## What Are the Top Water Tables for Kids?

When the heat of the summer arrives, there is nothing like a water table for kids to play in to cool things down in a hurry.  This is especially true if you have children in the toddler and preschool years, when schlepping everything to the local pool is more of a chore than it is worth.

While I did not have one for my older daughter, I did have a water table for my twins.  There were hours of delightful play that could be happen at any time of day.  All I had to do was throw on their bathing suits and walk into the back yard! We finally had to give it away when they towered over it…and they were very sad when that day arrived.  Fortunately, we were able to bless it to a friend whose toddler enjoyed it as much as my own children did.

## The Benefits of Water Play

There is so much more to playing in the water than just splashing around.  There are many mathematical concepts that are taught.  For example, fill the water table with all kinds of measuring tools like cups and tablespoons and kids can figure out how many spoonfuls make a cup.

Children can learn dividing by taking one cup and pouring half of it’s contents into another. They can figure out how many small cups fit into a large pitcher.

Scientific concepts are also taught during water play.  Put a few ice cubes into the liquid and watch them melt.  Ask your child questions about what is happening to the ice cube and the water.

Another benefit  is that it is soothing.  Water has a calming effect on people, and this is especially important for parents of toddlers and preschoolers.  The worst time of day is between 4:00 and 6:00, when kids and parents are both cranky.  Why not go outdoors for a while and let the kids splash around at the water table?  You can sit, sip an iced tea, and they can calm down.  Everybody wins!

## Things to Look for When Buying a Water Table

There are many different water tables out on the market today.  Which one should you choose?

Space is a factor.  If you live in a small apartment with a balcony, the water table you choose will different that the one you would choose if you had a back yard.

How many children will typically be using it?  If you have one or two kids, then the size can be smaller than if you have more or run an at home day care center.

Do you want one that comes with lots of gadgets and gizmos or do you simply want a container that holds water and you provide the toys?  Does the one that comes with attached toys permit room for you to put in some of your own so you can change the type of play your child experiences?

If a water table has a theme, like this Finding Dory themed one from Step 2, then you can add plastic play sets to the imaginative fun your child will experience. Be sure to have plenty of those kinds of toys for kids to share.

Credit: www.kohls.com

Other things to consider:

• How does it drain?  Will it be easy for you to do?
• Does your water table come with a cover for easy storage?
• Does it come with an umbrella for shading little people from the sun?
• Do you want a sand and water table combo for different kinds of sensory play?

All of these things have to be considered before making your purchase.

## Another Option for Young Children

Step2 Big Splash Waterpark
Amazon Price: \$46.99 \$23.82 Buy Now
(price as of May 30, 2016)
This toy has a waterslide and a catapult for lots of splashing fun.