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Activity and strategy

DIY Toddler-Size Lap Desk

Learn how to make your own toddler-size lap desk to support an iPad, light box, book or other toys and materials!

I made a toddler-sized lap desk to hold up our slant board in about 20 minutes today. I only spent one dollar on the supplies because I had the duct tape, saw, noodle, shelf liner, and hot glue already at home. So all I had to buy was the basket! FYI the noodle, tape, glue, and shelf liner are all available at the dollar store as well.

The noodle isn’t really necessary but it does raise it about 3/4” more and makes it a little less slippery on our couch.

I’m going to eventually make a different one, but this was needed TODAY and it was the fastest way I could think to get it done. I wish it were black, but this was the best I could do for now.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s how I did it:

1.  Start with a shallow plastic basket, which you can buy for just $1!

Shallow plastic basket


2.  Cut out one side with a small saw or knife. (I trimmed the edge cleaner with sturdy scissors after I cut.)  

Plastic basket with one side cut out

I have a small hacksaw that I got for $6 at Home Depot and I use it constantly.

Small hacksaw


3.  Toss the part that you cut out of the side.

Plastic side piece that can be thrown away.


4.  Wrap the edge in duct tape to get rid of any sharp or uneven bits.

Wrap the edge in duct tape.

5.  Cut a swim noodle to the length of the side of the basket and then open it lengthwise.

Swim noodle on edge of plastic basket

6.  Hot glue on a piece of shelf liner.  I rolled up another piece, so that it would prop up on her slant board more.

Hot glue on a piece of shelf liner.


The slant board is a three-ring binder with shelf liner glued on, then painted black. If you had black shelf liner you could likely skip the painting step. I got the binder at a thrift shop for $1 or so, which is much better than paying $5-10 for a new one.
Collage of make your own toddler-sized lap desk
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