Simple Gift Ideas for Little Builders

We recently built a new table for our daughter. It’s our first official build we’ve done as a family!

Since Christmas, we’ve been in the process of arranging our home a bit to better suit our needs. The biggest change entailed turning our former formal dining room into a playroom. Before, our daughter’s toys were located in our third bedroom/office area, which adjoins the living room by a smaller-than-standard-size doorway. But we began to notice she wasn’t spending much time in there, and I couldn’t blame her: it felt secluded from the main areas of the home. Christmas gave us the opportunity to try something new since we were looking for a place for our tree as well, so we moved her shelving units into the dining room and placed our Christmas tree in front of the window. The arrangement suited us perfectly because our living space feels so much more open now! Since our kitchen is large enough to fit a smaller, 4-seat table and because we rarely have company for dinner, there was no longer any practical reason to keep our huge dining table (seats 6-10 people).

One of the things I didn’t like about the new space, though, was the fit of the IKEA Latt table. First, she’s nearly outgrown it since we shortened the legs on both the table and chairs when she was 8 months old. Second, it was a bit small. For breakfast and lunch when it’s just me and Lilly we often eat at her table. I would always ask where she’d like to eat, and she’d almost always choose her table. She is able to help set the table and clean up afterwards (plus, she really enjoys sampling what’s on everyone’s plate…a grace and courtesy lesson in the making I’m sure ;-)…and sharing her food with others, and since she can move freely around the table, this provides her with the opportunity to easily do both). Between using her table for meals and purchasing a tabletop easel for her to use, it was definitely time we invested in something a little larger to give us a bit more working/eating area.

We browsed Pinterest and finally picked out this coffee table plan featured on Ana White’s website and simply shortened the dimensions to 24″ wide x 16″ high x 40″ long. The materials cost $30 dollars. We did have to call around a bit before we could find a place that stocked an untreated 4×4 post, though. We completed the build itself in one afternoon, and Lilly easily learned at least a dozen new words related to woodworking. Any time she sees one of us with tools, she always asks to help. She is very interested in using tools, especially screwdrivers and wrenches. play-table-woodworking-build-2We haven’t yet purchased a woodworking set for her, but she does have access to several child-sized tools (a flathead screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver, small measuring tape, etc.) that we have somehow managed to collect over the years. If she continues to show interest in our family woodworking projects, I’m sure it will be something we invest in soon.

Do your young children also enjoy construction projects? If so, here’s a simple gift list I’ve compiled for any budding builders in your family.

1. Children’s Tool Kit 2. Home Depot Gift Card and The Kids’ Building Workshop: 15 Woodworking Projects for Kids and Parents to Build Together 3. Active Kyds Premium Leather Tool Belt and Kids Leather Work Gloves 4. Building Our House by Jonathan Bean and A Year at a Construction Site by Nicholas Harris

Interested in building your own play table for your children? Jonti Craft has a wonderful PDF guide that details the average table and seat heights based upon the age of your child. You can access it here.

Now if we could only decide on what chairs to pair with the table. We are currently in the process of applying a waterproof finish to the table, and once that’s complete I’ll upload pictures. Let me know what other fun woodworking projects you’ve completed with your children by leaving a comment below. I’d love to know!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. This means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.