Should Kids Have Their Own Desk? Flexible and Alternative Seating For Children

Family life is always busy. From sporting and activity drop-offs, party invites, and a wealth of other activities so that sometimes squeezing in important school work can seem like a mountain to climb for kids and their parents.

Having a quiet place to reflect, work and study are crucial to children’s development. However, during the recent pandemic situations, homes have become more hectic than ever. So many responsible parents might be asking ‘should kids have their own desk?’ In our helpful article, we will look at some of the best reasons for your child to have their own desk or even a foldable lap desk for flexible seating.

Let’s first start with the mini takeaway before we delve into more details on this topic at the heart of many families.

Children who have their own desks, coupled with a quiet learning space, have shown greater concentration and improved grades. Flexible seating is a preferred option to prevent children from sitting in the same position for prolonged periods. Children with ADHD also respond well to flexible seating. Ok, so now with the brief answer in mind, let’s start by looking at some of the reasons, your child might be more productive with their own desk

Reasons why your child needs their own desk The world of education is continually looking at ways in which children are better able to meet their educational goals. However, it could be said that often schools and even parents with their children’s best interest at heart put greater emphasis on the curriculum and often ignore their physical environment. Recent academic research has shown that in order to reach their fullest potential children should ‘include quiet, secluded spaces’.

In other studies, it’s also been documented that the home environment is very important for cognitive abilities and for children's educational improvement. So this home environment means a quiet place, and a traditional desk of their own, or preferably a lap desk is crucial for your child’s development. This home environment means a quiet, ​​personal and comfortable place, which best appears in a traditional desk of their own. Or perhaps a lap desk which gives the child the same benefits as a traditional desk, but with flexibility. The basic principle of a comfortable and personalized learning environment is crucial for your child’s development.

“Recent academic research has shown that in order to reach their fullest potential children should include quiet, secluded spaces”. Covid and children’s education During the Covid-19, families have had a difficult time all trying to live and work in the same space. Crowded, messy, and static environments all contribute negatively to children’s concentration and development. Parents are overstretched trying to hit work deadlines whilst also making sure their kids have a quiet, uninterrupted spot to work on their assignments. However, the reality is that according to Andria Zafirakou, an associate deputy head of a school in north London and the former winner of the Global Teacher Prize recounted how some pupils were “learning on the stairs” or completing homework in empty bathtubs because they had nowhere else to sit. So many of us may think that a desk with a chair may be the answer to give children a stable environment for learning, but on those grounds, is that the answer? “Some pupils were “learning on the stairs” or completing homework in empty bathtubs because they had nowhere else to sit.” Read on to discover more.

Why do children need flexible or alternative seating? With the advent of out-of-classroom environments for children such as the Forest Schools concept, originating in Scandinavia, there is some pretty good evidence to suggest that a more flexible approach to teaching environments can increase concentration and deliver better outcomes for children. A recent study from Loughborough University in the U.K. uncovered that the Forest School gives children a “positive mindset towards school”. According to experts at Oxford Learning, it seems that many children have trouble paying attention in class at some point in their academic careers. This extends to all children, not just those with known attention disorders such as ADHD. As children are simply programmed to take in information anywhere, a solution might be an environmental change.

Portable and floor desks One way could be to avoid traditional methods of educational seating such as a static desk and chair but offering portable and floor desks. With current research showing a 16% increase in the achievements of students, contributed to the physical environment, this supports the view that kids should indeed have their own quality desks. So we’ve seen that children without disorders that limit their attention may benefit from a more flexible seating environment, but would it also help those with ADHD?

Let’s find out. How does alternative seating help with ADHD? According to a 2016 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.1 million children in the United States (9.4 percent) between ages 2 to 17 are estimated to have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD). Alternative and flexible seating for children It appears that by offering children who suffer from this attention disorder that by offering alternative seating that promotes choice, such as folding desks, or lap desks, there is a significant improvement of ‘time on task’. According to a recent study from The Iranian Journal of Child Neurology, Significant increases in in-seat behaviors in 86.7% (thirteen out of 15) of the students and on-task behaviors in 53.3% of the students. The results also showed a significant decrease in stereotyped movement and an increase in the communication and social skills of these students. The teachers also preferred the use of the alternative seats for their students. So can sitting for prolonged periods of time in traditional desk and chair setups in a school or static seating environment actually harm your child?

Can sitting too long in a chair actually harm your child? Children who sit too much may face adult-size health consequences, according to a new study of healthy young girls. The study found that after a single session of prolonged inactivity, the children developed changes in their blood flow and arteries that, in grown-ups, would signal the start of serious cardiovascular problems.

Here’s how flexible seating helps children According to education experts, Edutopia breaking up traditional teaching desk patterns can:

  • Fosters collaboration

  • Empowers kids to think about how they work best.

  • Encourages engagement

  • Improves grades

  • Promotes invigorating conversations

So for those parents wondering should kids have their own desk, it appears that by offering a less traditional static type and by providing a quiet area to learn, children are on course for better learning outcomes and reduce the risk of future illnesses related to sitting too much on chairs.

And finally… We hope our helpful article has given you the definitive answer once and for all that science supports the use of one desk per child, and that children learn better with their own desk. A desk is a crucial part of the learning environment, but it lacks a choice: where, which position, and how the student chooses to learn. The versatile desks we offer strikes all the necessary points for child development in learning.

To help children increase concentration and deliver better physical, and mental learning outcomes, our experts here at DidiDesk, have developed the best portable, versatile desk that allows learning in a variety of positions such as on the floor, on a chair, or while standing. For those parents looking to encourage concentration, and provide a more flexible home learning environment, discover more here