10 May 2006

Frugal portable 'lap desk'

Ellen came up with a clever hack for her artistic kids:

My kids like to draw everywhere -- sitting on the couch, on the drive into school, waiting in the doctor's office.  Rather than spending a pile of money on a real 'lapdesk' gizmo or another flimsy clipboard (the overpriced Dora one broke on the second use), I use a smallish plastic cutting board from IKEA with a butterfly clip or some tape to hold the current masterpiece on.  If I get organized, I'm going to use duct tape to create a pencil holder on the edge of the desk.  The board's cutout handle makes it easy to carry, they come in several sizes for different sized laps, and it's a cinch to wipe it down if it gets mucky.  The same surface can be used as a worksurface for playdough too.

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How about a real clipboard? The clip wouldn't come off to get lost and it's big enough for a full piece of paper.

Real clipboards tend not to react well to water.

Being washable is a key feature of the plastic cutting board.

I also like the lower profile of a butterfly clip as compared to most clipboards

Great idea!

We have also used small baking sheets from the dollar store. I glued felt on the back for traction on laps and to use as a felt board.

A great size, the edges keep pencils from rolling away in the car and you can take along some magnets to play with as well.

This is a fantastic idea. Thanks!

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