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The Best Water Tables for Toddlers and Kids

Because getting wet never gets old.

It’s an undisputed fact that kids love water. An easy and low-mess way to keep youngsters entertained on hot summer days is to set up a water table for kids or combination water and sand table in your yard, or on the patio. The beauty of an outdoor toddler water table is that kids can splash around as much as they want, in a controlled setting, and at most you only need to hose them off when all is said and done.

Water tables can often accommodate numerous children, allowing kids the chance to work on their communication and social skills. Playing in water helps kids in the development of problem-solving skills since it encourages them to explore and learn about the mechanics of water (how it flows, pours, and such). And since so many water tables have moving parts, they encourage hand-eye coordination. A kid with a water table will get wet, yes, but the payoff is great.

These water tables are sturdy and well built, have numerous accessories to keep little hands and minds busy, and are low enough for a toddler to belly up to it.

Sand on one side. Water on the other. A car race track in between. And an umbrella for sun protection. This is one hell of a great sand and water table, which also doubles as a mud kitchen. It holds up to 10 pounds of sands and three gallons of water, and has drain plugs to empty it out. This one is ideal for kids 3 and up.

The engaging water table, which is 29-inches in diameter, has a large funnel spiral in the middle of the table that will keep kids busy for hours as they drop balls, and water, into the opening and watch them spiral down into the base. To aid in hand-eye development there is a four-spot 'Ferris Wheel' on one side that requires coordination to pick up the five floating round characters that come with the play set. There's also a twin water wheel.

This is one the cooler water toys we've seen: Instead of a table, it's a water wall that teaches kids about gravity as they see water flow downhill. They scoop up water from the bottom basin and pour into the top to start to activate the maze. Multiple kids play together.

It's never too early to teach kids how to wash the family car (we're kidding. Maybe). But regardless, this is one awesome outdoor water center. Kids wash the windshield. They pour water down the spiral maze. And they splash each other.

Kids fill the fishbowl with water, and when it's full, it dumps out the liquid. And then, they catch, collect and count their fish using the pole. It's a great lesson in cause and effect, plus a hand-eye coordination workout. The table comes with a fishing pole, five floating creatures, a water cup and fishing net.

This water table has five separate play stations, but wait for it: When your kid turns the wheel, it creates waves that churn around the inside of the water table. And the central skull island turns into a waterfall when kids pour water from the top. In other words, it's a messy and fun lesson in gravity.

Fair warning: This is actually a foam water table. Meaning, kids make foam. You can either use bubble solution or any soap, and this thing goes nuts. There's a hand crank to make even more bubbles. Unlike other water tables, this one needs batteries.

Part water table, part water park, this one has a ton of features. Kids create waterfalls. They flip toys into the water using the side flipper. And they turn the spinning wheel to create rain. It's a crazy-fun way to learn about gravity and cause and effect. And it's sizable enough that multiple toddlers can play together.

This is a fantastical blooming water tree: This standup water table has four platforms, so multiple kids can play together. There's a spinning turtle, a blooming flower, a frog fountain (of course), and floating ducks. As kids water the flower, it begins to bloom and grow.

Kids who have outgrown water tables are ready for a proper mud kitchen. They gather twigs for salads and prepare succulent mud pies. The kitchen includes a removable splash tub, ample storage, a hanging rail, a chalkboard to list what's on the menu, a serving station, and stainless steel pots, pans, and whisk.

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