Best Kids' Water Tables

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

15 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
196 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best kids' water tables

Last Updated April 2019

If your child would spend all day in the bath, if given the option, and can often be found playing at the kitchen sink, then she'd probably love a kids' water table. Not only do water tables provide hours of fun for little ones but they can also help restrict water play to a designated area, so you don't end up with a soggy carpet or flooded bathroom.

Perhaps you’ve decided you want to buy a kids' water table, but how do you pick one? Many of them look similar at first glance, so it can be hard to tell how to choose a model your child will love playing with.

We at BestReviews are here to help. We've done the research and written this in-depth guide to kids' water tables to simplify your purchasing choice. We've also included our top five picks at the top of the page. Read on and learn all you need to know to buy your child the perfect water table.

Some kids' water tables have a theme, such as pirate, beach, or water park.

Key considerations

Height

It's important to check the height of your chosen water table to be sure it's not too tall or too short for your child to play at comfortably. If there is no table that’s just the right height for your child, one that's too high is usually preferable to one that's too low. Your little one would have to stoop to use a very low table, which is uncomfortable and could mean your child will be less likely to play with the table. If the table is too high, your child can use a step stool until he’s taller.

Age range

Read through the product description to find out the recommended age range of any kids' water tables you're considering. Some are designed for very young kids and might be too low or too simple for children of six to eight, for example. On the other hand, you'll also find tables with a slightly higher minimum age range that might not be suitable for very young kids. The lowest recommended age we've seen for a water table is one year, but most are recommended for kids two years or older.

Water capacity

How much water can a kids' water table hold? Well, that depends! Some very small models may only hold a couple of gallons, while larger tables can hold eight to ten gallons. Although you don't necessarily need the largest option, we generally wouldn't suggest buying a very small table because it won't be as versatile and your child will soon grow out of it. Of course, larger water capacity usually means larger overall dimensions, so if you opt for a high-capacity table, make sure it will fit in the spot you intend for it.

CAUTION

Always supervise young children who are playing with a water table. A child can drown face-down in even an inch or two of water.

Kids’ water table features

Water only vs. water and sand: Although most water tables are just that – tables for playing with water — you can also find some that are divided into two sections, one for water and one for sand. Sand-and-water tables bring some of the joy of the beach to your home. They make excellent sensory tables and are perfect for kids who love building sandcastles just as much as they enjoy splashing in the water. The downside is that these tables can get messy, especially when sand gets in the water, which will inevitably happen.

Tools and toys: Don't expect a water table to be a simple square table that you fill with water — they tend to be much more exciting than that. You'll get a range of tools, toys, and other accessories, although the types included vary with the model. All the tables we looked at include some kind of bucket or container for scooping and pouring water. Your kids' water table may also include some or all of the following: shovels, slides, squirting toys, figurines, water wheels, and water towers.

Number of kids: How many children will be regularly playing at your kids' water table? If you have more than one child who'll be playing with the table, make sure it's large enough for them all to play at once. We also recommend having enough space for one or two more kids to play, in case of playdates.

EXPERT TIP

It's best to set up a water table outside or on tile or linoleum because there will be splashing! If this isn't possible, put a large waterproof sheet under the table to protect the floor.


Staff  | BestReviews

Kids’ water table prices

Inexpensive

Basic kids' water tables start at about $30 to $40. You can find some excellent durable options in this price range, but most of them are fairly small and simple, with only a handful of accessories included.

Mid-range

These water tables cost roughly $40 to $70. You'll find some larger and more inventive choices at this price point.

Expensive

If you want the largest water table with the greatest number of toys, tools, and other accessories included, you'll need to opt for a high-end model. Expect to pay between $70 and $150.

If you choose a water table that relies on many small, fiddly parts, it's likely they'll get lost over time. Sometimes simpler is better.

Staff
BestReviews

Tips

  • Choose a kids' water table that's easy to empty. It should have an easily accessible drain for emptying out the water. Water left in the table too long will become stagnant.

  • Look for durability. Water is heavy, so you'll want to select a sturdy, well-made water table to provide adequate support.

  • Consult your child. Unless the water table is a surprise gift, consider allowing your child to choose between two or three tables once you've narrowed down your options. After all, you want to choose the water table that your kid will like best and play with regularly.

  • Consider how easy the water table is to clean. Water tables are generally made from plastic, so they're easy to wipe down. However, if they have too many awkward recesses, it can be tough to get them completely clean.

Other products we considered

If you've checked the product matrix at the top of the page, you've already seen our top five kids' water tables. It was a close call, however, and there are some products that very nearly made the cut that we want to mention now. If you'd like a mix of sand and water, the Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table is a fun option. The water tower is highly entertaining and the included cover can be integrated into play on the water or sand side. Any young PAW Patrol fan will adore the Step2 PAW Patrol Water Table featuring favorite characters from the TV show. We also love the Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Waterpark, another option offering separate sides for sand and water.

Kids' water tables are ideal for creative play. Children tend to invent imaginary games while playing, even if it looks like they're just scooping and pouring.

FAQ

Q. Are there any educational benefits to water tables for kids?

A. It might look like kids are simply having fun playing with the water table, but they’re learning, too. One of the main benefits for very young kids is that water tables can help improve motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination. Children will also subconsciously learn about the principles of water flow, gravity, and volume.

Q. Could a kids' water table improve my child's social skills?

A. Yes, children playing together at a water table often like to show each other what they've discovered, which encourages interaction. They may also improve cooperation by creating imaginary games to play with one another or working together to reach certain goals.

Q. My child could use some more accessories for her water table. What should I do?

A. The great news is that anything durable and waterproof can be used as a water table accessory — it doesn't need to be designed for the job. A plastic cup can become a bucket for scooping and pouring water. A rubber duck or plastic figurine can be a visitor to the water park. Get creative!

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer

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