If you’ve got a toddler, buying a sand and water table is one of the best investments that you’ll make. Great for outdoor play, they keep toddlers busy for hours.
But, which is the best sand and water table in 2016? There are a number on the market and they range in price from about $50 to well over $200. Based on price, quality of construction, aesthetics, and ease of use, I’ve found from the children’s water table reviews that the Naturally Playful Sand and Water Activity Center by Step 2 to be the best for toddlers on the market.
First, I love the fact that it comes with an umbrella. We live in Hawaii where the sun is extremely hot and we don’t have a lot of covered porch (or lanai, as we call it here) area at our home. The umbrella does a pretty good job of keeping the kids out of full sun while they play.
Top 5 Best Water Tables
- Water play table helps develop "put-and-take" and early motor skills with fun characters
- Drop balls down spiral, watching them go round and round and down into the water
- Turn the Ferris wheel to scoop up and drop off balls
- Fill the cup with water and pour into the funnel to power twin water wheel
- Includes 1 water cup and 5 round characters that squirt water
- Pour water down the waterslide or spin the water wheel
- Catapult diving board flips the swimmers into the pool
- Includes accessory set
- Open area to inspire imaginative water play
- Drain plug included
- Fun pirate ship themed outdoor, water play table loaded with spinning features
- Water moves with pump or by pouring water into the crows nest
- Aim and squirt water from the water cannon
- Anchor raises and lowers by cranking the handle
- Water table features a tower that creates a water vortex as water is poured through
- Use either the provided boat or scoop to create the water tornado and power the water spinner
- Scoop can also be used to capture the 6 sea creatures (included)
- Table also includes a rotating octopus that creates a whirlpool effect
- Spin the water wheel carousel
- Send the play figures down the slide or off the diving board
- Elevated table height perfect for both toddlers and preschoolers
- Use the hinged bucket to fill up the waterfall
- Ideal size for multiple kids to play together
Another reason I’m choosing the Step 2 as the Best Sand and Water Table is the fact that it has a cover that actually fits AND a drain that works really well, which makes cleaning a breeze.
Here’s the only catch – kids WILL mix the sand with the water, they just will. If you want your child to play in sand and water separately, consider purchasing a small pool and a sandbox, because they’re going to dump water into the sand, it’s just what kids do. You only need a 40 lb. bag of sand to fill the sand half of the toy and it does dry. However, it’s also relatively cheap and easy to replace.
Top 5 Best Sand Tables
- Dual sand and water table with fun and bright treasure hunt theme
- Lid doubles as a water basin
- Attached trammel, train elevator and water chute
- Engaging bright colors your little ones will love
- Includes 13 accessories including 6 pieces of treasure
- This sand water table has two separate sides: one for water, the other for sand. And holds up to 20 pounds (9.07 kg) of sand.
- Includes durable, one-piece plastic cover that keeps sand clean and dry.
- Added molded-in roadways on lid to provide additional play surface. The elastic tie-downs on ends of lid keep it securely attached.
- Included eight-piece accessory set, one 60 inch diameter removable umbrella, two bridges, two boats, two pots and one shovel (boat design may vary).
- It has a convenient drain plug for easy draining and cleaning. This water and sand table requires minimal adult assembly.
- Includes a cover that fits either side, separating the sand from the water
- Combine the water tower and mountain cover to create a waterfall
- Cover can be used separately or together for added play
- 7 piece accessory set includes a water tower, removable cup, slide, spinner, shark scoop, cup, and shovel/rake
- Drain plug included
- Features two sides, one that holds 10 lbs (4.5 kg) of sand and the other that holds 3 gal (11.4 L) of water separated by a roadway
- Easy-to-use drain plug
- Durable, one-piece plastic cover keeps sand dry
- Molded-in roadways on the lid provide an additional play surface
- Elastic tie-downs on ends of lid keep it securely attached
- Removable shell lids helps keep sand clean and dry
- Sand tables features the iconic Step2 "Crabbie" styling
- Includes 4-piece accessory set for sand play
- Holds up to 25 lbs. (11.34 kg) of sand
One last note – Step 2 says that this toy is good for kids betwen 2 – 5 years of age. I beg to differ. My daughter loved playing with her older sisters sand and water table when she was just over a year. It was sturdy enough to help her stand and she played for a long time. Younger kids need a little more supervision to make sure that they don’t eat handfuls of sand, but it can be used for younger children. Also, my kids are now 5 and 8 and they still both play with their table. It’s not quite as exciting for them as it used to be, but they do play with it enough to make it worth my while to keep it around.
Overall, Step 2 has the best water table on the market. The price is right, it’s well-made and it provides hours and hours of entertainment for little ones.