35 Amazing Water Table Ideas for Summer

UPDATED 2021: You will find 40+ fun and easy ways to keep your water table fun and interesting for your toddler and preschooler. Great water table ideas to beat the summer heat!

Sensory Play Kits

Play is at the core of learning during the early years and it can take many forms. One of the most important of these is sensory play because it engages all of a child’s senses (taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing) and thus has a enoumous positive impact on brain development.

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Water Tables

I first got a water table for my daughter when she was two years old. I bought it second hand not sure how much she would play with it.

Boy was I wrong. It was such a hit that I wish I had gotten it a year earlier. When she was three I bought a new one because our old one had been left out all winter and was dirty beyond repair. It has been the best summer backyard toy hands down.

She played with it everyday when we first bought it.

35 Amazing Water Table Ideas for Summer

But after a while like everything her interest in it started to decrease. So I came up with a bunch of easy and fun things to include in our water table in order to extend its play life over the summer.

Here is a list of 35 of the best ideas we did. These ideas alone and a combination of them lasted us for most of the summer!

I included lots of pictures to help you as well as a list of most of the supplies you’ll need. This is your best resource this summer if you have this water table!

Ok let’s get started.

Backyard Supplies

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There are different types of water tables. All of them are fun and will work with all or most of these activities. If you want to create small worlds in your water table, try to look for a sensory bin that has two or more sections.

Here is a selection of great water table options:

Kitchen Supplies

  • Popsicle Molds
  • Funnels
  • Kitchen utensils (slotted spoons, spatula, whisk)
  • Dish Soap
  • Ice Cube Tray (various sizes)
  • Muffin tin
  • Herbal tea
  • Sponges


Other Supplies

Looking for more fun outdoor water activity ideas? Check out these amazing post with more ways to play with water for kids of all ages!

35 Amazing Water Table Ideas

Letter Fishing

Foam letters and a slotted spoon or spatula. Have your little one spoon out the letters and match them to letters written with sidewalk chalk on the ground or just scoop them out and identity them.

Water Table and Funnels

This is so simple and so fun. Just grab a few funnels and let them play. The smaller the funnel the better, that way the water flows through it slower. You could also add come plastic cups or containers.

Vegetable Washing

For Vegetable Washing simple dump some plastic play food into the sensory bin add some dish soap and a whisk and let their imaginations take over. I would make sure that the play food is either small enough to fit down the center water slide or too big to even fit. This will save you having to dislodge stuck play food later on.

Magnetic Eggs Fishing

Plastic Easter eggs with small magnets, coins or counting chips inside. Think Magnetic Easter Hunt but in water!

Chalk and Water

This is a fun process art activity you can do in the water table. Colour mixing and drawing with sidewalk chalk in the water table.

Water Table & Popsicles

I don’t use real popsicles for this activity but food colouring and water popsicles made using popsicle molds. Check out Popsicle Letters for how to make the popsicles.

Giant Water Beads

So simple but so much sensory fun! Grow your giant water beads over night so that they are ready for play the next day and add bubble for the ultimate sensory water experience!

Spray Bottle

This was as simple as handing her a spray bottle and letting her spray water all over the  water table. It entertained long enough for me to get some gardening done and bonus she was able to work her fine motor muscles!!

Here are more activities that work well in a water table as well. Click the links for how to set them up. Just switch out the sensory bin for your water table.

Water and Shaving Cream

I didn’t use our water table for this activity but it would work even better in a water table. Add water, shaving cream, bowls, spoons, whisks, pots and pans for a super easy sensory activity.

Ice and Water

One of my favourite ways to play with a water table has to be ice. It is easy to clean up and a great way to keep little ones cool! Add some kitchen utensils like pots and pans, spoons and whisks to create an Ice Kitchen Water Table.

More Water Table Ideas for Kids

Here are some more ideas that will work beautifully in a water table. Simply swap out the sensory bin or sensory table for your water table!

Garden Water Table

Watch the Garden Water Table in action on Youtube!

Ice Rocks Sensory Bin

Floating Rainbow Balls in the Water Table – Simple Fun for Kids

Easter Egg Boats

Dish Washing Water Table – Frogs and Snail and Puppy Dog Tails

Icy Letters

Colourful Ice Boats – Busy Toddler

Washing Farm Animals Sensory Bin – Coffee Cups and Crayons

Water Table & Pom Poms

Small World Building Site – The Boy and Me

Water Table Kitchen

Soap Fluff Sensory Play – The Imagination Tree

Pom Pom Bubbles

Ocean Play Sensory Table – Stir the Wonder

Pom Pom Water Sensory Bin

Dinosaur Small World – No Time for Flashcards

Frozen Lego

Sensory Spring Water Table – Simple Play Ideas

Caps Kitchen

Water Balloon Sensory Bin – Simple Fun for Kids

Ice Water Table – Busy Toddler

Paint Sensory Bin

Beach Water Table – Sugar Spice and Glitter

Stone Washing

Sand and Water Tables Kids LOVE! – Rhythms of Play

Megablok Washing

Sponges in the Water Table by Things to Share and Remember

Flower Sensory Bin for Kids by Adventure in a Box


water table ideas

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35 Amazing Water Table Ideas for Summer

Looking for The Best Sensory Bins for Endless Creative Play?

I am so excited to announce that I wrote a book of sensory bins! Exciting Sensory Bins for Curious Kids: 60 Easy Creative Play Projects That Boost Brain Development, Calm Anxiety and Build Fine Motor Skills.

4 thoughts on “35 Amazing Water Table Ideas for Summer

  1. Melissa

    Hi Mandisa! We love our water table, but it’s slowly starting to lose its appeal, so I was so excited when I saw this post on Pinterest! Unfortunately, I’m only seeing 8 different activities listed, which were all great! Do you have 21 activities listed and I’m just missing something?


    1. happytoddlerplaytime

      Hi Melissa,
      Thanks for your message! In my post I listed 8 activities and then provide 13 links for activities that work well with a water table. It may not be clear in the post so I have changed it. But the links take you to other activities that work well in a water table. Simply swap out the sensory bin for your water table!

      If you have any more questions just message me!

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