Aug 12, 2023
Creating kid-friendly workspaces at home August is back-to-school time. In preparation for the return to school schedules and homework demands, we asked Crickett Lapeyre, co-owner (with Jennifer
Creating kid-friendly workspaces at home
August is back-to-school time. In preparation for the return to school schedules and homework demands, we asked Crickett Lapeyre, co-owner (with Jennifer Atkins) of Peony, for advice on creating kid-friendly workspaces at home.
Lapeyre, who raised twins, suggests young children have access to several different zones for homework and artwork/crafts. Because adult supervision and support is important for grade school students, she recommends that homework be done at a kitchen table, kitchen island or dining table. A large flat surface provides room to spread out and a kitchen or dining room offers fewer distractions than a child’s bedroom.
Lapeyre recommends keeping supplies in nearby cubbies or baskets. That way kids know where to find everything and parents can have a hand in keeping things tidy. She suggests one for pens, paper and other homework materials, another for craft items such as yarn and paint, and a third for educational games. Young kids also benefit from a desk in their rooms for artwork, crafts and other creative activities. And a quiet reading nook in their room or in a playroom provides a spot where a child can read without interruptions. Lapeyre recommends outfitting a reading nook with a comfortable chair such as a beanbag chair, good lighting, and a bookshelf filled with favorite and assigned books.
Lapeyre suggests tailoring incentives to the goals and needs of the child and offers several clever ideas. A chalkboard or chart can be used for checking off finished assignments and books. A shelf or cubby with movies made from books is a fun way to reward a child after they’ve completed the book. Healthy treats and items such as surprise balls (a German tradition of balls made with streamers with little presents inside), which Peony sells, can be kept on hand for a job well-done.
“It really depends on the child,” said Lapeyre. “Everyone is so different.”
Tween and teen students need a designated homework spaces with a desk, a good chair, task lighting and fun storage containers such as clear plastic or acrylic boxes that you can see through.
“Anything you can see through is the way to go,” said Lapeyre, who notes that craft stores are a good source for inexpensive organizational items.
For teens who prefer sitting on their bed when doing homework, Lapeyre recommends furry throws, good back pillows, task lighting and soft athleisure wear and PJs to keep them comfy, cozy and focused. Getting kids and teens involved in the process of personalizing their study spaces will go a long way toward making them inviting as well.
“Outfit their spaces with stuff they like,” she said.
About the Expert
Crickett Lapeyre and Jennifer Atkins originally opened Peony for women and gifts, but found they wanted to add inventory for children. Today, the 9-year-old store includes children’s clothing and toys from France and the partners “are always on the search for cool stuff for kids.”
New Orleans Saints Ticket Giveaway
Win 6 tickets to the August 13 home game versus the Kansas City Chiefs
Become a New Orleans Magazine partner ...About the Expert