Back To School Gifts: Lap Desks

A dear friend of mine is pregnant with her third child, and I couldn’t be happier for her. That said, I remember how difficult it was to entertain LittleMan quietly when SunnyGirl was still a newborn. So, in lieu of being geographically close enough to take the kids off her hands a few hours here and there, I’ve made these lap desks for her children.  I believe similar lap desks would also make a good gift to give a child going on a summer road trip or even just a nice back to school present.

When giving gifts to a family with siblings, I like to be as “even stevens” as possible, however with her daughter in early elementary school and her son a preschooler, there were some slight differences between the lap desks.

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (1)
For both lap desks I started with a basic Sterilite storage container (6.2 quarts) with a locking lid and I velcroed a clipboard to the lid. Because the clipboard is held on by velcro, it can easily be removed and stored inside the container. The clipboards were plain when I bought them, I painted the top portion with chalkboard paint, separated it from the bottom with a strip of scrapbook paper, on bottom of both clipboards is an alphabet chart in cursive and a hundreds chart.

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (3)
If you remove the lids you can see I got a bit carried away filling the desks with activities. Both children have two folders of fun (slightly educational) worksheets, coloring pages, and activity books. I scoured the internet for these items and was able to find everything for free, I will link all of these free resources as I mention them. Both children also have 3 plastic soap boxes with little self-contained activities similar to toddler busy bags but more appropriate for their age range.  I included as well some basic school supplies and some small toys.

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (4)
Because these lap desks are being given as new big sibling gifts, I did include one baby themed item for each child: baby bottle i-spies.
For the girl I put small pink trinkets into a pink baby bottle, filled 3/4s of the way with rock salt, added pink glitter, and glued the lid on. For the boy I did the same with blue. I took pictures of the trinkets before adding them to the bottles and used a simple paint program to add text to the images. “Can you find….bead, butterfly, sword, etc..”

Besides the baby bottle i-spies, I tried to keep the desks mostly focused on the individual interests and developmental level of each child.
Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (5)
For the older one I included in her folders a Dr Who coloring and activity book, coloring pages of famous art (which I paper clipped together by artist and included a small note card with the very base information about the artist), dot-to-dot, kids Sudoku, mad libs, and a notebook which I taped a list of creative writing prompts inside of.
Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (6)
For the preschooler I also included a Dr Who coloring and activity book, alphabet coloring pages, and various Star Wars worksheets and activities from these two printable packs: from Homeschool Creations and from 3 Dinosaurs.

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (7)
In the girl’s 3 soap boxes I included:
– mini notebooks, memo pads, and a pencil sharpener to encourage writing
– a deck of cards and dice for playing various math games
– a set of classic tanagram puzzles (purchased from Dollar Tree and consisting of plain cardstock)
Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (8)
In the boy’s 3 soap boxes I included:
– a set of beginner tanagram puzzles (homemade from wooden blocks and laminated cardstock)
– a paint swatch color matching activity similar to one I had previously posted about
– a learn your name kit with the letters of the child’s name on lego blocks, beads, foam letters, cardstock letters, and nuts on a bolt

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (9)
Both children also have a pencil pouch packed with regular pencils, colored pencils, and a giant eraser.

Back to School gifts for soon to be big brother and sister (10)
And last but not least both children both have a paddle ball, techdeck skateboard, rubix cube, cup and ball, magnetic doodle pad, and a mini tin with a puzzle. Most all of these can be found at Party City, Dollar Tree, or the under $5 toy aisle at Walmart.

I’ll be mailing these lap desks out to the mom along with a TARDIS diaper cake later this week. With any luck the children will find them interesting enough to let the new baby (and their mom) take a nap or two.
In the mean time, LittleMan has shown such an interest in them that I’m considering making him his own to use during quiet time.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestby feather

3 Comments to Back To School Gifts: Lap Desks

  1. jolanthe says:

    What a great idea!! This would be so handy for little ones to have on their laps during circle time.

  2. What a fantastic sibling gift! Brilliant idea to velcro on the clipboard. I could see these being fabulous for road trips, too.

Leave a Reply to jolanthe Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *