We love a good IKEA Hack ... even more so when it helps make learning from home this school year a little bit easier! Keep on reading to see how we turned this popular IKEA kid's table into a STEM learning space for our kids!
For this simple and mess-free hack you will need:
- a 2-pack of Peel 'n Stick Baseplates
- a pack of StoryBricks® Letters
- a pack of Pixel Bricks
- LEGOs or similar building bricks
How to transform the table:
This really could not be any easier because the baseplates are the perfect size so there is no cutting needed. Simply peel off the red backing and stick them on the surface of the table panels. We chose to use one green and one blue Peel' n Stick Baseplate.
The great thing is that the panels on the top of the table can now be flipped in many different combinations to suit your child's creative desires. They might want a double building surface with the storage bins removed and both baseplates displayed. Or perhaps they want the bins accessible on one side and a baseplate on the other. And of course when not in use for building, the plain sides of the panels can be on display so that the table can be used for arts and crafts.
We decided to fill the large bin with regular LEGO bricks, and then placed StoryBricks and Pixel Bricks in the smaller bins. We really wanted to encourage our little builders to use a variety of building pieces. You'll also notice that we included some of our easy-to-use removal tools to save their little fingers!
Ways to play:
Most of the time our kids are more than happy freely exploring this set up. There are endless options with the different styles of bricks and they are simply happy to create in different ways. Our youngest who is three, can often be found simply making rows of letters with the StoryBricks. This may seem fairly random, but there is so much learning happening. As she places the bricks we repeat the letter together, and she is also having to try and recognize which way round the letter brick goes.
When our seven year old plays freely with the set up he usually likes to combine all of the different types of bricks on a one of the baseplates. Whether he's making an island or a piece of art, he's most definitely expressing his creative side fully! It's great that the panels are light enough for them to move around independently. There's always a surface to build on!
From time to time, we will intentionally set up an invitation to create which is a little more focused on a certain aspect of learning. Here's a few examples below...
We create half of an image and leave the other half for the kids to finish. This is often done using the Pixel Bricks, but regular bricks are also fun to use.
We use the StoryBricks to write a word which the kids have to read, spell and then recreate using either the Pixel Bricks or regular LEGO bricks.
Timed Build Challenge:
We write out a build challenge using the StoryBricks and give the kids a set amount of time. They love the pressure of creating something quickly and always approach the challenge so differently. It's great to see them being so creative with their engineering!
Good news, your kids will actually enjoy clearing the boards because they get to use the removal tools... so satisfying!
As you can see this Makerspace Table Hack for Kids offers so much versatility. It is easy to switch out the bins and flip the panels, enabling kids to use the table as they please. This will be getting lots of use over the coming school year for play and learning.
Creative QT designs quality + innovative toys that declutter homes and inspire creative play. Founded by parents of five, Adam and Dana Sue Hinkle, Creative QT’s vision is to empower parents and encourage a culture of families that Make Time Together. All products are designed to enrich families’ lives through active, creative play and play based learning. Creative QT products are laboratory tested for compliance with CPSC requirements and are free of lead, cadmium and phthalates so you can play with confidence. So, go ahead … today is the day: be your kid’s hero.
"LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this site."
Learning about symmetry is way more fun when you get to play with building bricks, especially our Pixel Bricks™! We are sharing a really fun and hands-on way to learn an early Math concept through an invitation to decorate butterfly wings.
Here are a few of our favorite April Fool's Day prank ideas we've done to our kids over the years. Most of which are last minute ideas (cause that's how we roll)!
Creative QT® co-owner, Adam Hinkle, lovingly refers toPixel Bricks™ as 'LEGO™ glitter' because they do seem to have a way of finding their way all over the floor if not properly stored. The good news is, however, we have loads of simple and affordable ways to store them all in this one blog.