Water tables are a warm weather must-have for little ones. Many toddlers love playing in water, which can quickly turn into a mess when it’s done inside, whether that’s at the sink or in the tub. Outdoor water tables give them the opportunity to splash, play, and fill up cups just to dump them out almost immediately. Since they’re playing with them outdoors, you don’t have to worry about them making a mess you’ll be responsible for cleaning later, and they’re kept happy and occupied for a bit. They also keep your tot cool even on the hottest days. Basically, everybody wins!
There are lots of options out there, but the best water tables should be versatile, durable enough to stand up to weather and toddler antics, easy to put together, and fun. A big bonus is they come with accessories like cups and toys. You don’t need to have the fanciest water table on the block, but something that will entertain your toddler might require a few bells and whistles.
One thing to keep in mind: water tables are popular, so they tend to sell out fast. When you see a popular one that you like a lot, try not to hesitate. As summer quickly approaches, you’ll be surprised to see how fast they disappear. Here are the best of the best water tables your little one will love.
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Best Water Table Overall
This Step2 water table is a fan favorite year after year, and it’s actually pretty hard to find as it’s almost always out of stock. It basically has it all: plenty of room and space, lots of little toys to play with (a 13-piece toy set plus a bucket and two squirt toys), a water maze, and two tiers to allow for a waterfall effect that fascinates toddlers. It’s easy to set up, and Step2 products are known for being durable and sturdy — I have a Step2 water table for my daughter and despite leaving it out all winter, it’s in great condition. Snag this one when you can!
Best Water Table For Young Toddlers
With nearly 10,000 positive reviews on Amazon, this Little Tikes option is another crowd favorite. Parents say that it’s especially great for 1-year-olds because of both the size and the amount of engaging activities it offers. Toddlers really love the ball tower on top, which allows them to drop balls in and watch them spiral into the water. There’s also a ferris wheel with a crank, a funnel, spinner, water cup, and five balls that squirt water. Because of its shape and all of the activities it comes with, it’s great for a few toddlers at once as well. Lastly, it’s super sturdy and can withstand the elements.
Best Water Table For Multiple Kids
Water tables are a great way to get little ones to play together since there’s so much to do — they can play together, or they can play side by side. This Step2 option is especially ideal for multiple kids at a time because it’s a multi-layer with two pools, meaning there’s plenty of space for everyone. There are fun interactive elements like a diving board, spinner, and flipper, as well as several toys, and it comes with a cute umbrella for much-needed shade. While you can fill both pools with water, you could also fill one with sand or other sensory items, making it even more versatile.
Best Water Wall
For a slightly different vibe, opt for the best-selling Step2 Waterfall Discovery Wall. While this one doesn’t offer a pool, it’s still so much fun for toddlers to play with. They can scoop up water from the bottom basin, then pour it down from the top to watch it cascade like a waterfall through spinners, zigzags, and funnels. And if there’s anything I know from watching my 2-year-old play with water, it’s that they love dumping it out and watching it fall. This one is great because you can play on both sides, so it’s another one that’s ideal for multiples.
Best Water Table To Sit At
If you want an actual table, then opt for this Best Choice wooden table. It definitely doesn’t offer pools that are as big as some of the other options on this list, but it’s fun, versatile, and will grow with your toddlers. You can remove the wood from the middle panel, leaving two buckets that can be filled with water, sand, and/or toys — kids can sit at the table, under the shade from the umbrella, and play with those buckets. When you just need a place for your kids to sit, or they’ve grown out of the water table, put the middle panel back in and use this as a plain old kid-friendly picnic table.
Best Table For Sand & Water
Can’t decide between sand or water? You can have both with this Step2 option that works double duty. One side can hold sand, while the other can hold water (or you can choose to do all sand or all water, whatever you prefer), and kids can scoop sand into water and vice versa. It comes with toys, a funnel, and some scoopers for them to play with. The sand side also has a cover that will really come in handy when it’s not in use — it keeps bugs and other critters out of the sand so it stays clean.
Most Versatile Water Table
Most water tables only get use during the warmer weather, when kids can play outside with them. This Step2 option is extra versatile because it’s just as fun to play with when there’s no water, so it can be used indoors as well. It comes with 10 balls that can be catapulted into the basin and a belt and pulley system to get them up the ramp. When filled with water, it’s even more exciting, but again, it’s just as fun without it.
You really can’t go wrong with any of these water tables, so at the end of the day, settle on the one you think your toddler would love the most, and go for it. When you get to sit on a lounge chair nearby while they play, you’ll definitely appreciate it.