The standard study advice is to do homework at a nice, roomy desk. But you’ve probably noticed, after sitting in a desk all day, sometimes kids just want to flop onto a cozy chair or comfy corner and do their work there!
Your first inclination may be to fight it, but many experts say it may not be worth the battle. As long as kids are physically comfortable and the space contains ample lighting and limited distractions, any place can serve as a great spot to get some work done.
Without a table to lean on, however, pen-and-paper work can be a little difficult. That’s why teachers often keep a box of clipboards in the classroom, and why a nice one is a great idea for home as well. Here’s a decorative idea to help your kid create a personalized clipboard that he’ll want to use every time there’s homework to do.
What You Need:
- Plain clipboard in your child’s favorite color—just make sure it has a solid metal clip on top
- 2 wide craft sticks (“tongue depressor” size)
- Craft glue
- 1 foam sheet in your child’s favorite color
- Stick-on foam letters and shapes
- Squeezable paint (make sure you get the kind that sticks to plastic)
What You Do:
- The goal is to help your child design a cool clipboard that he’ll take pride in using again and again, especially when it’s homework time and he’d rather flop on the floor than sit at a desk! To start, place two wide craft sticks horizontally across the top of the clip of your clipboard, and glue them down, like this:
- These strips make a solid backing for the next stage: personalized foam decoration. Have your child cut a rectangular piece of foam and glue it down on top of the craft sticks. The piece of foam should be big enough just to cover the craft sticks.
- Then have your child spell out his name using stick-on foam letters (available at craft stores). Note: if your child’s name runs too long for this, consider a shorter nickname…or try initials instead!
- Now have your child surround his name with shapes that represent his interests or favorite colors—a sports lover, for example, might use ball and bat shapes, while another kid might create flowers or stars!
- As a final touch, use the squeezable paint to add any decorative touches you like. If you’ve got a real paint-lover, you might also consider creating a border around any edge of the clipboard not covered by the paper.
- Give everything several hours to dry, and then enjoy it for the rest of the school year and beyond!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school history and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.