Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Build Your Own Child Size Work Tabe

When designing a space for children (classroom or home) it is important to offer a variety of work spaces and surfaces on which to work. I always incorporate
  • counters and tables to work on at a standing height
  • tables and chairs scaled to the child's size -- a chair size of 8" for toddlers, 10" for smaller preschoolers and 12" for taller preschoolers
  • mats for floor work -- fabric, bamboo, and vinyl in different sizes depending on the activity
  • low tables in a variety of heights and sizes

Here is a simple low table I made for our classroom. The table pictured is 24 inches square and 18 inches high. I have found that this is a great size for one or two preschoolers to work comfortably kneeling or sitting on the floor. It's actually quite simple to make. I made three in an afternoon!

For the table top I used a piece of scrap furniture grade plywood we had left in our barn. You could use any size scrap you may have available or purchase a piece of plywood at a home improvement center for under $10. You usually can find smaller pre-cut pieces of plywood at the end of the isle that has unfinished wood shelving and boards.

Tip: You can also purchase solid wood, pre-cut and shaped table tops in a variety of sizes (circle, oval, square, rectangle) at your home improvement center. The solid wood tops are a little more expensive $15-$30 but look beautiful when stained and finished.

I rounded the corners with a jig saw and sanded the top and edges with a finish sander. If you don't have a jig saw, you can just leave the corners square and sand them well.

The hardware for the legs and the legs themselves were purchased at a home improvement store. The leg hardware can be straight leg or angled leg and is under $2 per leg. The legs come in a variety of sizes, designs, and materials and cost between $2 and $10 each. All legs are fitted with a threaded end to fit into the leg hardware. I used an 18", colonial style, hardwood leg and angled leg hardware.

Just attach the hardware to the back of your table top and screw your leg into the hole.

I finished the table with a few light coats of polyurethane applied in a well ventilated area.
These tables are favorite work spaces for me as well as the children.


Making of a Montessori Mum said...

Now that is impressive! We ended up just buying a bigger one and cutting the legs of the chair and table by 10cm! But then again - its the first time I used a saw so prob best to start small. Next time maybe a table???

Anonymous said...

OH! I have been thinking I need to find a small used childrens table but those are usually not built well. I could probably do this! Thanks for the inspiration!