Children’s work spaces can have a significant effect on their focus, concentration and their engagement with homework. Every child will have different preferences and requirements for a study space, says Clair Strong

Encouraging your children to sit still and do their homework isn’t always easy. With toys, devices and TV providing an enticing distraction, keeping them focused can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. The best solution? A dedicated study space, just for them. Whether it’s at the kitchen table, tucked under the stairs, or in a corner of their bedroom – here’s how to create a space that succeeds.

A PERFECT LOCATION

Where you set up your study zone will depend on the age and nature of your child. A young child needing help with their sums or reading will benefit from working at the kitchen table with mum or dad. A teenager revising for their GCSEs, on the other hand, will probably prefer a quiet space that’s away from the bustle of family life. You don’t need to dedicate a whole room to studying; any corner of the home can become an inspiring and productive workspace. The important thing is to discuss ideas with your children and find out where they would like to study. Let them contribute to choosing the location, otherwise you could spend time and money creating something only to find they never use it.Garden Trading Hambledon Desk Ladder

HOME(WORK) COMFORTS

A sturdy work surface, quality task lighting and a comfortable, supportive chair are workspace essentials. If your child will be using a computer, make sure it’s set up correctly to protect their posture. Comfort can encourage focus and productivity, but it’s also extremely important for general health and well-being. For some children, comfort will be their own desk and chair. For others it might be the sofa and a lap tray. If your child likes the idea of a standing desk, they may also want one at home (consider an adjustable height desk in case they change their mind later). As with location, ask your child about their preferred study set-up; they may surprise you with their creative ideas.Go Modern Furniture, Nidi Luce Children’s Desk

ORGANISE

A tidy, organised space is distraction-free and productive. Invest in some colourful organisers to prevent homework from going missing and pens being left strewn across the kitchen table. With a place for all their supplies, your kids will never have an excuse to not do their homework. It also helps maintain your sanity if their study space is in a communal area. Desktop organisers are great for the essentials like pens, pencils and paper. For items that are used less frequently, consider a small storage unit or shelves above the desk.Load Dude Shelves

COLOUR PSYCHOLOGY

Colour psychology is a fascinating thing. Research has shown that colour has a profound impact on mood and productivity. For example, blue is considered a calming colour that inspires confidence and aids concentration while yellow is energising and positive. Use colour (sparingly) in your study space to help your child perform better. Use shades of blue, green and yellow mixed with neutrals like white and grey to create a calm but inspiring environment. Steer clear of intense bright colours like red, pink and purple as these can be too stimulating and therefore distracting.Talking Tables, Love Heart Neon Light

GET PERSONAL

Personalise your child’s study space and make it a more enticing place to be with wall art and decoration. To stay on theme (and on task), choose educational pieces like globes, fossils, star maps and natural history prints. If your child is working from the kitchen or dining room table, you could keep it simple with just a few framed prints for the wall. If a child has their own space, consider a blackboard or pin board so they can create their own wall art. This is especially useful for creative children and those who learn visually. Involve your children in decorating their study area. This will help them create a personal connection with the space and ensure they want to spend time in it.

Clair Strong Interior Design is a small, friendly, creative business based in Bath and London, providing services for residential and commercial clients. Visit: clairstrong.co.uk or contact: clair@clairstrong.co.uk

Featured image: Maps International, Glow in the Dark Children’s World Map