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Whether they’re gathering outdoors to color with friends, sitting down for a snack or enjoying a family barbecue, kids like having a table sized just for them. But how to do you find a table that’s going to be a good fit for your kids? Here are a few tips from a veteran parent who’s gone through the table-buying wars that will set you on the right course to finding a perfect picnic table for the little guys in your family.

Constructed of high-density polyethylene for superior strength and durability, this kid’s picnic table seats four and has impact resistant corners for safety. Lifetime

Picnic tables for little guys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Consider how many children you’ll likely need to accommodate (don’t forget their friends) then choose accordingly. Wooden tables may match nicely with your adult outdoor furniture (or even the swing set)—something to consider if aesthetics really matter to you. Wood does take a little more maintenance over time to keep it looking nice, but a quick sanding job and a coat of polyurethane for table top is enough to your your table looking new for years. Plastic, however, wipes off easily when spills occur and you never have to worry about splinters or plastic rusting the way steel setups may.

Made of weather-resistant wood, this option protects kids from harmful UV rays. KidKraft

If your kids are really little, choosing a table with benches that are integral to the design will save a lot of hassles having to scoot kids into the table; and it lessens the chances of kids accidentally tumbling over. Snap-together or folding models are nice to have when you need to bring tables inside for winter storage. Look for models that fold flat so they take up less room in the garage or basement. And for safety’s sake, look for tables that feature rounded corners and soft edges.

This model boasts two cup holders in center, along with a multi-purpose condiment/crayon tray. Little Tikes

One major advantage of plastic tables is how lightweight they are, meaning you and your kids can move them around the yard to get out of the sun and into the shade. Built-in cupholders are a convenient way to prevent spills, and a center tray lets kids stash snacks and crayons.