Built-in bench seating is strong and durable for multiple children. Everything folds flat with just a few steps.
Takes up more room than other options.
Table provides just enough play and work space for a few kids sitting or standing.
Not suitable for larger groups of children.
Folds completely flat for easy storage. Hinges are durable and secure for extra protection.
Lacks fun colors for children.
Table provides enough space for up to four kids to play and work at the same time.
Plastic can feel flimsy.
Basic folding table that comes with a chair. Pair doesn't take up much space, yet it provides ample room for a child to do a variety of activities. Affordable.
Not ideal for larger or older children. Rare reports of damage upon delivery.
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Most of us remember the days when we were assigned to the kids’ table at family holiday gatherings. Having a folding table for kids comes in handy when you run out of space at the dining table.
But the convenience of kids’ folding tables doesn’t end after New Year’s Day. Folding tables give children who are too big for high chairs an appropriately sized place to eat, reducing frustrations and spills. They provide a place to craft, sparing higher-quality furniture from being coated in glitter. You can set them up outside when you expect things to get really messy. And when you’re done, you can fold them up flat for easy storage.
Your child will eventually outgrow a kids’ table, and you don’t want to spend a fortune on something that will be smeared with paint. But you still need a table that is sturdy and safe. Our guide will help you choose a kids’ folding table that will get the job done without breaking the bank.
A key factor to consider when looking at kids’ folding tables is the style of table that will suit your needs. Most kids’ tables are either square or rectangular tables with chairs or picnic tables with attached benches. Both styles have advantages and disadvantages, so consider how and where you plan to use your table before choosing a style.
Square and rectangular tables with chairs are the most common type of kids’ table. They are extremely portable and easily accommodate children of different sizes – simply push the chairs in for shorter kids, or pull them out for kids who are taller. They are easily tucked into corners and stored when not in use. Square and rectangular tables don’t usually have attached benches, though, so you’ll have to find space to store chairs, too. In addition, some of these folding tables for kids are flimsy and can tip easily.
Picnic tables are often sturdier than square and rectangular tables. Since they’re designed for outdoor use, they are usually made with more durable materials that stand up to abuse. The attached benches also give them extra weight, so they’re harder to tip, and there’s no need to buy or store chairs. They can be awkward to use inside, though, because of their oblong shape and protruding benches. This shape can also make them more difficult to store and less portable.
Once you choose a style, it’s important to think about how many children you want the table to hold. Most square tables comfortably seat four kids, while rectangular tables can hold more. Picnic tables can usually sit four to six children. Remember, even if you have a small family, folding tables are very helpful when your child’s friends come over to play, eat, or craft.
Where you plan to use your table makes a big difference in its construction. Tables that will primarily be used indoors can be made of lightweight, inexpensive metal. Folding tables that will spend most of their lives outdoors, however, must be weather-resistant. The table and seats should be made of a durable, thick plastic like polyethylene, while metal portions should be made from powder-coated steel to prevent rusting.
A few kids’ folding tables are made out of wood. This is not the best material since the table may be too heavy to move easily. Wood will work fine if you plan to keep your folding table in one place. It’s important that wood tables intended for outdoor use are treated for weather resistance. A weather-resistant wood table will last longer and prevent splinters.
Striking a happy medium in this area can be challenging. Lighter tables are more prone to tipping, while heavier tables limit portability. When purchasing, consider your child. Is she an active kid who’s known for her climbing skills and expressing herself with wide gestures? Is he older, calmer, and likelier to use the table as intended? Generally speaking, it’s best to buy a table with some heft that can still be moved relatively easily.
Safety is key when it comes to products for children. Folding tables should have locking legs that stay in place once set up. This helps to prevent collapses that can injure children, as well as limiting spills. You’ll also want to be careful to check whether any joints create a pinching hazard for little fingers.
Half the charm of a folding table is its ability to be easily hidden. Measure your storage space ahead of time to verify that it will hold the table you choose. Typically, square and rectangular folding tables are easier to store than oblong picnic tables. With square and rectangular tables, however, you’ll also need to find space to store chairs.
When buying a kids’ folding table set, think about extra chairs for guests.
Make sure the top of the table is constructed from materials that are easy to wipe down.
Look for rubber tips on table legs to make sure they won’t damage your floors.
Outdoor tables should be treated for UV resistance, especially if they are colorful.
Kid-friendly foods like spaghetti and pizza can stain tables, so look for folding tables that are stain-resistant if you plan to use them for eating.
Prices for kids’ folding tables vary greatly according to materials and construction.
The least expensive folding tables cost around $30. At this price, tables will be lightweight with plastic frames or slender, plastic-coated steel tubes. They usually won’t come with any chairs. Most tables in this price range are best used inside. They may not have as many safety features as higher-priced products, although any product that’s truly unsafe for children is likely to be recalled.
Mid-range folding tables usually cost between $30 and $50. In this price range, you will find heavier-duty plastic tables with thicker, powder-coated steel frames. You will also find some inexpensive folding tables in sets with chairs.
The highest quality kids’ folding tables cost $50 to $80. You’ll see some picnic tables in this price range with heavy-duty plastic tabletops and benches supported by stainless steel frames. You will see similar construction for square and rectangular tables at this price. High-end tables may adjust in height and should come with chairs.
Your children will probably outgrow their favorite television or movie characters before they outgrow the table. Shy away from character-themed tables, and instead choose one that’s your child’s favorite color or matches your decor.
Soft-topped tables may seem like a good idea, but they can be easily damaged with scissors or other craft supplies. Check reviews to see how particular vinyl tabletops perform.
Tables with sharp corners can injure toddlers who are still learning how to balance and walk.
Q. At what age can my child start using a kids’ folding table?
A. Although it can vary, most children are ready for a kids’ table by around age three. By this time, they are usually too large for a high chair and understand that being seated at the table means it’s time to eat. Three-year-olds are past the age where they put everything in their mouths, so crafting and art projects are a possibility. Board games and puzzles become favorite activities at this age. Children can keep using a well-made folding table until they outgrow it, between the ages of eight and 10.
Q. Should I be concerned with a table’s weight limit?
A. If you have younger children, possibly. It’s hard to imagine loading enough children’s books and toys onto a table to collapse it. But toddlers and young preschoolers often enjoy climbing, so it’s not unusual to find a child in this age range standing on the table. Even if your child doesn’t, a guest might. If this seems like a possibility, consider exploring the product’s weight limit. Many well-constructed tables have a weight limit of 100 to 150 pounds, which should hold a couple of toddlers, if necessary.
Q. What’s the best way to clean a kids’ folding table?
A. It depends on the table’s construction. Spills should be cleaned right away, regardless of the table material. Plastic tabletops may be slightly porous and stain if spills are left to soak. Vinyl tabletops are more forgiving, but debris can soak in at the edges. When your child’s meal or activity is done, spray with a non-toxic cleaner or white vinegar solution to give the surface a more thorough cleaning. If you need to use bleach or another harsh cleanser to remove stains, be sure to fully remove it since kids sometimes eat spilled snacks directly from the tabletop. An outdoor table may be hosed off, although it’s best to dry it afterwards to keep water from soaking into the porous surface and avoid rust on any metal components.