The Best Water Table for Kids


There’s something about a water table for kids that simply seems to inspire new creativity levels and play in toddlers. If you’ve ever watched kids play in puddles after the rain, you’d understand why bringing the puddle to them would be one of the most joyful things you can do for your kid. 

Kid’s water tables are amazing toys. Friends can gather and splash together while developing fine motor and sensory skills, amongst other excellent benefits. We’ve looked at what we think are the best water tables available on the market today. 

At the bottom of this article, we’ve added a buyer’s guide to help you understand what to look for when making a water table purchase decision. We’ve also added a few tips on how to up the fun beyond just water and how to take care of your water table for kids to ensure your toddler enjoys it for years to come and still be able to pass it onto someone else afterward. 

Top Pick
Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond

This is arguably one of the best water tables if you’re looking for something with many parts and possibilities for creative play.

What is a Kids Water Table? 

For those of you who know, this might seem like a silly question. But for those of you who aren’t sure what a water table is, it’s quite simple to understand. 

Picture a table high enough for a toddler to comfortably stand beside. The table is like a basin on feet. The basin could be split into two sections, which consist of water and sand, or it could just be one large water section. They all come in different shapes and sizes, with different features, such as a fountain, water tower, a lazy river, etc. 

Benefits of a Water Table for Kids?

So what’s all the fuss about? As we’ve stated before, kids’ water tables are genuinely great “tools” to assist your kids’ development in several key areas. 

Sensory Exploration

Water, sand, wet sand, plastic figurines, spinning wheels, spiral towers, lazy river, waterfall sounds. Your kids’ water table will introduce your child to new textures, sounds, sights, and temperatures. It will challenge your toddler to use multiple senses at once to explore as they splash, dig, and laugh together. Kids’ water tables are not just toys to pass the time and have fun; they will continuously learn through seeing, feeling, and hearing new things.

STEM Learning

Water tables expose your toddler to physics concepts like flow and motion. Teach them by guessing what will happen when a pirate figurine is placed atop a water slide and squirted with water from behind. Spinners, water wheels, and slides are great ways to stimulate STEM learning, teach them cause and effect, and start exposing them to concepts like momentum and inertia. 

Concentration and Focus

Your child will become engrossed in their water table with all these new sounds, textures, motions, and concepts. Through this, you encourage them to engage their focus and increase their concentration spans, helping them later in life when your child begins formal studying at their schools. 

Communication and Social Skills

Water tables for kids are great for group play. Gathering around a water table and splashing together inspires kids to talk, role-play, negotiate, and take turns on different parts of the table. They will experiment together and expand their vocabulary with excellent new words like “squirt,” “spout,” “trough,” and “maelstrom.”

Physical and Motor Skills

A water table for kids is an excellent tool to assist in your child’s physical development. When they scoop a floating toy from the water or empty a large bucket of water into a trough at the top of the tower, they will stretch their physical dexterity and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.

How to Clean and Care for Your Sand and Water Table

Keeping your water and sand table clean and hygienic is essential to your kids’ health and the enjoyment of this toy. As with any other toy, you are applying some common sense, and exercising good judgment is vital in deciding when, how frequently, and how to clean your kids’ water table. Sand tables, especially, can quickly become a trap for all kinds of unwanted germs and bugs.

We recommend that you disinfect your water table regularly, but here are some other common-sense ways to help take care of your kids’ water table.

Hose it Down

If your water table spends most of its time outside, and you’re lucky enough to have a yard and some room, then we recommend starting by at least hosing it down from time to time. It won’t kill germs, but it will remove mud, access sand, and surface grime.

Wash with Warm Water and Soap

Next up, depending on how you use the table, find some time to wash it with regular dishwashing liquid and hot water. Use a brush that can get into the groves and hard-to-reach spots created by the accessories. It’s how you clean the dishes you eat from.

Disinfect Often

If you want to clean your water table, especially if your kids use it for group play or share it with other children, we recommend disinfecting it regularly. Use 200 ppm chlorine or 400 ppm quaternary ammonium and let the disinfectant sit on the toy and in the tub for a few minutes before rinsing. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on using disinfectants on their toys.

Keep it Out of the Sun

Almost all water tables for kids are made from durable plastic. They can weather the elements for years, but an extended amount of harsh direct sunlight will shorten their lifespan. Sun brittles plastic and it will decolor and fracture over time. If you live in an area with extreme summer conditions, we recommend you position your water table in the shade or carry it indoors during summer.

Change the Sand

If you have a sand and water table combination, take special care of the sand area. Sift the sand regularly to get rid of any debris. Use your best judgment about when to change the sand completely. When in doubt, just change the sand! It’s cheap and easy to come by.

Cover It

Many water and sand table combinations come with some sort of cover for the sand area; this is designed to keep dirt, debris, and the neighborhood animals out of the sand. It’s not a bad idea to cover your entire kids’ water table, though. You may find a strong weather-resistant cover online, have one custom-made, or simply make one from a cardboard box.

How To Buy the Best Water Table For Kids

If you’re looking to make a wise purchase decision and buy the best water table available for your kid, there are a few things you should keep in mind. If you pick the correct table, these can provide fun for years and still be good enough to pass down to somebody else.



First, make sure you pick an age-appropriate table. All manufacturers will specify a recommended age for their water table, usually starting at around 18 months and goes up to 6 years. It is not uncommon for kids to enjoy a water table as soon as they can pull themselves up and balance by holding onto the sides. 
If you decide to start your child earlier, we’d recommend you only do so under constant supervision or, at the very least, only add a little water to the pond for their safety and remove all choking hazards. You can buy a water table for kids, specifically for tiny toddlers.
Remember, though, these provide years of entertainment, and kids will easily keep playing in them till age six or more. If you buy a small “baby table,” they may outgrow it fast, and you’ll end up digging into your pocket again.


Design Features

Water tables are not complex toys, and most of the best water tables share the same design features. Some just do them better and a little differently from others. Here are the ones you do need to focus on when reading reviews and researching your potential purchase.
Height Knowing what the top of the rim of your water table is will help you understand whether your kid will reach or whether the table may be obnoxiously low for your child who may have already outgrown it. Most kids’ water tables have a tower feature you can pour water into; make sure you understand how high the top of the tower is. Your child may not be tall enough to reach the top yet, causing them to constantly pull on the table – and possibly pulling it over to make the little spinny-thingies spin.
Weight – Almost every water table for kids is made of hard-wearing plastic, so they’re not too heavy. If you’re going to move it around often for storage or whatever reason, make sure you can safely and comfortably lift it. Some of the larger models get weighty.
Footprint – Water tables vary in size. If you have limited space, like an apartment balcony, take a peek at the table’s dimensions and the “footprint” before purchasing. You want to be sure you don’t end up with it in the middle of the living room because it doesn’t fit anywhere else!
Sturdiness – Your kids will pull on it, they will lean over it, they will most likely climb on it or in it. That’s what kids do. Fortunately for you, the manufacturers of the water tables know and understand this, so most of the best water tables are designed to be super sturdy and bear some additional weight. You know your child; you decide how much weight you want to give to this.
Drainage – Most water tables come with a drainage plug, making it easy to empty the water pond when putting it away. The most common complaints about water drainage plugs are they sometimes fall out, that kids keep on removing them too easily, or that they may be slightly elevated and not adequately designed to drain all the water. Make sure you read our and other user reviews to catch these issues if they exist.
Assembly – While some water tables are designed to simply “click together” using no tools or screws, most will require you to at least attach the legs to the body with a few screws. There are quite a few models on the market that don’t come with pre-drilled holes for the screws, which we find odd. So, you’ll end up having to drill those yourself. Regardless, water tables are straightforward to assemble, so this will not turn into a failed Ikea assembly!



The best water table for kids is not necessarily the one with the most accessories. Some cool accessories help kick-start your child’s imagination and provide more shapes and textures for them to play with. Sometimes, it might make more sense for you to prioritize a basic water table and let your child come up with how they want to use it. If you’re on a budget, remember bathtub toys and most toys that they already have that can get wet all make for suitable accessories to a basic water table.


Water and Sand

Do you need a water and sand table? Well, that’s your call. Combination sand and water tables are great for adding another medium to your toddler’s sensory play, and the possibilities of what they can do on the table multiply. If you’re a person who likes things neat and tidy, bear in mind that your kids will mix the water and sand to their heart’s content. We think that’s great! Make peace with that before you buy a sand and water table combination.



Having an umbrella stand is becoming a more common feature in the best water tables. If you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re going to be leaving the water table for kids out in the backyard on a sunny summer day, this is an intelligent way of protecting your child against harmful UV rays and helps preserve the plastic that the table is made from.

It also helps not to struggle to plant an umbrella on the lawn or a hard patio surface. The built-in umbrella stand keeps it upright for you. There is no downside to taking this option if you can. If you don’t want or need the umbrella, simply don’t set it up!

Tips to Make Water Table Play Even More Fun

So you’ve bought that water table for your kids, and they’ve spun the spinny-thingies and made everything that can slide down the slide, slide down the slide. What can you do to spice it up for them again a bit? Here are a few pro tips.

Foam Party!

Yes, the easiest and cheapest option is to add a squirt of bubble-bath or even dishwashing detergent to the water. Sit back and watch your kids have hours of newfound fun with the bubbles.

Add Color

Another easy, cheap, and fun option is to color the water. You can use a food colorant or even water paint. Make sure it’s non-toxic, and remember, you probably need no more than a drop to turn the water into that hue of purple and let their imaginations do the rest. Note: remember some colorants could stain or be hard to wash out of clothing!

Water Beads

Yup, buy some non-toxic water beads – like these Marvel Beads Water Beads Rainbow Mix – and add them to your water table. They are fun and provide a completely new sensory experience for your child. Even though they’re non-toxic, make sure your child is old enough to understand how to play with them safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Water Tables Used for?

Water tables are used as a tool for sensory development in young children. It exposes them to different sensations and textures, which stimulates their brain. In the end, it also allows your children to have a sense of discovery and encourages them to be inquisitive.

How do Water Tables work?

Water tables are very easy to use. Most water tables have a basin that can be separated into two sections: water and sand. To get started, you fill the basin and let your child explore.

How do You Store a Water Table?

To store a water table, you’ll want to clean and dry it first. To ensure no mold or fungi can grow on it. If it required assembly, you could disassemble the table, so it requires less space to store.

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