How to Build a Kids Picnic Table

Are you looking for a fun and practical project to do with your kids? Why not build them their very own picnic table? Not only will it provide hours of entertainment, but it can also be a great learning experience for children.

How to Build a Kids Picnic Table

Picnic tables are something that many families will go out of their way to find and use during the summer months. However, you can also make your picnic table if you have basic carpentry and woodworking knowledge.

Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment when it’s finished, but it is also an excellent opportunity for parents to get creative with their kids since building a wooden picnic table is easier than you think.

This blog post will show step-by-step instructions on how to build a kids picnic table for your family or patio space. Read on!

What Will You Need?

Before you begin your project, gather all the necessary tools and materials to make the process smoother. Here’s a list of items that you’ll need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Saw (circular or jigsaw)
  • Drill
  • Screws and nails
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain (optional)
  • 2×4 boards for the legs and frame
  • 2×6 boards for the tabletop and seats

Once you have all your supplies ready, it’s time to start building!

8 Easy Steps on How to Build a Kids Picnic Table

Step 1: Cutting the Wood

The first step to building your kids’ picnic table is to cut the wood. Using your measuring tape, measure and mark the 2×4 boards to create four legs (each 22 inches long) and the frame pieces (two 47 inches long for the long sides and two 22 inches long for the short sides).

Next, measure and mark the 2×6 boards to create the tabletop pieces (five 48 inches long) and the seats (two 48 inches long). Once all pieces are marked, use your saw to cut them carefully.

Use Your Saw to Cut Them Carefully

Step 2: Assembling the Frame

Now that you have all your pieces cut, it’s time to start assembling your kid’s picnic table. Start by laying the two 47-inch 2×4 pieces parallel to each other. Then, take the two 22-inch 2×4 pieces and align them at a 90-degree angle to the ends of the 47-inch pieces.

This will form a rectangle. Using your drill, secure the corners with screws to create the frame. Make sure the frame is square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner – both measurements should be the same.

Step 3: Attaching the Legs

With the frame assembled, it’s now time to attach the legs to the picnic table. Position a 22-inch 2×4 board at each corner of the frame, ensuring it’s flush with the top of the frame and square to the sides. Secure each leg to the frame by drilling screws through the frame and into the legs. Repeat this process for all four legs.

It’s a good idea to have someone hold the leg steady while you drill – a perfect task for an older child or another adult. Once all the legs are attached, your picnic table should be standing on its own. It’s starting to take shape!

Step 4: Installing the Tabletop

Once your table is upright, it’s time to install the tabletop. Lay your five 48-inch 2×6 boards across the frame, ensuring they are evenly spaced. The ends of the boards should overhang the frame by about an inch on all sides. Once you’re happy with the positioning, drill screws through the tabletop boards and into the frame beneath, securing each board in place.

Drill Screws Through the Tabletop Boards

Remember, this is a project to do with your kids – let them help out with easy tasks such as handing you the screws or holding the boards steady while you drill. Once the tabletop is secured, your picnic table is really starting to look the part!

Step 5: Attaching the Seats

The final step in building your kids’ picnic table is attaching the seats. Place the two 48-inch 2×6 boards you cut earlier on either side of the table, flush with the top of the legs and overhanging the frame by about an inch on both ends. Once you’re satisfied with their positioning, secure each seat by drilling screws through the boards and into the legs beneath.

Step 6: Sanding and Finishing

With the assembly completed, it’s time to make your kids’ picnic table smooth and safe. Using sandpaper, carefully sand down all the edges, corners, and surfaces of the table and benches. This step is crucial to prevent any potential splinters.

After sanding, wipe down the table with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust. Now, you’re ready to finish the table. You can paint or stain it in your kids’ favorite colors or even let them join in the fun with non-toxic paint and brushes.

Step 7: Maintenance and Care

Now that your kids’ picnic table is ready, it’s essential to keep it well-maintained to ensure its longevity. Regularly check for any loose screws and tighten them up.

If you’ve painted or stained the table, consider reapplying a fresh coat annually to keep it looking new and to protect the wood from the elements. During winter months or bad weather, cover the table or store it in a dry place to prevent damage.

Step 8: Final Check and Enjoy

Finally, do a thorough check of the table. Ensure no protruding screws or nails and that all surfaces are smooth to the touch. Remember, children will be using the table; safety is paramount. Once you’re sure all is in order, it’s time to enjoy! The table is ready for countless picnics, arts and crafts sessions, or even an outdoor homework station. Building this kid’s picnic table is not just about the final product but also the memories made during its creation.

Ensure No Protruding Screws or Nails

By following these easy steps, you’ll have a sturdy and safe picnic table for your kids to enjoy. And who knows, maybe this project will inspire other DIY projects with your children in the future.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Choose the Right Wood: When building a kid’s picnic table, always select a type of wood that’s durable and safe for children. Cedar and pine are good choices as they are sturdy and resist decay.
  2. Sanding is Essential: To prevent splinters, thoroughly sand all table surfaces, especially the corners and edges. A fine-grit sandpaper is best for a smooth finish.
  3. Consider Safety Features: Round off all corners and edges to prevent injuries. Also, ensure that all screws and nails are fully embedded into the wood to avoid sharp edges.
  4. Make It Comfortable: Ensure the table and bench heights are appropriate for the kids’ age and size. This will make the table more comfortable and encourage longer usage.
  5. Add a Personal Touch: To make the table more appealing to kids, consider painting it in bright colors or adding a fun design. Let the kids get involved in this process for a more personalized touch.

With these additional tips and tricks, you can ensure that your kids’ picnic table is sturdy, safe, comfortable, and visually appealing for the little ones.

5 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Avoid Using Toxic Materials: When selecting paint or sealant for the kids picnic table, ensure they are non-toxic and safe for children. Avoid any materials that contain harmful chemicals.
  2. Neglecting Stability: A shaky or wobbly table is a safety hazard. Ensure all joints and connections are secure, and the table is stable before allowing kids to use it.
  3. Ignoring Routine Maintenance: Regular inspection of the table is necessary. Ignoring maintenance may lead to unnoticed damages that might cause harm.
  4. Skipping Safety Measures: Never skip implementing safety measures such as rounding off sharp edges and corners and making sure all screws and nails are fully embedded into the wood.
  5. Using Inappropriate Tools: Using the wrong tools can lead to mistakes and potential safety concerns. Always use the appropriate tools as recommended in the guidelines.
Table is Stable Before Allowing Kids to Use It

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure the construction of a safe, sturdy, and enjoyable picnic table for your kids.

5 Different Decoration Ideas

  1. Painting: As mentioned before, painting the picnic table in bright and fun colors is a great way to add a personal touch. You can also use stencils or decals to create unique designs.
  2. Stain or Varnish: If you prefer a more natural look, staining or varnishing the wood can enhance its beauty while protecting it from the elements.
  3. Adding a Tablecloth: A tablecloth can instantly add color and character to the picnic table. You can choose a themed or patterned one to make it even more fun for kids.
  4. Accessorizing: Adding decorative items such as lanterns, colorful plates, utensils, or even some potted plants can make the picnic table more inviting and festive.
  5. Customizing with Names: For a special touch, you can customize the table by adding your kids’ names or initials using stencils or vinyl lettering. This will make them feel like they have their spot at the table.

With these ideas, you can create a unique and personalized picnic table that your kids will love using.


Building a kid’s picnic table is a fulfilling project that allows you to create something functional and fun for your children and provides an opportunity to engage them in a hands-on activity. By choosing the right materials, prioritizing safety, ensuring comfort, and adding your personal touch, you can construct a picnic table that will bring joy to your kids and stand the test of time.

Avoiding common mistakes and implementing regular maintenance will further enhance its longevity. Building a kid’s picnic table can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience with the right attitude, tools, and guidance.

Hopefully, the article on how to build a kids picnic table has provided you with valuable information and inspiration to embark on this project. So grab your tools and start building memories with your family! Happy woodworking!

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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