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If you’re looking for a safe water toy for your children to play with this summer, then a sand and water table can be an excellent alternative to inflatable swimming pools and a garden hose. They allow children from year old infants up to 10 years old to play in the water and sand while staying home. If you don’t have a lawn for a water table for kids, some of them are small enough to fit on an apartment patio.
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Why Buy a Sand and Water Table?
Most children like to play in the water, especially on hot summer days but a swimming pool or large body of water isn’t always nearby. Instead of playing with a garden hose, and drowning the lawn, a water and sand table can imitate the beach or lake in miniature.
It allows kids to cool down by splashing and playing in the water, and for some kids, it provides a sensory experience that can calm anxiety. The tactile feel of the sand in their hands or putting their hands in the water can soothe many children. Also, they can use their water toys in a safe environment when playing outside with adult supervision.
However, the adult doesn’t need to be in water or even participate in playing if siblings or friends are over for a playdate. They can ensure the kids are playing safely in the water, especially if they are young toddlers, and let them have fun splashing each other, building sandcastles, or pretending to be pirates on a ship.
To protect children from the hot rays of the sun, some water tables have umbrellas to shade toddlers and prevent sunburns. However, it is essential to use sunscreen whenever children are outside to ensure they don’t get burns that can cause skin damage.
This review of water tables is for younger children from the ages of 12 months to about six years of age. We hope this makes it easier to find the best water tables to buy for children this summer.
How We Chose Our Favorites
While researching sand and water tables, we read about each of the manufacturers’ and each of the features the tables offer kids. We also read testimonials and reviews from parents, grandparents, and others who bought the tables for the children in their lives.
Best Water Table for Kids
Here are some of the water tables we included in our review for smaller children.
Motion Sand Play Sand Set
The Motion Sand playset gives small children the chance to play in the sand without going to the beach or the lake. It consists of an inflatable sand tray and 20 toys with most of them doubling as sand molds. The molds come in shapes of cars, a train, animals, a sandcastle, and other shapes.
The plastic molds are non-toxic, as is the inflatable sand tray. The tray holds up to 2.65 pounds of play sand. Some of the smaller pieces could pose a choking hazard to younger toddlers, so three years old and up is the appropriate ages for playing with this sand mold set.
This sand playset is available in three sizes with an inflatable tray that holds 2.65 pounds of sand, a plastic tray that holds 2.2 pounds of sand and comes with 15 play pieces, and a bucket that also holds 2.2 pounds of sand and has 10 sand molds.
Simplay 3 Kids Outdoor Storage Bench/Sand and Water Activity Station
The Simplay 3 is an outdoor storage bench that can hold water and sand for kids to play with during the summer months. By closing the lid, it provides two seats with backrests for small children either inside or outside the house. It also holds up to 240 pounds of dry sand and 4.5 gallons of water.
The bench has double wall construction, so both the sand and water should stay in it and not leak onto the lawn or concrete if it’s on the drive or patio. The color of the product, which is tan and light green, blends in well with the outdoors.
The bench weighs a sturdy 21 pounds and measures 26 x 34 x 20-inches. Only the bench comes in the box, so parents must buy sand and water toys separately. Some assembly is necessary.
Step2 Spill and Splash Seaway Water Table
Step2 makes the Spill and Splash Seaway Water Table for small children to splash in the water when they can’t be in a pool to cool down in the summertime. The table has two levels, an upper one that holds 2.22 gallons of water and a lower one that holds 3.24 gallons. The top level has a waterfall that spills into the lower level.
The water table comes with an umbrella to provide shade on sunny days, so little ones don’t sustain sunburns. It also features a springboard that children can use to flip the toy figures into the water. There is also a water spinner and two squirting figures for additional water play. The water table is made in the United States.
The water table weighs 17.34 pounds without water in it and requires some assembly. It measures 25 x 43.2 x 22.5-inches, which is the perfect size for small children to reach into and be creative when they play in the water. The water table is ideal for children from 18 months to six years old.
Step2 Water Wheel Activity Play Table
It is another Step2 water table that small children will enjoy playing with when the weather is warm outside. The round water table has two sides that children can play in, one that is slightly deeper than the other. There is a molded divider between the two sides they can use as moats, canals, or harbors while they’re playing.
The water table comes with a waterwheel, a cup to pour water over the wheel to make it a spin, and two toy sailboats. The waterwheel doesn’t need to attach to the table. Instead it fits in a molded divider space specifically for it.
The table holds up to four gallons of water, and it is large enough to allow three children to play together easily. Without water, the table weighs 10.3 pounds and measures 31.5 x 31.5 x 27.9-inches. It is suitable for children from 12 months of age and up.
Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship
The Little Tikes Pirate Ship is a water table that is suitable for small children from 24 months to six years old. The water table has many features, and comes with a set of toys that includes:
- Two pirates
- Small innertube
- Two scoops
- Water bucket
- Pirate flag with a skull and crossbones
Many of the features on the pirate ship spin, which can turn due to the pump or by pouring water into the crow’s nest. The spinning allows there to be a current in the water, which helps move the shark and innertube, and other toys, when they are in the water.
The ship has an anchor with a crank that lowers and raises it, the cannon squirts water, and there is a helm from which one of the pirates can stand and “steer” the ship. Without water, the pirate ship weighs 19.52 pounds, and it measures 40 x 29 x 38-inches. Some assembly is necessary.
Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table
This Step2 water table features two levels of activities to keep little ones busy throughout the summer. It has an upper-level rain showers splash tray that forms a water tower and the main lower level, which can hold some of the water toys. The table comes with a nine-piece toy set that includes:
- Rubber duck
- Attachable gears
- Water cup
- Water strainer
- Small water scoop
- Tilting water scoop
- Attachable water scoop
The attachable toys connect to the water tower in the center of the table. When the water splashes into the toys, they turn or tilt and empty into the basin below. The water table is suitable for small children from ages 18 months to five years old. The table is large enough to accommodate two or three kids playing simultaneously.
Empty, the table weighs eight pounds and measures 26 x 26 x 22.5-inches so that it can fit in small yards or on patios. The water table is made in the United States, and parents will need to do some assembly to set it up for their little ones.
American Plastic Toys Water Wheel Play Table
This American Plastic toy is a sand and water table that will give little ones’ hours of pleasure as they play with their siblings or friends. There is a small area for sand, which does not come with the table, and a larger area to add water to the table.
Along with the table, it comes with water toys that consist of two sailboats, a water pitcher, and a tower. The tower has a funnel to send water or sand through and, as it falls, it turns a small wheel, then gets sifted through the bottom of the tower. If you don’t want to put sand into the table, it also acts as a boat ramp for the sailboats.
The table weighs 2.2 pounds, and its dimensions are 8.2 x 24.9 x 26-inches. Some assembly is necessary, and the table snaps together, so you may not need tools for the construction. This table is appropriate for children 18 months to six years old.
Step2 Splash and Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table
Step2 makes several models of sand and water tables for small children, including the Splash and Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table. It includes a cover that parents can use to cover the water side of the table, the sand side, or it can be left off to allow kids to play with both sides at once.
The tower that comes with the table fits into a slot molded in the table whether the lid is on it. This tower has a funnel in which kids can pour water to make it go down a slide before emptying into the table, which holds 1.5 gallons of water.
The sand side of the table can hold up to 15 pounds of sand, and the cover can keep stray cats from using it as a litter box at night. The table comes with a sand toy that has a scoop on one end and a rake on the other. There is also a cup for pouring water into the funnel on the tower and a shark shaped scoop to use for either water or sand.
A drain plug makes the table easy to empty and clean. The table weighs 11.46 pounds when empty and has dimensions of 31 x 28.2 x 29.5-inches. It is built in the United States, and the legs form a square, so the table is stable while children are playing with it. This table is appropriate for children from 24 months to five years old.
Little Tikes Fish and Splash Water Table
If your child has always wanted to go fishing, now they can do so safely anytime they please with the Little Tikes Fish and Splash Water Table. This water table offers 360-degree play for two to three small children at the same time.
It includes a fishing game that helps kids count their catch of sea critters, there is a fishbowl they can fill with water that splashes into the table, and it has a fishing pole, fishing net, and five critters that can be caught or flipped onto the lily pad in the center of the table. It also comes with a water cup to pour water into the fish bowl.
The table holds up to seven gallons of water. When it is empty, it weighs 9.06 pounds and has dimensions of 31.5 x 29 x 29-inches. The table can also hold 50 pounds of sand if you don’t want to use it as a water table. It is suitable for children 24 months to five years old.
Svan Kids’ All in One Convertible Picnic Sand and Water Table
This sand and water table from Svan doubles as a picnic table for snacks when kids are not playing with it. It would be a good table for an outside barbeque area because a parent could remove the lid and let their kids play while food is cooking on the grill.
Both the sand and water sides have drains to make it easy to empty and clean the table to store it for the fall and winter months. It can also be taken indoors to use as a snack table and to hold toys if you don’t want sand or water to spill over onto the floor.
The table is appropriate for children who are three years old and up, though the table is a good size for toddlers. Older children may have a difficult time fitting on the bench seats. When the table is empty, it weighs 33.2 pounds, and its dimensions are 43 x 35 x 19-inches after assembly. The wood table is already stained.
When purchasing a sand and water table, look for those that are suitable for the ages of children for which you’re buying it. Many companies produce water tables for young children from 12 months to five or six years old, while other companies make them for older kids too.
Also, consider the construction of the table. Many of the tables for smaller children snap together, so parents don’t need to use tools to assemble. However, sturdier tables may have screws that go into the legs to hold heavier amounts of sand and water.
Look for those that have features like games that children can play together, and those that come with water toy sets to engage children in play. A water table for kids can be a fun way to keep cool in the summertime because kids can splash, scoop and pour water to make features spin, or engage in creative play with siblings and friends that come over for playdates.
When summer is over, drain the water and sand from the tables and to store it until it’s time for next summer’s fun.