that you can't draw again, and certainly, you can draw over your previous lines. 

This is fairly compact, with the pen storing in the back.  The unit is a little bigger in size than a 3 ring binder.  This was really a hit with these children, and even caught the attention of a couple of elementary aged siblings. 

One of the Most Unique Toddler Drawing Toys I've Seen

Crayola Beginnings Color Me A Song
Crayola Beginnings Color Me A Song

I've raised a FEW toddlers, and never seen such a toy...scribbling leads to music, the faster your toddler scribbles, the faster the song! What fun!


Many other drawing options....

 Of course, there are numerous other brands and types of drawing toys, those listed being some of the most popular and enduring.  There's great fun in using pens, paper, crayons, chalk, and paint, whether on an art pad or easel, and it's good to encourage your child's exploration and expression through use of these.  Featured at the side, and below, are just a few more possibilities.

Melissa and Doug products and toys are tremendously fun for toddlers, and for the early elementary school age group.  There are a wide range of Melissa and Doug products available, and the art supplies are age appropriate for your toddlers.  The easel, and a roll of paper, are the basis for a great art center in your home, perfect for inspiring your young artist to create pictures to his or her heart's content!  Make sure you pick up a smock, if you are going to have your toddler paint, unless you want self-portrait to take on a brand new meaning in your house!

Drawing With Electronic Toys for Toddlers

Don't miss one of the most exciting drawing applications for toddlers. My youngest kids have loved the art studio elements of various electronic handheld learning systems in recent years, and the newly released LeapPad Explorer includes an art studio application, which provides interactive coloring and drawing functions. The tablet toys for kids are fantastic for augmenting many skills, including the drawing and art interests so many toddlers find fascinating and fun.


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