Easy DIY play tables for the kids
Remember when you were a child.
There were no portable computer screens that you could carry about and watch whatever you want on them. We had simple toys and our imagination which was hours of fun. You can help your children experience that while not blowing out the budget.
Kids play tables are great activities for kids in early childhood as it teaches them different skills -
- Playing with others - They will have to work together and learn to share if they are playing on a table as there is limited space.
- Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination - scoop pour, building and stirring.
- Sensory acknowledgement - different sands have different textures. Dry sand is different to wet sand, and rocks or pebbles in the sand make it different again.
- Science and maths - How much sand will fit in this scoop, what happens if I pour this amount of water into the sand and so on.
Children need to be supervised at all times when playing with play tables due to the nature of the materials, especially with water play( the smallest amount of water can be dangerous). Make sure the ground is not a slippery surface when wet. The objects are not too small to play with, in case they decide to put them in their mouth.
Designing and building
You can do many play activities with a play table, including sand, water, sensory and light table designs. We have shown some below but using your imagination, you can build many more designs.
Basic table build
Grab a piece of paper and pens and draw out what you think the design will look like.
For a basic table build, you will need
4 or 6 slip tees – these are slid onto the PVC pipe for support under the container you use.
PVC pipe – Again, this will depend on how much support you will have under the container. Four for the top, four for the legs and two or three for the cross-bracing under the tub. We can also cut the pipe to the lengths you require.
I have listed some of the more popular kids tables below.
Kids activity table
A play table with a flat top is great for kids to organise their toys on, play shops, use as a craft table, play games on and use their building blocks.
Water play table
To build a kids water play table, it will be the same basic design as an activity table (3-way elbow connector fittings & PVC pipes), but with a shallow bucket or tray added. You can also add funnels to the top to pour water into with a nozzle on the end for a rain shower. Build these with pipes, crosses and tees as in the picture above.
Put some different objects in there to experiment to see if things sink or float. They can splash and have great fun and enjoy their water play activities.
Sand play table
You can use the same design for a sand table that you would for a water table so they can pour the sand just like the water. A little water, and they have mud. A range of sand safe for kids to play in will be available at hardware stores. I have even seen kids sand in different colours, making it that little bit more interesting
Sensory play table
With a DIY sensory table, a great idea is to build sensory bins with different ingredients, including
- Cotton balls
- Jelly beans
- Dry leaves
- Artificial grass
- Shredded paper
- Wooden blocks
- Wooden spoons
- Pots and lids
A light table can be fun for the kids to see what light will shine through and what will not.
To build the table the same as the others, with a clear lid on the container and a led portable light inside. Wrap a cloth over top to diffuse the light, so it doesn’t hurt their eyes. Use some balloons, coloured cups, some drawing paper with a picture and other things to let light through. For the light table, you can also look at our glow in the dark connectors which can be fun for the children.
Other variations on tables
For a 2 in one sand and water play table, just put half bins in instead of long ones or the other way to make the sand and water table is to put it in a large container and use smaller containers for the sand and water.
I have even seen small world play tables with roads, trains, animals, houses and trees.
There are no limits for ideas on play tables.
Come and have a look at our customers photos of their PVC projects for children.
Have fun, be safe and help your kids learn new things.
Rob & Louise