If your toddler always wants to splash in the sink while you do the dishes and adores bath time, it may be time to invest in a water table. Water tables can provide hours of screen-free, cheap entertainment for tots who enjoy getting their hands wet — and even better, the various activities can help with motor skills and sensory exploration.
Beyond that, water tables are — no surprise — a great way to cool off in hot weather. And while they do work best outside, you can make indoor adaptations for colder weather and use rice or water beads instead of actual water. (Or, you know, just put down lots of towels on the floor!)
So add this to your list of awesome, active, all-year-round toys — and check out our favorite picks for good, splashy fun.
1. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
With thirteen included accessories and lots of room to splash, toddlers and young kids can stay entertained for hours. An upper tray creates a rainwater effect when filled with water for even more splashing fun. Accessories like buckets and a water wheel can be moved around the table, and the water wall features can also be moved as kids design their own water maze.
Pros: Spacious with lots of room for kids to grow
Cons: Kids must be at least 34″ tall to reach the water tray on their own
2. Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table
Smaller than our top pick, this still has lots of fun features like a splashing Ferris wheel and funnel. A spinner on the side also creates waves. Aside from attachments, the other included accessories are a scoop for water and balls that can also double as squirters. The balls or water can be poured down the center spiral for more eye-catching fun.
Pros: Attachments lett kids make big, fun splashes
Cons: On the smaller side
3. Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship
This pirate ship-themed water table has thematic features that make splashing around — and imaginative play — fun. A cannon, mast, and crow’s nest look like normal parts of a ship but also create memorable water effects. A plank, captain’s wheel, and anchor complete the scene. This is appropriate for older toddlers and young kids, as younger toddlers might find some of the water features hard to manipulate.
Pros: Combines imaginative play with fun splashing
Cons: Not suitable for younger toddlers
4. Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table
While it has fewer water features than others, this is a good value option that still allows for tons of splashing. The shape of the table also allows kids to experiment with water flow. An included water wheel can also be moved around. Great for younger toddlers, parents can also add things they already have at home — like funnels from the kitchen or plastic cups — to make it even more fun.
Pros: Value-driven option great for toddlers
Cons: Fewer water elements
5. Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Waterpark
Combining a sandbox and water table, this brings two favorite outdoor activities into one place. While the smaller size means fewer water features, Little Tikes has still managed to cram a lot in there. Two included characters can plan in the sand as well as jump down the slide and off the diving board. A funnel also fills up buckets with water that tip over when full. A cover is included for protecting sand when not in use.
Pros: Combines two kid-favorite activities: sand and water
Cons: Water portion is smaller because of the two features
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