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A Sand and Water Table - Great Fun for Kids

Updated on September 27, 2013

Creative Sand and Water Play is Fun

Children love to play with sand, love to play with water, and love combining the two even more! If you can't get to the beach frequently, or when the weather's bad, a sand and water table at home means your kids can have this kind of messy, creative, brain-building play as often as they like, but the mess is contained by the table. There's a good reason why preschools have play tables like these!

Water Play Ideas

Water and sand are both highly educational play experiences for children (though you don't have to tell them that!).

Water play teaches many kids of movement and co-ordination - for instance, hand-eye co-ordination when pouring from one container to another, as well as developing hand and arm muscles. Children also learn a great deal about how liquids behave - pouring, squirting, leaking - and how objects in liquids can float and sink, or hold more or less.

You don't need to buy special toys for water play. Many items around the house can be put to use for playing and exploring with water, for example colanders, strainers and sieves; jugs, teapots and coffee pots; buckets large and small; sponges and cloths; watering cans (especially the kind which sprinkle rather than pour); funnels; whisks (especially with a bit of soap, to make bubbles); plastic bottles and condiment containers (great for squirting); things made of different materials which sink or float; plus of course any toy which won't be harmed by being in water. I'm sure your kids, like mine, have a collection of bath toys - sharks, dinosaurs, boats, planes, who knows what else! - they can also be used for water play in the sink or wading pool.

Choose Your Sand and Water Play Table

While you can certainly build your own sand and water play table, it's a lot simpler to buy one of these well-designed and safety-tested items from Amazon.

Sand Play Tips and Ideas

Playing with sand provides learning opportunities similar to but different from water play. Many water play toys and found objects can also be used for sand.

Dry sand is a strange material which behaves like a solid in some ways, but a liquid in others. You can stand a toy dinosaur on it and it won't sink in like it would in water - but you can pour it through a funnel like water. It's very useful for kids to play with both wet and dry sand so they can explore both.

Wet sand lends itself very well to molding, in buckets, empty food containers, or anything else which has a hollow side that's not undercut, so it can release the sand shape. Cookie cutters, the more fancy the better, make great impressions in wet sand. Kids can also make impressions in wet sand - like reverse molding, but also simply drawing or writing in the sand. Anything stick-like will work for this. Toy cars and other vehicles can also make cool-looking tracks in the sand, as can toy animals and birds. Plastic combs with some teeth removed to widen the gaps can be fun toys for this too.

Sand can make entire worlds. Introduce people, animals, or dinosaurs and a new land of pretend play opens up - in fact it can be a new and different land every day. Sometimes these can take the form of a flat map drawn in thesand, but even more fun is to be had by sculpting the sand into hills and valleys for the toy characters to explore and live in.

One traditional type of toy for sand play is construction machinery. Toy diggers, loaders, bulldozers and trucks make great sand toys to give your children hours of fun.

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My daughter used to love playing with the sand and water table at her preschool - and so did all the other kids! In fact it was so popular they had to take turns. How about your child or children - do they like this kind of play? What's the most fun?

Your kids' sand and water play

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      we like these, my sister has one and my 3 yr old loves playing in it.

    • renee7 profile image

      renee7 7 years ago

      The sand and water table is a staple for the playroom along with cars and trucks and action figures. Having a place to dig in and play will keep kids busy for hours. Thanks for assembling a great selection of tables.

    • dorotheajames profile image

      dorotheajames 7 years ago

      These tables are great for hours of fun, but it is important to have an easy to clean surface under the table. Thanks for the great lens.

    • Amelia77 profile image

      Amelia77 7 years ago

      This would be hours of fun for any child. Thanks for all of the great information.

    • profile image

      Global_B2B 8 years ago

      Welcome to the Childrens Toys Headquarters! Glad to have you in my group.