UPDATED 2023: Looking for ways to keep your toddler engaged with their water table all summer long?? Check out these 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!
Water Table For Hours of Endless Play
Water tables are a fantastic tool to keep little kids entertained during the summer months. These interactive play stations provide endless hours of fun and engagement. Little ones can splash, pour, and explore with water, which is both refreshing and exciting for them. Water tables offer a safe and contained environment for sensory play, allowing children to experiment with different water movements, discover cause and effect relationships, and engage their senses through tactile exploration. Whether they’re using cups and scoops to pour water or floating and sinking objects, water tables provide endless entertainment and sensory stimulation. The joy and laughter that come from splashing and playing with water make water tables a go-to activity for keeping little kids happily entertained throughout the summer.
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. 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.
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.
How to Choose the Best Water Table
If you are looking to purchase a water table for your little one there are few things to keep in mind:
- Play Accessories
- Drainage & Shelter
- Clean Up
Check out my post of The Best Water Tables for Hours of Outdoor Play for tips on choosing the best water table for your child.
What Supplies to Use with Your Water Table
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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.
- Popsicle Molds
- Kitchen utensils (slotted spoons, spatula, whisk)
- Dish Soap
- Ice Cube Tray
- Muffin tin
- Herbal tea
- Plastic Play Food
- Play Kitchen Accessories Utensils, Pot, Pans, and More
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Lego or Duplo
Other Supplies To Use With Your Water Table
- Washable Paints
- Pom Poms
- Squeeze food caps
- Small metal objects
- Magnetic Wands
- Water Beads
- Foam Letters
- Magnetic fridge letters
- Giant Water Beads
- Spray Bottle
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!
Here are the 40+ Amazing Water Table Ideas
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Magnetic Eggs Fishing
Plastic Easter eggs with small magnets, coins or counting chips inside. Think Magnetic Easter Hunt but in water!
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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!
11. Garden Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
Watch the Garden Water Table in action on Youtube!
- Dandelion Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Outer Space Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Water Bead Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Pom Pom Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Ice Rocks Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Floating Rainbow Balls in the Water Table – Simple Fun for Kids
- Easter Egg Boats – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Dish Washing Water Table – Frogs and Snail and Puppy Dog Tails
- Icy Letters – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Colourful Ice Boats – Busy Toddler
- Washing Farm Animals Sensory Bin – Coffee Cups and Crayons
- Small World Building Site – The Boy and Me
- Water Table Kitchen – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Soap Fluff Sensory Play – The Imagination Tree
- Pom Pom Bubbles – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Ocean Play Sensory Table – Stir the Wonder
- Pom Pom Water Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Dinosaur Small World – No Time for Flashcards
- Frozen Lego – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Sensory Spring Water Table – Simple Play Ideas
- Caps Kitchen – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Water Balloon Sensory Bin – Simple Fun for Kids
- Ice Water Table – Busy Toddler
- Paint Sensory Bin – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Beach Water Table – Sugar Spice and Glitter
- Stone Washing – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Sand and Water Tables Kids LOVE! – Rhythms of Play
- Megablok Washing – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Sponges in the Water Table by Things to Share and Remember
- Flower Sensory Bin for Kids by Adventure in a Box
What are your kids doing this summer? Simply your days with the Summer Camp Package.
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- 10+ Weeks of Easy Themed Summer Camp Ideas for Kids 2-6!
- 130+ creative summer activities, crafts, science experiments, sensory play activities and recipes and more.
- Article: “10 Practical Tips for a Memorable Summer with Kids.”
- Article: “Sibling Harmony: 10 Practical Tips for Keeping the Peace and Managing Sibling Conflict”
- Full supply list for each week.
Toddler and Preschooler Curriculums, Books & TV Show!
Play2Learn Toddler & Preschool Programs for Curious Toddlers
There is no limit to your toddler’s energy and curiosity. That energy and curiosity although a joy can be challenging at times. Their interest in just about everything around them is what makes them great learners. One and two year olds can soak up so much just from their senses!
But as a teacher or parent that thirst for learning can be exhausting. That is why I created this toddler and preschooler program. To help you get the most out of this time with your curious toddler without having to come up with creative ways to play and interact with them.
Play2Learn for Toddlers includes 20 Units for toddlers. Each 2-week toddler unit has 20 super easy to set up and engaging activities for toddlers 18 months to 3 years.
Play2Learn Preschool which includes 20 Units for preschoolers. Each 2-week preschoolers unit has 20 unique and easy to set up and engaging activities for preschoolers 3 years to 5 years. That’s over 800 learning activities for your toddler and preschooler at your fingertips! So many ideas you and your child will never be bored again!
These toddler and preschool lesson plans and activities will definitely keep you and your toddler and preschooler busy playing and learning!
Click here for more information: Play2Learn
Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.
Boring afternoons are made exciting with awesome animal-based bins, like Salty Shark Bay or Yarn Farm. Pretend play bins like Birthday Cake Sensory Play or Bubble Tea Party encourage creativity and imagination. And your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re getting smarter with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) activities like Sink or Float Soup, Magnetic Letter Hunt or Ice Cream Scoop and Count.
Designed for toddlers 18 months and up.
Learning all about science, technology, engineering, art, and math sets kids up for scholastic success―and it can be so much fun! Watch kids enjoy building STEAM skills as they color friendly fish, help water find its way to tree roots, solve math problems with mazes, and more.
Find out more and grab your copy here.
Designed for preschoolers 3 years old and up.
Riddle me this: What’s an exciting way to practice critical thinking while having a blast? The Big Riddle Book for Kids, of course! From hilarious puns to tough brain teasers, kids can build problem-solving skills with hundreds of riddles that show them how to think outside the box.
- 350 riddles for kids—Have hours of fun with riddles, puns and jokes, and math and logic puzzles that’ll get their wheels turning!
- Level up their skills—Riddles get trickier as kids progress through the book, challenging them as they get better at solving puzzles!
- Double-check their work—Kids can check their answers in the back of the book with a handy answer key.
Help children expand their minds while having fun with this puzzle book for kids!
Designed for kids ages 6 years old and up.
TV Show: Curious Crafting
I’m so excited to share my crafting TV show Curious Crafting which launched in July 2022 on TVOkids and TVOkids YouTube! Season 2 airs in the summer of 2023! We were also nominated in 2023 for Best Live Action Preschool Series by the Youth Media Alliance Awards of Excellence.
Set in the ultimate crafting space, Curious Crafting is a short form pre-school age series about the joy of making crafts. I lead a rotating cast of adorable little preschoolers (including my own) making magic out of common household objects.
In each episode we transform recycled items into magical crafts like a milk carton school bus, paper bag puppet or cotton pad turtle. The crafters learn and laugh their way through each activity while demonstrating what their young imaginations can create.
Curious Crafting shares the adventure and joy of making art with takeaway lessons for creating crafts at home.
This show designed for toddlers and preschoolers 2.5 years old and up.