10 Best Water Tables for Kids in 2017

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water table for kids

One of the most fascinating play things that we can give very young children is a sand and water table. These wonderful pieces of watery play time gadgets provide a lot of sensory stimulation not to mention loads of fun and imaginative play. It is no wonder that this Christmas, parents across the globe are flocking to their favorite toy shops and big kiddie department stores in search for the best and most exciting water sand table for their respective children. But before you head out to your own favorite toy shop, why don’t you first check out the top 10 water tables we have purposely shortlisted just for you? At least, we have narrowed down your selection to just 10 from a sea of choices.

Top 10 Kiddie Water Tables

Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table by Little Tikes 

Waterpark play table

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Age Range: 2 to 6 years old

Parents consider the Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table as one really fabulous looking water table for kids. Designed by renowned toy maker Little Tikes, the Spiralin’ Seas is a fun-filled waterpark on a small 29-inch diameter table. Toddlers and preschoolers will have a fantastic time playing with at least three waterpark-inspired activity attachments. The center tower has funnel at the top and down a spiraling waterway. Kids will have hours upon hours pouring liquid into the funnel or dropping colorful plastic balls that gets flushed in the downward roundabout. Watching the balls spiral down the cylindrical waterway will mesmerize children as to how balls can go that fast.

There’s a liquid scooper attachment, too, or as Little Tikes put it, a mini Ferris wheel. At the back of the wheel is a lever which kids will have to turn to scoop liquid or even the balls that are floating after having spiraled down the tube. It’s all about control and timing as kids will have to perfectly time the turning of the wheel to scoop the balls. There’s a waterwheel as well. Directly above the two waterwheels is an orange funnel which kids have to pour liquid into. The liquid drains on the topmost waterwheel turning it counterclockwise with a counter rotation on the lower waterwheel.

The Spiralin’ Seas can hold a maximum of 7 gallons and already comes with 5 character balls that can also double as squirt balls.

What We Like about It – The 3 activity attachments on the Spiralin’ Seas can be wonderful instruments to encourage toddlers’ and preschoolers’imagination. Cranking the mini Ferris wheel can also enhance their motor skills. Pouring liquid on the funnel helps in hand eye coordination.

Naturally Playful Sand Table by Step2 

Naturally playful sand table

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Age Range: At least 2 years old

If you’re looking for a fantastic sand table with lid then you have to buy the Naturally Playful Sand Table. With a 40-lb capacity, this beautiful 36 x 26 inch sand pit table can also double as a Step 2 water table since it has an ingenious solid construction. The lid is styled as a wooden platform which has several wide grooves – molded-in roadways – to accommodate your kid’s small toy vehicles from either Matchbox or HotWheels. The point is that, your kid will not only be using the sand pit as a play area; he or she can also use the lid as a wide playing surface perfect for putting and arranging your kid’s favorite toys.

The Naturally Playful comes with highly elastic tie-downs to secure the lid and keep the sand free of debris and super dry. To complete your kid’s playtime adventures, the Naturally Playful also comes with a bucket, 2 claw rakes, a 2 shovels to give your child a beach-like experience or whatever he or she would like to imagine.

What We Like about It – The sturdy construction of the Naturally Playful is notable. The multifunctionality of the lid is also noteworthy. Your kid can play with this table in 3 different ways – as a waterpark, a sand pit table, and an elevated play area.

WaterWheel Activity Play Table by Step2 

waterwheel-activity-play-table

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Age Range: At least 1 year old

Need something to put your kid’s favorite water table toy on? How about the WaterWheel Activity Play Table? This Step 2 water table is a favorite among older babies who have already learned to stand and walk; although Step2 says the product should be used by toddlers. It has an elevated platform to keep your toddler’s feet dry and clean so there’s no need to worry.

The WaterWheel has molded-in sections on its water compartment to simulate the deep ocean, the shallow canal, medium-depth lakes, and even a really shallow moat – perfect for stimulating your toddler’s fantastic imagination. It has a tower accessory with a built-in waterwheel in the center. Atop the tower is a funnel that kids will pour liquid into using the accompanying scoop. The WaterWheel also feature molded designs surrounding the platform and on the 3 legs that provide support. Aside from the scoop or cup and the tower, the WaterWheel also comes with 2 plastic sailboats to help boost imaginative play among young children.

What We Like about It – The variable depths of the molded-in sections is perfect in aiding the imagination of children. They can pretend the sailboats are anchoring at the harbor or even sailing out to the deep ocean. Pouring water into the funnel can also help strengthen those small muscles of children.

Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Play Table by Little Tikes 

Anchors Away Pirate Ship Water Play Table

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Age Range: 2 to 6 years old

How do you enhance the imaginative play of kids having fun in their very own water table for kids? Do you think an outdoor water table that is designed or styled like a mighty pirate ship will help? If that’s the case, then you need to buy Little Tikes’ fabulous Anchors Away Pirate Ship. This is one sure hit among kids especially those who are fans of Jake and the Never Land Pirates as well as other pirate characters for kids.

The Anchors Away is a great outdoor water table complete with some of the more common features of a real pirate ship including a center mast complete with a crow’s nest with a colorful skull and crossbone pirate flag. The crow’s nest serves as a funnel to allow liquid to flow onto the spinners on the lower section of the mast. Kids can either pour liquid onto the crow’s nest or even attach a garden hose to a dedicated port and create a beautiful pirate ship center mast fountain for continuous watery fun. There’s a cannon that squirts, a fully turning helm, and an anchor that can be easily lowered and raised by cranking a lever.

This unique water table for kids also comes with a set of water table toy figures – a pirate captain and a ship’s mate. It also included a blue-and-white squirting shark, a green-and-white boat, a white-and-red floatation device, 2 water cups or scoops, and a bucket.

What We Like about It – Your kid’s imagination will surely go through the roof with the Anchors Away. There’s just a lot of cranking and spinning and pretend play activities that can be enjoyed with this particular aquatic play set.

Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center by Step2 

Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center

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Age Range: 2 to 8 years old

If you require a sand and water table that can be played with simultaneously by your kid and his or her playmates, then the Naturally Playful Sand and Water Center is the plaything to get. This outdoor water sand table has two separate compartments, one for liquid and the other one for sand. The water compartment has a molded elevated roadways with 2 bridges that connect to the sand compartment. Fill one compartment with liquid and pretend to navigate the 2 small boats under the bridge and around the “island”.

This Sand and Water Center comes with a wood-designed lid complete with molded features. There are also roadways on the lid so kids can still play with the sand water table even if it is covered. Here’s the best part. The Sand and Water Center comes with a beautiful umbrella that can be slotted into a hole in the middle of the table. At least, your kids can have a wonderful time playing in their sand and water table even under the scorching heat of the sun. The legs can be easily detached, too so storage should not be a problem. The Center’s lid can be secured with its elastic tie-down mechanism.

What We Like about It – It’s ingenious to have 2 separate compartments in just a single platform. The addition of an umbrella and holder is also very thoughtful. Now, kids can really see their creativity as well as superb imagination be enhanced.

Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table by Step2 

cascading-cove-sand-and-water-table

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Age Range: 18 months to 5 years old

Similar to the Sand and Water Center is step2’s Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table. It comes with the same elastic tie-downs, molded-in roadways on its sturdy and ever-reliable lid, easily detachable legs, and an umbrella and umbrella holder. The only difference is the design of the table’s 2 compartments as well as the placement of the umbrella holder.

The Cascading Cove is designed more like the natural arc of a natural beach cove. The liquid compartment also features an island that is connected to the “mainland” by two bridges. There’s also a drain plug in the water compartment which easily removes the fluid after playing. The Cascading Cove is perfect for those outdoor sand water table playtime activities. The lid can also serve as a separate playing surface as it has plenty of road surface for small toy vehicles.

What We Like about It – The unique styling of the Cascading Cove can be a great instrument for your kid’s imaginative endeavors. If you’re going to choose between the Cascading Cove and the Sand and Water Center, we’d recommend the former. But of course, that would really depend on you.

Arctic Splash Water Table by Step2 

Arctic Splash Water Table

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Age Range: 18 months to 8 years old

It may be small by standards but the Arctic Splash Water Table is never small in its ability to stimulate imagination especially among toddlers and even preschoolers. Designed like the Arctic environment complete with a “floating” ice to rest the walrus, polar bear, and penguin water table toy figures that come with it, the Arctic Splash is one “cool” way to help your young tot really use his or her imagination to the fore. The Arctic Splash comes with a 3-layer tower shaped like an iceberg complete with a beautiful slide down the side. A closer look at this berg and you’ll see that it is actually composed of several wells. Children will have lots of fun putting Mr. Penguin on top of the berg, splash it with fluid, and see the black-and-white aquatic bird slide down through a hole on the side of the berg. This water table for kids has a diameter of 31.5 inches and is elevated about 23 inches above ground. This should help keep your kids’ feet pretty clean and dry.

What We Like about It – The Arctic Splash does not have too many features. Yet, it is this very simple approach that makes it very ideal in stimulating a kid’s imagination. Too many details can rob a child of this fantastic opportunity.

Finding Dory Swim and Swirl Water Table by Step2 

Finding Dory Swim and Swirl Water Table

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Age Range: 18 months to 8 years old

It’s Dory’s turn to get lost. Will Marlin be able to find her in the same way that he found Nemo? Well, the answer to that question is best left to the imagination of your kid as he or she plays with the Finding Dory Swim and Swirl. This fabulous outdoor water table has propeller blades smacked right in the center of the water table for kids. Your child churns the propellers to create a whirlpool effect and watch Nemo, Dory, and Hank (the octopus) swim in an ocean-full of turbulent current.

The Finding Dory also features a tower with a slide designed like a diver’s fin. And oh, Dory, Nemo, and Hank all squirt so this should add a great element of fun to your kid’s watery activities. The Finding Dory table also has a side flipper which your child can use to launch Dory and her 2 friends.

With sturdy legs and durable platform, it’s no surprise that parents speak highly of the Finding Dory Step 2 water table.

What We Like about It – The addition of the propeller blades to create a whirlpool effect is inventive, at the very least. This should help kids create wonderful wave effects to enhance the overall aquatic experience of children.

Big Splash Waterpark by Step2 

kids water park

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Age Range: 18 months to 5 years old

As its name implies, the Big Splash Waterpark is Step2’s perfect water table for kids. This 31.5-inch diameter play set comes with a 4-legged tower with a huge bucket on top. The tower has several slots upon which your child can place a waterwheel and a curved slide. Liquid from the bucket pours into both the waterwheel and the slide attachment to spin the wheel and create a waterslide, respectively. Your child can also attach a beautifully designed diving platform on the side of the Big Splash Waterpark to help catapult any one of 2 water table toy figurines. Both the boy and girl figures come complete with their swim attire including goggles and snorkel for the boy figure. The Big Splash Waterpark has an easily accessible drain plug so that cleaning is made a lot easier.

What We Like about It – This outdoor water table from Step2 has unusually large accessories. This makes it easy for kids to handle these items. The diving platform is superb as it actually flips the toy figure onto the pool. The waterslide is also great for encouraging optimum imagination from your little ones.

Busy Ball Play Table by Step2 

Busy Ball Play Table

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Age Range: 18 months to 5 years old

One of the most talked-about water tables for toddlers is the Busy Ball Play Table and it’s very easy to see why. The Busy Ball has 31.5 inches of watery diameter with a fabulous 3 level tower with 3 different slides that connect to other slides in the lower levels. The top has a built-in carousel which helps slot the play balls into the tower and, depending which slide the ball drops, rolls down the slide and into the pool.

There’s also a floating ball carrier so that the play balls will not be floating around and get in the way of a sliding ball. The ball carrier also functions as a spinner to help create a fantastic swirl of colorful balls. If your child grows tire of slotting the balls onto the carousel, he or she can use any of two catapults located on the side of the Busy Ball. This helps launch those colorful balls into the air and in the aquatic pool.

There are 10 lightweight balls in all. The Busy Ball also comes with a drain plug so you won’t have to fret about cleanup.

What We Like about It – The Busy Ball is ideal for enhancing toddlers’ ability to use their imagination especially in handling or playing the different colors of balls. This also helps strengthen the coordination of their visual motor complex.

How We Chose the Best Water Tables for Kids in Our List

Selecting a great outdoor water table from a multitude of water and sand table ideas is very perplexing to say the least. There are a lot of things that need to be considered and since there are literally hundreds of toymakers and manufacturers of juvenile products, it took us quite a while to come up with a sample that is very representative of what we believe are the best water tables for toddlers and other young children.

We had to check the inherent features that the sand and water table manufacturer has built into the product itself. We had to make sure that these product features sit well with the developmental needs of the children that they are designed for. We had to determine if the company truly understands the developmental milestones of each age group of children and whether this understanding is reflected in the design of the aquatic table or not. Some companies are known for integrating a lot of features that do nothing to assist in the development of children’s skills. Clearly, we don’t want to give these products to our kids, do we?

We also had to look at the safety and maintenance issues of these kinds of children’s playthings. Since we are talking about filling up a table with either sand or water or even both, then the table’s construction should be solid. It should be very tough and sturdy to support the weight of either water or sand or both. We also had to take into consideration other water toy items that may be added onto the play area of the table. So, safe and durable construction is a must.

The comments, reviews, and feedbacks of consumers, particularly parents, who have already used these kinds of playthings were read over and over to identify the most striking theme of their experiences. We had our research team analyze these comments so we can have a better understanding of what they are really saying. We then added this understanding to our evaluation of the company’s reputation or overall credibility. We know you wouldn’t put your trust on a company with shady manufacturing practices either.

And this is how we came up with our top 10 water tables for toddlers and other young children. It’s tedious work but we did it anyway.

Water Play and Young Children

Water is a very fantastic medium for fostering the optimum development of children. It can help in the enhancement of their coordination, strength and balance, social and communication skills, and learning and exploration skills. That is why parents today are advised to provide their children with the opportunities to get really familiar with this liquid element from bath time to swimming or even playing in their very own water table.

Toddlers, for instance, can benefit a lot from playing with water. First, being explorers, toddlers can discover a lot of things with liquid as the medium. They will be amazed at how some things can float while others sink to the bottom. While they may not fully understand the principles of hydrodynamics, they will know that heavy, solid objects will not really float. A ship may be heavy but it has space inside making it lighter than the force of the liquid. Of course, they won’t understand yet how this actually works but they are already being introduced to such concepts. Young children also love to use all of their senses when exploring the world around them. Swimming or even soaking parts of their bodies in a liquid medium can stimulate every square inch of their skin. This can have a fantastic effect in their sensory processing.

Water play also enhances children’s social and communication skills. They love to share with other kids what they have just learned or discovered playing with liquids. When they play with their water tables, they learn to take turns cranking the waterwheel or even cooperate on pouring water on the funnel. When swimming, they can try to outdo one another which can also foster a sense of competitiveness in them at such a very young age.

Swimming can also help provide motor skill, balance, and coordination enhancement. Pouring liquid on a funnel, for instance, requires the coordination between what their eyes see and the contraction of their hand muscles so that the water will empty right into the funnel. Play sets that have a variety of spinners and floaters will require excellent control of small muscle groups.

Perhaps what is really beneficial from playing with water is the enrichment of children’s imaginative and creative abilities. They can recreate a severe storm in the ocean, tossing their small toy boats. They can imagine they are in a beach or even in a harbor so they have to know how to safely navigate the waterways and “park” their toy boat at the pier. They can also imagine being Olympic divers launching from a high diving platform. The possibilities are endless. And this is what makes water play truly useful in helping kids make full use of their imagination.

There are many other benefits of water play often depending on the kind of water-related activity that children will engage in. One thing is certain, water play has a significant role in the overall development of today’s children.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something truly unique and developmentally beneficial to give as a Christmas present to your child, a water table or even a sand and water table is an excellent choice. Let our top 10 kiddie aquatic tables provide inspiration in choosing the best for your child.

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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