When kids play with water tables, they are not just playing with water and getting themselves wet. Water play actually offers many benefits to our children and some of these include hand-eye coordination, socialization skills, and creative development.
So, as a parent, it may be a great idea to look for the best water table for kids so you can give them something that they can enjoy and contribute to their growth too.
After some research and shopping around, I came up with a list of the top ten water tables that might be the perfect one for your kids. These are based on my preference and are presented in no particular order.
Water Tables for Kids – Best Models in 2017
We can talk more about the benefits later on but first, let us look at some great products that you might want to consider.
Table of Contents
- Water Tables for Kids – Best Models in 2017
- 1. Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table
- 2. Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table
- 3. Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table
- 4. Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Play Table
- 5. Step2 Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center
- 6. Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table
- 7. Step2 Arctic Splash Water Table
- 8. Step2 Finding Dory Swim and Swirl Water Table
- 9. Step2 Big Splash Waterpark
- 10. Step2 Busy Ball Play Table
- Benefits of Water Play for Kids
1. Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table
Recommended for ages 2 to 6 years
This water table has a lot of features that kids will definitely love and enjoy. It can be enjoyed by toddlers as young as 2 years old and older kids, even teens and adults if they want to join in on the fun.
It needs to be assembled but it does not require much skill to do it. Assembly time can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes in total as most of the parts snap together in place.
It can hold up to seven gallons of water and includes a cup and five character balls. It has a drain plug which makes it easy to empty out the water after play time.
The Spiralin’ Seas engages kids to play as they can drop balls down the spiral and watch them go round and round. From the spiral, the balls go down to the table, also called the lazy river. It also features a ferris wheel that you can use to scoop the balls up and drop them off again if you do not want to do it manually. There is also a funnel which spins a wheel when filled with water.
What’s Great About It: The balls can also be used as squirting toys which will probably be used more if there are multiple kids using the water table. It can be fun but the only downside is that it has the tendency to get all moldy inside and that won’t be safe for the kids.
2. Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table
Recommended for kids at least 2 years old
I know that we are supposed to be reviewing water tables but I cannot help including the Naturally Playful Sand Table by Step 2. Actually, if you think about it, this sand table resembles beach sand and there is water at the beach so it can still be related to water play.
What I like about this sand table is that it has an elevated design so the kids do not have to be too messy sitting on the floor or mixing the sand in the sand table with actual dirt from the surroundings. Space is not an issue as well because of its compact size, making it suitable even for small outdoor area.
It also has a protective cover which can be fastened on when the kids are done playing. That way, it can be kept clean from other elements and animals which might mistake it for a litter box. The lid even has molded-in roadways as an added feature.
The sand table also comes with a bucket, two shovels, and two sand claws. It can hold up to 80 pounds of sand which you have to supply as it does not come with the package, just to be clear.
What’s Great About It: With this sand table, the kids can pretend that they are on the beach making sand castles or they are digging through sandy places looking for a hidden treasure. They can definitely spend hours of fun in this sand table whether alone or with a playmate.
3. Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table
Recommended for kids at least 18 months old
This water table has falling water action which the kids will definitely appreciate. It has a funnel which activates a wheel when water is poured into it. The wheel then spills the water into the table so the kids can splash and play with the accessories included in the package.
I like that the table is elevated so that it will not get easily dirty. The height is also perfect for toddlers as it is elevated at their arm’s reach. The water table is also big enough to accommodate up to three kids at a time so you do not have to purchase more than one if you have multiple kids at home.
The whole table can hold up to four gallons of water. The accessories included are a cup, two boats, and one water wheel tower as mentioned earlier. The table is also separated into two sections which can function as a canal or a lake, whatever your child imagines them to be.
What’s Great About It: It may be easy to fill but the downside is that it has no drain so it can be quite difficult to empty. Instead of just pulling a plug, you have to turn it up to manually drain the water.
4. Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Play Table
Recommended for ages 2 to 6 years
This one has a fun pirate-theme so the kids can have fun with creative playing or pretending as pirates. True to its theme, this water table has a water cannon which the kids can use to aim and squirt water from. It also has a skull and crossbones flag to make the play table look like a real pirate ship.
This pirate ship also has spinning features which create currents in the ship and make the objects inside move around. The mast in the center also acts as a water fountain which constantly flows. The kids just have to make sure that they keep the water moving by pouring water into the crow’s nest.
Kids can also spin the steering wheel just like the captain of the ship. It also has an anchor which can be raised or lowered down by cranking the handle.
The water table also comes with several accessories including a bucket, a scooper, a strainer, a boat, a squirting shark, a life preserver, and two pirate characters.
What’s Great About It: There are a lot of fun activities which can be done in this water table. The water cannon and the squirting shark can be used to launch a squirting sea battle which can be messy but definitely fun. There is also an option to put some sand but it needs to be purchased separately.
5. Step2 Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center
Recommended for 2 to 8 years
I love this table because it offers two activities in one table. It has two discreet sides with the other designated for water and the other side for sand. It is also great that it is elevated so it will not get easily soiled by dirt from the floor.
When the kids are done playing, it can be kept safe with a durable, one piece plastic cover to keep the sand dry and safe from other elements and even animals or insects. It can be kept securely attached with the help of the elastic tie-downs on the ends of the lid. The lid also has molded-in roadways which can be used as an additional play surface.
The sand area can hold up to 20 pounds of sand and the water area has a drain plug which makes it easy and convenient to drain water from it after play time.
What’s Great About It: Another thing that I like about this water table is that it has a slot for a removable umbrella if ever it gets too sunny outside. It can help protect the kids and provide shade for comfort. Aside from the umbrella, it also includes other accessories such as two bridges, two boats, two pots, and one shovel.
6. Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table
Recommended for ages 18 months to 5 years
This one is quite similar to the previous item, the Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center, because it also has two separate sides: one for water and the other one for sand. The two sides are separated by a roadway so the kids can do several sand activities on one side such as building sandcastles and do water activities on the other such as playing with toy boats.
It also has a protective lid with an additional play surface because of the molded-in roadways. It features identical elastic tie-downs on ends to keep the lid securely attached.
The sand side can hold up to 10 pounds of sand while the other one can hold up to 3 gallons of water. The water side has a drain plug so the table does not have to be turned upside down just to remove the water. Draining is very easy and convenient.
It also has a removable umbrella which can provide shade to the kids if ever they decide to play under the heat of the sun.
What’s Great About It: What I also like about this water table, same with the previous one, is that it can allow multiple children to play at once. It is also gender neutral that both boys and girls can have equal amount of fun playing with it.
7. Step2 Arctic Splash Water Table
Recommended for ages 18 months to 8 years
This water table is a glacier mountain which features an ice slide, a tunnel, and a dumping bucket. It stays true to its theme as it also comes with squirt toys in the shape of a polar bear, a walrus, and a penguin which are all found in the glacier mountains.
Just like the other water tables that I have mentioned earlier, it is also elevated so it can be kept clean and away from the dirt on the floor.The elevated design also helps ensure that the tiny feet of the kids playing will be kept clean and dry as much as possible.
Assembly is required but it sets up very easily. The three legs of the water table snaps in immediately and the glacier can be assembled by putting four pieces together.
What’s Great About It: Kids can have enjoy the water table however they want but to add more fun, they can pour water down the glacier or allow water to trickle down the slide by placing the pitcher at the top. It is actually a very basic water table but the simplicity allows kids to explore and use their imagination in coming up with things that they can do with what they have.
8. Step2 Finding Dory Swim and Swirl Water Table
Recommended for ages 18 months to 8 years
Most kids are familiar with the amusing fish named Dory so it helps that this water table is themed after our forgetful fish’s own movie, Finding Dory.
This water table includes three squirting Finding Dory figures including Dory, Marlin the clown fish, and Hank the octopus. With the three squirting figures, children can engage on a friendly water battle and see who gets wet the fastest.
What’s Great About It: It also features a side flipper for launching Dory and her friends into the water. There is also a whirlpool spinner in the center which can get the water whirling and swirling, which adds more excitement and fun. It is very durable and easy to clean as it also has a drain plug for convenience.
9. Step2 Big Splash Waterpark
Recommended for ages 18 months to 5 years
This water table can get the children engaged at least for several hours as it provides a lot of splashing fun. It features a huge bucket on top and a water tower which is a favorite part of a lot of kids.
It also features water slide and a spinning water wheel as well as a catapult diving board which flips the swimmers into the pool. The swimmers, one boy and one girl who are in their complete swimming attires, are included in the package as mini figures. They even come prepared with their goggles and snorkel.
Aside from the mini figures and those already mentioned, the other accessories included in the set is a bucket, a tower, a spinner, and a cup.
Assembly is also required but it will not take too much time and effort. Only a few minutes and the waterpark is ready to be played with.
What’s Great About It: Cleaning up is also a breeze as it includes a drain plug for easy removal of water after play time.
10. Step2 Busy Ball Play Table
Recommended for ages 18 months to 5 years
Water and colorful balls are probably two of the things that kids love to play with. So when you combine the two, you have yourself a great water table that kids will definitely love.
The Busy Ball Play Table is called by some as the ultimate water table because it can be used outdoors in the backyard and even indoors in the playroom. However, if you let the kids use it inside, it is better to remove the water and just let them play with the activity table and balls. It would still be fun, don’t worry.
This water table has three different paths for the balls to travel down. The center spinner also works as a carousel which is a feature that kids love. Just imagine the colorful balls spinning around and even the adults will be mesmerized.
The kids can also use the catapults on the side of the table to launch the balls into the basin. They can also throw the balls down the chute. There are a lot of things to do with the ten colorful balls included in the set. A scooping cup is also included.
What’s Great About It: The water table can hold up to four gallons of water which can also be easily removed by pulling the drain plug once play time is over.
Benefits of Water Play for Kids
Now that we have taken a look at some of the best water table for our kids, it is also essential to know why this kind of toy is good for them. As I have mentioned earlier, water play can offer benefits to our children and not just keep them entertained.
One of the ways water play helps our kids is the development of problem solving skills. Playing with water and other elements present in the water table allows them to explore and make discoveries about a particular substance. They begin to ask and learn how and why things happen like why some elements float while the others sink.
Playing with water also helps a lot with the physical development of our kids. It may not involve jumping, climbing, and other physical activities but water play helps develop hand-eye coordination through actions like pouring water, squeezing figures, stirring, and squirting.
Their pincer grip is developed which can be useful once they start studying. The pincer grip helps a child hold a pencil correctly so if is safe to say that water play is an activity which helps prepare our kids for school.
During water play, kids also get to develop their sensory experience as as they are exposed to different textures such as slimy, slippy, and gritty. They also get introduced to different temperatures, depending on the water and the time of the day which also affects the hotness or coldness of the water.
Since most water tables allow our kids to play with other children, either siblings or playmates, they also get socially and emotionally developed. During water play, our children releases energy which can be relaxing for them. It also allows them to increase their ability to concentrate on things and activities that they are doing especially if it is a repetitive one. For instance, simple scooping and pouring of water actually allows them to unwind and relax their thoughts.
They also get to learn how to role play and share their toys with their playmates. They learn how to wait for their turn and to share space with other kids.
Another important benefit of water play is language development. Since they are exposed to a new world and a new environment, they also get to learn new words related to the new experience. For instance, they do not normally hear the words funnel, sieve, whirl, and squirt, but during water play, these words often come up.
Take it as an opportunity to discuss new things with your children as you can ask them questions about their new experience. Teach them new words related to water play and watch them engage in a conversation with their playmates using the words that you just thought them.
Aside from the benefits that we have discussed, the importance of allowing children to play with water cannot be disregarded. When we allow them to play, we give them the freedom to experience everything. We allow them to be themselves and at the same time, allow them to use their imagination and creativity in temporarily assuming a new role, either as a pirate, a diver, a swimmer, or even as a bear or penguin.
Water tables are not just fun and enjoyable. They help mold our kids and help teach them with values and creative skills that we may not even be aware of. We may look at these toys as just the usual toys that children play with but there’s more to them. They unleash creativity and allow our kids to use their imagination in a great way.
That is why, when you get the chance, get only the best water table for kids and you will be amazed with the effect that it can bring. The best does not necessarily mean the most expensive because even the simple ones can be considered as the best. It is still a matter of preference but choose something which can allow your kid to explore. The water tables that I have reviewed can help you in narrowing down your options but also take time to look at other items for you may find a more suitable one for your child.