Kids love to play in the water and in the sand! A play table designed for these is a great addition to your backyard. There are a lot of great options out there that allow for endless hours of fun. And we’ve checked out some of the best and hope we can offer some helpful guidance!
Even if you have a pool, a water table is a great option, especially for all those times you don’t want the kids getting completely wet. It also doesn’t require as much concentration while caring for them.
A sand table is a great substitute for a sandbox, and a bit more manageable. But they go great together, too. Your child will still get sand in the unlikeliest of places with a sand table, but at least the quantity will be less. The time needed for maintenance is reduced, too!
Of course, a sand table and a water table are normally one and the same! Normally, you can use either element with the same setup. In most cases, there is no problem with switching back and forth.
What To Look For
Let’s look at the most important factors to consider when choosing your child’s sand/ water table.
Safety should always be a priority, particularly when it comes to children. Be sure to choose a table that will stand solidly on the ground and won’t collapse under normal use.
Most are made with hard plastic, although some are wooden. Be sure to look out for rough edges or splinters.
Make sure the table stands evenly – if not, it’s likely an assembly issue and you may have to make sure it’s put together right.
Also, avoid tables that have pieces that could break off, particularly if they present a choking hazard.
Sand and water tables all measure roughly the same height to suit the youngsters who are likely to play with them.
But you’ll want to see how many children can comfortably play around your choice. If you have more than one young child – or they often have playdates in your yard – you may want something that two or more kids can comfortably play at. After all, we all know that if one is playing with it, the other will probably want to, also!
Also consider the amount of space provided for the water or sand as compared to the overall size of the unit. Is there enough area to play and build? There are often other toys connected to the table, but is there enough open space for more creative, free play, as well?
Features and Accessories
There are all kinds of accessories and features incorporated into sand and water tables. There can be slides and towers to pour things down. Many include shovels and buckets. Some even make it seem like an archaeological dig!
Kids’ interests change quickly, as you know. So it’s always hard to pick a theme that will hold their attention. But there are a lot of options out there, from dinosaurs to ducks!
The Best Backyard Water and Sand Tables
Here are our favorite choices in sand and water tables, based on overall quality and value.
For some reason, dinosaurs remain incredibly popular with the youngest crowd. And Step2 recognizes that! They let you bring dinos right down to the watering hole – which is the water of your watering hole.
There are various ledges in the sand/water area where the toys can be posed, as well. There are also small buckets and a shovel (more like cups, really) for digging or pouring water.
Even the legs of this table look like the trunks of palm trees!
A lid is included. There’s also a spot for a small sun umbrella on the side of the table. It also has a plug to allow easy drainage.
Another Step2, product, this one has ducks and a “second level.” On the upper part, you or your child can pour water or sand and watch as it runs down through chutes and gears. There are also other gears, buckets, and even a toy frog!
The chutes and gears can be switched around, helping your child learn how the water will flow differently depending on how the pieces are arranged.
There’s a drain to empty it out easily.
Little Tikes comes through with a cool table, too!
This one is kind of unique, since it’s round. There are basically three areas where your child could play, or perhaps two kids at once. There might be a little less fighting since the view from one side to the other is mainly obstructed by the large tube in the middle.
A water cup and 5 ball-shaped characters are included. The balls can suck in water and squirt it out when squeezed. There are also some gears and chutes. The balls can be rolled down the center tube, too.
The plug is included but not installed; it can take a little effort (and a pair of pliers) to install it properly.
This water or sand table from Best Choice is really special! It’s actually shaped more like a picnic table, and kids can sit or kneel on the benches. Actually, it can be used as a picnic table for the little ones. A table top is included, but you can also remove it to expose two sections for sand and/or water.
It also includes an umbrella that’s 51 inches across. It can be adjusted from 43 to 63 inches high, too, to grow with your child.
There’s definitely enough space for two – and maybe even four – youngsters to enjoy this space.
The frame and benches are wooden.
We have heard of some issues where the wood used was of an inferior quality, though. We like the look and feel, but be mindful that it’s assembled properly and that it’s not splintered or split in any way.
Little Tikes offers another round water/sand table. This one has a strong emphasis on ducks and frogs. In fact, there are 5 ducks, a squeaking log with 4 (non removable) frogs, a plastic net, a water cup, and another frog.
Like the other plastic tables we’ve reviewed, this has a plug to allow drainage.
Water can be poured into the top level, which is shaped kind of like a gravy boat. From there it pours down a couple of levels to the basin.
A sand and water table is a great activity center for younger children. Be sure to get one that’s durable and includes toys they’ll enjoy! They’re easy to maintain and just require cleaning once in a while. We know you’ll love the smiles it will bring to their faces!