What’s the Best Kids Water Table? (2021 Reviews)

Breanna | |

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Anyone else looking for ways to keep their kids entertained in the midst of the never-ending suumer days? Yes, no? Well, if you are, water tables are a great choice for combining boredom busters with sensory stimulation and learning. 

Water tables are excellent for getting kids off the screens and outside. They encourage STEM learning, social and language skills, motor development, and overall activity (which equals tuckered out kiddos and a break for mom or dad). Most also offer fun components such as waterfalls, spinners, water wheels, or lazy rivers to keep them entertained and engaged. 

Just like your kids playhouse, they’re great additions to the backyard, patio, or even inside, if you’re brave enough. Most of the time they’re easy to fill and empty. Plus, they offer a chance to cool off!

It’s a tough season for everyone, right? That’s why we have taken the opportunity to do the groundwork for you and we’ve rounded up the best water tables on the market that are bound to fit your playtime needs for you and your little ones. So, before you buy, have a look at our 6 top picks below for parent-approved recommendations. 

Best Kids Water Table – Our Picks

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

The benefits of water tables for kids

STEM 

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM, have you heard of it? Believe it or not, playing with a water table is a great STEM activity because it teaches principles such as cause and effect, gravity, buoyancy, volume, and mass. STEM isn’t just for LEGO and science experiments! If your water table allows you to move parts and customize the setup, they’re getting a bit of engineering as well.

Motor/Sensory Play 

This is a standout feature of playing with a water table. Not only are kids able to dig into water or sand (whichever you choose), they learn about the materials and how they react and move during interaction. That alone is incredibly helpful for cognitive development. Kids also have the chance to mix and pour without the fear of spills, which is great for mastering the motor skills necessary to complete those tasks. 

Language and Social Skills 

This might not seem like an obvious benefit to playing with a water table, but the type of play it encourages is actually very social. If you have a group of kids, they’re talking, joking, cooperating, and sharing around the table. If it’s just you and your little, the various activities encourage talking and problem solving which helps social skills bloom through play. 

Can you use it for sand?

Depending on the size, shape, and layout of the table/activity center, you may be able to substitute sand for water. Using sand allows for a different sensory experience and teaches new STEM lessons as they pour, filter, and build with sand. This could be a good idea for households that don’t have a place to continually dump water when play is over (an apartment building, for example). Sand could also be good for using toy trucks and shovels if you lack a yard to play in dirt. 

Does it have/need an umbrella?

These are especially important if your yard lacks shade. If it’s the middle of summer and you’re trying to pass the time while tiring your kiddo out in the midday sun, an umbrella will minimize the risk of getting a sunburn

As a parent of three babies with extremely fair skin, umbrellas are one of the top features I look for when it comes to water tables, strollers, or outdoor tables. Don’t underestimate the importance of a little shade, especially during summer or if you live in a warm climate. 

What accessories come with it?

Does it have the umbrella, cups to pour, water sprayers, spinners, wheels, or floating toys? While it’s not absolutely necessary to have a bunch of extra toys, it certainly adds excitement to playtime and can increase the STEM elements of water table time. 

How many activities are there?

Many water tables have activities such as wheels, waterfalls, spinners, or strainers to pour water over and through. The more elements, the more opportunities for fun and learning. 

How tall is it?

Check the height and age recommendations. If your little babe isn’t quite walking yet, it might be worthwhile to find a table short enough that he or she can pull up to. Not only will that help with the motor skills needed for walking, but it will also provide a little extra encouragement and incentive to take the plunge when they’re working on those first steps. 

It might also be worth checking to see if the table has customizable height settings that can grow with your child or additional toys/components you can introduce as your child develops.

Kids Water Table Reviews

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table | Kids Water Play Table with 13-Pc Accessory Set
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond water table is recommended for ages 18 months and up. It stands at 17.5 inches tall and is the perfect height for toddling kiddos. Another great feature of this table is the size. There is plenty of room for multiple kids to gather around for play and social time. 

This table features a “pond” reservoir, a waterfall, water maze, a ramp, spinners, and buckets. The components of the water maze are removable and a fun way to test movement and cause and effect. Simply rearrange the parts to create the maze you want. An added benefit to choosing the Rain Showers Splash Pond is the collection of water toys that comes with the table. It includes a bucket, 2 cups, a rubber ducky, a water squirter, strainer, flipper, spinner, and 3 additional maze pieces. There’s plenty to keep kiddos busy in the backyard or on the patio all summer.

What we liked:

  • Great size for toddling babies up to big kids 
  • Large enough table for several kids to gather around 
  • Water maze 
  • Water fall 
  • Buckets and cups to pour water 
  • Additional water toys including a rubber duck, water squirter, and a strainer 
  • Easy to drain with plug in the bottom of the pond

What we didn’t:

  • We didn’t find any. This is a solid choice from Step2.
Here’s the lowdown and review of the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond from TTPM Toy Reviews

Check the price on Amazon »

Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas

Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table, Multicolor
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

For recommended ages 24 months and up, this water table could be a great choice if yard or patio space is a little tight. While it’s not tiny by any means, it is smaller than some other options on the market. However, it still comes with plenty of water toys and components to interact with. 

This table is equipped with spinners, a “Ferris wheel,” a spiral, and 5 water squirting toys to use in conjunction with the built-in components. There’s also an included pour cup. Kids will enjoy watching the movement of the toys as they roll down the spiral or ride on the wheel. Meanwhile, they’re practicing valuable motor skills and put/take action. 

What we liked:

  • Interactive toy with plenty of movement 
  • 5 included toys to use in the spiral and Ferris wheel 
  • Toys squirt water 
  • Pour cup included
  • Smaller size could be good for patio or small yard 
  • Great for motor skills and sensory/visual stimulation

What we didn’t:

  • (Personal experience) small toys have a tendency to get stuck inside the spiral if they aren’t made to roll
Here’s the setup, demo, and review of the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas water table from HobbyFamilyTV

Check the price on Amazon »

Dino Dig Sand and Water

Step2 Dino Dig Sand & Water Table
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

If you’re looking for a two-in-one water and sand combination, this could be a great choice, especially if your little one is dinosaur crazy. This table gives the appearance of a real Dino habitat while giving your little one a place to exercise their motor skills and fulfill their sensory needs. 

On one side, they can play with water by splashing and using the cups to pour over the palm tree to simulate rain for the included dinosaurs. Kids will have hours of fun playing pretend with the prehistoric action figures. Meanwhile, the rock portion of the table lifts up to reveal sand which is a perfect addition to sensory playtime. Cups are perfect for pouring the sand just as much as the water, but a shovel is included as well. 

Not only does this table tackle the motor, language/social, STEM, and sensory areas of learning, kids will also get a mini science lesson as they learn the names and characteristics of the included dinosaurs. This toy is perfect for ages 2+. 

What we liked:

  • Water activities including rainfall 
  • Cups, shovel, and dinosaurs included 
  • Two play options (sand and water) 
  • Sand can be covered to keep it dry and clean 
  • Perfect for pretend play and cultivating imagination 
  • Easy to clean as the water portion is simple and streamlined without a ton of nooks

What we didn’t:

  • We didn’t find any. This looks like a standup choice.

Check the price on Amazon »

Aquaplay Mountain Water Playset

AQUAPLAY 194387 Mountain Water Playset
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

The Aquaplay Mountain Water set is basically a scaled down lazy river that your kiddo gets to control! This canal system is great for introducing STEM learning (introduction to physics)  and kids will get to learn about the way water moves and carries boats as it lifts and climbs over the peaks and valleys of the canal. 

The lazy river includes dams, water wheels, boats, and small obstacles to encourage experimentation and pretend play. This particular water table setup is recommended for older toddlers, ages 3+, though it would likely still be fun for younger kids too. Aquaplay also offers extensions to build onto your set. 

What we liked:

  • Excellent opportunity to introduce STEM learning
  • Lazy river that you can watch the boats navigate 
  • Teaches cause and effect while introducing physics through play 
  • Opportunity to build on with extension pieces

What we didn’t:

  • May be too complex for young toddlers
Here’s the setup, demo, and review of the Aquaplay Mountain Water Playset from Eddie’s Toy Box:

Check the price on Amazon »

Platoon Kids Multi Use Table

Play Platoon Kids Activity Table Set - 5 in 1 Water Table, Building Block Table, Craft Table and Sensory Table with Storage - Includes 2 Chairs and 25 Ex-Large Blocks – Primary Colors
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This is one of the best multiple use tables on the market. It is great for water, sensory, craft, blocks, and storage. Plus, this set includes two kid-sized chairs and some building blocks. One of the greatest features of this set is the fact that you can use it for water, sand, playdough, slime, or any other messy (but fun) activity. 

Once you’re done with the toys and mess, you can put the top over it for discreet storage. This set’s tabletop offers a smooth side and a bumpy building side.The building block table top is compatible with major name brand building block companies, so it’s guaranteed to fit. It’s recommended for ages 18+ months, but this table set is great for toddlers, preschoolers, and older kids as well. 

What we liked:

  • Five uses in one table 
  • Great for sensory play including water, sand, playdough, slime, and blocks
  • Tabletop has two sides (a smooth side for general purposes and block side for building)
  • Set comes with two chairs and 25 blocks 
  • 3 color choices available 
  • One of the best choices for indoor play

What we didn’t:

  • This pick doesn’t have the water table bells and whistles like water wheels, spinners, or water mazes

Check the price on Amazon »

Breanna is a former therapist turned writer. She earned a master’s in psychology in 2015 but ultimately decided she would like to be more present for her family. Currently flexing her writing skills as a stay-at-home mother of two toddlers (with another baby on the way), she enjoys writing in the parenting and home/DIY niches. She also writes fiction and has been published in a handful of literary magazines and a fiction anthology. In her spare time, Breanna enjoys blogging, painting, running, and drinking an absurd amount of coffee.

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