by Mike Jones
Looking for easy family fun right in the comfort of your own home? Consider creating a game room so that your family no longer has to visit local arcades on the weekend, or add a single game table to your family room if your space is more limited. One of the best options for friendly competition that the whole family will love is a kids air hockey table.
Air hockey is a great choice because the game table offers amazing value for the money as your whole family will be able to use it for years. Plus, it is great for people of all ages, and it is the ideal game for either two or four players depending on the size of the table. If you have younger children in your family, be sure to look for a kids air hockey table that will be perfectly sized to meet the needs of the smallest members of your family.
Our choice for best kids air hockey table is Best Choice Products 54in Large Air Hockey Table. It is perfect for middle-sized players who are beyond the very smallest tables but who cannot quite use full-size tables yet. It is also a compact option for teenagers who need to play in a small space. This vibrantly colored table has numerous rink markings for game-time planning and excitement. Made of dense wood fibers and designed with sturdy L-shaped legs, this Harvil-branded table is made to last for years. It also features an electronic scoring unit and 100V CUL-certified electric blowers, and it comes with two orange paddles and two orange pucks.
Where to Buy: Amazon
When buying a kids air hockey table, it is vital to search for a table that will last for years even during the rowdiest play. You will also want one that meets the design and size of the room that you want to put it in and that matches your goals for play. Consider the following nine important design factors before ultimately choosing the right one for your kids.
The strength and stability of the table is probably the most important feature to consider because if the legs break, other design features, such as the table's size or scoring mechanism, will not matter at all. Most importantly, look at the construction of the legs. Many are made from wood, but there is a huge difference between solid wood legs, which should last for years, and legs made from manufactured wood, which could splinter or break if your kids are known for playing roughly. You may also want to consider steel legs for the greatest support.
The side walls or rink walls should also be very sturdy. Not only will kids most likely be leaning against them as they watch the game, but also the pucks will be constantly hitting the walls, adding stress to the support system. Solid aluminum walls are typically the best option you can find although laminate will help keep the cost down.
Obviously, much of the joy of air hockey comes from how the puck floats effortlessly across the surface of the table. This action comes from the air blowers. You will want to look for a hockey table that has strong blowers built to last even after years of play to provide smooth air flow across the entire table.
When it comes to powering the blower, you will need to choose between an electric cord option for AC power or a battery-powered option. If you are mainly looking for great portability, then batteries are the way to go. However, if you are looking for more power and do not want to be replacing batteries so frequently, then opt for an AC-powered table.
Today, there are two main ways to score air hockey on an at-home table. The simplest, cheapest and most traditional option is manual scoring, which is most often styled like an abacus with rings or tiles to move over after every score. A manual option is good if your kids like to make up their own rules for scoring. However, if you are looking for more of a professional, arcade-style feel for your kids, opt for digital scoring.
Consider how many markings you would like on the air hockey rink. Some kids find too many markings confusing and prefer to play on a table that only has a center line. Others prefer traditional hockey rink markings to make it easier for them to line up their shots.
Another of the most important characteristics of your new kids air hockey table will be its size. You must consider the height of your children carefully before choosing the height and the length of your table. Most tables range from four to nearly nine feet long, and you will definitely want to choose a smaller table if you have very young children who do not have the arm reach that an adult would have.
The table you buy may also have the option for small pucks or large pucks. While small-puck tables are not often made with as high of quality materials as large-puck tables are, they are often better suited for young players. If you opt for a small-puck table now, you will probably want to plan on purchasing a large-puck table in a few years once your children are older.
Finally, you will want to consider the overall appearance of the kid's air hockey table that you buy. While this point may not factor in as much to your final decision as the strength of the construction and the overall size of the table will, you still want to ensure that it matches the aesthetics of your room and your design needs. Some tables have very basic appearances while others are incredibly bright with vibrant graphics and look quite similar to tables that you would find in an arcade.
When it comes to a kids air hockey table, it can be hard to know where to look. With the majority of these gaming tables designed mainly for use by teenagers and adults, you might be stumped as to which manufacturers create smaller tables designed for smaller hands and shorter arms and legs. These four are some of the best options for the littlest air hockey players in your house.
If you have the space for a stand alone air hockey table, but don't want to spend a lot of money then you're in luck. There are actually a few different models that are to be found in the lower price range that are great for smaller spaces or for teens and kids. Of those, my favorite model is the Harvil 4 Foot Air Hockey Table , which we found when looking for the best kids air hockey table under $200.
I do wish that the table was a bit larger in size, but for the price it's still a great deal. Also note that it's made out of MDF instead of solid wood. The playing surface is laminated and the pucks slide over it easily with the electric blower motor.
This table also has an electronic scoring unit, but it's not the best. In fact, if sometimes keeps score poorly. So, do know that before you buy this one. Fortunately, it also has manual score keeps for you to use.
This is probably a good choice for kids since it is a smaller sized table and has such a great low price. Of course, adults can use it too if you don't mind the smaller playing surface compared to some of the larger stand alone tables.
It is easy to put together and seems sturdy enough for the money and can stand up to aggressive playing. It's not the best table out there, but at this price point it is an awesome deal.
A slightly smaller and lighter-weight option, this 4.5-foot kids air hockey table by Triumph has vibrant game-day graphics, sturdy legs with cross braces and manual scoring via the attached abacus. The real fun with this table comes when a player scores and lights in each corner flash in celebration. If your family wants to enjoy after-dark fun, this glow-in-the-dark table with a light-up puck is sure to be a family favorite.
Where to Buy:
This 5-foot option is the perfect size for middle-sized players who are beyond the very smallest tables but who cannot quite use full-size tables yet. It is also a compact option for teenagers who need to play in a small space. This vibrantly colored table has numerous rink markings for game-time planning and excitement. Made of dense wood fibers and designed with sturdy L-shaped legs, this Harvil-branded table is made to last for years. It also features an electronic scoring unit and 100V CUL-certified electric blowers, and it comes with two orange paddles and two orange pucks.
Where to Buy:
This Lancaster 3-in-1 table is the perfect addition to any family game room because the game table can be easily changed and locked into place depending on what your kids want to play that night. The base table provides a compact space for beginning billiards. This kids air hockey table can be placed directly on top of the billiard table or can be turned over to reveal a foosball table. This unique multi-use game table includes manual scoring, side locks for stability and built-in storage all in a very compact 48-inch size.
Where to Buy:
A kids air hockey can give your kids hours of fun even when they are forced to stay inside on a rainy day. Whether you are looking for a gift idea for your kids, a fun addition to your game room or a draw for the neighborhood kids, consider one of these four of the best kids air hockey tables sized perfectly for smaller players and smaller spaces.
About Mike Jones
As a child of the 80's, my fondest gaming memories are playing Pitfall, Frogger, Kaboom! and Chopper Command on our old Atari 8600. These days I've been rocking the Nintendo Classic and learning some new card and board games with the family."