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Which kids’ portable lap desk is best?

Kids would rather stretch out on the floor than use a table and chair. That’s not much of a problem for watching television, but not a good idea for doing homework, drawing, working with arts and crafts or playing with a tablet or laptop. A portable lap desk lets your kids take those activities to the floor, couch or bed.

Kids’ portable lap desks are made to be mobile, so most are light in weight and compact in size. If you want a  flexible, stackable one-piece writing table for classrooms and homeschools, the ECR4Kids Surf Portable Lap Desk is a great choice. The unique design integrates the desk and the seat and can be used virtually anywhere by kids age 6 and older. 

What to know before you buy a kids’ portable lap desk


The first step in choosing a portable lap desk for a kid is knowing what they will use it for. For example, if your child uses the desk with a laptop or tablet, you will want to look into lap desks with long legs to elevate the desk above the user’s lap when seated. This keeps pressure off the thighs and makes the lap desk more comfortable to use. 

If your child will be doing mostly arts and crafts, having storage space is important. Choose a kids’ portable lap desk with storage space configured for what you want to keep in it. For instance, tall, narrow items such as pencils and pens fit nicely into deep wells or pockets built into the sides. On the other hand, wide, thin items such as paper and file folders call for wide, shallow storage areas like desk drawers.


The work surface of any portable lap desk should be large enough to work on comfortably, with room at the top, bottom and along the sides to avoid feeling cramped or crowded. In addition, bigger lap desks need more storage space unless the legs fold into the desk itself.

What to look for in a quality kids’ portable lap desk


Whatever material it is made of, your kids’ portable lap desk needs to be sturdy, durable, lightweight and easy to clean. With kids, this almost always means heavy-duty plastic. Make sure the plastic is thick enough that the legs won’t break or buckle.


Basic portable lap desks have two different types of storage. Side pockets and cubby holes are great for keeping things handy for arts and crafts activities. Under-lid storage is usually made for larger items like notebooks and coloring books. This usually means the desktop will be on a hinge. Make sure the hardware is sturdy and operates smoothly. 


If your choice of kids’ portable lap desks has legs that are permanently fixed, the plastic needs to be heavy gauge to stand up to whatever weight is put on them, including your kid leaning on the desk. If the legs fold up for greater portability and storage in a small space, make sure they are firmly fastened to the desk, stow securely and operate smoothly and easily.

How much you can expect to spend on a kids’ portable lap desk

Inexpensive lap desks with few features cost $10-$20. Better lap desks for kids are $20-$30. From there up to about $50, you will find the best-made lap desks with the most features.

Kids’ portable lap desk FAQ

Does an older kid need a different type of lap desk than a younger one?

A. Older kids are likely to be spending more time on laptops and tablets. Therefore, they need a portable lap desk that has a larger, non-slip work surface. 

How do you clean a kids’ portable lap desk?

A. Most kids’ portable lap desks are easily cleaned with water, mild soap and a sponge or damp cloth.

What’s the best kids’ portable lap desk to buy?

Top kids’ portable lap desk 

ECR4Kids The Surf Portable Lap Desk

ECR4Kids Surf Portable Lap Desk

What you need to know: The 3-pound surf lap desk is a flexible, stackable one-piece writing table for classrooms and homeschools.

What you’ll love: This unique design integrates the desk and the seat and can be used virtually anywhere by kids age 6 and older. The clever shape uses the child’s body weight to support the desk. It is sturdily made of heavy gauge molded plastic with supportive under-ridges and smooth edges. It is GREENGUARD GOLD Certified and comes in your choice of a dozen colors.

What you should consider: This lap desk is more functional than comfortable, which is why they have a cushion available as a separate item.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top kids’ portable lap desk for the money

Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk

Mavo Craft Folding Lap Desk 

What you need to know: Folding legs and a flip-up desktop with a storage area beneath make this a great choice for taking everything along in a portable lap desk.

What you’ll love: This plastic lap desk is light in weight but still sturdy enough to use with a laptop. It fits adults as well as kids and is a good choice for a lap desk, craft table, beach table, writing desk, snack tray or gaming table. The storage tray has plenty of room and is secured with a strong closure that keeps what’s inside where it belongs.

What you should consider: The only color it comes in is black.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Basicwise Kids Lap Desk

Basicwise Kids Lap Desk

What you need to know: This portable lap desk is great for arts and crafts.

What you’ll love: The deep side pockets keep pencils, pens, crayons, markers, paper, scissors, tape and glue at hand on both sides of a generously sized 12-by-23-inch work surface. This lap desk is all one piece, including the molded legs that are very sturdy but do not fold for storage.

What you should consider: The plastic will not stand up to hard use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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