How to Make a Picnic Table for Kids

Picnics are a classic and enjoyable way for families to spend time together. However, finding a suitable picnic table that fits the needs of children can be challenging.

Many tables available in stores are designed for adults and may not meet the size requirements or safety needs of young ones. Fortunately, with some basic woodworking skills and materials, it is possible to create a perfect-sized picnic table for kids that will add an element of fun to your outdoor activities.

This article aims to provide step-by-step instructions on how to make a picnic table specifically tailored for children. From gathering the necessary tools and materials to adding finishing touches, this guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to build a sturdy and safe picnic table suitable for use by kids.

With these easy-to-follow guidelines, you can take advantage of your carpentry skills and get creative while building something special that your little ones will cherish for years to come.

Gather Your Materials and Tools

The initial step in the process is to gather all of the necessary materials and tools required for the construction of a furniture item designed for outdoor use by younger individuals.

Choosing the right wood is important as it will determine how sturdy and long-lasting the picnic table will be. A good option would be pressure-treated lumber or cedar, which are both known for their durable and weather-resistant properties.

In addition, safety precautions must also be taken into consideration when selecting materials to ensure that they are safe for children to use. It is essential to have protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, and a dust mask when handling power tools like saws, drills, and sanders.

By being mindful of these details during material selection and preparation, you can create a well-constructed picnic table that provides a safe environment for kids to enjoy their outdoor meals or activities.

Preparing the Wood

The first step in creating a sturdy and durable outdoor furniture piece involves carefully selecting the appropriate type of wood, measuring and cutting it according to the desired dimensions, and properly sanding each piece to ensure a smooth finish.

When choosing the right type of wood, consider its durability and resistance to weather conditions. Cedar, redwood or pressure-treated pine are popular choices as they can withstand exposure to moisture and insects.

Once you have your wood pieces cut according to the design plan, use an electric sander with 100-grit sandpaper to remove any rough spots or splinters that may be present on each surface. Sanding techniques also involve using finer grits for a smoother finish, so move up from 100-grit to 150-grit then finally 220-grit sandpaper until you achieve a polished look.

With careful preparation of the wood pieces through proper selection and sanding techniques, your picnic table will not only be visually appealing but will also stand up against harsh outdoor elements over time.

Assembling the Table

The assembly of the outdoor furniture piece involves following detailed instructions, aligning each wood piece accurately to ensure stability and sturdiness, and securing them together using appropriate hardware, resulting in a satisfying sense of accomplishment as you see the finished product come together.

Assembly tips include laying out all the pieces beforehand to make sure everything is accounted for, beginning with the table legs and attaching them to the tabletop using screws or bolts. It’s important to check that all legs are level before moving on to attach cross braces or support beams for added stability.

Troubleshooting issues may arise during assembly, such as unevenly cut wood or misaligned holes in pieces. These can be remedied by sanding down rough edges or carefully measuring and drilling new holes where needed.

Once assembled, it’s important to double-check that everything is secure and stable before letting children use the picnic table.

Adding the Finishing Touches

When it comes to adding the finishing touches to a picnic table for kids, there are two main options: staining or painting.

Staining can be a great option if you want to preserve the natural look of the wood while still adding some color and protection.

On the other hand, painting can allow for more creativity and flexibility in terms of color choice and design.

Regardless of which option you choose, applying a protective coat is crucial to ensure that your picnic table lasts as long as possible.

Staining or Painting

Enhancing the aesthetic appeal and durability of the wooden surface can be achieved through applying either a layer of stain or paint, which serves as a protective coating against external elements.

When choosing the right color for staining or painting, consider the overall design scheme of your outdoor space.

Staining allows the natural beauty of wood to shine through while adding depth and richness to its appearance. It also permeates into the wood fibers to provide long-lasting protection against moisture, mildew, and UV rays. However, it may require periodic reapplication every few years to maintain its quality.

In contrast, painting offers more color options and covers up imperfections in the wood grain but may require frequent touch-ups due to chipping or fading over time.

Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference and maintenance requirements when deciding between staining or painting your picnic table for kids.

Applying a Protective Coat

Applying a protective coat is an essential step in preserving the durability and aesthetic appeal of wooden outdoor furniture, as it shields against harmful external elements such as UV rays, moisture, mildew, and abrasion.

Choosing the finish is crucial as it determines the level of protection that the picnic table will have.

A clear coat provides a natural look to the wood while enhancing its grain pattern.

On the other hand, a tinted or colored finish can add character and personality to the furniture while also providing adequate protection.

Benefits of sealing include preventing splinters and cracks on the surface due to continuous exposure to sunlight or rainwater.

It also minimizes fading or discoloration caused by prolonged UV exposure.

Sealers are easy to apply using brushes or sprayers depending on preference and provide long-lasting results without compromising on quality.

Applying a protective coating not only ensures longevity but also adds value to your investment making it worth every penny spent.

Enjoying Your New Picnic Table

The proper utilization of a well-designed outdoor furniture piece can provide an excellent opportunity for children to engage in social activities while enjoying the beauty of nature.

Once you have completed constructing your picnic table, it is time to put it to use.

You can start by planning creative picnic ideas that will keep your kids engaged and entertained throughout the day.

Outdoor activities for kids can range from playing games like frisbee or soccer, having a water balloon fight, or simply taking a nature walk around the park.

With their new picnic table as their hub, kids are sure to have hours of fun outdoors with friends and family.

So go ahead and enjoy your new picnic table with all its possibilities!


In conclusion, building a picnic table for kids can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that the whole family can enjoy.

With some basic materials and tools, such as wood, screws, saws, sandpaper, and paint or stain, you can create a sturdy and attractive table that will provide hours of outdoor entertainment for your children.

To ensure the safety and durability of your picnic table, it is important to follow proper preparation and assembly techniques. This includes selecting high-quality lumber, measuring and cutting accurately, using appropriate fasteners and hardware, sanding the surfaces smooth, and applying a protective finish.

By taking these steps and incorporating your own creative touches into the design of your picnic table for kids, you can create a functional and beautiful piece of furniture that will last for years to come.

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