Here are some awesome sensory play ideas for your water table that will keep kids busy!

Summer is not even in full swing yet, but we are getting a lot of use out of our DIY sand and water table. I love it because it’s the perfect height for the kids to easily access. You can see how we built the table here: PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

It’s definitely fun to change up the toys that are out for water play, and we have found quite a few fun activities using simple materials from around the house.

LEGO Boats

LEGO Boats were a huge hit! We took a tray of bricks out to the back porch, and the boys had a blast building boats and testing them out in the water to see if they floated. This held their attention for a long time!

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

It was also fun to just play with the boats in the water (with accompanying sound effects of course!).

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Water Kitchen (With Bead Soup!)

Another day, we got out some cooking spoons, bowls, cups, and the egg beater. On a whim, I dumped in a bunch of colored pony beads so that they could scoop up the beads and make “bead soup.” This was a huge hit! They played until I made them come in for bed time!

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

The egg beater was especially fun. It got jammed with beads every now and then, but that was okay.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

A slotted spoon allows kids to easily scoop up the beads while the water drains out.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Color Surprise Baking Soda and Vinegar Reactions

This is super fun messy play, and the water table is the perfect place to do it. Just rinse the whole thing out afterwards!

To make the color surprise part, I put some baking soda in the bottom of four plastic cups. Then I added a few drops of food coloring, and then covered that with a little more baking soda.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Then I gave Owen and Jonathan some turkey basters and some cups filled with vinegar and a small squirt of dish soap stirred in. The dish soap makes the reaction bigger and foamy!

The boys enjoyed squirting vinegar into each cup to discover what color it would foam!

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

As the foam overflowed it mixed together and made even more colors.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

The liquid left in the cups had much more color than the foam. Owen had fun mixing red and blue to make purple!

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Ice Castles

For this one, I mixed a few drops of food coloring with some water and then froze it in sand castle molds.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

The boys pretended that the ice was the ice island on “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” They had a great time playing with our toy dragons. The ice does make the water quite cold, so do this one on a hot day!

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

Recycle Bin Water Toys

I asked Owen what his favorite thing is to play on the water table, and he said this empty syrup bottle! (That’s Costco size, by the way!) He said he loves filling it up because it’s so big, and then dumping out all the water.

Awesome Water Play Ideas

I also made a little sprinkler by poking holes in a plastic container with a nail.

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas

You’ll hardly need to buy anything for your water table after checking the recycling bin!

Head over to this post to see how to build the water table: PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table

Awesome Water Table Play Ideas


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  3. Kirsten May 13, 2016

    awesome! i think we'll be trying this for the summer. i love that you have kids in a wide range of ages. i have a 12 year old and a 4 year old (and another on the way!), it is hard to find things they can do together but this just might work. thanks so much for the tips!!

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  13. Bronwyn Brett Mar 21, 2019

    Hi where can we get one of these tables from?


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