Choosing the right picnic tables for a school setting can be a challenge, and the most suitable style will depend on your school’s – and students’ -needs. To help you make the best choice, we’ve broken down the four main components of picnic tables. Keep reading to know how to select the best option and the different types of school picnic tables to consider.

Shape

Picking the right shape for your school will help you make the most of the space you have available, whether that’s indoor or outdoor. Here are the four main shapes to choose from.

  • Square picnic tables have seating around the whole table. This is great for both large and small spaces. It’s also a good option for assigned-seating situations or where you want to minimize large groups.
  • The most common shape, rectangular picnic tables are useful for cafeterias with large lunch groups, particularly when keeping whole classes seated together is essential.
  • Round picnic tables offer a more social seating experience. They facilitate group collaboration – whether studying, working on a project, or sharing a pizza.
  • Like a square table, a hexagon shape has seating on each of its sides. However, it offers six seats instead of four and works well for maximizing seating with younger elementary students.

Style

While most picnic tables are suitable for middle school to high school students, you might prefer one of the following options if you have much younger students or students with special needs.

  • As the name implies, portable picnic tables can be moved from place to place easily. If your picnic tables are used in a multi-functional space, this will make life easier.
  • Sitting at a table that’s too large and too high off the ground can be uncomfortable or painful for pre-school-aged children. Preschool picnic tables are specifically designed to accommodate smaller bodies and are usually made of softer material.
  • ADA Accessible. ADA accessible picnic tables are usually square-shaped and lack seating on one side to accommodate wheelchairs. They make it easy for wheelchair-bound students – or adults – to socialize with friends at the same table.

Materials

In your search for the best school picnic tables, you’ll want to consider the type of material that it is made out of.

  • Most school picnic tables will be made of metal, usually steel since they are the most durable. They will last for several years and can stand up to boisterous students.
  • Recycled Plastic. A softer option, recycled plastic is hardy and reliable while being somewhat forgiving. It’s an excellent choice for pre-school and elementary students because they’re easy to clean and are less likely to cause injury if a student bumps into one.

Seating

Another thing to consider is the type of seating you need. There are two main types that you can find in all shapes and materials.

  • The bench is the typical seating style that you think of when you picture a picnic bench. This type of seating allows for more people to sit together.
  • Chair seating is less common on a picnic bench. The benefit to chairs is that you can manage how many people are sitting at one table. This is especially useful for managing mealtimes with younger students.

Finding the right picnic table for your school’s needs might feel overwhelming, but help is at the ready! If you need some assistance finding the best shape, style, material, and seating options for your school’s new picnic tables, give the experts at Catholic Purchasing Services a call!

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