Design the perfect workspace.
2020 has thrown us all for a loop – but while adults have more experience adjusting on the fly and being flexible with big life changes, for kids, this is really something new.
Help the little (and not so little) kids at your house land on their feet by setting up the ultimate at-home workspace for children. They’ll love it and you’ll love it, too. Imagine, no more backpacks, notebooks, craft supplies and clutter on the kitchen counter. And once distance learning becomes a thing of the past, you’ll still have a beautiful space for homework, craft projects and artistic endeavors.
Choosing the right space
The ideal location for a kids’ workspace will be different depending on the age of your children. Younger children work better in a shared space located closer to the core of the house, in a dedicated corner of the kitchen, dining room or family room. Left all alone they can tend to get distracted and keeping grown-ups close by means you’ll be there to provide help when need be.
For older kids, a spare bedroom works best but any quiet alcove in a low-traffic area will do. A loft or finished attic or basement are also great choices.
At a bare minimum, an effective workspace includes all the basics for getting work done.
- At least one outlet for plugging in their computer
- Adequate lighting, including task lighting to brightly illuminate their workspace
- Appropriately sized desk or table – for children Preschool through 2nd Grade, choose a desk that is no taller than 21-24” in height and features a durable surface that does not require the use of coasters
- A comfortable chair – avoid chairs with wheels for all kids younger than teenagers as wheeling around can be distracting*
* Note: Children with ADHD or who struggle to concentrate may benefit from sitting on an exercise ball, allowing them to gently rock and move.
Try to situate the desk or table near a window when you can. Natural daylight and fresh air help kids stay alert, energized and on task.
Other optional ideas include:
- A small wastebasket to encourage clean up after each project
- A big, easy-to-read wall clock to help kids stay on schedule
- For children who struggle to stay focused during distance learning or Zoom classes, consider giving them something to fidget with to keep their hands busy, like a stress ball or Play-Doh to squeeze
Easy storage ideas
Proper storage is a must for all ages to prevent the workspace from converting into a disaster zone. For little kids, sort all school and craft supplies like crayons, colored pencils and markers into individual tin cans for easy access.
A magazine organizer or two are perfect for storing school books, folders and notebooks.
For completed work that’s ready to be turned in, a tiered paper tray organizer can make older kids feel like they’ve got their very own home office. For little ones, decorate and label a “Do your best” box where they can drop in finished projects.
Get your kids involved in the design process to get them excited about studying from home. Do your best to include their ideas so they feel comfortable in their new space.