Water Tables for Kids Buying Guide (with 12 Best Recommendations)

Are you looking for a new toy to help your growing child have fun while developing critical cognitive skills? A water table is a great choice!

Water tables are great ways to keep cool outdoors in the summer, but many can be moved indoors for rainy day play as well. They provide hours of fun, but don’t worry about a mess. Many models come with drainage valves for quick and easy cleanup, and most plugs are sturdy enough that only a grownup can release them.

Water tables are educational tools as well, helping your child’s developing brain, and even fostering social skills! They’re a versatile toy to help your child learn through the power of play.

What to Look for in a Water Table

Water tables are just what they sound like—they are tubs, typically on raised platforms, that can fill with water for water play. Specific models have an area for sand, as well. Some come loaded with features, while others are open and spacious.

Water tables come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. So how do you know what to look for to find the best water table for your little one? Kids will naturally gravitate towards different styles of play, depending on where they are in their development. So the first thing to look for is whether or not the water table is age-appropriate to engage your child fully.

Here are several other factors to consider when shopping for a kid’s water table, such as:

  • How large is it? That is important both in terms of room to play and accessibility. Make sure the table isn’t too high off the ground for your little one.
  • Is there a game included? – Some water tables include a structured game. Others are simply open tubs for imaginative play.
  • Are there accessories included? Some come with water toys so your child can begin to play as soon as the table is set up. With others, toys are sold separately.
  • What is it made out of? Your new water table is sure to be a popular toy with your child. So be sure to look for sturdy materials capable of standing up to natural wear and tear.
  • Is it made for indoor or outdoor play?
  • Is it portable?

Why Buy a Water Table?

First things first, water tables are tons of fun! But that’s not all. Water tables can be educational tools that support cognitive development in young children. Learning through play is incredibly powerful, and one of the best ways for kids to learn new skills and have them stick.

Water tables provide a soothing, sensory-oriented experience. And they help foster development of fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, cause and effect relationships, and more. Many have specific educational games built-in, to encourage learning about letters and numbers, for example.

They’re also perfect for play dates, as they encourage sharing and parallel play. That will help foster your child’s burgeoning social skills. This is one of the most critical areas of early childhood development, and it can be challenging to find opportunities for your toddler to play with other children before they reach school age.

Water tables are also a great way to spend time outside in the hot summer months. They’re a focused outdoor activity, with cool water to help your child beat the heat. Plus, several come with a built-in umbrella, or even sprinklers to make staying cool even easier.

I. Best Water and Sand Tables

Water tables with sand enhance your child’s overall sensory experience. Here are our favorite models:

1. Weplay Sand and Water Table

ChildFun Favorite

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Size: 35 x 26 x 11 inches
Weight: 20 lbs

The Weplay Sand and Water Table is an accessible sensory table for kids of all ages. The table’s legs are adjustable to match your child’s height. The table is see-through to engage children’s sense of sight along with their sense of touch. And the lightweight tub removes from the frame for easy cleaning.

Mobile frame Adjustable height
Removable tub Transparent design
Easy drainage system
What sets it apart: The clear design helps engage all your child’s senses.

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2. Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Step2 Cascading Cove Sand & Water Table with Umbrella | Kids Sand & Water Table with Umbrella | 6-Pc Water Accessory Set Included | Green

Size: 34 x 43 x 20.5 inches
Weight: 21.8 lbs

Step2 is one of the most trusted names in the water table industry, known for high quality, competitively priced products. The Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table is no exception. The table is double-sided, with one basin for sand and the other for water. Plus, the lid doubles as an activity table, so there are lots of different ways to play.

Two basin design for sand and water play Drainage plugs on each side
Elastic ties to make sure lid stays secure Lid doubles as an activity table
Umbrella included
What sets it apart: Three ways to play with sand side, water side, and convertible activity table.

3. Step2 Splash and Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table, Multicolor, Deluxe Pack: Includes 7 Piece Accessory Set

Size: 31 x 28.2 x 29.5 inches
Weight: 11.5 lbs

The Step2 Splash and Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table is a dual-sided water and sand table with an interactive lid that can cover one side at a time. The lid is part of the fun and can combine with the tower to create a waterfall mountain. The table also comes with seven different accessories included, so your child will be ready to play the moment the table is set up.

Two basin design for sand and water play Drain plug included
Convertible lid Seven accessories included
What sets it apart: Three ways to play with sand side, water side, and convertible activity table.

II. Best Water Tables for Toddlers

There are water tables made for kids of all ages. These are our favorite water tables for toddlers:

1. Little Tikes Fish 'n Splash Water Table

ChildFun Favorite

Little Tikes Fish 'n Splash Water Table

Size: 31.5 x 29 x 29 inches
Weight: 9 lbs

Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table is a fun, simple fishing game with more accessories than meets the eye. Fishing for five included creatures with a fishing pole or a net, your toddler can develop their counting and fine motor skills. And there are two different fun ways to put the fish back in the table: fill the fishbowl at the top until it tips over, and the fish come tumbling down or fling them back in with the plastic catapult.

7-gallon tank Fishing rod, fishing net, and five fish included
No tools required for assembly Easy drainage plug
Note – small pieces, be sure to supervise closely while your toddler plays
What sets it apart: Large, spacious tank allows siblings or friends to fish together easily.

2. Step2 Tropical Rainforest Water Table

Step2 Tropical Rainforest Kids Water Tables, Outdoor Toddler Activity Table, Ages 1.5+ Years Old, 13 Piece Water Toy Accessories, Blue & Green

Size: 39 x 24 x 32 inches
Weight: 16.6 lbs

The Step2 Tropical Rainforest Water Table is a two-tiered sensory table, with a treetop basin above, and a larger tub below. Pour water in the treetop basin, and it will come showering down like real rain. Attached accessories and water wheels also help your toddler learn about cause and effect.

Two-tiered water basins Rainfall effect
13 accessories included Attached water wheels
What sets it apart: Many different cause-and-effect accessories help your toddler’s growing brain make connections.

3. Zooawa Mini Fishing Game Water Table

No products found.

Size: 11.8 x 10.8 x 6.7 inches
Weight: 1.2 lbs

The Zooawa Mini Fishing Game is a small, compact toy perfect for families with limited space. But it packs a lot into that small space! This fishing game water table comes with two fishing rods, several magnetized sea creatures, and a light-up lighthouse that plays music at the press of a button!

Two fishing rods and several magnetized fish included Light-up lighthouse plays music
Small electric turbine causes water to flow gently through the tank Batteries required
Note – small pieces, be sure to supervise closely while your toddler plays
What sets it apart: This is one of the most interactive fishing game water tables available, all in a small, compact package.

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III. Best Water Tables for Older Kids

These are our favorite water tables for kids four and up:

1. Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

ChildFun Favorite

Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table for 24 months to 36 months

Size: 29.5 x 29.5 x 37.5 inches
Weight: 10.4 lbs

The Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table is a large, seven-gallon water table that encourages hands-on STEM learning. Thirteen interchangeable pipes and faucets connect to the central fountain, allowing for endless combinations. It also comes with a boat, a cup, and a funnel.

Seven-gallon tub Interchangeable pipe system
Accessories included Easy drainage plug
What sets it apart: The interactive pipe and faucet system allows your children to develop hands-on problem-solving skills.

2. Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Water Table

Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table, Multicolor

Size: 29 x 29.5 x 31.5 inches
Weight: 11.9 lbs

The Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Water Table is a large, interactive water table with many ways to play. It comes with five round characters that shoot water, and a number of different features with which your child can play with them. They can drop them down the spiral tower or send them for a ride around the Ferris wheel. Plus, there’s a twin water wheel feature your child can activate by pouring water down a funnel.

Spiral Tower Ferris Wheel
Five character balls Cup included
Easy drainage plug
What sets it apart: The unique character balls create many exciting ways for your child to play and share.

3. SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad

SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad, Sprinkler for Kids and Baby Pool for Learning – Toddler Sprinkler Pool, 60’’ Outside Water Toys – “from A to Z” Outdoor Play Mat for Babies & Toddlers

Size: 5-foot diameter
Weight: 1.65 lbs

The SplashEZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad is a summer classic, with a twist! The sprinklers and shallow splash pad allow for fun outdoor water play. And the base is actually a learning mat, to help foster an interactive learn-through-play experience. The SplashEZ Splash Pad is manufactured with no harmful chemicals, so you can be confident that your child will be safe while they play.

Sprinkler system Shallow inflatable pool/splash pad
Three different options for learning mat base
What sets it apart: The Splash EZ 3-in-1 Splash Pad creates the most active play of any product on the list, while still remaining an educational tool.

IV. Best Large Water Tables

These super-sized water tables are great for families with multiple children, and can even be used in classrooms:

1. Constructive PlayThings Sand and Water Table

ChildFun Favorite

Constructive Playthings Sand & Water Indoor & Outdoor Sensory Table with Dry-Erase Top, Moisture-Resistant with 2 Side Trays, Tactile Learning Toys for Kids, Classroom Supplies, All Ages, Large

Size: 25 x 8.9 x 45.9 inches
Weight: 33.3 lbs

The Constructive PlayThings Sand and Water Table is a sturdy sizeable table designed for indoor and outdoor use. Lockable casters on one side allow the table to be locked in place. The sturdy lid also functions as a dry erase board, providing another creative way for your child to express themselves.

Sturdy resin and rubber construction Dry-erase lid
Side trays for storage Locking casters
Screw-in plug
What sets it apart: This table’s sturdy construction and easy portability make it the best indoor/outdoor option of all the large water tables on the list.

2. edx Education Sand and Water Table

edxeducation Sand and Water Table Set - Water Sensory Table for Kids - 23”H - Tubular Steel Frame - Includes 2 Mini Tuff Trays and Plug - Indoor and Outdoor

Size: 43 x 24 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 39.7 lbs

The edx Education Sand and Water Table features a galvanized steel frame and a large, injection-molded plastic tub for tactile sand water play. The frame is adjustable, ranging from 15 inches to 24 inches high. Cleaning is easy with the quick-release drainage plug.

Adjustable frame Large injection-molded tub
Quick-release plug Solid plastic cover
What sets it apart: The frame’s adjustable height makes this large table accessible for children of all ages.

3. Children's Factory Extra Large Sensory Table

Children's Factory 24' Large Sensory Table, Sandbox with Lid, Water Table for Kids, Blue

Size: 50 x 26 x 9 inches
Weight: 34.6 lbs

The Children’s Factory Extra Large Sensory Table lives up to its name. The tank is enormous and has room for up to five children to play at once. It’s attached to a portable steel frame with casters on all four legs; two of the casters lock for stability.

Extra-large tank Solid steel frame
Lockable casters Single drainage plug
What sets it apart: This is, simply enough, the largest sand and water table on our list. If volume and quality are your selling points, this is the model for you.

The Final Word

Water tables are excellent toys that promote social and cognitive development in young children. There is an immense number of different models available on the internet, all with different strengths and weaknesses. If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to shop confidently and find the water table that is the right fit for you and your family.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided ‘As is’ and is subject to change or removal at any time. / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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