DIY: A homemade sensory table and tinker table

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on July 21, 2011

in DIY, Sensory Tables

Last week my husband got highly motivated and built me some new furniture for my outdoor classroom.

He built me a sensory table…

And what I call a tinker table…


And a stand-alone plexiglass window (which I will share more on tomorrow)…


The dimensions on the tinker table and the sensory table are the same. I am going to do my best to tell you how they were built but I am not familiar with carpentry terms so bear with me. If you have questions, I will ask my husband so he can help me answer them in the comments below…


Sensory and tinker table details…

  • The length and height of the tables are 2 ft tall x 4 ft wide
  • The dimensions of the table tops are 2×4 ft.
  • All the materials were purchased from Home Depot although my husband had the nails, tools, and some wood that he needed at home already.
  • The approximate total cost in building materials and paint was $60.oo (this is the total cost for all three pieces of furniture)
  • The biggest investment was in time and skill. It took me just as long to paint the tables as it did for my husband to build them. About 3 hours for building all three pieces and 3 hours or so for painting them (had to allow for drying time too).
The legs of the tables are prefab furniture legs from Home Depot but you could make them less extravegant with just a 2×4 like the. I ideas shown here….

 

 

My husband cut the legs shorter so that the table would not sit too high. He added wheels to the legs at one end of each table so I could roll the tables around the room as needed. However, the tables are made from a solid but light weight wood that I can easily lift when the baskets are empty…

 

 

For the holes in the tables, I chose to have three holes cut in my sensory table and one hole cut in my tinker table. The sizes of the holes were determined by the size of baskets I bought. I purchased my baskets from Big Lots. I purchased more baskets than I needed for the tables so I can easily switch around the items I keep in the tables and so I will have extras that fit properly in case one of them breaks or cracks…

 

 

These are 16 quart clear baskets with lids from Big Lots…

 

 

I like having the three spaces in the sensory table for children to play together in a cooperative manner or have their own space to play at times too. I like being able to add a variety of materials for mixing as well. I also like that I can simply close the table by putting the lids on each basket…

 

 

The tinker table can be used for sensory play as well but I also wanted to use it for keeping unusual items that the children can tinker with. I purposely left the table with one basket hole so the children can reach into the one basket, pull out the items, and spread them on the table to explore…

 

 

After my husband finished the tables, I went to work sanding and painting them.  There was very little sanding necessary but some touch up around the edges and corners was in order…

 

 

I chose blue for the sensory table and red with a white top for the tinker table…

 

 

Now that the tables are all complete, I have been collecting items to use in the tables throughout the school year. I will share more about these as we go along. In the meantime – I am very proud of these tables and excited to put them to good use!

 

This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Sharing the wonders of early learning in action!

Check out Deborah's new book and order your copy today!

-Teach Preschool on Pinterest
-Teach Preschool on Facebook
-Teach Preschool on Twitter
-Teach Preschool on Instagram
-Deborah Stewart on Google+


Teach Preschool Button or Logo

Subscribe to receive the latest Teach Preschool blog posts by email...

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner



Disclosure: Teach Preschool is a participating member in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program

Previous post:

Next post:

wordpress stat