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Buying Guide

Buying the Right Activity Table

The Right School Furniture Can Enhance the Learning Environment

Many, if not most, kindergarten and classrooms for younger children are equipped with activity tables. Many school furniture purchases change the classroom environment, but this is especially true in the case of an activity table.

The Purpose of Activity Tables

To stimulate social behavior, as well as encourage creativity, young children should have a comfortable learning environment. An activity table scaled to a child’s size and designed with a child’s needs in mind can make a big difference in a classroom. Some tables are especially good for encouraging collaboration with peers, such as the A + Collaboration Table. This unique table has a four-branch design, allowing students to work together when facing each other. Yet with one quick turn, each child has an individual space to pursue independent work.

Buying the Right Activity Table

Activity tables come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Shapes include everything from round to rectangle to kidney and flower shaped. The round tables are most commonly 42 inches and 48 inches in diameter. You can usually fit about six adults around a table 48 inches in diameter, so for smaller students, figure anywhere from eight to 10, depending how young and small.

The most common rectangular-shaped activity table is 30 × 60, but 30 × 72 and 30 × 48 inches are also fairly common. Calculate about 20 inches for every child, so a 30 × 60 inch table can fit three children on each side of 60 inches and maybe one more at each end if you need to seat more. For toddlers, you should be able to fit an extra one or even two on each long side.

Kidney-shaped activity tables are very popular in kindergarten classrooms. This is because the teacher can sit in the middle part with students seated all around her. You can fit about eight children around a kidney-shaped table, give or take a couple, depending on their age or size.

Like classroom desks and tables, activity tables often come with adjustable legs and in a variety of colors. The wood colors and gray are the most popular tops, but look for manufacturers offering colorful edge trims if you want an inexpensive way to add color to your room and perhaps coordinate with classroom chairs of the same color.

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