The 12 Best Water Tables of 2022

The Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table creates endless ways to play

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Verywell Family / Michela Buttignol

Water tables keep kids cool and occupied outside by allowing them to splash, pour, and experiment without actually having to be in the water. The best water tables are durable, packed with play features (think cups and floats), and sized appropriately for your child and the room (or, more likely, the outdoor space) it will be used in.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is the Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table because it is durable and inspires endless hours of play. We also love the Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table for its compact design and fun accessories.

Water tables aren't just for fun either, they can also be educational. Kristin Morency Goldman, senior communications specialist at The Toy Association, calls water tables “early science wrapped in summer fun.” While keeping kids cool, they help introduce early physics concepts through splashing and flowing water. “Parents and caregivers can ask children to make a prediction if an object will sink or float. Invite toddlers to fill, dump, and count cups of water," she says. "Scoop the water and dump it out to exercise motor skills and coordination.” 

Other helpful features to look for are ease of assembly, maneuverability, and ease of cleaning. We researched popular water tables from trusted brands with these features in mind.

Here are the best water tables on the market today.

Important Safety Note

While water tables offer a fun alternative for toddlers who love splashing around, your child should never be left unattended when playing with water of any amount.

Best Overall: Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table

4.6
Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Pros
  • Large size (con for some)

  • Offers STEM play 

  • Comes with 8-piece accessory kit for various types of play

Cons
  • Assembly can be difficult

  • Shade umbrella sold separately

Who else recommends it? Good Housekeeping and Insider both picked the Step2 Summer Showers Splash Tower Water Table.

What do buyers say? 94% of 1,500+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

With plenty of room for collaborative and parallel play, this double-decker water table inspires endless ways to play, which is why it's our favorite. It's made of durable plastic, can hold up to 4 gallons of water, and has a non-leaking drain plug to prevent messes and make cleanup a breeze. If you plan to use it outdoors, it can accommodate an umbrella (purchased separately or in a bundle with the table) to keep kids protected from the sun. Reviewers note that it's easy to assemble and is light enough to move around but won't tip over while it's in use.

Designed for ages 18 months and up, this table comes with an 8-piece accessory kit that includes pouring cups, animal-shaped water squirters, a large bucket, and more which help kids fine-tune their gross motor and fine motor skills. It also comes with maze pieces that allow kids to create their own unique water maze and waterfalls while learning about cause and effect.

As far as we’re concerned, this is one of the most fun water tables on the market. 

Dimensions: 39 inches x 24 inches x 32 inches | Age: 18 months+ | Type: Water | Capacity: 5 gallons 

Best Runner-Up: Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table

4.7
Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Play Table

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Comes with five character balls that squirt water

  • Built-in games help with motor skill development

Cons
  • The drain plug can be difficult to install

The Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table has a compact design, but the size is deceiving because it can hold up to 7 gallons of water. With a six-piece accessory kit, a funnel, and a spinning toy, there are plenty of ways to play and keep kiddos occupied. The built-in Ferris wheel allows toddlers to flex their “put in and take out” motor skills as they plop the little balls in to go for a spin. Whether kids are pouring water or tossing a ball into the top to watch it swirl down back into the large basin, we think this will be an instant backyard hit.

Dimensions: 29 inches x 29 inches x 31.5 inches | Age: 2 years+ | Type: Water | Capacity: 7 gallons

Best Budget: Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table

Little Tikes Frog Pond Water Table

Source: Little Tikes

Pros
  • Includes eight accessories

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Drain is difficult to plug, causing it to leak occasionally 

While this water table doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles that some of our other picks do, there is still plenty of fun to be had. It has two launchers that kids can use to toss play frogs onto the leaf in the center of the table, as well as a little spinner that can create a lazy river effect. The design isn’t elaborate, but we love how it creates the opportunity for open-ended play. Plus, it comes with eight accessories, so there’s no telling what kids will dream up.

Dimensions: 29.5 inches x 29.5 inches x 22.3 inches | Age: 2 years+ | Type: 2 years+ | Capacity: 7 gallons

Best Sand and Water Combo: Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

Source: Step2

Pros
  • Dual activity table

  • Designed to hold an umbrella for shade

Cons
  • Topper only covers one side at a time

In order to build a sandcastle, you need a mix of water and sand, right? This table design gives kids easy access to both—meaning they’ll be able to whip up some amazing castles. The double-sided design comes with a top that can cover one side at a time or come off completely. While it is a simpler option, it comes with four accessories, including a detachable water tower. On extra sunny days, this table can accommodate an umbrella (sold separately). Our favorite accessory is the adorable shark-shaped scoop that comes with the table.

Dimensions: 28.2 inches x 31 inches x 29.5 inches | Age: 2 years+ | Type: Water and sand | Capacity: 1.5 gallons of water on one side / up to 15 pounds of sand on the other

Best Space-Saving: Toy Time Sensory Table With Lid and Toys

Toy Time Sensory Table With Lid and Toys

Source: Toy Time

Pros
  • Compact size 

  • Budget-friendly

  • Accessories designed for motor skill development

Cons
  • Most kids will have to sit and play due to table height

  • No drain for water

If you’re short on space, or you just aren’t a fan of having a big plastic structure sitting out in your yard all summer long, then this compact water and sand table is perfect. It measures 17 inches by 12.5 inches by 11 inches when it’s fully assembled, and since the legs are detachable, it’s easy to move around from room to room. 

While the table’s design is great, we truly appreciate that all of the included toys were thoughtfully chosen to support motor skill development. The accessories include a watering can, a small bucket, a scooper, a shovel, three animal-shaped sand stampers, and two little boats. When your child isn’t playing with this table, you can simply toss all of the accessories inside, put the lid on the table, and tuck it away until next time.

Dimensions: 17 inches x 12.5 inches x 11 inches | Age: 3 years+ | Type: Sand and water, sensory play | Capacity: Not Listed

Best for Toddlers: Simplay3 Rushing River Falls Water Play Table

Simplay3 Rushing River Falls Water Play Table

Source: Simplay3 

Pros
  • Toddlers can sit or stand to play

  • Folds into itself for storage

Cons
  • Needs a flowing hose for continuous waterfall effect

We were instantly taken by the three-tier design of this water table. Toddlers can safely play no matter their height, thanks to the multi-level play area. Not to mention, the varying heights give kids the option to either stand or sit while they play, which is a nice bonus. The multi-level setup creates a cascading water effect and makes it great for parallel and collaborative play. 

The top tier of the table can be extended to create an extra foot of length and, when it’s not in use, the table’s three tiers fold into each other, collapsing the 6-foot-long toy into just 3 feet, making storage much easier. The table also comes with a great assortment of accessories, including two buckets, four boats, two pouring cups, and one hose attachment in case you want to hook the hose up to the table for a steady stream of water.

Dimensions: 72 inches x 17.9 inches x 27.6 inches | Age: 18 months+ | Type: Water | Capacity: 5 gallons

Best for Sharing: Step2 Splish Splash Seas Water Table

Step2 Splish Splash Seas Water Table

Source: Step2 

Pros
  • Most of the accessories attach to the table, so they won’t get lost

  • Cute and interactive design

Cons
  • On the pricier side

Measuring at more than 3 feet wide, this water table is perfect for groups of kids who want to play together. In addition to being large, it’s also packed with fun features, including a water wheel carousel, a pouring bucket that creates a waterfall effect, and a palm tree that’s perfect for making a little rain shower. The table features a plug for easy draining and also comes with plenty of fun accessories like pouring cups, a water spinner, a boat, two little people, and more.

Dimensions: 27 inches x 42.45 inches x 30 inches | Age: 18 months+ | Type: Water | Capacity: 7 gallons

Best for Sensory Play: Little Tikes FOAMO 3-in-1 Water Table

Little Tikes FOAMO 3-in-1 Water Table

Source: Little Tikes

Pros
  • Lots of opportunity for interaction and sensory play

  • Manual pump teaches cause and effect

  • 3-in-1 features can be played with separately or all together

Cons
  • Soap can make some surfaces extra slippery when spilled

  • Batteries drain quickly (table needs to be shut off manually)

More than just a water table, this pick from Little Tikes also features a bubble machine and a foam machine with a motor, so kids can dive into all kinds of fun sensory play. Parents simply need to add liquid soap or bubble solution where indicated and then turn on the machines. The foam will start to build up in the center bubble tower of the table and then seep out through holes all around it, and the bubbles will come from the top where the spinning machine is. 

In addition to all of the soapy fun, the table also comes equipped with a fun spinning Ferris wheel, a foam clapper, and a hand pump to create even more bubbles. This table requires batteries (which are not included) and works with any kind of soap or bubble solution.

Dimensions: 25.60 inches x 25.60 inches x 29 inches | Age: 2 years+ | Type: Water with bubble machine and foam machine | Capacity: Not listed

Best for Preschoolers: Little Tikes Flowin’ Fun Water Table

Little Tikes Flowin’ Fun Water Table

Source: Little Tikes

Pros
  • Includes more than 15 accessories

  • Great for STEM play

Cons
  • Works best when it’s hooked up to a running hose

There’s a lot that we like about this water table, but we particularly love how all of the interchangeable pipes are a fun STEM activity for preschoolers. It comes with 13 pipes they can mix and match with different fittings as well as faucets, a scoop, a bucket, and a boat. When it’s hooked up to a running hose, a waterfall flows from the center tower and then passes through the maze of pipes.

If you don’t want to have the hose running, that’s OK, because simply pouring a bucket of water over the tower will create a similar effect. This water table is great for kids to play solo as well as with friends. 

Dimensions: 7.31 inches x 28.25 inches x 28.75 inches | Age: 2 to 5 years | Type: Water | Capacity: Not listed

Best for Motor Skills: Step2 Busy Ball Play Table

Step2 Busy Ball Play Table

Source: Step2

Pros
  • Includes 10 balls

  • Offers multiple ways to play

Cons
  • Top tier might be difficult for younger kids to reach

Kids love playing in the water, and they love any game that involves balls, and this water table puts those two things together. It comes with 10 balls, and the table has a center tower with three different tracks coming off it that balls can roll through. Kids simply take a ball, pop it into the top of the tower, and watch as it rolls down the track and into the water. 

There are also two built-in ball launchers on the table that kids can use to try to toss the balls into the tower, if they so choose. It comes with a scoop they can use to reach and pull up balls from the water after they’ve come tumbling down. This table is great for motor skill development because it involves grabbing, tossing, launching, and all kinds of other movements, both big and small.

Dimensions: 31.5 inches x 31.5 inches x 27.87 inches | Age: 18 months+ | Type: Water | Capacity: Not listed

Best Splurge: Crate & Kids Sand and Water Table

Crate & Kids Sand and Water Table

Courtesy of Crate & Kids

  • Stylish design

  • Two drain holes on each side

  • When covered, it can be used as an actual table

  • Needs to be kept out of the rain and drained and dried after each use to avoid rusting 

  • Table’s color may fade in sun

If you aren’t a fan of brightly colored water tables and you don’t mind splurging a little, this water and sand table from Crate & Kids is a stylish option. It can hold up to 50 pounds of play sand, and each side of the table has two plugs for quick and easy draining. What really sets this table apart stylistically, though, is the gorgeous cover that turns the toy into a wood table, so it will fit right in with your decor when it’s not in use. 

All of that being said, parents should keep in mind that in order to protect their investment, this table should be drained of water and brought indoors when it’s not in use to avoid rusting, fading, and other weather damage.

Dimensions: 42 inches x 24 inches x 22 inches | Age: Not listed | Type: Multi-use | Capacity: 50 pounds of sand

Best Multi-Use: Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Outdoor Convertible Wood Activity Sand & Water Picnic Table With Umbrella and Play Boxes

Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Outdoor Convertible Wood Activity Sand & Water Picnic Table w/ Umbrella

Courtesy of Walmart

Pros
  • Umbrella shade included

  • Can safely seat four young kids

Cons
  • Rainwater will go through table boards into the water/sand bins

Of all of the water tables, we really like the functionality of this pick. It can be set up as a water and/or sand table, or as a picnic table. It comes with a large umbrella to help keep kids cool and protected from the sun. It’s made from real wood and is large enough to comfortably (and safely) sit up to four young kids. 

When you want to transition it from a picnic table to a play table, remove the cover (the two center panels of the picnic table) and fill the bins with whatever sensory material you’d like. When the bins aren’t being used, simply dump them out and put the cover back on until the kids are ready to play again.

Dimensions: 38 inches x 37.75 inches x 19.5 inches | Age: 3 years+ | Type: Multi-use | Capacity: 220 pounds (total weight)

Final Verdict

We love every water table on this list, but the Step2 Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table (view at Amazon) and the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table (view at Amazon) rank highest on our list because of their interactive designs, size, and accessories.

What to Look For in a Water Table 

Materials and Durability

If you’re planning to leave the water table outside when it’s not in use, you will want one that's made from high-quality material that can withstand changes in temperature, exposure to direct sunlight, and the occasional thunderstorm or windy day. Also, look for a water table that is put together well so you don’t have to worry about it breaking or parts coming off. 

Play Features

Look for a water table that has fun play features that help kids explore. This may include pouring cups, parts that float, or a waterfall of some sort. Ideally, most of the features will be attached to the table so they won’t get lost or blown away easily. 

Design and Size

Consider the size of your outdoor space when choosing a table so that you get one that doesn’t take up too much room. Also, take into account how many kids will likely be playing with the table at once. Your child’s age should also be a factor when choosing the right size because you want to ensure it’s not too tall or too deep for them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should I empty a water table?

    Water tables should be emptied and cleaned periodically to keep the water and toys clean. Once a week should be sufficient but use your own judgment on whether to replace the water sooner. If the water doesn't look clean, it's time to empty it. Hot, humid weather makes germs more likely to grow. Additionally, if your table can be covered, then bugs and dirt are less likely to accumulate.

  • What toys should I put in a water table for kids?

    A variety of toys can be used with a water table. Firstly, they need to be appropriate to use in the water (look for nonporous materials like plastic) and for the age of your child. Be sure the toys are big enough that they won't pose a choking hazard. Bath toys make good options, as well as anything that floats or can scoop water, like cups or ladles.

  • How do I clean a water table?

    Clean a water table by emptying it of toys and water. Wipe it out with warm water and a mild detergent. Clean each of the toys as well. Then, let it dry completely before filling it again.

  • How do I keep mosquitos out of a water table?

    Cleaning out the table regularly and keeping it covered will help to keep mosquitos at bay. If you live in an area prone to mosquitos, choose a table with a cover. Otherwise, you will need to empty the water table more frequently or only fill it when it's being used.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Ashley Ziegler, a full-time parenting writer and mom to a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. She is well versed in toys for young kids, and has had the Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Play Table (view at Amazon) set up in her backyard for the last four years. When selecting the products for this list, she considered size, functionality, use, user reviews, and her own personal experiences.

3 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Drowning prevention for curious toddlers: What parents need to know.

  2. 10 Best Water Tables for Cool Play All Summer Long. Good Housekeeping. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/childrens-products/toy-reviews/g36741290/best-water-table/

  3. The best water tables for kids, according to experts. Insider. https://www.insider.com/guides/parenting/best-water-tables-for-kids