Introduction: Kids Mud Fun Aka Water Interaction Play Table

Kids love

to play with water, even better when they add a few little handfuls of sand. The idea of this table is to give the little ones a place to play with water get messy and have fun. The project is inspired by my wife and easy made in an afternoon with the whole family.

Step 1: Collect the Materials

This is a super quick project that requires minimal tools and could even be done with hand tools as there isn’t that much wood to cut.

  • Saw
  • Screw driver
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Jig saw

We had the electric versions of these tools so it made life a lot easier.

It is unclear who loves shopping at the local hardware store Bauhaus more, me or my son. The two of us popped out to get a few pieces of wood and some screws and returned 2 hours later. In those two hours of exhausting shopping we picked up

  • 8 meters 45x45mm timber
  • 8 meters 95x16mm tongue and groove flooring timber
  • 2 meters 100x100 timber
  • 4,6x30mm and 4,6x90mm screws
  • 12x angle brackets 40x40mm
  • Decking oil
  • Wood glue

You will also need 2x IKEA TROFAST storage bins, these are super cheap and the perfect size for this project. While at IKEA pick up some other fun things that the kids could play with.

Step 2: Build Frame

The overall dimension were determined by putting the two kids at the coffee table. The final numbers were 1000mmx600mm and the height set at 450mm as the little one is just under a year old.

Cut the 45x45 into 2x1000mm and 3x510mm, build the rectangle and screw together using the angle brackets. Attack the third 510mm piece in the middle with two 90mm screws one on each end. Remember that there is little to no accuracy or precision required here.

Step 3: Add Table Top

Once the frame is made the flooring timber can be cut, the reason to cut it now is to make sure that the frame is actually 1000mm is the frame is longer or shorter cut the flooring timer to that size. Once all the planks are cut there could be a bit of overhang. We decided to leave it, but it can be removed. Glue the tongue and groove joints to create a solid piece of wood. Each plank should then be screwed in three locations as shown in the image.

Step 4: Add Legs and Lower Support

The legs Zack found while running around the hardware store, they were scraps used for air gaps in the timer storage. The guys there gave them to us. They are not pretty but super functional and free.

Cut the legs to desired height, for us that 450mm minus table thickness. So that was around 435mm. Place the legs into the corners and press them up against the brackets. The brackets will cause a gap but it does not seem to matter. Screw the legs in place using 90mm screws on both sides of the frame.

For the lower support measure the gap between the legs once they are fixed into place and cut 2 pieces of 45x45 to fit. The height from the ground is up to you but we wanted the kids gumboots to fit under them so we used 50mm. Use the brackets to fix the two pieces into place.

Measure the distance between the two supports and cut another piece of 45x45 to fit. Again this piece is screwed into place using a 90mm screw. Don’t forget to predrill.

Now you can flip the table

Step 5: Cutout for Basins and Basin Preperation

Place the

cutoffs of the legs on the edge of the table, this will remind you that you cannot cut there. Next put a basin on the table and trace around its bottom side. Do the same on the other side. The basins are slightly wider at the top than bottom so add another line around the traced line that is about 7mm wider. This will allow the basin to sit firmly in the holes.

Drill a starting hole for the jig saw and cut out the holes for the basins, test that the basins fit if it’s a bit tight shave off the edges a bit more.

Step 6: Hack Basins

Nothing is ever fun without hacking something from IKEA. The basins will not sit flush on the table unless the corner supports are removed. For your convenience i tried filing and using a knife. The knife is a lot easier.

Step 7: All Done

Protect the wood from the elements and install the basins, add a few extras and you are all done.