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Activity Tables Buying Guide

Activity tables are useful for everything from arts and crafts to study sessions, so choosing the right one is important. Here are some things to think about to help you find the perfect fit for your classroom:

Shape

Activity tables come in a wide variety of shapes. Round, trapezoid and rectangle tables are the most versatile. You can use them in your classroom for group lessons or in multi-purpose rooms for meetings and events.

Unique shapes work especially well in early learning classrooms. Horseshoe and kidney tables let teachers sit closer to the table so it's easy to access each student's work. This encourages kids to focus on the instructor while learning in small groups. Flower and octagon tables have angles that designate a separate space for each student.

Size

To figure out what size to order, carefully measure your room and think about how many students you'll need to accommodate. Make sure you have enough room to push chairs in and out, plus room to move between tables. You'll need at least 48 inches of aisle space and about 60 inches between tables for chairs.

Legs

Adjustable - Most activity table legs adjust to fit growing students. Standard tables adjust from about 25 inches to 30 inches high, most often in 1-inch increments. Tables for younger kids adjust from around 16 inches to 24 inches. You'll also find fixed-height tables.

Material – Tubular steel legs mean your activity tables will stand up to heavy use. The lower the gauge, the thicker and stronger the steel. Usually 16-gauge is all you'll need.

Top

Particleboard with Laminate Finish - Laminate tops are usually 1 1/4-inch or 1 1/8-inch thick and extremely durable. They withstand years of use and resist stains and scratches. Larger laminate tables typically have a stability bar underneath that provides extra support. Look for T-molding vinyl edges, because these will ensure that your table lasts even longer. A plastic strip shaped like a "T" is glued securely into a groove to protect the edges from moisture and idle picking.

Blow-Molded Plastic tops are lightweight and easy to clean, so they're perfect for early learning classrooms. Completely waterproof and kid-friendly, they won't stain. Welded steel frames keep them strong and sturdy.

Glides

Since activity tables are so versatile, they see heavy use. Make sure to choose one with self-leveling nylon glides-- this guarantees an even work surface over the years and keeps your table from wobbling.

Table Seating Capacity
When determining a table's seating capacity, consider both the size of the people who will be using the table (adults take up more room than children, for starters) and the activity being performed. High school students working on art projects will likely need more room than youngsters eating lunch. Also, keep in mind situations like training sessions where only one side of the table will be used.

The table below lists capacity ranges for tables of various shapes and sizes. If you're trying to fit younger kids around a table (ages 3 to 8), you can generally seat to maximum capacity. If the tables are for arts and crafts or group testing, make sure to seat fewer people to give them extra space for supplies.

Table Shape Table Size Capacity
Rectangle 18" x 36" 1-2
18" x 48", 18" x 60" or 24" x 30" 2
24" x 36" 2-3
18" x 72" 3
24" x 48", 30" x 36" or 30" x 42" 3-4
18" x 96" 4
24" x 60" or 30" x 48" 4-5
24" x 72" or 30" x 60" 5-6
24" x 96", 30" x 72" or 36" x 60" 6-8
36" x 72" or 42" x 60" 7-9
30" x 96" 8-10
36" x 96" 8-10
Round 24" 1-2
30" 2-3
36" 3-4
42" 4-5
48" 5-6
54" 6-7
60" 6-8
66" 7-9
72" 8-10
Square 24" 1-2
30" 2-3
36" 3-4
42" 4-5
48" 4-6

Table Spacing
You'll also want to make sure that there's enough room between tables. This may limit the amount of tables that will fit in your space and could reduce the amount of people you can accommodate. Try to leave about 54 inches between round tables, 60 inches between square tables and allow 48 inches for aisles.

If you're ready, shop our full selection of Activity Tables to find the one that's right for you.

Still not sure which activity table is best for your classroom? Give us a call at 1-800-260-2776. A friendly member of our sales team is ready to answer questions and give advice.

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