No Water Table? No Worries!


Looking at old photos, I came across several “make-do” water tables we used before DH built us one.  I just thought I’d post these to show you that you don’t need a fancy water table to have lots of fun!  

(I hope it goes without saying that you should never let your child play in or around water without strict supervision by an adult, and most especially when using a setup that you have created since it may not be as “safe” as a commercially available product!)

Version #1: 
Clear plastic tote on the ground (porch)
March 2010

Cups and measuring cups/spoons are a big fav!

Ice cubes add some sensory fun!

Scooping and pouring!

Version #2:
Same clear plastic tote raised to more of a table-height.  
I turned a small and very sturdy tote upside down and put the clear tote on top of it.  I made sure the entire set up was VERY sturdy and not likely to tip over in any direction.
June 2011
Water Table Fishing

Fishing rods:
Large chop sticks, jute, magnet hot glued to end

Cut from colored plastic sheets (like transparencies)
Added a paperclip to make them magnetic
(Just FYI — paperclips will rust!)



Best shot of the “table” made of 2 plastic totes.

Don’t let the lack of a water table keep you from having lots of water fun this summer!  I hope this post gives you some ideas for ways to improvise!! 🙂

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Susan Case says:

    Great post and photos. I’m following you from KBN. Hope you can visit my blog sometime.

  • Deborah says:

    We use a tub like this often for sand and other sensory type play too! One thing I do is buy two totes that are exactly the same size. If you put one on the bottom with the lid, the second one will sit securely on top of it. I keep sand or rice in the bottom tub and water type play in the other tub. Then I rotate which tub sits on top!

  • This is such a fun and simple way to create a water table for hours of fun! I just linked it up to our post about water fun with babies and toddlers. Thanks for sharing!

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