If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the best overall water table for your kids is then I’d recommend the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table as the best one.
Water tables make it possible for kids to play with water for a long time without having to take a bath and as a result get some old-looking wrinkled skin. They can be suitable for both indoors and outdoor usage. In this article, we review the best water tables according different criteria and select the best for various use cases. We also give you a recommendation for an overall best across all categories.
My Top Picks:
- Best Overall – Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
- Best Safety – Step2 Big Splash Waterpark Water Table
- Best for Many Kids – Step2 Cascading Cove Sand & Water Table with Umbrella
- Best Small Size and Best Budget – Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table
- Best Sand and Water – Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table
- Best with Shade – Step2 Spill & Splash Seaway Water Table
Benefits of Water Tables
We all know how kids love jumping around in little pools of water on the pavement after a rainy day. They are fascinated by the sound of water splashing, touching their skin in random ways. When they’re smaller they reach excitedly into cups filled with water, running it between their fingers. Playing with water is fun for kids of all ages.
With today’s kids mostly occupied with digital tools, screens, playing with water tables can be a refreshingly new activity that they can enjoy for extended time periods. Playing with water enhances the kids’ sensory skills. It develops their motor skills. It also leads them to increase their creativity by using their hands in novel ways. They get to explore one of the basic raw materials we have without being limited by the given structure typically toys have. On top of this, when they play with water together with other kids, they get better with their social skills. They can create new situations which helps them in communicating with others, or they might talk about quantities, compare what they hold in a cup or in their hands. These would improve their mathematical skills. Dealing with water also enhances kids’ science skills since they play with one of the fundamental states of matter besides solid, gas, plasma. They experience this special state with their hands and rest of the body, the only state with no fixed shape. They get an early introduction to early physics concepts such as motion, flow. Cause and effect principles become visible, too when children play with the water toys and other accessories, such as when these toys slide down on slides. They also start to predict what will happen when water is poured into buckets – the bucket gets filled up!
How To Choose a Water Table For Your Kids
It can be daunting to find the right water table for your kids. This is why we put together this guide to help you in your decision making. There are many things to consider:
Obviously the right table for your kids should neither be too challenging, nor easy. Each extreme case can make your child look for another game. Therefore keep this factor as one of the most important ones to consider. Most tables are for ages starting from around 1.5 years until 5 or 6 years. The reason for this lower limit is that many tables need to have a leg. It means the kids cannot sit which would be the case if they were younger than 1.5 years.
You want to consider heavy-duty plastic or other similar materials. This would ensure that it would be long-lasting and wouldn’t break during first usage. If safety is important for you (probably yes), then you might want to pay attention to choosing a product that is BPA free and has rounded edges.
Check the size of the product so you know if it fits into your environment. Some of the products are easy to disassemble, they might be collapsible which can help in finding an efficient way of storing it. If a table is big, it might be suitable for playing with other kids. Sharing is caring, and when more kids are playing, everyone can get to participate in some fun games. Size can affect also the type of kids who can play, since a multilevel structure could allow both younger kids and toddlers to play together.
If the table is not watertight, it could mean that you have to refill it regularly. What could be worse is that it could ruin any material that is underneath, such as wooden floor. Check also how tightly fitting the pieces are when assembling the product. Another spot where unwanted leakage can happen is the area for draining the table so as to get rid of the water after usage. After draining the water, clean the surfaces with a dry piece clothes to get rid of moisture.
For children a table without accessories is like sitting at a table without plates and cups to eat from for adults. Kids will probably want to play with cups, buckets, spoons and other similar objects. Make sure that you check which accessories might come automatically with the product or which accessories can be bought separately.
Lastly parents don’t have unlimited budgets for buying toys. There are many different prices in our selection and you can choose the one that fits you best. Look out for one of the categories below if you’re budget-minded as there’s a selection also for you.
Best Water Tables
Best Overall – Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
It allows kids to create essentially a mini waterpark with a rainfall. Adults or kids can move the water up to the top using the included bucket, then pour it so a rainfall starts. Children can rearrange its parts to create a new type of waterfall. It is best overall as it covers many of the points one can consider when looking for a water table – see its many pros.
- Suitable for kids of all ages, starting from around 1 year old because of the multilevel structure
- With optional umbrella for protection from the sun
- For many kids
- 13 pieces of accessories included
- Made of durable plastic
- Both for indoor and outdoor usage
- Made in USA
- Can be a bit difficult to assemble
- Doesn’t work without the legs so not suitable for small babies who cannot stand yet
Best Safety – Step2 Big Splash Waterpark Water Table
It is a great option if you care a lot about safety aspects, as it’s made of BPA-free material.
It allows kids to play in many different ways: spinning the water wheel using the water running down a waterslide, catapulting toy swimmers to land in the pool, or just simply letting them randomly play using the 7 accessories. Two figures that are part of the accessory set are a boy and a girl so kids can learn how to play with their toy versions, instead of the more common animal figures that other tables come with.
- Material is BPA free
- 7 pieces of accessories included
- For a wide range of ages, 18 months – 5 years
- Made in USA
- Only for 2-3 kids at a time
- Construction somewhat flimsy
Best for Many Kids – Step2 Cascading Cove Sand & Water Table with Umbrella
This colorful table is ideal when you have a few kids around who have different needs. It lets them play with water and sand at the same time. It comes with an umbrella included which is great if you want to use it on a sunny day. It’s of a high quality, too.
- 7 pieces of accessories included
- Umbrella included with a diameter of 42’’
- Lid included to cover the table when not in use for protection from bugs or other creatures
- Both sides have a plug for draining so each side can hold water
- Need to buy the sand separately
- Legs not adjustable
Best Small Size and Best Budget – Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table
This water table is a budget option which could be great if you want to try out some table to see if this kind of entertainment can provide enough fun for your kids. Or maybe you just want to use it every once in a while on a hot summer day so you don’t want to invest too much in a table. At the same time ff you need to pay attention to some of your space limitations, that could be another reason to consider this table. It can still accommodate for 3 kids and it lets them play as if they went fishing.
- Despite its small size, it contains many accessories – fishing pole, 5 critters, water cup and fishing net
- Includes a launcher to send critters onto a lily pad in the center of the table
- Some units have some leaks around the plugs
- Assembly might be somewhat difficult
Best Sand and Water – Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table
This is a large table that can be inviting for many kids to play around it. This has a versatile construction and this is it’s one of my favorites. Since it has a water tower with water slides it is a multi-level construction. Kids can familiarize themselves both with water and sand. The added lid helps parents in keeping everything under control, without letting water mix with sand.
- Comes with a lid that can cover either of the two sides so the sand or the water stay separate
- 7 piece accessory set is included which contains also a shovel/rake, shark scoop, cup
- The legs can be removed for easier storage
- Starting from 2 years of age only as recommended by the manufacturer
- The lid cannot cover both sides at the same time which might be useful for storage
Best with Shade – Step2 Spill & Splash Seaway Water Table
It is another large table that can welcome many kids. It is a truly multi-level structure with water tables at two different levels, with a mini waterfall connecting them. One kid can launch a figure, another can fill up a bucket with water and yet another kid can play with a starfish with enough space for everyone.
- Side flipper and diving board integrated with it for additional fun when sending off the included sea creatures into the air for a fly
- 11 piece accessory set included
- Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
- You might want to have some even more extra toys to enlarge the number of options for playing for many kids
I hope this article can serve you well as a guide for selecting the best water table that your child will love. In the end they’re going to be the ultimate test for the usefulness of any gift they receive. If you want to jump straight to the best overall choice, you can check out my recommendation which is the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table. It satisfies many points in the list of criteria that I covered in this article.