Kids Water Table

The Best Water Table for Kids

There’s something about a water table for kids that simply seems to inspire new creativity levels and play in toddlers. If you’ve ever watched kids play in puddles after the rain, you’d understand why bringing the puddle to them would be one of the most joyful things you can do for your kid. 

Kid’s water tables are amazing toys. Friends can gather and splash together while developing fine motor and sensory skills, amongst other excellent benefits. We’ve looked at what we think are the best water tables available on the market today.

At the bottom of this article, we’ve added a buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for when making a water table purchase decision. We’ve also added a few tips on how to up the fun beyond just water and how to take care of your water table for kids to ensure your toddler enjoys it for years to come and still be able to pass it onto someone else afterward.

Top Pick
Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand & Water Table

The table is sturdy and holds up to 50lbs of sand and 4 gallons of water. The sand area has a nifty plastic cover to protect and keep it clean when not in use.

Benefits of a Water Table for Kids?

So what’s all the fuss about? As we’ve stated before, kids’ water tables are genuinely great “tools” to assist your kids’ development in several key areas. 

Sensory Exploration

Water, sand, wet sand, plastic figurines, spinning wheels, spiral towers, lazy river, waterfall sounds. Your kids’ water table will introduce your child to new textures, sounds, sights, and temperatures. It will challenge your toddler to use multiple senses at once to explore as they splash, dig, and laugh together. Water tables for kids are not just toys to pass the time and have fun; they will continuously learn through seeing, feeling, and hearing new things.

STEM Learning

Water tables expose your toddler to physics concepts like flow and motion. Teach them by guessing what will happen when a pirate figurine is placed atop a water slide and squirted with water from behind. Spinners, water wheels, and slides are great ways to stimulate STEM learning and teach them cause and effect and start exposing them to concepts like momentum and inertia. 

Concentration and Focus

With all these new sounds, textures, motions, and concepts, your child will become engrossed in their water table. Through this, you are encouraging them to engage their focus and increase their concentration spans, helping them later in life when your child beings formal studying at their schools. 

Communication and Social Skills

Water tables for kids are great for group play. Gathering around a water table and splashing together inspires kids to talk, role-play, negotiate, and take turns on different parts of the table. They will experiment together and expand their vocabulary with excellent new words like “squirt,” “spout,” “trough,” and “maelstrom.”

Physical and Motor Skills

A water table for kids is an excellent tool to assist in your child’s physical development. When they scoop a floating toy from the water or empty a large bucket of water into a trough at the top of the tower, they will stretch their physical dexterity and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

Our 10 Best Water Tables

1. Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand & Water Table for Kids

Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon
  • Recommended age:
    24 months – 8 years
  • Dimensions:
    26.5” x 26.5” x 34.5”
  • Max Gallons:
    4

The elevated Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon is a sand and water table combination for toddlers. They designed the table to have separate water and sand areas, though nothing prevents you from filling both with either water or sand, of course. The table is sturdy and holds up to 50 lbs of sand and 4 gallons of water. The sand area has a nifty plastic cover to protect and keep it clean when not in use. It’s an intelligent way to keep dirt and the neighbors’ cat out of your sand table.

The Sandy Lagoon water table for kids comes with a central tower that sports two water slides, two diving boards, and a dump bucket. Also included is a sand spinner and showed rake combination for sand-art and play. As with most water table designs, the Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon has a built-in drain plug to make cleaning a breeze. The table is relatively easy to assemble,  20-45 minutes depending on your toy-assembly-skill levels.

The tower in the center of the Sand Lagoon table doesn’t seal watertight, so this table is probably not suited for indoor use. You should expect water, and even some sand, to leak through the tower hole and onto the floor, so drop a sheet or towel under the table if you decide to use it indoors.

Reasons to Buy the Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand & Water Table

  • Sand and water table combination
  •  Sand cover
  •  It comes with a sand spinner, water slides, and diving boards

2. Step2 Duck Dive Water Table for Kids

Step2 Duck Dive Water Table
  • Recommended age:
    18 months – 6 years
  • Dimensions:
    24” x 24” x 30”
  • Max Gallons:
    4

The Duck Dive water table by Step2 is an excellent design with some cool features that kids love. In the center of the water table is a spinner that creates a whirlpool for all your favorite bath toys to avoid. If you don’t want to share those, the table comes with two rubber ducks and a water-squirting frog!

On the edge of the table is a whirlpool water tower, complete with a water-wheel and a nice large water feeder at the top to at least attempt getting most of the water down the gully and not onto the floor. A “catapult” mounted to the side lets kids launch any toys that escaped the table back into the fun with some flair.

The Duck Dive is a great basic no-frills water table. It is sturdy and rigid, though as with most toys with moving parts exposed to young kids, some reviewers report their toddlers manage to break off or remove the spinner or the catapult.

The table is sturdy enough for a toddler to lean on and easy to assemble – some reviewers saying they could do it in under 5 minutes. There are no screws, and everything just snaps into place. The table is, of course, fitted with a no-leak drain plug. 

Reasons to Buy the Step2 Duck Dive Water Table

  •  Basic no-frills table
  •  Water spinner
  •  No-leak drain plug

3. Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table for Kids

Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table
  • Recommended age:
    24 months – 3 years
  • Dimensions:
    30.83” x 32.67” x 22.3”
  • Max Gallons:
    7

The Little Tykes Frog Pond water table is an excellent basic water table for kids looking for just a basic wavetable with fewer frills but not less fun. The water table features a central tower fashioned like a lily-pad. Around the edges are two launchers where kids can launch their frogs into the water, or of course, onto the lily-pad as a bonus. There’s a spinner on the other side that will circulate the water around the table for a slow lazy-river effect when turned.

Even though it weighs only 4 lbs, the table is sturdy and easy to assemble. It holds 7 gallons of water and has a drain plug for easy cleaning. Some reviewers mentioned that outdoor debris and leaves stained the plastic when left outside for prolonged periods, so consider covering it when not used.

Reasons to Buy the Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table

  •   Great basic table
  •  It creates a lazy river
  •  2 Frog launchers

4. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table for Kids

Step2 Rain Showers Water Table
  • Recommended age:
    18 months – 8 years
  • Dimensions:
    39.02” x 24.02” x 32.01”
  • Max Gallons:
    5

The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond is one of the best water tables for kids and doesn’t cut corners when creating opportunities for your kids to stretch their imaginations during sensory play. The manufacturer flaunts this table will “create a mini water park right in your backyard,” and there’s at least some merit to that claim.

This dual-layer water table has a large catchment trough at the top that kids can fill with water with the large bucket that comes with the kit, creating a rainfall effect into the water table below as the water drips and runs through holes.

As the water drips back into the water table pond, maze-like spinners, buckets, and ramps are activated. You can rearrange these to create different fun effects. There’s also a side-flipper that can catapult toys back into the pond. The Rain Showers Splash Pond comes with 13 accessories including, a duck, frog, fish, strainer, and the maze and spinning pieces used to create their fantasy waterfalls.

This is arguably one of the best water tables if you’re looking for something with many parts and possibilities for creative play. 

The water table is sturdy, with one reviewer saying that her 2-year-old uses it as a mini splash-pool, and it has never looked wobbly even with that kind of use. It is relatively easy to assemble but does not come with any pre-drilled holes, so be prepared to drill a few holes in the plastic to get it set up.

Reasons to Buy the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

  •   Mini water park
  •  Rain effect
  •  Rearrangeable spinners

5. Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Table for Kids

Little Tikes Anchors Away Water Table for Kids
  • Recommended age:
    24 months – 5 years
  • Dimensions:
    36” x 36” x 29”
  • Max Gallons:
    5.5

Yo ho ho! Ahoy, me hearties. Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! The Little Tykes Anchors Away is undoubtedly the best water table, a pirate ship – at least in the minds of the lads and lassies gathered around. We just love the theme of this water table for kids. You can circulate the water with a bit of a pump or pour it into the crows-nest at the top of the mast.

This one comes fully armed with a squirting water cannon and a skull and crossbones flag as with any proper pirate ship. The anchor can be lowered and raised by cranking the winch handle. They equipped the ship with an array of spinners that keep moving all the floating bits and debris around. Also included are two pirate characters and a shark to take care of the unfortunate mutineer that has to walk the plank. 

This water table has only three legs, but it is sturdy, and this is not an issue that affects the table’s stability. They made the unit of quality materials. One reviewer on Amazon writing that after two years of use, the water cannon still works with no degradation of the plastic and no leakage. The table comes with a drainage plug and is relatively easy to assemble but has no pre-drilled holes in the plastic, so you will have to drill a few holes to insert the screws that attach the legs to the table.

Reasons to Buy the Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Table

  •   It’s a Pirate Ship!
  •  Has a drainage plug
  •  No leakage or degradation after a couple of years

6. Step2 Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table with Umbrella

Step2 Fiesta Water Table
  • Recommended age:
    24 months – 6 years
  • Dimensions:
    39.5” x 26.5” x 28”
  • Max Gallons:
    3

The Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table for kids is another dual-sided play table for toddlers to explore water and sand simultaneously. They shaped the table in a cruise ship, which will get their imaginations going off the bat! As an added feature, this is one of the best water tables we’ve looked at that comes with its umbrella. Whether you take it to the beach or just want to keep your kid going in the backyard on those sunny days, you’re bound to appreciate it.

The table comes with nine accessories, including cruise ship crew figures. There’s a slide at the ship’s stern where crew members, or any other toys from the toy box, can slide into the water pond.

The ship’s bow is the sand area, covered with a sturdy plastic lid shaped like the ship tower and cabins. The lid has a more practical purpose, of course, because it keeps the sand clean when the toy is not in use, such as keeping out leaves, grime, or the neighbors’ cat. The accessories are well-made and provide enough variety to hold your kids’ attention for a while.

The table is sturdy; it can hold up to 3 gallons of water and 40 lbs of sand and is easy to assemble The bottom of the water pond has grooves causing grime to get stuck and form there, so it’ll need a good scrubbing from time to time.

Also, for some obscure reason, because of the grooves, the drain plug is slightly elevated, making it hard to drain the water pond entirely by just pulling the plug. Pick it up and tilt it around to get all the water to run out. Still, this is one of the best water tables for kids available on the market.

Reasons to Buy the Step2 Fiesta Cruise Sand & Water Table with Umbrella

  •  Sand and water table combination
  •  It has a lid to keep out dirt
  •  Built-in umbrella stand

7.  Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Water Table for Kids

Little Tikes Spiralin Water Table
  • Recommended age:
    24 months – 6 years
  • Dimensions:
    29” x 29” x 31.5”
  • Max Gallons:
    7

The Little Tykes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark will provide hours and hours of fun to your toddler. It’s a pretty basic water table without too many gimmicks or things that can break depending on how you see it, but with loads of room for your kid to stretch their imagination.`

The water table comes with a spiraling center tower and 5 “squirting character balls”. Water and balls can be thrown down the gullet atop the tower to spiral to the bottom and into the water pond, where they can circle the tower in the lazy river. There’s a small Ferris Wheel that can scoop up the balls and drop them off again, improving your kids’ coordination and motor skills.

The water table holds 7 gallons of water. Some people have difficulty assembling the swirl tower, but it is easy to make and can be done in as little as 15 minutes. As with all Little Tykes toys, the table’s plastic is durable and will last for years, especially if properly cared for. Not uncommon in even the best water tables, this one sometimes leaks water through the center.

The center tower funnel is large enough to move the balls through, and of course, water, but your kids will inevitably throw all kinds of other things down the gullet, so expect to have to clear out some blockages from time to time!

Reasons to Buy the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Water Table

  •   It has a Ferris wheel 
  •  It has a central tower funnel
  •  Squirting character balls

How to Clean and Care for Your Sand and Water Table

Keeping your water and sand table clean and hygienic is essential to your kids’ health and the enjoyment of this toy. As with any other toy, you are applying some common sense, and exercising good judgment is vital in deciding when, how frequently, and how to clean your kids’ water table. Sand tables, especially, can quickly become a trap for all kinds of unwanted germs and bugs.

We recommend that you disinfect your water table regularly, but here are some other common-sense ways to help take care of your kids’ water table.

Hose it Down

If your water table spends most of its time outside, and you’re lucky enough to have a yard and some room, then we recommend starting by at least hosing it down from time to time. It won’t kill germs, but it will remove mud, access sand and surface grime.

Wash with Warm Water and Soap

Next up, depending on how you use the table, find some time to wash it with regular dishwashing liquid and hot water. Use a brush that can get into the groves and hard-to-reach spots created by the accessories. It’s how you clean the dishes you eat from.

Disinfect Often

If you want to clean your water table, especially if your kids use it for group play or share it with other children, we recommend disinfecting it regularly. Use 200 ppm chlorine or 400 ppm quaternary ammonium and let the disinfectant sit on the toy and in the tub for a few minutes before rinsing. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on using disinfectants on their toys.

Keep it Out of the Sun

Almost all water tables for kids are made from durable plastic. They can weather the elements for years, but an extended amount of harsh direct sunlight will shorten their lifespan. Sun brittles plastic, and it will decolor and fracture over time. If you live in an area with extreme summer conditions, we recommend you position your water table in the shade or carry it indoors during summer.

Change the Sand

If you have a sand and water table combination, take special care of the sand area. Sift the sand regularly to get rid of any debris. Use your best judgment about when to change the sand completely. When in doubt, just change the sand! It’s cheap and easy to come by.

Cover It

Many water and sand table combinations come with some sort of cover for the sand area; this is designed to keep dirt, debris, and the neighborhood animals out of the sand. It’s not a bad idea to cover your entire kids’ water table, though. You may find a strong weather-resistant cover online, have one custom-made, or simply make one from a cardboard box.

How To Buy the Best Water Table For Kids

If you’re looking to make a wise purchase decision and buy the best water table available for your kid, there are a few things you should keep in mind. If you pick the correct table, these can provide fun for years and still be good enough to pass down to somebody else.

01

Age-Appropriate

First, make sure you pick a table that’s age-appropriate. All manufacturers will specify a recommended age for their water table, usually starting at around 18 months and goes up to 6 years. It is not uncommon for kids to enjoy a water table as soon as they can pull themselves up and balance by holding onto the sides. 
 
If you decide to start your child earlier, we’d recommend you only do so under constant supervision or, at the very least, only add a little water to the pond for their safety and remove all choking hazards. You can buy a water table for kids, specifically for tiny toddlers.
 
Remember, though, these provide years of entertainment, and kids will easily keep playing in them till age six or more. If you buy a small “baby table,” they may outgrow it fast, and you’ll end up digging into your pocket again.

02

Design Features

Water tables are not complex toys, and most of the best water tables share the same design features. Some just do them better and a little differently from others. Here are the ones you do need to focus on when reading reviews and researching your potential purchase.

Height Knowing what the top of the rim of your water table is will help you understand whether your kid will reach or whether the table may be obnoxiously low for your child who may have already outgrown it. Most kids’ water tables have a tower feature you can pour water into; make sure you understand how high the top of the tower is. Your child may not be tall enough to reach the top yet, causing them to constantly pull on the table – and possibly pulling it over to make the little spinny-thingies spin.
 
Weight – Almost every water table for kids is made of hard-wearing plastic, so they’re not too heavy. If you’re going to move it around often for storage or whatever reason, make sure you can safely and comfortably lift it. Some of the larger models get weighty.
 
Footprint – Water tables vary in size. If you have limited space, like an apartment balcony, take a peek at the table’s dimensions and the “footprint” before purchasing. You want to be sure you don’t end up with it in the middle of the living room because it doesn’t fit anywhere else!
 
Sturdiness – Your kids will pull on it, they will lean over it, they will most likely climb on it or in it. That’s what kids do. Fortunately for you, the manufacturers of the water tables know and understand this, so most of the best water tables are designed to be super sturdy and bear some additional weight. You know your child; you decide how much weight you want to give to this.
 
Drainage – Most water tables come with a drainage plug, making it easy to empty the water pond when putting it away. The most common complaints about water drainage plugs are they sometimes fall out, that kids keep on removing them too easily, or that they may be slightly elevated and not adequately designed to drain all the water. Make sure you read our and other user reviews to catch these issues if they exist.
 
Assembly – While some water tables are designed to simply “click together” using no tools or screws, most will require you to at least attach the legs to the body with a few screws. There are quite a few models on the market that don’t come with pre-drilled holes for the screws, which we find odd. So, you’ll end up having to drill those yourself. Regardless, water tables are straightforward to assemble, so this will not turn into a failed Ikea assembly!

03

Accessories

The best water table for kids is not necessarily the one with the most accessories. Some cool accessories help kick-start your child’s imagination and provide more shapes and textures for them to play with. Sometimes, it might make more sense for you to prioritize a basic water table and let your child come up with how they want to use it. If you’re on a budget, remember bathtub toys and most toys that they already have that can get wet all make for suitable accessories to a basic water table.

04

Water and Sand

Do you need a water and sand table? Well, that’s your call. Combination sand and water tables are great for adding another medium to your toddler’s sensory play, and the possibilities of what they can do on the table multiply. If you’re a person who likes things neat and tidy, bear in mind that your kids will mix the water and sand to their heart’s content. We think that’s great! Make peace with that before you buy a sand and water table combination.

05

Umbrella

Having an umbrella stand is becoming a more common feature in the best water tables. If you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re going to be leaving the water table for kids out in the backyard on a sunny summer day, this is an intelligent way of protecting your child against harmful UV rays and helps preserve the plastic that the table is made from.
 
It also helps not to struggle to plant an umbrella on the lawn or a hard patio surface. The built-in umbrella stand keeps it upright for you. There is no downside to taking this option if you can. If you don’t want or need the umbrella, simply don’t set it up!

Tips to Make Water Table Play Even More Fun

So you’ve bought that water table for your kids, and they’ve spun the spinny-thingies and made everything that can slide down the slide, slide down the slide. What can you do to spice it up for them again a bit? Here are a few pro tips.

Foam Party!

Yes, the easiest and cheapest option is to add a squirt of bubble-bath or even dishwashing detergent to the water. Sit back and watch your kids have hours of newfound fun with the bubbles.

Add Color

Another easy, cheap, and fun option is to color the water. You can use a food colorant or even water paint. Make sure it’s non-toxic, and remember, you probably need no more than a drop to turn the water into that hue of purple and let their imaginations do the rest. Note: remember some colorants could stain or be hard to wash out of clothing!

Water Beads

Yup, buy some non-toxic water beads – like these Marvel Beads Water Beads Rainbow Mix – and add them to your water table. They are fun and provide a completely new sensory experience for your child. Even though they’re non-toxic, make sure your child is old enough to understand how to play with them safely.

Top Pick
Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand & Water Table

The table is sturdy and holds up to 50lbs of sand and 4 gallons of water. The sand area has a nifty plastic cover to protect and keep it clean when not in use.

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