Children Activities Tips by Reward Me

A box of tricks : how to build a creative space for kids

As Mums, we know how little ones need a dedicated space to explore, create and grow up. There is no doubt that children will love this play table that becomes a mobile jungle gym. It’s a smart solution for urban homes! And we also know how kids are bound to ?nd alternative uses for things. Guess what: here, the central storage compartment becomes a hideout!


how-to-build-a-creative-space

how-to-build-a-creative-space

Shopping list
• wider box sides: two 600 x 580 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks
• narrower box sides: two 580 x 560 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks
• box base and lid: two 560 x 560 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks
• fold-out side tops: four 600 x 550 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks
• fold-out side uprights: four 570 x 600 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks (these uprights contain the cut-out shapes that can be seen in the photographs)
• side overhangs: four 600 x 30 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks
• rests for the lid inside the box: cut a 2 400 x 22 x 22mm pine plank into
o longer rests: two 560 x 22 x 22mm planks
o shorter rests: two 516 x 22 x 22mm planks
• bases of the base blocks: four 600 x 62 x 22mm pine planks
• sides of the base blocks: eight 600 x 20 x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks

Other
• 24 8 x 45mm chipboard screws (to construct the box)
• wood ?ller
• ± 100 8 x 40mm chipboard screws (to ?x the 30 x 20mm strips to the outside of the box and the 22 x 22mm strips to the inside of the box, and construct the base blocks into which the sides will rest)
• 16 steel butt hinges
• 64 6 x 20mm chipboard screws (to ?x the hinges in place)
• 16 8 x 16mm chipboard screws (to ?x the castors in place)
• 4 70mm castors (without brakes)
• short piece of rope
• 120-grit (medium-grit) sandpaper
• wood primer
• acrylic PVA in the colour(s) of your choice
• blackboard paint (optional)

Equipment
• steel ruler
• combination square
• sharp pencil
• electric drill
• cordless drill
• 3mm, 10mm and countersinking drill bits
• jigsaw
• G clamps
• orbital sander
• tape measure

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how-to-build-a-creative-space

how-to-build-a-creative-space

1. Construct the box: Measure 20mm inwards from both 580mm sides of both 600 x 580 x 20mm box side planks. Draw lines along these measurements with the help of the steel ruler or combination square. Drill three 3mm pilot holes between these lines on both sides of both planks: drill one hole at each end (about 60mm inwards) and one in the middle.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

2. Construct the box, which should measure 600 x 600 x 580mm (WxLxH), using the two 600 x 580 x 20mm sides and the two 580 x 560 x 20mm sides. Make sure that the wider 600 x 580 x 20mm sides overlap the slightly shorter 580 x 560 x 20mm sides. Use wood glue and the 8 x 45mm chipboard screws to screw the panels together.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

3. Use an offcut piece of wood cut to 50mm as a guide to draw a 50mm-high line, from the bottom of the box, all the way around the box.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

4. Turn the box on its side and place the 560 x 560 x 20mm base inside so that it sits in place above this 50mm line. Drill pilot holes (three per side) and glue and screw the base in place using the remaining 8 x 45mm chipboard screws. Tip: Use the 50mm offcut spacer as a guide, on the inside this time, to check that the base remains in the correct position.

how-to-build-a-creative-space-8

how-to-build-a-creative-space

5. Screw the four 600 x 30 x 20mm side overhang pieces to the outside of the top of the box (one on each side) using wood glue and the 8 x 40mm chipboard screws (four screws per side). These strips form the overhang under which the folding tabletops and uprights are stored when the play table is folded up. Don’t forget to drill pilot holes and then countersink these holes.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

6. Screw the two 560 x 22 x 22mm longer rests and the two 516 x 22 x 22mm shorter rests for the lid inside the box 20mm from the top of the box. Use wood glue and the 8 x 40mm chipboard screws. Make sure you drill pilot holes and countersink them before screwing in four screws per side.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

how-to-build-a-creative-space

7. Construct the folding sides: If you wish to add cut-out shapes to the folding sides (this is an optional step) mark out the shapes (we created a square, a circle, a triangle and a cross) on the four 570 x 600 x 20mm fold-out side uprights. Hold the sides in place with G clamps and insert an offcut piece of wood between the sides and the clamps so that the clamps don’t damage the wood. Use the jigsaw to cut out these shapes.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

8. Turn the box onto its top and lie the four 600 x 550 x 20mm fold-out side tops ?at next to the 600 x 30x 20mm pine rests that were ?xed in place in step 5. Attach the hinges using the 6x 20mm chipboard screws. Do the same with all four sides tops.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

9. Place the four 570 x 600 x 20mm fold-out side uprights that contain the cut-out shapes created in step 7 perpendicular to, but ?ush against, the ends of the fold-out side tops, as pictured. Join the two sets of panels using the remaining 6x 20mm chipboard screws and the remaining hinges.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

10. Use the 8x 16mm chipboard screws to ?x the castors to the underside of the base. Important: Make sure that you position the castors slightly in from the sides so that they can still turn 360 degrees when you have screwed them in place.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

11. Fold each of the tops and sides against the box and turn the box upright onto its wheels. You may need an extra pair of hands for this as it is an awkward size and the sides will fall down. Place the 560 x 560 x 20mm lid in position and then use the 10mm drill bit to drill two holes in the centre of the lid about 150mm apart. Thread the ends of a short piece of rope through each hole and tie a knot on the underside. This will serve as a handle.

how-to-build-a-creative-space

12. Use the 8x 40mm chipboard screws, the four 600 x 62x 22mm pine planks and the eight 600 x 20x 20mm laminated pine shelving planks to construct the four U-shaped bases into which the side uprights will rest when the table is folded open. Drill pilot holes, countersink them from underneath each base into the two sides, then screw the two side pieces in place.
13. Sand the entire project, including over the holes that you have ?lled with wood ?ller and around the edges of the project to round them off slightly and make them safer. Coat the box with a wood primer before ?nishing the individual sides or the entire box in the colour(s) of your choice. We chose to use blackboard paint on some of the panels to add extra functionality to the play table.

Sit back, watch your kids’ imagination run wild with all the surfaces and spaces you’ve created, and congratulate yourself on a DIY job done well.

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