Not everyone is productive sitting at a desk or table. Kids, like adults, sometimes prefer to get work done on a couch or on the floor. And sometimes, like in a car, there’s no table to be found anyway. For all those times, lap desks or lap trays can be a huge improvement over just using, well… your lap. Basic trays can be great for home use, and give kids a spot for crafts and coloring as well as homework. But there are even more fancy versions for on-the-go, giving kids not only a lap desk but an activity center for travel and car rides. Lap desks can do more than give kids a hard writing surface — they can provide them with a spot for discovery and imagination. Here are some of our favorites.
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1. NNEWVANTE Multifunction Laptop Desk
Sturdy enough for kids and adults to use, this lightweight tray can be used for homework. Thanks to the legs, kids also don’t have to hunch over to use it, promoting good posture. When not in use, the legs fold down for easy storage. A handle also makes it easy for kids to carry around from room to room (and from activity to activity) as needed. Younger kids who have a hard time sitting still at a table may also like to use it to sit on the floor for homework.
2. Honey-Can-Do Portable Lap Desk
This classic lap desk gives kids even more mobility as they work if they want to sit cross-legged or lean back in a bed or on a couch. A cushion keeps it comfortable in their lap as they work, too. If you or your child is using it as a laptop desk, the cushion also has a cord holder to keep that ever-elusive charger from sliding away. A handle makes it easy to transport and store.
3. DMoose Kids Travel Activity Tray
Never hear “I’m bored” on trips again. This lap desk has a sturdy area for coloring and playing as well as a tablet stand for watching videos. Side pockets can store toys as well as art supplies. It can buckle to your child or carseat for stability, and is also great for carrying on to planes for in-flight entertainment. Covered in a soft mesh fabric, it’s waterproof and can be spot-cleaned easily as needed.
4. lebogner Kids Car Seat Activity Tray
Hang this lap desk from the back of the driver or passenger seat and you’ll create an on-the-go activity kit that you’ll never accidentally leave behind in the shuffle to get out the door. Unzipped, kids have a lap desk where they can color, read or watch movies on a tablet. Once you arrive at your destination, they can store their supplies and zip it shut. While you can leave the activity tray in the car, kids can also remove it and use the included shoulder strap for carrying. In addition to two mesh pockets, there are slots for markers and pens as well as an elastic band to hold papers flat on the desk.
5. Crayola Create ‘N Carry 75Piece Art Kit
This hard plastic lap tray comes stocked with markers, crayons, colored pencils and paper, and can store all those supplies and more when not in use. Great for taking crafts on the go, it’s also an easy way to create a self-contained arts and craft area in any room in the house. Kids can easily pack it up and store it when they’re done. When using it, they can use the desk’s holders to keep pencils and markers close at hand.