A sand and water table is a wonderful outdoor toy for children that can be used for sensory and imaginative play.
Sand and water tables, tubs, and bins offer a great way for kids of all ages to have lots of fun playing (and learning) while staying cool in the backyard–with adult supervision of course. Here’s a list of the best kids’ sensory play tables, with ready-made and DIY sand and water table options for kids’ outdoor play spaces.
Every backyard or patio should have at least one outdoor play area for kids. Sandboxes, water tables, and sand and water tables like those on this list make excellent options. A few more fantastic options great for providing hours of playtime fun are outdoor chalkboards, fairy gardens, and mud kitchens. Click on the links to learn more about them, and, how to make your own!
The Best DIY Sand Water Tables with Ready-Made Options
Sand water tables provide several learning benefits to the developing child. They are primarily used for sensory play, but they can also be used for science projects, and pretend or imaginative play.
The best thing about sand and water tables is that they will keep your kids busy for hours learning and having fun! Our favorite DIY options are listed first followed by a few inexpensive sand water tables that you can buy. Click on the creator of each DIY sand and water table for the step-by-step tutorial!
1. DIY Sand and Water Table | The House of Wood (Jen Woodhouse)
Here’s an awesome sand and water table with a lid, that combines three play spaces into one awesome outdoor toy for kids. We love that this outdoor play table has a water side, a sand side, and a lid that doubles as an outdoor chalkboard. Get the step-by-step tutorial for this sand water play table HERE.
2. Sand and Water Picnic Table | M. Lankreijer
The directions to make this amazing DIY sand and water picnic table are written in another language, but it is amazing! Children can sit or stand to engage in sensory sand and water play with plastic toys and water cups. You can find the full tutorial for this sand water picnic table HERE!
3. DIY Custom Water Table | Monkey Slaps
This gorgeous DIY water table could easily have a bin full of water, one with sand, and another with river rocks, water beads, or any other sensory play recipe, bin, tray, or tub! and, the lids for each bin can be used to cover and protect each sensory play area while it is not in use. Get the directions for this unique water table HERE.
4. DIY Sand and Water Play Table | Jamie Costiglio
You can use the lids for each bin to cover each side of this sand and water play table when it is not in use. Learn more about how to make this awesome outdoor play table HERE!
5. PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table | Frugal Fun 4 Boys & Girls
This table can be used for sand OR water play. Using it for both at the same time could be fun too! Get the DIY tutorial HERE!
6. Toddler Sand and Water Table | Boxy Colonial
Here’s another easy DIY sand table and water table combo that children are sure to love! Find the step-by-step directions for this DIY backyard project HERE!
Similar ready-made sand tables and water tables can be found HERE. We like these sand and water bins because each tub comes with a lid for easy cleanup, and, the steel legs are fully adjustable and can hook together or be used separately. These sand and water bin sensory tables come in sets of two or four sensory tubs to create a rectangular or in square-shaped sensory play area.
You might also like either of these sand and water tables with a few play toys and accessories included, like this three-in-one outdoor sensory play table, or this four-in-one sand and water activity play table with sand and water play toys for toddlers and preschoolers.
Related: Outdoor Activities for Kids
Best Pre-Made Kids’ Sand and Water Tables
1. Step 2 Sand and Water Table
If you are looking for an inexpensive sand and water table for kids, we recommend THIS cascading cove sand and water table with cover and umbrella. This sand and water outdoor activity table also comes in blue.
This is the sand and water play table that we purchased when we had a daycare in our home, and it is still in excellent condition four years later! Originally this outdoor play table was going to be a placeholder until we made our own. But we still haven’t had the motivation to make one–because this one is holding up so well! So, if you are looking for durability–this is the best sand table for you!
You can see it pictured below as dirty as it gets after all these years with some of the toys that came with it, a few measuring cups, and a set of CAT mini machines that my daughter loves to use for imaginative play in the sand. Make sure you keep it covered when not in use to keep the bugs out.
2. Splash and Scoop Bay Sand Water Table by Step2
This all-in-one kids’ sensory table by Step2 features double-sided sand and water play and is loads of fun for the little ones. Attach the water tower to the mountain to create a waterfall splash, or use it on its own directly on the water table base for a cool cascade. It includes a non-leak drain plug to keep water in during playtime and for easy clean-up when playtime fun is done. Get this ready-made sand and water table HERE.
3. Little Tikes Sand and Water Table
Here’s a collection of sand and water sensory play tables perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. This outdoor toy for kids has a lot of integrated activities to keep children involved in learning through play, making it an excellent sand and water table for toddlers. Get this Little Tikes sand and water table HERE.
Separate Sand Table and Water Sensory Table Options
Another fun idea is to have a separate sand table and water table instead of a singular table with a waterside and a sand side. Use any of the DIY sand table and DIY water table ideas listed above to make your own, or purchase any of the
Best Kid’s Sand Tables
Step 2 Sand Table
We love the naturally playful kids’ sand table for sand sensory play by Step2. This kid-favorite is an elevated sand table that keeps the sand at a convenient level for toddlers and preschoolers. It comes with an accessory set that includes two shovels and claw rakes and a bucket, and a protective lid with elastic ties helps keep sand clean and dry. Get this sand play table HERE! And, if you are looking for classic sandboxes, have a look at this giant list of the best kids’ sandbox ideas.
Best Sand or Water Sensory Play Table
Portable Sensory Table on Wheels
Here’s a wooden sensory table that has casters, or wheels, to help increase mobility. It’s a great addition to any outdoor patio, classroom, daycare, preschool, home, playroom, Montessori, and more. The 6-inch deep plastic tub has enough room to be filled with sand, water, & many other types of sensory play materials to help promote learning. The large sensory play bin makes it perfect for a young child’s height, allows children to engage their senses, and provides a hands-on learning experience. And, best of all, it features a drain with a valve for quick and easy draining.
Best Kids’ Water Tables
Here are a few more of the best water tables for kids with easy assembly. These tables will make your backyard or deck into a miniature water park where children are sure to have a blast as they splish and splash.
1. Little Tikes Play Tables
The Water Park Play Table by Little Tikes is one of the best kids’ water tables. It has a fun spiraling ball drop and lots of other fun features that toddlers and preschoolers love to play with. And, it can provide children with hours of sensory water play fun as well as help them develop their motor skills. Find this fun spiraling ball drop water table HERE. Toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners can improve their fine motor skills, sharing skills, and imaginations while having a splashing good time!
Update: This toy company has come up with a few more fantastic water sensory play tables for kids since this post was first published:
- Little Tikes Fish and Splash Water Table
- Mermaid Island Wavemaker Water Table for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Kids Waterfall Island Water Activity Play Table
- Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table
- Easy Fold and Store Water Table by Little Tikes
2. Step 2 Water Tables
Here is another one of the best kids’ water tables. The duck dive water tower is a fun sensory water play table from Step2 that features a multilevel design that helps kids have fun all day! This water table features a 5-piece accessory set with 2 rubber ducks and 1 water-squirting frog.
Toddlers and preschoolers can scoop up the water with plastic cups and splash it into the whirlpool water tower to practice pouring and add to the splashing fun. The discovery continues as the water wheel and spinners get activated! And, best of all there is plenty of room for multiple kids to play at this water table, so gather around on a sunny day for some splish-splashing fun!
Another fun two-tier water sensory play table by Step 2 provides a lazy river basin in addition to molded-in roadways, bridges, and loading dock platforms. It also includes four Ball Buddies characters–a train, boat, dump truck, and helicopter! It’s a great toy for pretend play and multi-child social play to teach sharing, taking turns, and patience! Multiple stations and accessories allow kids to play together or to play on their own and experience water play in their own way.
Or, try this Waterfall Discovery Wall by Step 2. Multiple children can play together with the two-sided water wall design. Simply invite toddlers and preschoolers to scoop up water from the bottom basin and pour it into the top to start the water maze fun. The Water maze pieces can easily be moved to create a new waterfall of zig-zag STEM play, and it’s easy to clean and disinfect for each use.
Best Sand Tables and Water Tables for Kids
Sand and Water Tables are so much fun, and a great way for kids to learn through play in the backyard, or on the patio. Both sand tables and water tables are primarily used for sensory play, but they can also be used for science projects, and pretend or imaginative play.
We hope you enjoyed this collection of sand and water tables for children–DIY or buy one today! Look at this list of DIY calm-down sensory bottles for more DIY sensory play ideas.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
More Outdoor Play Areas Kids Will LOVE!
Here are a few more of the best kids’ outdoor play spaces:
- Outdoor Chalkboard
- How to Make a Fairy Gardens
- Best Backyard Sandboxes
- How to Grow a Sunflower House
- DIY Mud Kitchen