I have a tiny little shelf in the corner of my room that has a mish-mash of items. Work (in cute binders, duh), crayons, coloring books, iPad, notes, books, yarn and pom pom makers (more on that later). When the kids come into my room they know where they can find the things they can play with, and they'll just hang out in the corner while I do whatever I'm doing (typically folding laundry, checking email, working).
It's their little space, in my little space. And I love that.