Best Water Table For Toddlers Of 2020

When your child reaches their toddler years, they're at a very important stage in their development. It's when they will start to explore how the world works.

Exposing your son or daughter to new and exciting sensory experiences can provide them with a bevy of useful skills. One of the most enjoyable elements your child can play with is water. 

Water tables let your kid familiarize themselves with new concepts in a safe way. The best water tables for toddlers are fun, simple, and capable of keeping your little bundle of energy entertained for hours during those hot summer days.

Before you jump the gun and purchase the first table you find, let's delve a bit deeper into what these toys are and how they can help your toddler.

What Exactly Are Water Tables?

Don't feel bad if you're unfamiliar with the concept of a water table. These toys aren't as popular as other water-based products, such as kiddie pools and squirt guns. With that being said, they deserve a lot more attention and praise!

Essentially, water tables are activity centers that revolve around, you guessed it, water. They're typically made out of durable plastic and have a basin to create a shallow pool of liquid that your kids can splash around in. Of course, toys and fun little trinkets are also included to encourage cognitive development.

One great thing about water tables is that they're a much safer alternative to taking your toddler out for a swim. The base is raised off the ground. Not only does this bring the water to a height that's easy for small kids to reach, but it also prevents them from jumping in.

Because of their water-filled nature, these toys do require some extra attention before and after a play session. Filling the table up is the easy part. However, if your kids are anything like mine, they'll be splashing every last drop of water they can as it flows out of the drain during cleanup!

How Can A Water Table Benefit My Child?

Beyond all the good times and cute giggles water tables provide, they can also teach your child a lot of important skills. While water may seem simple enough to us adults, it's a brand-new concept to toddlers.

Chances are, using this toy will be one of the first times they can really get their hands wet and have the freedom to explore how fluids feel, move, and react to objects.

Water tables have been a staple in daycare centers and preschools for decades because they help with cognitive development. Children are always trying to understand the world around them, even if they don't realize it.

New concepts, such as objects sinking and floating in the water, challenge their limited knowledge. So, kids will experiment until they make a connection. The more this happens, the better they will get at learning things in the future.

Your child will even get a head-start on learning complex subjects, such as math and science! Even something as simple as filling a cup with water is the first step in understanding the difference between less, more, and equal. As for science, water tables can give your budding genius a better grasp on the physics of fluid.

These toys can even teach kids some new social techniques. If you're ever interested in seeing how kids react whenever they're around a water table, visit a daycare center. Kids absolutely love these toys!

You'll find them talking about the water, sea animals they're familiar with, and anything else that catches their attention. Even if it's only you playing with your child, you can use this opportunity to teach them how to share, express their ideas, and stretch their creativity.

Water Table Features to Look Out For

As with any product for your child, it's important to put some thought into the water table purchase. Not all toys are made the same. To ensure that the table is safe, fun, and capable of expanding your little tyke's mind, here are some things to consider.

Size and Height

These large outdoor toys are something your youngster will want to play with again and again. Toddlers are notorious for getting bored with basic trinkets pretty easily, so this is a very good thing!

However, toddlers also grow up fast. If you don't want to buy a new table every few months, you'll need an option that can grow with your child.

Keep your child's height in mind when you're choosing a product. It should be tall enough to let them play comfortably. It's a good idea to get something they can grow into. You can always leave the legs off and place the table on the ground if they can't quite reach it standing up just yet.

In addition to height, consider the table's size. Do you have multiple kids that want in on the fun? Does your bundle of joy have regular playdates?

Water tables are a big part of pre-school curriculum due to their socialization benefits. Having a water table that can be used by a couple of different kids at once is always recommended.

Stability

Despite how fun water tables can be, they still have their risks. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, over a quarter of a million toy-related injuries happen every year.

About 34 percent of those injuries occur in kids under five years of age. It's important that you take all the necessary safety precautions. Examine the water table and make sure that it's solidly built.

You may run into stability problems. Kids splash around, hit things, and lean on the table. If it doesn't have strong legs, the heavy base can tip over. To minimize those risks, go with a table that has a thick leg in every corner.

Protection From the Sun

Chances are, your new water table will be used outside in the sun. All it takes is 15 minutes for your tot to experience a sunburn. To help prevent this, some manufacturers include a built-in shade or umbrella.

It rises above the basin to keep some of the sun's rays at bay. If the table doesn't include some form of shielding, it's a good idea to place the table in the shade or invest in a sun umbrella.

Included Toys

While the water is certainly fun on its own, the toys are what kids use to learn. The great thing about water tables is that there are no rules. Toddlers can use the toys to get sunburn and fun on their own terms.

Most water tables come with a variety of unique toys that are specifically designed to interact with the liquid in unique ways.

With more toy options at their disposal, your child will have more opportunities to experience new things. Plus, a wide range of activities can prevent the table from getting boring.

Before you let your kid go to town, examine each toy closely. Small pieces are a choking hazard. If the accessory can easily fit into a toilet roll tube, it's far too small to be given to toddlers. Keep these extras away until your child gets a bit older.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Draining and regular cleaning are a crucial part of keeping any water table in good condition. Before you purchase a product, see what kind of maintenance is required.

Most toys are made out of durable plastic. While the material is relatively easy to clean, it must be stored properly to avoid damage from the sun and elements.

Another thing to pay attention to is the presence of a drain. No one wants to lift a heavy water-filled toy after every play session. If you want to make your life a lot easier, go with a table that has a built-in drain on the bottom.

Top Water Tables for Toddlers

There are plenty of water tables to choose from. Here are a few options that help your child learn new skills while having fun in the process.


Little Tykes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table

This water table from Little Tykes offers plenty of ways to play. It's suitable for kids as young as two years old.

Standing under two feet tall, it's at a great height for most young kids. When it comes to toys, this table doesn't disappoint. It includes a funnel, water wheel, Ferris wheel, water churner, and a large central ball spiral. 

All of those features are built onto the basin. The circular shape of the table makes it easy for kids to cycle through the various activities.

A single cup and five balls are included as well. The base holds about seven gallons of water, so there will be no shortage of fluids to splash around in. On the bottom, you'll find a drain plug for easy cleaning.

PROS

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    Mutliple activites that are designed to manipulate the water in different ways
  • Large circular design that accommodates multiple kids
  • Extra balls that promote sharing and creativity
  • Bright and colorful design

CONS

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    No sunshade
  • The three legs may make it easier to tip over
  • Textured basin bottom can hold water, resulting in mildew growth

Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

At almost 40 inches long, this water table from Step2 is large enough for all your youngster's friends to join. The colorful toy has two different tiers of activities. The bottom portion features a shallow pool for kids to dip their hands in.

The upper level, which is held up by thick plastic beams, is a rainfall tray. When your child pours water into the tray, it will flow out of the numerous holes to create the sound of gentle rain.

On the sides of the second-tier beam, there's a customizable waterfall puzzle. The various cogs and funnels can be rearranged, allowing your toddler to explore and get creative. Numerous toys are included. The table comes with 13 separate pieces, including buckets, squirting figures, and more.

PROS

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    Large, multi-level design
  • Includes elements that churn water and make noise
  • Durable drain plug with leak-proof design
  • Ideal height for growing kids
  • Includes a safe toy set

CONS

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    Can be difficult to assemble due to its size
  • Umbrella has to be purchased separately

Step2 Duck Dive Water Table

Another option from Step2, this water table is a bit simpler in design than the previous option. However, that doesn't mean that it's less fun! It's a circular water table that makes it easy for multiple kids to play at once.

In the center, there's a large spinner that churns the water and creates a slight current. A large water tower and spinner are installed on the side. Your child can pick up water with the included scooper and pour it into the tower to see how it causes the toys to move.

Cleaning and overall maintenance are quite simple. The bottom of the pool features a durable drain. There are only a few large raised bumps to add texture, making it easy to wipe down and prevent mildew.

PROS

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    Multiple water-based activities
  • Includes large toys that are safe and fun to use
  • Durable drain plug with leak-proof design
  • Can be used by mutliple kids at once
  • Basin is easy to empty and clean

CONS

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    Only holds 4 gallons of water
  • No sun protection
  • Three-leg design may be easier to tip over

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship

With its unique pirate motif, this water table from Little Tikes will feed into your kid's creative imagination. It takes on a triangular shape to mimic a fantasy pirate ship.

Three thick legs support the base at every corner, making it a relatively sturdy option. While the basin may not hold as much water as other tables, it does have some innovative features that stand out.

In the center of the ship, there's a tall mast. Your young pirate can fill this mast up with water to see how it interacts with the wheels below. Alternatively, they can use the built-in pump.

It's disguised as the flag mast and provides a steady flow of water. Various pirate-themed toys, such as cannons, a working anchor, and floating figures are included as well.

PROS

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    Colorful design and fun theme
  • Large, stable legs made out of molded plastic
  • Built-in basin drain
  • Mutliple water wheels, cannons, and toys to share
  • Has a built-in water pump to keep the water moving

CONS

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    Doesn't hold much water
  • Hollow construction may weaken the overall structure, resulting in leaks
  • No sun protection

Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table

This water table can expose your toddler to a lot of different sensory experiences. In addition to getting a better understanding of how water flows through the moving pieces, they can create fun sounds.

The table has a second tier with a rain shower tray. Once a bucket full of water is poured in, it will flow down like cooling summer rain. The vertical pieces that support the tray have places to stick the included accessories.

The toy has a circular design with activities at every turn. Multiple kids can play at once without things getting crowded. The main water basin is about 18 inches off the ground, making it a great height for younger folks. However, thanks to the second tier, they can continue to enjoy the table as they get older.

PROS

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    Circular design that promotes socialization and sharing
  • Built-in drainage plug
  • Includes mutliple toys and accessories
  • The smooth plastic material is easy to clean

CONS

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    The three legs and top-heavy design may make it easier to tip over
  • No sun protection

Conclusion

All of these water tables can do wonders for your child's development. They all have fun elements that can keep them entertained during those long summer days. However, one table, in particular, stands out among the rest. The Rain Showers Splash Pond from Step2 checks off most of the boxes. 

It's a large water table that's designed to promote socialization and sharing. Many kids can enjoy the water at the same time without getting too cramped.

Thanks to the second rain shower tray, the table also provides more sensory experiences than other options. The included toys may not be the most advanced accessories out there, but they can be used a number of different ways. Children can find creative methods to arrange the wheels and funnels, adding a new level of fun.

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