Whether they’re in the pool or the bathtub, whether they’re 2 or 12, kids pretty universally love to play in water. But the pool isn’t always open, and bath time generally isn’t the best for getting all riled up. Water tables provide a contained area for kids to get their splash on, and are designed to engage even the shortest of attention spans. Our review of the best water tables for toddlers and kids will help you wade through the wide selection available on the market to find the perfect one for your kiddo.
Our Top Picks
|Best Overall: Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond|
This double-decker water table features a raining upper level, a customizable waterfall, and plenty of accessories to keep everyone engaged.
|Best Budget: Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark |
With the central spiral tower, functioning Ferris wheel, and whirlpool maker, it’s easy to forget this is our budget pick!
|Best Sand and Water Table: Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon|
If you’re looking for more ways to play, check out this combination water and sand table that features separate water and sand basins, dual waterslides, and two pool-ready characters.
|Best for Babies: Step2 Lazy Maze River Run|
While water tables aren’t really made for babies, the large colorful balls that reduce swallowing hazard and water-activated ball waterslide certainly make this table attractive for younger players!
|Best for Toddlers: Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash|
For toddlers, this pond-style water table comes with a fishing rod they can use to catch their toys, and also has fun features like a tip-over fish bowl, water slide, spinning lily pad, sea-creature launching pad, and whirlpool maker.
|Best for 5-Year-Olds: Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship|
If something a little less simple is in order, consider this pirate ship that comes with a water-squirting cannon, functional anchor, waterfall crow’s nest, whirlpool maker, two pirate characters, a shark, and more!
A Closer Look: Best Water Tables for Toddlers and Kids
Splashing around is a lot of fun, right up until you you’ve narrowed down your list to the top 20 options. We’ve done some of the legwork so you and your kids can enjoy time together. Read on below to see what made these stand out.
1. Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table
The best water table for kids overall
Brand: Step2 | Dimensions: 39.02 x 24.02 x 32.01 Inches | Gallons: 5 | Ages: 18+ Months | Price: 💰💰
The Rain Showers Splash Pond from Step2 takes our first-place prize hands-down. This two-story activity table gets its name from the upper channel that’s riddled with spouts to rain down water to the lower basin. As it rains, ramps and spinners on one end create a visually engaging waterfall. All the included accessories can be relocated to create custom mazes and experiences every time so no one ever gets bored! In addition to the pieces needed to create the waterfall, this water table comes with a bucket, a rubber ducky, and a jumping fish that can “jump” when you launch him from his platform.
- Easy drainage thanks to non-leak drain plug in lower basin
- Customizable experience thanks to put-and-play maze pieces
- Wide table with upper level supports multiple players at once
- There are no pre-drilled holes, which makes assembly a little bit more difficult
- The bottom isn’t sloped, so you have to manipulate the table to get all water to go out the built-in drain
2. Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table
The best budget water table for kids
Brand: Little Tikes | Dimensions: 29.00 x 29.50 x 31.50 Inches | Gallons: 7 | Ages: 18+ Months | Price: 💰
Water tables are for everyone, which means they should be for every budget! If you aren’t looking to break the bank but still want to bring a little water STEM to your kids, check out the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark. This affordable model has over 10 thousand 5-star reviews and plenty of happy kids to back it up.
The main attraction of this table is the central spiral tower, where you drop the included characters to watch them swirl down back into the water. There’s also a Ferris wheel operated by a crank the characters can ride, and a whirlpool maker that churns the water to shake things up. The ball-shaped characters are also squirt toys that can be filled with water and used like squirt guns, making this table and its accessories truly the best water table for the money.
- Round shape is compatible with multiple players at once
- Large ball-shaped characters are large enough to discourage swallowing
- Multiple engaging play stations including central spiral tower, Ferris wheel, whirlpool maker, and gear funnel
- Some reviewers noted leakage under the table when pouring water into the central tower
- The central tower isn’t meant to be used with other objects, and things like rocks, toys, crayons, etc may get stuck inside
3. Little Tikes Sandy Lagoon Sand and Water Table
The best sand and water table for kids
Brand: Little Tikes | Dimensions: 26.50 x 26.50 x 34.50 Inches | Gallons: 3 | Ages: 2+ | Price: 💰
On the water side of things, you have a spinning bucket, some cute pool-ready figures, and a two-sided water slide they can ride down. There’s also a splash zone where the characters can take turns getting dunked by the see-saw water funnel. All the water features face away from the sand side to avoid crossover. The sand basin is large and open for easy access to sand-castle-making, digging, and more, but comes with a cover to keep things protected when not in use.
- Built-in drain for easy clean-up
- Combination water and sand table for two ways to play
- Fun pool-dressed characters can slide down water slides or float in floating inner tubes
- The cover for the sand basin is not sealed, and will not keep out rain if left outside
- Some reviewers had trouble with the legs bending or cracking under the pressure of water and sand when not placed on a level surface
4. Step2 Lazy Maze River Run Water Table
The best water table for babies
Brand: Step2 | Dimensions: 26.63 x 25.88 x 30.00 Inches | Gallons: 3 | Ages: 18+ Months | Price: 💰💰💰
Water tables aren’t really made for babies. In fact, most water table manufacturers will advertise their products for a minimum age of 18 months, and this Step2 Lazy Maze River Run is no different. However, reviewers praise this table for kids much younger, so if you’re looking for the best water table for babies, this is definitely the one to try.
The accessories that come with this table include 6 colorful balls that are large enough to discourage swallowing, two flippers that can be used to launch the balls onto the table, and two pouring cups for easily pouring water. There are two central towers: the first tower is filled with the colorful balls, and the second with water. The water from the second tower propels the balls up out of the first tower and down the water slide! Kids can also just drop balls on the slide themselves to watch them go.
- Large colorful balls reduce swallowing hazard
- Multiple spinning water wheels and water slide for engaging visual movement
- Simple mechanics are a great introduction into cause-and-effect for younger players
- Plastic quality is pretty average and nothing special
- The centerpiece that houses the two towers isn’t attached to the base, which makes it easy to dump the balls and water out if needed, but also makes it easy for little hands to tip over
5. Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table
The best water table for toddlers
Brand: Little Tikes | Dimensions: 31.50 x 29.00 x 29.00 Inches | Gallons: 3 | Ages: 2+ | Price: 💰💰
This fishing fun water table is definitely perfect for toddlers just learning finer motor control. In the center is a clear fishbowl that can be filled with water. Once full, it tips itself over to pour water down the water slide and onto the spinning lily pad, where it sloughs off back into the main basin. This is a fun lesson in cause-and-effect for kids, as well as an exciting game of “when will the water fall?” There’s also a whirlpool maker on this table, and a launch pad where the included sea creatures can “jump” from. Last but not least, this table comes with a fishing rod with a large, 3-pronged “hook” that kids can use to catch their toys.
- Easy and straightforward to assemble
- Fishing pole has a clicking reel that simulates the noise of “reeling in the catch”
- Catch fish and other sea creatures with the fishing rod, put them in the fishbowl, and then fill it up to watch them wash back into the main basin!
- There is some concern that the integrated drain plug leaks
- Some reviewers had trouble getting the lily pad properly installed and mentioned it doesn’t spin very well
6. Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship
The best water table for 5 year olds
Brand: Little Tikes | Dimensions: 40.00 x 29.00 x 38.00 Inches | Gallons: 5 | Ages: 2+ | Price: 💰💰
For older toddlers around 5 years of age and older, some of these water tables might be a little too simple. But the Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship comes with plenty of accessories, bright colors, and play stations to keep those little minds engaged! To get things going, pour water into the crow’s nest, where it will trickle like rain back down to the ship. Water will also activate the spinning water wheel and slide over the large skull-and-crossbones sail.
Kids can also practice their aim by squirting water from the water cannon to protect their ship from oncoming threats. The whirlpool maker can be used to stir things up and create choppy waters perfect for the included toy shark to swim through. Plus, there’s a functioning anchor that can be raised and lowered with the crank handle.
- Table is shaped and colored like a pirate’s ship with a large skull-and-crossbones flag and sail
- Multiple ways to engage with the rainfall crows nest, water-squirting cannon, whirlpool maker, and anchor
- The water cannon will source its own water when attached to the ship if the ship is full, or can be detached and used separately
- Assembly is a little difficult with no pre-drilled holes
- The integrated drain works can be difficult to get into position and will leak if not stoppered properly
What to Look For
Water tables come in all shapes and sizes, so here are a few things to consider as you shop to help you pick the best one for you:
How old are the kids in question? A water table that’s good for 5-year-olds might be too complicated for babies.
How many kids will be playing with the table at the same time? If you’ve just got one kid, a smaller table is fine, but if there are going to be multiple little hands vying for the action, you might want to go with something larger, or something with multiple play stations.
Where are you putting this water table? If it’s going inside, you don’t need to worry as much about it coming with a lid or an umbrella. But if it will be out in the hot sun where the bugs are, you’ll definitely want something that can seal out unwanted pests, and maybe something with built-in shade.
Most water tables will come with various accoutrements to make play more exciting, so be sure to see what’s included. If the table you’re interested in doesn’t come with that many extras, there are also plenty of water table accessory kits out there to choose from.
Water isn’t always the best way to engage rowdy kids. It’s all fun and games until the carpet gets soaked! Water tables that can also be used for sand (or bonus, have a sand section and water section) are a great way to ensure multiple ways to play.
This goes hand-in-hand with size. Will you need to move your water table around a lot? Carry it back and forth between classrooms, or rooms in the house, between inside and outside? Or will you put it in one place and leave it until the end of time?
For this guide on the best water tables for toddlers and kids, our team spent 2 hours researching the most popular options from over 24 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about forty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each toddler and kid water table. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 water tables for toddlers and kids on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.
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