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What do/did you use as a work surface for smaller children? I just wondered what works(ed) for you.
I think I am going to buy a childs sized desk for Thea. I found one with great reviews that is reccomended for ages 3-8. I really don't have a good spot right now and it hasn't been an issue yet, but it will become more of a problem as we start doing more worksheets and art projects. Poor kid is always sitting on her knees at our table and her booster seat just doesn't let her move around enough - doesn't fit our table the way i would like.
I have done projects at our kitchen table most of the time. I have an old plastic table cloth that I put over it for art projects and the kids love it. I relax about the mess and they can create LOL My girls have a booster seat that they love though and can get in and out of on their own. we of course don't use the tray anymore and have taken off the arms now too. We also have a small kid table in the playroom they can sit at. It gets used more for play and snacks though than anything else.
We have a little tykes picnic table that we used with the boys, It works great for arts and crafts and lessons. My oldest son has out grown it so he does his school work and art at our dining table. My youngest son still uses the picnic table but sometimes sits with his older brother at the dining table. We have had that kids' table for over 10 years and it is still in good condition.
Sandra. Wife to Timothy and Homeschool mom to Michael and Matthew
Married for 14+ years to the love of my life. Currently TTCing.
Hehe, we use whatever surface we happen to be near
I don't have a specific place actually. I have these really huge white garbage bags that a friend of my mom gave us(they're like 6 feet long and a good 3 feet wide, lol). No clue where she got them, but I have enough to last us for years haha. So that's what I use to cover surfaces if we intend on being messy, which we do a lot. We're very hands on.
When doing seat work though the kids get to pick where they want to work, as long as they're actually working and not screwing around. I figure if they're comfy, they're more focused on the task at hand. I've had to move then a few times when they start fiddling around with things or talking to each other during a time when they shouldn't(only once or twice on that one). For the most part, we thrive on chaos though, it works for us.
I think for younger kids having some sort of special area is a really great idea. Especially if they've never really been in a school setting. That makes it into an adventure. Letting the child pick this space is a really great idea too. Gives them a sense of accomplishment and ownership of "their area". If money is an issue-hey we all have tight budgets lol-you can even find smaller furniture at garage sales and sometimes second hand stores sell it too. Or if you have stores like Big Lots in your area(it's a discount type store) they often have stuff like that pretty cheap-but durable. I highly recommend plastic, lol. At least for younger kids because you just never know when the crayon monster will come out and decide the white table needs to be blue, or the pink chair needs a smiley. And sometimes the crayon monster brings along his friends glue and paint. Plastic is much easier to clean, and a bit more durable. But my kids have always been a bit rough and tumble so, durable was a huge factor for us.
Leo is still kinda short to sit at the table and work without having to sit on his knees(actually Alyssia and Leo are almost the same size). He tends to work in the living room at the coffee table. He apparently doesn't mind sitting on his knees, or on his butt there. He also has a lapdesk thing(all of them do) for when they want to sit on the couch or the floor, or in a chair that has no table, etc.. Those things are awesome. Ours are just plastic but I've seen some that have like a cushy type bottom and a flat work surface too. My mom bought the kids theirs so I don't know where she got them. We've had them since Leo was a baby though.
My kids are really tall, but when they were 18 mos to 2 years, they used one of those little folding table/chairs sets from walmart. They come with cars or princesses or whatever you want on them. Now they each have their own regular student/computer desk like you'd find in a dorm room or something. When doing something messy, I usually just put them in the garage or outside with painter's plastic or craft paper under them (they sit on the floor).
The 2 older ones either work on the living room floor, couch, dining room table, or at their desks which are like the ones you would find in a regular classroom. The youngest one works at the table as well or at her little tykes desk. I do plan on getting rid of that desk soon, it is just too big and she is wanting a different one anyway, so that will all work out.
For the really messy stuff we either use the kitchen counter or the patio table outside. I'm still working on the best seating options for her for those spots though. For manipulatives and workbook stuff and computer games (she uses my laptop), she likes to sit in her beanbag chair at the coffee table. It works perfectly for us because it's just the right height, gives her plenty of support and she can get in and out herself. (that's a big deal for us) She also has a special booster seat that's like a larger version of those bumbo baby seats. We use that sometimes too.