Best water table for kids: perfect for splashing around in the garden

Searching for the best water table for kids? These clever tables will provide hours of entertainment (and lots of soaked clothes)

Best water table for kids
(Image credit: Notonthehighstreet)

Kids love to get wet. Fact. So having the best water table for kids to help control the fun is essential. We’ve found the best water table for every family, from cheap and cheerful options to all-singing, all-dancing watery worlds. Some water tables also double up as sand tables, so if space is limited, they’re your best bet. Look for a table that will grow with your little ones, with an adjustable height or different tubs, tubes and accessories for them to explore and play with as they get older. 

A quick word of warning: pop them in a swimsuit if it’s sunny and a puddle suit if it’s not. There’s no way the water will stay inside the table!

If you’re looking for the best garden games, then check out our buying guide.

The best water table for kids

Plum Kid's Surfside Sand & Water Picnic Table

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

1. Plum Kid's Surfside Sand & Water Picnic Table

The best multi-purpose wooden play table: this stylish bench is perfect for water and sand play as well as garden picnics

Specifications
Material: FSC-certified wood
Measurements: H49xW105xD89cm
Recommended age range: 3+
Reasons to buy
+Multi-purpose table with lid+Durable and built to last+Attractive design +Can be used by more than one child
Reasons to avoid
-The water and sand play areas aren’t as big as some tables

We love that this play table doubles up as a picnic table for alfresco dining and outdoor crafts. It’s made of FSC certified timber, which will last for years if treated correctly. The liners help to contain the sand and water and the study lid will protect the contents when it’s not in use.

What does it do?

Remove the centre wooden panel of this picnic table and you’ll find lined containers for sand and water play. We love the timeless design and the fact that it doubles up as the perfect spot for garden picnics and games. It can be used by up to four children so is great if you’ve got more than one child (or when friends are allowed over).

Longevity

This is built to last and the timber frame will withstand years of use if you treat it properly. Your little ones will outgrow it before it needs replacing, but it’ll still be in great condition for you to sell on.

Buy the Plum Kid's Surfside Sand & Water Picnic Table

Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table

(Image credit: Very.co.uk)

2. Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table

The best play table for nature lovers: water the tree, watch the flower bloom and play with the turtles, frogs, duck and fish

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Measurements: H49xW105xD89cm
Recommended age range: 3+
Reasons to buy
+Dozens of features+Bright and colourful+Good for learning about nature+Multiple layers so can be used by three children at once
Reasons to avoid
-Purely a water table with no alternative uses

This vertical water table comes with multiple layers, allowing siblings or friends to play at the same time. Kids will love using the watering can to water the tree and watch the flower bloom!

What does it do?

The different layers of this fun play table mean it can be used by up to three children at once, which (should) stop any squabbles. Kids can use the watering can to water the tree and watch the flower bloom, as well as playing with the turtles, frogs, ducks and fish that are included.

Longevity

It’s made from durable plastic so will only need a quick wipe down with soapy water to keep it in peak condition. The clever design means it can be moved onto a table as your little one grows.

Buy the Little Tikes Magic Flower Water Table

Playgo Fun Wheels Water Activity Toy

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

3. Playgo Fun Wheels Water Activity Toy

The best affordable water table: hours of fun for just £25 – we’re sold

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Measurements: H55xW55xD55cm
Recommended age: 3+
Reasons to buy
+Most affordable water table on the market+Compact and easy to store+Comes with two boats and turning cogs
Reasons to avoid
-It’s not as big or show-stopping as some water tables

This is a great option if you’re looking for a budget water table. And with kids changing their minds about what they like playing with as often as they change their socks, that could be a very wise choice! 

What does it do?

It’s basic but with some fun features. Spin the lever as fast as you can to create a big storm. Scooping, pouring and watching water fall should provide plenty of entertainment.

Longevity

With its sturdy legs and touch plastic frame, it should last a couple of years if you keep it clean and store it away in winter. A great choice if you’re on a budget.

Buy the Playgo Fun Wheels Water Activity Toy

Clear Water And Sand Play Table

(Image credit: Notonthehighstreet)

4. Clear Water And Sand Play Table

Best for longevity: this cleverly designed play table will last until your little one is six thanks to its adjustable height

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Measurements: H44-58xL89xW63cm
Recommended age: 3+
Reasons to buy
+Will last for years+Durable and built to last+Wheeled design for easy movement+Easy to empty thanks to drain
Reasons to avoid
-It’s more expensive than the others

This is the Ferrari of water play tables. We love the clear plastic design and fact it will grow with your little one thanks to its adjustable height. The lid doubles as a shelf underneath when in use for all those extra toys, and doubles as a play surface when the tray is not in use.

What does it do?

Everything you could want from a water play table. It’s easy to fill, with deep sides that help keep the contents inside the table. When it’s time to empty the contents, a handy drain lets the contents out easily and with minimal mess. 

Longevity

Can be used with or without the stand, which means you could take it inside for sensory play. The frame adjusts in height to accommodate children aged three to six years, so it’s a good investment.

Buy the Clear Water And Sand Play Table

Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

(Image credit: Argos)

5. Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

The best water table for summer: a built-in umbrella will protect your little ones from the sun as they play

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Measurements: H58.4xW108xD61cm
Recommended age: With adult supervision
Reasons to buy
+Separate sections for water and sand+Built-in parasol for sun protection+Plastic cover keeps contents clean+Can be used by lots of children at once
Reasons to avoid
-It’s larger than most other water tables, so you’ll need more room

This play table is built for stimulating your little one’s imagination, with separate sections for sand and water play, separated by a road. It can be used inside with rice or dried beans for extra sensory play.

What does it do?

Mini adventurers can take their toys on a voyage across the ocean and then it’s a short drive to build sandcastles at the beach (not that we’ve thought about it or anything). We love the built-in parasol for sun protection and the durable cover with elastic tie-downs will keep your sand clean and dry.

Longevity

This is one of the biggest water tables on the market so is perfect if you’re planning to add to your brood in the future. It’s taller than most of the tables we found so will last as your little ones grow.

Buy the Step2 Cascading Cove Sand and Water Table

Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

(Image credit: Argos)

6. Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

Best water table for budding engineers: move the pipes and cogs and switch the valves to change the way the water flows

Specifications
Material: Plastic
Measurements: W74.9xD74.9xH95.2 cm
Recommended age: 2+
Reasons to buy
+Dozens of features+Suitable for kids aged two plus+Brings science and engineering to life+Can be used by two children at once
Reasons to avoid
-Pipes will be too fiddly for little hands

This water activity table is great for sensory and group play. It’s aimed at toddlers but older children will enjoy experimenting with the moving pipes and fittings.

What does it do?

With a water pump and three fountains, this is perfect for little ones who love getting soaked!  It includes interchangeable pipes that can be arranged in loads of different ways. A boat, water cup and funnel mean you won’t have to find kitchen utensils for your little ones to use!

Longevity

Unlike most tables, it’s suitable from the age of two, so you’ll get more use from it. We reckon it’s perfect for all pre-schoolers, who will experiment more with the pipes and valves as they grow.

Buy the Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

How to buy the best water table for kids

Choosing the best water table for your kids all depends on whether you want something purely for them to play with right now or something that will grow as they do. If you’re looking for longevity, then choose a water table that is height adjustable, has a number of different functions, or can be moved onto a table as they get taller.

Is it multipurpose?

If your kids have a short attention span (and if they don’t, please let us know your secret) or you want it to last for years, then a water play table with lots of different uses is your best bet. We love tables that double up for sand play, or have solid surfaces that can be used for picnics and crafts.

How much upkeep will it need?

Most plastic water tables will just need an occasional wipe down with soapy water to keep them looking as good as new. Bear in mind that a wooden table will need staining regularly to keep it in good condition. One bonus of wood is that it can be painted in different colours as your child grows.

What is the best water table for kids?

Let's recap...if you want the best water table for kids (in our opinion), we wouldn't hesitate to buy the Plum Kid's Surfside Sand & Water Picnic Table, which has everything you need for imaginative play. We love its smart wooden design and the fact it can also be used for sand play and garden picnics. It’ll last for years and is made from sustainably sourced wood, so is better for the environment than plastic toys.

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