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I have wanted to make a couple of homeschool tables for my children to use for school work. For a while we used the kitchen table, but it just is not the right height for young children. I decided to build them myself for two reasons: 1) Furniture made from 2 x 4 wood is incredibly sturdy, and 2) Designing the tables myself would put them at the perfect height for our crate seats. CLICK HERE to read more about how to make crate seats. This article describes the dimensions and the process I used to build my DIY Table for Kids.
I am an amateur builder. Please use appropriate safety precautions when using tools and the resulting furniture. You may use the plans for DIY Table for Kids described in this post for personal use and at your own risk.
The first thing I ever built was a wood couch based on plans I found on ana-white.com. The couch was incredibly sturdy, but not very comfortable. I recycled the wood from my 2×4 couch to make two DIY Tables for Kids. The L-shape below was made by placing two tables next to each other.
Materials for one DIY Table for Kids:
- 2 x 4 wood pieces. You should be able to fit the cuts for one table out of three 8 ft 2×4 boards.
- 2 x 4 panel piece for the table top. I used a 1/4 inch medium density fiberboard* from home depot (mine cost $7.42). Home depot also has other options of a similar size, such as a dry erase panel piece.
- 2 1/2 ” screws
I have a Ryobi corded drill and have been really happy with its performance and durability.
I have this Ryobi drill bit set. It has everything I needed for pre drilling holes and securing screws in my projects.
- 2 pieces of 2×4 cut to 45″ long
- 2 pieces of 2×4 cut to 2 ft long
- 4 leg pieces of 2×4 cut to 21″ long (If you want a different table height, adjust this measurement)
- an additional 1-2 pieces of 2×4 cut to 21″ long for middle supports
- First cut the pieces to the indicated lengths.
- Next screw the outside rectangular frame together using the two 45″ pieces and the two 2 ft pieces (See image below). Predrilling holes will help the screws go in smoothly and prevent the wood from splitting. I used 2 screws per side. The way to find the correct size to predrill is to hold the screw and drill bit up together. The correct size drill bit will match the inner diameter of the screw. It will be smaller than the threads around the screw. I also like to drill about 1/8-1/4 inch into the wood with a bit the same size as the head of the screw. This will allow the screw to sit inside the wood rather than stick out where it could scratch children. You do need to predrill both wood pieces being attached together. I drill the first wood piece, then align it with the attaching pieces and mark it by sticking an awl through the first hole. My husband can do this in one step by pre drilling while holding the two pieces together.
- Then I attached the middle support pieces. The middle support pieces may be difficult to squeeze into the rectangular frame. This can be due to slightly uneven cuts or uneven boards. The first table I made used 2 support pieces. I only used one in the second table as I was out of wood cuts. The single piece table (Table 2) has worked as well as the 2 support piece table (Table 1).
- Next, I attach the legs. I lined the top of the leg up with the top of the frame. I used 4 screws to attach each leg. This created a very sturdy leg.
- Last, place the table top on. I secured the table top by screwing the 4 corners into the wood frame.
I left my table as is. The wood frame could be painted before or after screwing the top onto the frame. The fiberboard I picked for my tabletop is pourous and so I do not allow my children to have food or water at the work table.
I love how the tables turned out. They were the perfect height for our crate seats. The children like completing their school work at the tables and even like to play there at other times during the day. I like the L-shape I made using 2 tables so I could work with multiple children at the same time. It is a good substitute for the U-shaped tables I loved as a special education teacher. I also use the tables as a place to cut out my sewing projects. The DIY Table for Kids has become a very functional and useful part of our home.
CLICK HERE to read about how to make DIY sturdy seats out of leftover 2×4 wood. These are stable enough and the perfect height for adults to use at the child-sized table described in this post.