Children benefit from having their own special work station. Here we look at the best children's desks and teen desks on the market
Best children's desks for play
A play desk comes in really useful for preparing young children for nursery and school, where they will be encouraged to spend at least a few minutes of most days sitting down drawing, painting or doing something else creative.
Look for a play desk that is hard-wearing, wipeable and preferably comes with some storage. The desk shown above is available with a stool that can double up as a mini book case and beneath the desk itself there is a shelf for books and paper.
This desk should last your children until the end of infant school, so they can get used to doing small homework tasks on it.
Desks that will last from primary to uni
If you want a desk that will take your child from finger-painting to algebra, look for a timeless, simply designed adult-sized unit. Your children may need to use a high stool or a chair topped up with a cushion to use it initially, but they will soon grow into it.
This Puzzle Desk comes with a hole at the back for a cable, which will come in useful once they are ready for a computer. It also has useful shelves for storing notebooks and stationary.
Teen desks that can be hidden away
Even when space is really tight, you may be able to squeeze a drop down desk into your child's room or another space in your home. The desk area on the SoBuy, Folding Wooden Wall-Mounted drop-leaf desk shown above from Amazon, can be folded down against the wall when it's not in use.
Beds that double up as desks
Or, you could go with a bed that incorporates a desk area beneath it. These are available in mid-sleepers or high sleepers. The high-sleeper, as shown above, offers more head room, which means it will last your child longer, but the bed itself may be a little too high for younger children.
It can get dark under the bed area, so if you go down this route, make sure that you can position the bed close to a plug socket as a desk light will most likely be required.
More high-sleeper inspiration
This Kidsaw Pilot cabin bed from Amazon is neat too. The desk area doubles up as a bedside table and it incorporates a bookshelf.
You will also find some cabin beds where a desk can be tucked into the frame of the bed when not in use.
More mid-sleeper ideas
Consider a vintage school desk
If you want a really compact desk with hidden storage, scour your local furniture recycling centre, car-boot sale or vintage boutique for an original old school desk. eBay is packed with them too.
Look out for the wooden ones with the flip-top lid and the ink well built-in, complete with ancient graffiti scratched on every surface; these make great teen desks You can pick them up quite cheaply, they have a very small footprint and they look great. Plus, if you get a vintage piece, it should only go up in value.