Little Brother has recently discovered a love for LEGOs, which has rubbed off on Big Brother as well. For his birthday this week, we got Little Brother a large set of LEGOs (since the ones were mismatched pieces bought at a garage sale the summer before I started teaching to use for indoor recess). As part of his gift, we also decided to convert the boy’s train table into a LEGO table. They don’t play with the train table very much, but we weren’t ready to part with it entirely. The best part about this upgrade is that the insert sits on top of the table, so it can be removed and used as a train table again whenever we want!
My parents gave the boys their train table for Christmas four years ago, so they don’t sell the exact table we have. It is an Imaginarium Train Table (bought at Toys ‘R Us) and is very similar to this one. We purchased a wooden board at a home improvement store and had them cut if for us, making this a relatively simple project. If you’re looking for just a LEGO table, this won’t save you very much money. But if you want to dual functionality of trains AND LEGOs, this upgrade is definitely worth it! I think we spent about $70 total on this project.
Here’s what you’ll need: a piece of MDF or other board cut to the specifications of your table (ours was 1/8″ wainscot marker board and measured 47 1/2″ x 31 1/2″), Gray 15″ x 15″ LEGO building plates OR 10″ x 10″ LEGO building plates, a tarp, packing tape, and high-strength spray adhesive. You’ll also want some LEGO pieces to help as you’re putting it together.
1. Remove all of the train tracks, buildings, bridges, etc. from your train table. Store them in a plastic bucket and pull them out whenever your child tires of the LEGO table. Measure your table and figure out how many LEGO building plates you will need. We ended up using 7 total because we wanted to cover every inch of our train table.
2. Purchase your board (most home improvement stores will cut it to your specifications for you, if you ask nicely). :)
3. Place the board over the top of your train table.
4. Lay out all of the building plates and start securing them together.
DO NOT put the building plates flush up against each other! Otherwise the LEGO pieces themselves will not attach at the joints. Instead, you’ll want to use individual LEGO pieces to join 2 of the building plates together to see how they will accurately fit together. As you can see in the picture above, there is a very small gap between the pieces.
5. Cut the LEGO building plates, if necessary, to cover the entire surface of your LEGO table. Believe it or not, regular scissors work just fine!
Once again, piece the plates together by interlocking the LEGOs, especially on the corners.
6. Use packing tape to secure the pieces together.
7. Carefully flip the entire piece over (you’ll need two people for this step).
8. Grab your adhesive spray. We used 3M High-Strength 90 Spray Adhesive.
9. Lay down a tarp or sheet and spray the entire backside of your LEGO board.
10. Spray the entire surface of your MDF board as well. Let the adhesive sit until it is tacky, according to the directions on the bottle.
11. Very carefully lift the LEGO piece and place on top of your MDF board. Use a rolling pin to press the board against the board and secure the adhesive.
12. Let the table sit for a couple hours before attempting to use it.
Until now, I had no idea that LEGO Duplos will fit on top of the regular LEGO building plates! Awesome!
This is my favorite feature…just clear off all the extra LEGOs into the drawer!
Do you have a train table? A LEGO table?