But, as we all know, with many Legos come many sore parental feet. So I built them a tabletop play station that fit on our card table. They loved it. And it worked perfectly! No Legos all over the floor, no parents howling in pain, no lost Legos (or at least, not many). It was great. Took me under two hours to build.
What you need:
- A saw to cut the sides the right length
- Thin "wood" for the base -- I used whiteboard the first time and that was the best, but it was the wrong size the second time around. Get the folks at the home improvement store to cut this to size for you.
- Edging trim for the sides. I sawed this myself to get it precisely right.
- Something to sand with. I don't recommend these squashy sanding blocks at all. Look how ripped-up it got after making this one table! Use sandpaper.
- Hammer and nails
Step One: Cut your sides to the right size. You want them to overlap so you can nail them together, and I find the easiest way is like this:
So you want your sides to be the length of a side of your base MINUS the width of your siding material so it will all be flush in the end, like this:
Step Two: Set up your sides and use one nail on each corner to hold it together so it won't fall over on you all the time.
Make sure you have this upside down so you can put the bottom on top of it and your edges won't be upside-down once you're finished.
Step Three: Start nailing the bottom on! Make sure your edges are flush and your corners are square -- check often as you go along. I recommend starting with a short side and spacing your nails about six inches apart, or closer.
Be not to put your nails too close to the edge or they'll do this:
Obviously, since this table is intended for little fingers, that can't be left that way. I had no fewer than six nails do that with my second table. None my first table, but I used a fancier (and more expensive) trim on it that was a little thicker. Fortunately, I always carry this in my pocket:
Anyway, here's a look at my finished product:
As you can see... my table is warped! Argh! Who knew? Too many moves, or too much time in the garage -- I don't know. But I transferred the play station to a couple other tables, and it's just fine:
There you have it! I've saved the smaller table to use for really big jigsaw puzzles when they're older, since it fits on the card table so nicely. This play station also totally works on the floor too, though more Legos end up on the floor then, and that kind of defeats the whole purpose of saving adults from stepping on them.