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Our 4yo has grown out from her table and we are thinking about buying that a bigger one.

Other than "table should be sturdy, no sharp edges" - what should we check before buying?

How to make sure that the table and chairs are of the right size to make the seating/activities comfortable. What should we measure to make sure the table / chairs will fit well?

She has been sitting at her current table since she was 2yo, is it realistic to expect that the new chair will last (until she grow out of it) for another 2years (from 4.5yo to 6.5yo)?

I am asking to many questions because now she is spending more and more time doing her education activities at the table, so it is very important to get it right.

Thank you very much.

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The only thing I would suggest is to try and have some adjustability. Saves you trouble down the road when she outgrows the next table. –  balanced mama Jul 9 '12 at 21:33
    
@balancedmama Thank you. Have you tried one yourself? A am a bit worried about studiedness of height adjustable tables. Looks like all of the made of plastic, not of wood. –  user413 Jul 10 '12 at 15:20
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@balancedmama Why don't you make these an answer? –  jbelacqua Jul 12 '12 at 19:50
    
I didn't think it was really an answer since he is also asking about height measurements etc, but ok. –  balanced mama Jul 13 '12 at 0:41
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Look at a discount supply companies - tables and chairs made for schools are usually VERY sturdy. You can find wooden tops with metallic adjustable telescoping legs this way. I'm sorry I don't know which ones are open to the public, but if you do a search for school supply companies (I could name a number of science supply companies, but the furniture from them is more expensive because of the "lab" aspect. They have a chemical coat on top. We actually got our daughter's first at IKEA (not adjustable) and then have just been lucky with a good find at a thrift store

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Aspects to consider:

  • What materials do you prefer, or want to avoid? (wood, plastic, metals)
  • Should the furniture be brand-new, or would you accept/prefer used? (flea market, eBay, etc.)
  • Do you have preferences regarding surface finish? (child-safe paint, untreated wood, blank metal, hardened glass, etc.)
  • What's the expected life span of the furniture you're looking for? (should last 2-4 years, or grow with the child until teenage years, or life "forever")

Specific suggestions:

Desks:
I've always had much luck with visiting the local IKEA store (they're worldwide so I think this suggestion acceptable). They generally meet all the criteria I listed above. If you want a long-term solution then pick a model that is height adjustable.

Chairs:
Consider a relatively cheap office chair (wheels, swivel) that can be cheaply replaced as the child grows, or a simple 4-legged chair. You could also get something like a Stokke Tripp Trapp which is "just" wooden but can be a lifelong throne.

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