Children love having their own sized furniture where they can easily play, eat, read, and draw. In most homes, kids are expected to operate in a world that is much too big for them. Imagine if the table and chairs where you wanted to sit were well over your head. These instructions will show you how to build a basic child sized table. The table top size and the height can be adapted for any sized child, and can even be changed as your child grows. In addition, you can choose to make or buy your own chairs.
While you can easily buy a table at almost any large store, making your own table is economical and allows you to personalize your child's environment. This is in line with the Montessori method, which encourages personally made, child sized childrens' furniture. This table takes no more than a few hours to complete and is relatively easy even for the beginner.
These instructions outline how I built this table and the dimensions I used for my 14 month old twins. I chose to make the table legs 13 inches tall based on the chairs they were using, but this could easily be changed. I have done some home repair projects, but this is the first piece of furniture I've built.
Things You Will Need
Wood - you can use many kinds of wood. Hardwood is the best, but pine works as well, it just dents easier.
1"x2" wood for the frame - 4 pieces to form a rectangle
2 pieces that are 20"
2 pieces that are 20"
1 piece that is 4 or so inches to reinforce the top
2"x3' wood for the legs - I originally tried using 1x2, but it was too wobbly.
4 pieces that are 13"
1"x12 inch for the top (you could change this if you want, but you should also change the frame) You can also use plywood.
Wood screws 1 1/2 " (optional 2 - 1 1/4 " screws)
Saw - I used a circular saw
Sander and paper
Finish - stain, polyurethane, paint, or whatever you choose
Cut all the wood to the correct lengths
Build the frame - Put the 4 pieces of wood for the frame into a rectangle. Drill holes and put 1 wood screw in each corner. This frame will not be completely secure until you finish putting together the table.
Put on the top - Attach the top of the table to the frame. Put the frame on the part of the wood you want to be the top and draw an outline so you know where to put the screws. Drill holes and put in 4 screws. Put the small piece of 1" x 2" in the middle and screw it in (I used 1 1/4 " screws so I was sure they wouldn't go through). You can do this step and the next in either order.
Attach the legs - Put the legs on the inside of frame. I put in 3 screws (2 in one side and 1 in the other side). This may have been overkill, but my kids are currently climbing and jumping on furniture.
Sand the Table - This can be done as you assemble the pieces
or after it is done. Make sure you round
the corners, soften the edges, make the legs level, and make the top even.
Finish the table - You can finish the table in many ways
using stains, oils, polyurethanes, paints, etc.
Follow the directions on the finish you choose to use. You may choose the keep your piece natural, or to add a creative design to the top.