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How to repurpose a dining room table into an activity table for kids


Brian Patrick Flynn

Create a clever and crafty activity station from an old wooden dining table and mixing bowl.

A space for creativity.

We cut the legs off an old kitchen table, making it the perfect height for the kids. A hole was cut in the center of the table and fitted with a large metal bowl to hold art supplies and pencils. A new coat of paint was the last step. When deciding which table to use for this project, keep safety and spatial needs in mind. Round tables are ideal for children's use due to their lack of sharp edges. You don't want a table that's too wide, or the kids may end up sitting too far apart. Round wood tables 30" to 42" in diameter work best.

Step 1

Brian Patrick Flynn

Find a table and gather materials

To make an activity table, you will need:a wooden dining table; a handsaw; a bowl to mix a puzzle measuring tape; a marker; semi-gloss latex paint; a drill with a 1” bit; a rule; a 1” wood or metal screw; an orbital sander a mini handle and sleeve roller; a mini paint tray; spray paint; A rag or roll of kraft paper..

Step 2

Brian Patrick Flynn

Measure and mark legs

In order for the table to be at child height, the legs will need to be cut so that the top of the table is 18" above the floor. Use tape measure and a marker to measure and mark the legs to size.

Step 3

Brian Patrick Flynn

Cut the legs

Referring to marker marks, cut legs to size.

Stage 4

Brian Patrick Flynn

Getting the mixing bowl right

It is important to choose the right container for the center of the table. Get a bowl that has a small rim around the top edge. The rim will hold the container on the table, preventing it from falling through the hole. Use a tape measure to determine the depth of the lip.

Step 5

Brian Patrick Flynn

Determine bowl placement

Place the container in the center of the table, using a tape measure to make sure it is perfectly centered. Mark the center point of the table with a marker.

Step 6

Brian Patrick Flynn

Make a compass

While straight lines can easily be drawn along any object with a straight edge, circles require a compass. Create a compass from a small strip of cut wood or a ruler. Use a screw to temporarily secure the ruler to the surface at the center point of the table.

Step 7

Brian Patrick Flynn

Mark a circle

Place the pencil along the leading edge of a cut strip of wood or ruler, marking the exact diameter of the mixing bowl. Subtract the depth from the rim of the mixing bowl and trace that diameter directly onto the table.

Step 8

Brian Patrick Flynn

Use a jigsaw to cut out the hole

Place the saw blade in the drilled hole, then guide it directly along the marks made by drawing the compass.

Step 9

Brian Patrick Flynn

Fit Bowl in the hole

Ensure a proper fit by placing the mixing bowl inside the center cutout of the table.

Step 10

Brian Patrick Flynn

Prepare the table top

Remove the existing finish on the table and smooth any rough edges with an orbital sander.

Step 11

Brian Patrick Flynn

Set the table

Use a mini roller to apply semi-gloss paint to the table.

Step 12

Brian Patrick Flynn

Paint the legs

When the table is dry, use spray paint to update the legs. For a perfect finish, hold the can 8 inches from the surface, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled motion.

Step 13

Brian Patrick Flynn

Add the bowl and crayons.

When the paint is completely dry, place the mixing bowl on the cutout. Fill in with markers, crayons, and crafting materials.