7 Creative Alternatives to Your Average Kids Picnic Table

Sure, it’s a lovely idea. The sun is out. The food is packed. And the kids are keen for some fun outdoors. But why does a picnic just have to be about food? What about all the other creative activities that a picnic could be? While there are plenty of great kids picnic table options available, there are also a tonne of ways to start thinking outside of the proverbial picnic basket.

With tables out there for encouraging arts, crafts, making, building, cognitive skills, thinking skills and even pooping (read on my friend) it’s well worth exploring some of the many amazing options. So to set you on your way, here are seven of the most collaborative, social, creative and fun kids play tables around.

Creative Alternatives to a Kids Picnic Table

1. ALEX Toys Artist Studio Super Art Table

Kids Picnic Table - ALEX Toys Artist Studio Super Art Table with Paper Roll

What I love about Artist Studio Super Art Table is how every possible surface is put to creative use. Much more than a simple kids picnic table this artistic space is jampacked with creative features. The tabletop is made from a chalkboard finish allowing kids to scribble, doodle and erase directly onto the table. There is a built in paper dispenser with an included 100-foot paper roll. Recessed cup holder and a fitted canvas bag to store art and craft supplies. And its solid wood construction makes the table a durable and longlasting playspace for kids.

Best for: Art, Craft, Maker, Home, Classroom

Seats: 4 children

Ages: 3 years +


2. Kidkraft 2-in-1 Activity Table

Kidkraft 2-in-1 Activity Table

Ever seen a kids picnic table made out of LEGO? Didn’t think so. The Kidkraft 2-in-1 Activity Table is the transformer of kids play tables. With a flippable playboard lid, kids can choose to build and create on the multicolored LEGO surface using the included 200 LEGO blocks. Or, they can flip the lid and just have some fun on the smooth side using the included 30-piece train set. Designed with space below the playboard for toy and block storage, this compact and light play table keeps bedrooms and classrooms tidy as well as creative and fun.

Best for: Maker, LEGO, Play, Storage, Home, Classroom

Seats: 2 children

Ages: 3 years +


3. Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table

KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table

Definitely the kids picnic table alternative for young engineers, the Waterfall Mountain Train Table is one of the best play tables for creativity and imaginative play. While the playboard itself is a smooth and flat silk-screened landscape, it’s all about what can be built upon it. With a 120 piece train playset included with the table, all sorts of structures and villages can be built around the solid wood train track. And, when it’s time for the fun to stop, all the pieces can be packed away in the three storage bins that slide neatly under the table.

Best for: Play, Imagination, Cooperative, Storage, Home

Seats: 4 children

Ages: 3 years +


4. Crayola Wooden Table And Chair Set

Crayola Wooden Table And Chair Set

Who knew Crayola made tables? Well, I guess they are tables for drawing. And the chairs are shaped impressively like crayons. The Crayola Wooden Table And Chair Set is made to encourage that artistic flair in kids with a whole host of creative features that go far beyond just crayons. A little more portable than the ALEX art table, the Crayola seats two children but has a similar set of features. It offers a similar chalkboard surface in the center of the table that can be flipped to convert into a dry-erase top. It has four fabric compartments for storing pens and pencils (and crayons) and two under table storage areas for bigger art supplies.

Best for: Art, Craft, Maker, Storage, Home

Seats: 2 children

Ages: 3 years +


5. VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk

Kind of a kids picnic table from the future, the VTech Touch and Learn is very different from the other play tables we have looked at. Think of it more as an interactive play station on legs. The activity table is an interactive desktop that can be changed using any one of the four double-sided cards to introduce numbers, letters, animals, music, people and more. The activity table can then be flipped up to reveal an easel and chalkboard for more traditional creativity. With 160+ vocab words, 30+ learning activities20+ popular melodies and 9 colorful touch pages each with 4 learning modes there is hours and hours of learning and fun to be had.

Best for: Learning, Electronic, Individual, Home

Seats: 1 child

Ages: 3 year +


6. Step2 Art Easel Desk

Step2 Art Easel Desk

A very innovate and neat design, the foldable Step2 Art Easel Desk is an excellent, space efficient option. More portable than many of our kids picnic table alternatives the desk offers the opportunity for two children to create art together, one standing and one sitting. With a standing dry erase board and a sitting workspace for creative projects the desk is perfect for friends or brothers and sisters who can work independently while still enjoying each others company. As well as the innovative workspace the table also includes storage areas above and underneath the desk itself.

Best for: Art, Portable, Foldable, Home

Seats: 2 children (1 sitting and 1 standing)

Ages: 18 months +


7. CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty

CTA Digital 2-in-1 iPotty with Activity Seat for iPad

Yes. It’s about as far away from a kids picnic table as you can get… But it just had to get a mention. This is a real product, and not only is it real, it’s extremely popular with potty-training parents around the globe. The iPotty is a fully-functional potty with an adjustable stand that securely holds protects your iPad while your child poops and plays. As real as the ipotty is, there are a number of amusing reviews and questions posted on Amazon. Well worth a look :)

Does it include a gift card to download “Angry Turds” from the App Store?

Best for: Ummm… I think you can guess

Seats: 1 child (definitely only one)

Ages: 18 months (up to 43 lbs)


What alternative have you found for a kids picnic table? How do you set up spaces for your children to get creative? Let us know your recommendation and ideas in the comments below.


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Johan Larsson.

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