Happy Fine Motor Friday! Today's DIY Toy is the Ultimate PVC Play Table in a Bag! Playing trains, building with LEGO, lining up roads and driving cars- these are all great playful ways to help kids develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills!
I call this the ULTIMATE play table because you can use it for SO many things- AND you can fold it all up to put it away! Ta-da! ULTIMATE!
I suppose I should say that it replaces a play table but it doesn't have legs, which makes it extra versatile. You can make it a play table by setting it onto your existing furniture or play with it other ways, so it takes the place of several permanent items. (Note this post contains affiliate links, thank you for supporting this blog at no cost to you!)
I would love to have a beautiful train table, fabulous wall mounted felt board and LEGO table. And one day I'm sure we will have Hot Wheels tracks all over the place. But I don't have the space for extra furniture and cool wall mounted stuff right now. And…I just really like being able to put it all away! And so the Ultimate PVC Play table was born!
Here are the quick details:
-Simple PVC Frame wrapped with felt and a bit of glue and velcro
-Very light weight
-Make it any size to fit with your furniture and your home
-Lay it on top of an ottomon, coffeetable or other low furniture
-Play on the floor or outside
-Lean it against the wall to use as a felt board
-Slide it fully-assembled under the couch or bed for fast cleanup
-Disassemble the whole thing to put it away, bring it with when you travel or just to the back yard
Are you convinced yet?! How about if I told you the whole thing is SUPER simple to make?! Okay great, let's get going!
A note about measurements. I'll tell you the measurements of the one I made, but they are the measurements of the storage ottoman that we use as a toy box in our living room. You should make yours the right size to fit over your coffee table, flat toy box, storage ottomon or other play table…or the right size to slide under your couch or child's bed. It's up to you!
Also our local hardware store cuts PVC to size for you but if you need to cut it yourself, a hacksaw should do the trick.
Ultimate PVC Play Table in a Bag Materials
Green Felt (I bought 2 yards so I had extra)
PVC Pipes (I bought 1 1/4 inch diameter pipes, cut to these dimensions: two 29″ pipes, four 23″ pipes
4 PVC 90 degree slip by slip elbows (corner pieces)
2 PVC slip by slip coupling (straight connector pieces) (not needed for smaller or square shaped tables)
Glue gun and glue sticks
Stiffened black felt sheets for road pieces (may be available at craft stores in single sheets)
White puffy paint (for road stripes) (often available at craft stores in individual colors)
Additional sheets of felt for lakes and any other features
Trains, cars, LEGO, blocks, dollhouses, plastic animals and other toys as desired! Felt board pieces are also fun!
Edited to add: I bought my felt at Joann Fabric and Crafts Stores. Check out their coupon page for money saving coupons!
Ultimate PVC Play Table in a Bag Tutorial
-Lay out your felt out flat and assemble your PVC frame on top of it as shown.
-To determine where to cut your felt, fold each edge of the felt over its respective PVC Pipe as shown. Trim edges of felt so that each edge reaches about 2-3 inches past the PVC pipe (far enough so you can glue it down, in other words!). Also trim out squares of felt to give you access to the corner pieces. (This is key if you want to be able to disassemble it.)
– With the PVC frame still laying on the felt, use your hot glue gun to tightly glue the felt to itself on THREE SIDES ONLY. On the remaining side, attach your velcro strip to hold the felt together.
Umm. So. You're done. Go play!
If you want to add the felt road pieces, here is the configuration I used. My sheets were 9″ X 12″ so using 3″increments I was able to get 4 road pieces per sheet and 4 corners per sheet. I used puffy paint to add the stripes and let them dry according to the package recommendation. I cut out squiggly blue shapes for the lakes. I did not glue my felt pieces on so they can be rearranged as desired. But it also means they can get lost and bumped. If you want to glue them in place go for it!
A note about cleaning: when I first set out to make this, I loved the idea of removing it from the frame for purposes of cleaning it- who woudn't love to just toss it into the washing machine?! The thing is. Not all felt should be machine washed. The information on the felt that I bought said you can machine wash it on delicate. If I ever glue the smaller pieces on though, those did not have washing directions so I don't know how they would fare. If you are pretty familiar with felt and you have washed it before, then go for it, but if not I would avoid it to be safe. The clerk at my craft store suggested spraying it with Scotchguard Fabric Protector, which I thought was a great idea!
You can use the leftover felt to make a bag to store it in, or just use an old pillowcase!
When you want to disassemble it, open up the velcro side, separate the end pipe from the sides, then pull the two long sides out of the far end. Next remove the far end piece from the felt and roll up the felt. Bye-bye play table!
Do you like to DIY projects like this?! I love it! I've got a whole Pinterest board of DIY Kids Stuff from educational activities, rainy day fun, outside energy-burners and more! Come check it out!
Fine Motor Friday
This post is part of Fine Motor Fridays, a collaborative series with a group of fabulous bloggers who bring you playful fine motor skills ideas every week. To see what the other bloggers have been up to click below. Come follow us on Pinterest too!
Color Matching Fine Motor Jellyfish from School Time Snippets
Favorite Fine Motor Toys from Still Playing School
Sensory Stick Color Match from Powerful Mothering