Go ahead, think like a kid again
With activity tables it's hard not to get starry-eyed looking over all the fun to be had these days. You'll want to be a kid again at the classroom table, and that's a good sign. Go ahead. Even adults are drawn to play tables that offer the most opportunities for creativity and imagination. So use your instincts and think like a kid as we take you on a table tour.
The shape of fun to come
The first thing you'll notice is that activity tables come in endless shapes. Round classroom tables foster interactivity, square tables get the most room out of your floor space, and kidney- and horseshoe-shaped tables allow an adult to slip into the center of activity to guide the action and make better eye-contact. Large rectangular or trapezoidal classroom table shapes make room for the whole gang, while flower and doughnut tables put fun first.
Sizing them up
Most activity tables are designed for children, so they're kid-sized. Tot tables include tiny, lightweight chairs that are easily manageable for toddlers, and have added stability so they don't tip even when the kids do. As activities focus on older children, the table height rises accordingly for natural, distraction-free comfort. It might seem small for you, but it's just right for them, and keeping small kids comfortable and occupied is no small feat.
Many activity tables have adjustable-height legs, so you can tailor the table to the needs of the day, a perfect option for schools, daycare facilities and other activity centers where exact needs can't always be predicted, and versatility is golden.
What's your specialty?
The point of activity tables is to inspire imagination, and there is a broad range of choices regarding how focused the activity is. All-purpose tables offer durability, room to work, and easy-clean surfaces. Other tables offer more specific activities and conveniences.
Art tables and easels have bins for crayons, pencils and brushes, and some include scrolling rolls of paper for endless drawing. Kids don't keep asking for more paper, and you don't have to follow them around picking up used sheets. Watercolor cups snap into place for secure, slosh-free painting, but can be removed for easy cleanup.
Bead tables tempt with a dazzling maze of paths to trace, while Lego block tables lay the foundation for building skyscraper daydreams. Kid workbenches are stocked with the tools to invent the next time machine. Music tables provide a variety of interactive instruments that tickle the ear and encourage kids to perform for each other.
Sand and water tables tap the magic of sculpting and splashing while keeping the mess contained neatly within the table. Specialty play sands, like Moon Sand, are especially sculptable, and sticky enough that grains don't travel all over the room. Water tables include float toys, rivers and bridges for clean, silly fun, and they drain easily to keep things fresh. Sand and water are a natural pair, and many tables include bins for both.
What shall we play? You can find game-oriented activity tables that inspire action while riding herd on the parts, so little ones can enjoy the fun without you having to round up lost pieces. Tic-tac-toe tables are pencil-and-paper free, using bright, colorful snap-in-place markers. Train tables let little brains build the infrastructure to travel the world. Magnetic tables present a variety of props moved by magic wands through brightly colored sand to spark a new story line every day, while keeping magnets tethered and sand under glass.
Have fun looking through all your options with play tables and classroom tables. Just like the kids, you'll feel drawn to the right activity table for you.