Finding the Best Water Table for Kids

When the sun comes out and that thermometer starts to rise, there is no better fun for children than getting wet. Whether it’s a quick trip down to the beach, a cooling dip in the pool, or simply running around in the sprinklers, water is the perfect catalyst to getting out and having fun in the sun. But how about some water toy fun that is a little more portable though? A little more engaging? A little more colorful?

A water table for kids is one of the best ways to help your child start feeling comfortable getting wet through play. It’s also the perfect opportunity to splash into developing early motor skills and being part of cooperative play. Whether it’s something as simple as an empty tub with some sand or one of the more elaborate water table options, here are our best picks to help you find the perfect water table for kids.

What Makes The Best Water Table + Why?

Water tables come in different shapes, sizes, and styles, from simplistic to complex toys. When selecting the perfect type of water table for your kid, here are some features for parents to consider.

Water tables used outside should be constructed from durable materials that can withstand direct sunlight exposure, stable enough on windy days, and survive temperature changes.

Some water tables come with an umbrella or cover for sun protection. Depending on where you live, your kid may need protection against the sun.

Water tables with play features will engage children and inspire imaginative and creative play. Floating items, pouring cups, buckets, water wheels, and other accessories should attach to the kids’ water table preventing the items from blowing away or getting lost.

Decide how intricate the water table should be for your child’s age and developing fine motor skills, social skills, and cognitive skills. Parents can always add accessories and toys to a basic water table, whereas a complex one comes with plenty of interactive play features and add-ons like a water wheel, a spinning wheel, a fishing rod, a water maze, funnel cups, and strainers.

You are going to want to clean the water table. Does it have a drain or multiple plugs to drain the water and debris? Are they well-placed for quick water draining? If it comes without a drainage hole, make sure it is not too heavy or awkward to tip the water table to release the water. Does it have a hose coupling for washing and filling the water table?

Check the water table’s height, width, and weight before you buy. The water table should be the right height and depth for the age group. It shouldn’t be too deep that your toddler can’t grab something lying on the bottom. You don’t want it too high that your toddler can’t reach or too low that kids must bend uncomfortably during play.

Available space or yard size influences how big it can be. Most water tables are designed for outdoor fun. Consider the size if you are using it on a balcony or shared outdoor space. A portable water table is easier to store and transport to the setup area. If you are going to carry it back and forth, make sure it’s not too heavy or an odd shape cumbersome to carry.

Is your child playing alone, or should the water table be big enough for multiple kids or a splash party?

If you are going to leave the water table outside, choose a compact water table with a lid or storage compartment for loose items. A lid can cover the top to protect the content and function as an additional play surface.

Best Water Tables for Kids, Toddlers and Other Children Compared

Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table
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Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
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Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship
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Little Tikes Fish ‘N Splash Water Table
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Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand And Water Table
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Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table
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Little Tikes Island Wavemaker Water Table
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Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset
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Modular Station Play Tables with Lids
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Best Kids Water Tables Reviewed

Best Overall Water Table: Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table is like having a mini water park with a waterfall and rainfall in your backyard. Multiple kids can gather around the spacious design, and there are enough accessories to keep everyone busy.

Create new waterfalls with fun accessories.  Using the maze-like spinners, buckets, and ramps to make attractive waterfall designs is a great way to learn about gravity and cause-and-effect. The water activates the cascade waterfall. The two-tier structure creates a rain shower that will delight any little one. Scoop water with the large water bucket into the top tier to make the rainfall effect; the water splashes back into the lower pond. 

The squirter toys provide endlessly prankish fun toddlers enjoy. Catch the frog and fish with a cattail scoop and flip it back into the water with the side flipper. Big enough for a playdate, kids learn social skills as they take turns to play with the accessories and to make it rain. 

A non-leak drain plug situated at the bottom of the water table conveniently drains the pond for cleaning and storage. Made from solid polyethylene, the water table is sturdy to carry the amount of water. The lower basin stands 17 inches from the floor and the top tier 32 inches. It is light enough to transport for storage. 

The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond water table is one of the best water tables for cause-and-effect STEM play and family fun; kids won’t get bored with the many activities and places to play.

The package includes a water table, a large bucket, a 13-piece accessory kit, a frog water squirter, a fish water squirter, a strainer, three maze pieces, two spinners, and a flipper. It is relatively easy to assemble but comes without pre-drilled holes.

Top Features

  • Lots of accessories for many imaginative activities and play
  • Spacious design for multiple kids and playdates
  • Developing skills during play
  • No-leak drain plug for drainage and cleaning

Best for Children: Play, Accessories, Multiple kids to play

Ages: 18 months +

Best Water Table For Toddlers: Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table

One of the most popular water tables around, the LIttle TIkes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark is jam-packed with bells and whistles. There is plenty of hands-on fun to be had with five fun ball-shaped characters, a central spiral funnel, a scooping water wheel, and water-powered spinners. While this water table for kids is one of the more tricked-out options available, it remains solid and robust and perched securely on three solid legs.

The Little Tikes Spiralin Seas Waterpark with its Ferris wheel, squirt ball characters, and spinners provide hours of dynamic, imaginative fun while developing early motor skills. It holds seven gallons of water.

Top Features

  • Loads of accessories and add-ons
  • Central spiral is great for learning how water works
  • Simple and quick to assemble
  • Easy drain spout for drainage

Best for Children: Play, Accessories, Value for Money

Ages: 24 months +

Great For Splashing: Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

I know, I know, this is not a table at all… But in certain parts of the world, just splashing is not enough to escape the heat. And anyway, the Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center is essentially just a water table big enough to climb and play IN, instead of ON. The dazzlingly colorful dual-pool playset comes with a number of inbuilt games as well as a heap of water fun in the form of a slide and hose-attached water sprayer. Time to get wet and go beyond the table!

Top Features

  • Center includes waterslide and dual wading pools
  • Hose attachment for built-in water sprayer
  • Includes ball roller and ring toss game
  • Can also be used dry (or as a ball-crawl) indoors

Best for: Outdoors, Active kids, Hot climates

Ages: 36 months +

Best Themed Water Table: Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship

With its pirate characters and accessories, the Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship is one of the best water tables for pirate fans and high seas adventures. Shaped like a pirate ship, the pirate-themed water table comes with all the accessories any pirate captain would need for some pirating and sea-faring expeditions. 

Interactive features will keep kids occupied for hours with realistic play detail. Aim and squirt water at your enemies with the water cannon (or each other) and throw a life preserver to a man overboard before the shark catches him. The captain figurine has a spinning steering wheel to control the ship and order a mutinous sailor to walk the plank. He can give a rebellious sailer the choice to walk the plank with a shark waiting below or submit to his instructions. By cranking the handle, a sailor can lower and raise the anchor when needed. The spinning features create a current that moves floating objects around.

The center mast is a constant-flow water fountain. Kids add water to the crows’ nest to activate the spinning accessories; the battery-operated pump creates the continuous flow of water. Its sturdy design ensures stability and no tipping during play. 

The Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship kids’ water table set is one of the best-themed products for interactive play that stimulates the development of fine motor skills. The pirate ship set includes the pirate ship water table, two pirate characters, a shark, cannon, a plastic intertube, a water bucket, two scoopers, and a skull and crossbones flag. 

Top Features

  • Themed water table for fun adventures
  • Continuous water flow pump
  • Two characters and pirate accessories for interactive play
  • Sturdy construction to prevent tipping

Best for: Creativity, Themed water play, interactive play

Ages: 24 months +

Best Water Table For Fishing Family: Little Tikes Fish ‘N Splash Water Table

The Little Tikes Fish ‘N Splash Water Table is ideal for little anglers to catch as often and as many fish as they like conveniently in their backyard. Fishing enthusiasts can catch, collect, and count the critters before releasing them to catch them again. 

Develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to fling critters onto the lily pad with the launchers or hook critters with the fishing pole or fishing net. Use the water cup to fill the fishbowl and watch how it tips over when full; the water splashes down in a wave!

The Little Tikes Fish ‘N Splash Water Table set is an excellent activity table for a child learning to count or enjoy fishing fun.  It holds up to seven gallons of water and comes with a fishing rod, five critters, a fishing net, and a water cup. The size of the activity table is a good option for smaller spaces. 

Top Features

  • Fishing pole to catch critters and improve hand-eye coordination
  • Aim with the launcher to land critters onto the lily pond
  • The activity table fits in small spaces
  • Three-legged water table sturdy and durable
  • Easy to assemble and to drain for storage and cleaning

Best for: Fishing family, Counting, Play

Ages: 24 months +

Great Sand And Water Table: Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand And Water Table

If you can’t decide between a water or sand table, then the Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand And Water Table is an excellent pick. It is elevated to accommodate standing toddlers and is a perfect water and sand table that include characters for play. The outdoor water table offers toddlers the choice of playing with sand and/or water. 

The sand-water table is an excellent entertaining toy with plenty, fun features that promote cognitive skills and motor skill development. With ample space, multiple toddlers can gather around the sand-water table. Race the characters down twin water slides or put them in the floating inner tubes. Rake sand on the beach with the shovel-rake toy or play in the water with it.  

Leave the sand and water table outdoors overnight, ready for toddlers to play in the morning. The custom-fit plastic cover protects the sand and water table’s sand side from the weather and curious pets. A built-in drainage plug makes it easy to clean for storage; the drainage hole is situated on the waterside of the combination table. 

The combination sand and water table allow for creative and imaginative play and hours of fun. The Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand And Water Table set includes these cool accessories: two characters, one cup, two inner tubes, a shovel, and a custom-fit plastic cover.

Top Features

  • Water and sand combination table for lots of fun
  • Two characters for fun imaginative play
  • Sturdy to avoid accidental tipping
  • The waterside of the water and sand table has a drainage hole and the sand side a cover for protection
  • Easy to assemble and to drain for storage and cleaning

Best for: Play, Multiple toddlers, Entertaining, Combination water, and sand table

Ages: 24 months +

Top Activity Table: Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table

The Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table has five unique activities toddlers will enjoy. If your child likes nature, this water table will fascinate them. Toddlers will have lots of fun with all the surprises waiting to be discovered.

With four platforms and five activities, the water table will engage children for hours of fun. When a child uses the water can to water the flower at the top of the water table, they can watch how it blooms. Water flows through the stackable frog fountain to the lower platform. Pour water on the turtles and watch how they spin. Floating fish and rubber ducks are quite at home in the bottom basin. 

The verticle play table design allows multiple kids to play; it’s so much fun for toddlers and kids of different ages and heights to play together. If your little one can’t reach the top, there are enough cool features on each platform to entertain them. 

The Little Tikes Magic Flower water table set includes water can, two rubber ducks, three spinning turtles set, two stackable frogs, and two scoops. 

Top Features

  • Vertical water table engages multiple toddlers of different heights
  • Five unique activities for fun entertainment
  • Fun surprises illustrating nature
  • Made in the USA

Best for: Play, Multiple kids, Nature-loving kids

Ages: 24 months +

Great Wavemaker: Little Tikes Island Wavemaker Water Table

The Little Tikes Island Wavemaker Water Table has an easy-to-use wavemaker wheel for children to create waves inside the water table. The waves send floating toys around the skull island. There’s also a treasure chest – it could belong to pirates, or the islanders can bury it to hide it from pirates. 

Palm tree tops twirl automatically from the wind or when a kid pours water on them; your child can also make them manually spin. Use the water bucket to pour water over the skull island to transform it into a waterfall or slide the mermaid down the slide. Spinning the wavemaker wheel creates cool waves for the shark, mermaid, and narwhal accessories. Where is the treasure hidden; there are so many hiding places on the island. 

The Little Tikes Wavemaker Water Table is one of the best play table products where toddlers can create waves for fun. The various activities ensure multiple kids can play simultaneously; an excellent toy for a family with kids. The package includes the island-themed water table, a water bucket, a pirate, mermaid, narwhal, shark, and the treasure. 

Top Features

  • Children can create waves with the wavemaker
  • Activities allow for multiple kids to play at the same time
  • Water pouring waterfall or use it as a slide for the included characters
  • Find the treasure chest hidden somewhere and hide it in a new spot

Best for: Hands-on play, Multiple kids, Imaginative play

Ages: 24 months + 

Best Water Table For Small Spaces: Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset

Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset

It’s not exactly a table but who can argue with the amount of fun this ‘vertical’ water table will bring. The Waterfall Discovery Wall Playset is a really cool spin on a traditional water table. With a wide range of (included) easy to insert accessories, kids can explore and create magnificent waterfalls, playing and learning as different pieces interact with the water in different ways. And with two fully-functioning sides, the waterfall playset is a great option for getting kids to work face to face, building and playing together.

Top Features

  • Fun alternative to a traditional water table
  • Pluggable pieces to control and experiment with water flow
  • Double sided allowing multiple children to play
  • Great for smaller spaces and storage

Best for: Creativity, Advanced water play, Smaller spaces

Ages: 18 months +

Great Fun For Multiple Kids: Modular Station Play Tables with Lids

Modular Station Play Tables with Lids

An excellent option for larger groups or schools, the ECR4Kids modular play tables can be used for water, sand or just about anything. Coming in blocks of 2, 4, 6 and 8, you can add and remove stations to adjust the play area depending on the number of children involved. While they may not have all the extras that many of the water tables for kids have, these solid and sturdy basins come with translucent lids to cover contents, strong adjustable steel legs and give a great deal of flexibility for future play and expansion.

Top Features

  • Simple but effective design for both water and sand
  • Robust and durable design with adjustable legs
  • Translucent lids to cover and protect creations
  • Modular interlocking design for joining multiple stations

Best for: Durability, Flexibility, Covered, Schools and Groups

Ages: 12 months +

Water Table Accessories- The Best To Buy: Ocean Sea Creature Action Figures

Ocean Sea Creature Action Figures

Not exactly a water table for kids, but these little Ocean Sea Creatures are a wonderful addition to aquatic play. Try throwing a few of these little critters into your water table. It’s the perfect way to create opportunities for your child to get creative and start asking a myriad of marine questions.

Best for: Learning, Imagination, Accessories, Indoors

Ages: 4 years +

Great For Indoors: Little Tikes Garden Table

Little Tikes Garden Table

Sometimes the weather is just not right for playing outdoors. Or perhaps your home does not lend itself to water play. In that case, the Little Tikes Garden Table is a perfect semi-dry alternative to a water table for kids. While the flower basin can be filled with water, the garden table can be just as fun for children and toddlers dry as it is wet. Including flower pots, soil discs, flowers, trays, a rake, shovel, and watering can, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had.

Top Features

  • Includes flower pots, soil discs, flowers, tray, sifter, rake, shovel, watering can
  • Half-cover lid to allow tabletop play
  • Great botanic alternative to straight water play
  • Can be used as a dry alternative for indoor use

Best for: Indoors, Play, Accessories

Ages: 18 months +

Toddler Water Table Bonus DIY – Make your own water table for kids!

These water tables for kids may actually prove more fun for creative parents than for their children. Building your own water table can be a fun project, a great way to save money and a (somewhat) simple alternative to purchasing one. Below are some instructions to get you started and remember, it can be as simple or elaborate as you like!

DIY Sand and Water Table

Water Table with Red, White, and Blue Activities

Water Table with Pump

DIY - Make your own water table for kids

Check out the materials and step by step instructions created by theerikjohnson and Instructables.

Sensory Table with PVC

Best for: Value for money, Fun Project :)

Ages: 18 months + (depending on how you make it)

What water tables for kids have you bought for your family or school? Let us know your recommendations in the comments below.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, QUOI Media.

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