Water tables for kids are one of my secret weapons as a mom. Not only are they way safer than trying to take a toddler to the pool, but they can keep them entertained for hours – and keep little ones cool!
Water tables are definitely ideal for the summer months, as a way to get kids outside to play, splash off, and engage curious minds. They often come with a lot of accessories to keep little hands busy, including buckets and small figurines to make playing with the table a creative and exciting experience for children. And take it from me: if you skip the accessories or lose them, plain old plastic cups or old kitchen accessories will do the trick too. You’re welcome.
In this article:
How to Choose a Water Table
These are some important things to consider when choosing the best water tables for toddlers:
- Look for a water table that is sturdy and will provide a safe space for your child to play. Also, be wary of any accessories that have small parts that could come loose.
Size of the table
- If you are purchasing a water table for a young child, or one who is on the smaller side, consider the height of any towers and if they will be able to use them. Keep in mind that if you choose a table with a tower, they will be tall enough to use it in time.
- You’ll also want to look at the height of the table to ensure your child will be able to safely stand at that height to play.
- Most water tables for kids do not come assembled from the manufacturer, meaning there will be at least some assembly required. Some involve more than others, but once they are assembled, they do not require additional maintenance other than regular cleaning.
5 Splashtastic Water Tables to Try
We love this water table because it offers different play stations and oversized basin to keep lots of children entertained, and it’s nice and sturdy so you don’t have to worry about any rough play. It includes a set of toys designed to help your child learn cause and effect through STEM play, so you can get a nice educational “bonus” from their play too. The waterfall feature is sure to be a hit for kids of all ages and if you want some extra sun protection, you can order an umbrella from Step2 to protect children from the sun during use.
- 13 accessories for water play included
- Non-leak drain plug
- Dimensions: 39″ x 24″ x 32″
- Good for ages 18 months – 8 years
“We love this thing. I have a normal/average size 5 year old boy and 3 year old girl. I was originally a little concerned that the water table would be too low to the ground and that my children would be hunched over, or tearing up their knees trying to play. The kids found creative ways to make it work. It was very easy to assemble, one person could do it but two made it a breeze. It’s very well constructed and the material doesn’t seem cheap or reek of chemicals. One reviewer mentioned the rain runs out of the top portion too fast, but we didn’t find that to be an issue. If a toddler plays with this, I can see how they’d want it to constantly be raining tho, cause it’s super cool 🙂
All things considered, we couldn’t be happier with this water table.” –Amazon.com review
What we didn’t love:
- Water leaves the rainfall feature very quickly, so it has to be refilled often
- Holes are not pre-drilled, leading to more complicated assembly
- Rainfall feature is too high for small children to pour water into it
If you don’t want a full water table, this flower power version gives lots of water fun without the table option. You can set it in the yard, on a deck, or in a sandbox for dry play too, so it packs a lot of versatility in one flowery package. It also provides enough more safety, as it sits on the ground, allowing children to step into the water safely without any basin to pose a drowning option. Plus, the adorable flower “blooming” might just be my favorite part of this water table – and let’s be honest, it’s probably the only plant I’ll be able to keep alive this summer anyways.
Flower power features:
- Flower blooms as children water it
- Includes 10 accessories and additional toys to keep the fun going
- Sturdy construction
- For ages 24 months – 6 years
“Super fun for kids of all ages! My 11m and 3.5y love this water activity. For the price it’s sturdy, easy to assemble and has tons of features. I got this for my kids for Easter but I will be buying more as gifts for all the little people in our lives!” – Amazon.com review
What we didn’t love:
- Not suitable for babies and younger children who may trip on the base or tip it over
- Some reviews mention that assembly can be a bit time-consuming
- Basin at the bottom isn’t deep enough to hold much water, leading to excess water usage
I feel like every kid eventually goes through a pirate and mermaids phase, so this table would be perfect for your little first mate. Plus, even if they aren’t into pirates, can you really go wrong with a wheel and a waterfall for toddlers especially? Nope.
Features to love:
- Plastic material, wipe-down to clean
- Wheel creates waves
- Dimensions: 37″ L x 8″ W x 22″ H
- Accessories, including bucket, included
“My 4-year-old son absolutely loves this water table. He will play with it for hours!! The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because it had a lot of steps to put it together. It took much longer than i anticipated to put all the pieces together.” –BuyBuyBaby review
What we didn’t love:
Some reviewers mentioned that assembly can be difficult, and that little hands may have trouble turning the wheel.
I gotta say, even I kind of want to try this fishing table. My toddler loves our magnetic fishing pole and fish game at home, so I have no doubt she would have a blast with this. Plus, how fun would it be to dump that fish bowl over? Kids love feeling like they’re getting away with something.
Fishy features to love:
- For ages 2-7
- Holds 7 gallons of water
- Comes with one fishing pole, 5 floating critters water cup, and a fishing net
- Dimensions: 30 x 7 x 29 inches
“My husband, son and I loved this toy. It was easy to assemble for my husband and a lot of fun for my son and I. It is very sturdy my son is 2 and likes to climb in it like a pool. I like the different activities you can do like catch fish with the fishing rod or nets and throw them down the stream. I read some other reviews and people were complaining that the rod was not real enough because you couldn’t real in the line. My son does not care about that it is a fun toy! Thank-you would definitely recommend.”-Walmart.com review
What we don’t love:
I’ve owned the same basic version of this water table and I can say that the only downside to it is that if you leave the water in it, it will get scummy. The drain makes it easy to drain out, but you will want to check it and clean it regularly to avoid any mold growth.
I’m a bit in love with this splash center myself, because I know that all of my kids – big kids included – would love it. There is nothing my toddler loves more than sitting in pretend cars and my kids have all loved playing “car wash” in the summer. (And honestly, so have I, because I would totally let them wash my car for real!) I love that this center has the option to keep the basins full for additional water play, or you could just fill some buckets and let them play car wash.
- Stationary (no drive-through car wash here!)
- Two non-leak plug drains
- 13 accessories included
- Interactive water maze
- Steering wheel, front window, gas tank, windshield wipers
“My little guy is in love with his new step 2 car wash. Very well made and can take a beating. Shipping was fast and I was able to track my order. If your child loves cars and water you can’t go wrong with this toy.”- Walmart.com review
What we don’t love:
The product description notes that because this water table does contain small parts that could pose a choking hazard, it’s not suitable for kids under the age of three. Also, if you have a kid that likes to climb, the temptation may be irresistible with the design of this water center, so keep that in mind if you’re concerned.
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