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It is no secret that I think a water table is worth its cost many times over. If you don’t already own a water table or are looking for a great birthday or holiday gift for a toddler or preschooler here are 10 reasons why you need a water table. You don’t actually need many things for your kids, but I consider a water table a must have.
Your child will clock some serious hours at their water table.
Not exaggerating! I literally can’t count the number of hours both of my children have spent playing with water tables. We received our first one for Kayla’s second birthday (she is now seven) and she still enjoys playing with it. Blake who is 18 months old will happily play for 30-60 minutes at a time which is quite a stretch for someone his age. We have the new Finding Dory Just Keep Swimming Water Table and he loves it.
You enjoy sitting in a lounge chair, sipping lemonade.
You do, don’t you? It’s still February and I’ve already been granted time to read a couple of books and relax in a lounge chair enjoying the fact that we live in San Diego while Blake entertains himself. While you have to be mindful of your children anytime they are playing with water it’s certainly a very different experience from having a kiddie pool and it’s much easier for them to play with little adult assistance. Basically, you get a break from being helicopter mom. Score.
Water tables are great for side by side play.
Have twins or siblings separated by a few years? Water tables are great for side by side play. While there is always a chance of sibling squabbles odds are you can entertain 2+ children happily with a smaller water table and 3+ with a larger one. We’ve had both sizes and our preschool breaks out a few of them every spring/summer for “Splash Friday.” As you can imagine, the kids go crazy!
You’ve got an instant birthday party for toddlers.
If you’re throwing a birthday party in spring or fall then the pool might be out as an option for entertainment but water tables are still in. Just have your guests bring a change of clothes in case they get. You can pick up two or three different water tables for far less than you’ll spend to bring a bunch of kids to a party center. There are even water tables with character themes like Finding Dory if you have a child who is Dory and Nemo obsessed.
Water tables are water efficient.
Here in California we’ve learned to be very conscious of our water consumption with the drought. We’ve let our lawn die off and do our best to conserve water. While a water table obviously uses water, the amount you have to use to fill it ( I don’t even fill ours all the way) is quite small. It’s certainly far more efficient than a sprinkler or filling an inflatable pool. Blake loves to dump water on himself so trust me, the ability to cool off is there 🙂
Many come with umbrellas for shade.
A shady pool is a bad thing since you’re usually relying on the sun to heat it. One of the perks many water tables offer is a built in umbrella. Here is my favorite version that comes with an umbrella. They’re also fairly easy to move around even if they are partially filled with water to reposition the table in the shade as the angle of the sun changes.
Add some new accessories and it’s like a whole new toy.
It still amazes me to see how little it takes to make a water table that has been played with a million times new again. Here are a few of my favorite things to bring new life to a well loved water table:
Color Tablets – teach primary and secondary colors as you mix these. You’ll only need about 1/4 of a tablet of each color so cut them up and they’ll last for quite some time.
Dunks– These colorful, inexpensive ducks can float or be used to scoop and pour water. We use them in the shower too for rinsing hair.
Plui Rain Cloud – Makes it rain and snaps apart for easy cleaning unlike most squirt toys. Also, science!
You can use them in the winter if you get creative.
If you have a decent size walk in shower then I’m all for turning the heat on in the winter and letting your kids play with a water table filled with warm water inside of it. Use the shower to fill it, then turn off the shower and let them wear their clothes inside while they play. Any spills are contained and my goodness who doesn’t need an extra fun activity when it’s cold outside? This is a great way to let kids blow off a little steam without wrecking the house!
Don’t have an indoor shower? My friend Janessa just lays down some towels under her water table and lets her kids play. Clean up is still simple as long as your children are old enough to know the water has to stay right by the table.
Water tables can double as sand tables or sensory tables.
You can easily fill your water table with play sand if you want to change things up. Definitely buy clean play sand and don’t try to take it from a public place. Trust me. There are plenty of combo tables that offer both sand and water play. A few of my awesome blogger friends have turned their water tables into sensory tables.
You can take them with you or store them easily.
I have totally taken a water table to Palm Springs with us and it was a hit amongst both the other kids and the parents grateful for a water activity that could take place in the shade. Many, like this model come with legs that you can click on and off for travel or storage.
We’ve brought one to grandma’s house but ultimately decided to just buy a small water table to keep there since we visit frequently.
Think you might have to grab one for your kids or grand kids? Here are some of my favorite models:
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