The Creative Water Table

If your creatives are anything like mine they love pouring water! I will usually catch my daughter, pouring the water from her cup to someone else’s cup after dinner.  She knows she’s not supposed to do it, so when I actually give her permission to, her face lights up!

Seeing its summer, and has started to get quite hot outside, I thought it would be fun to set up a water table.  It’s also a great way to conserve water, since you don’t need much of it for your kids to have a splashtastic time!


Why I Love Making My Own Water Table Instead Of Buying One:

SAVE – It saves money.

SPACE – It’s not another bulky toy we have to store when my creatives get bored with it, or the season changes.

THINK – It gets us to think creatively as to what might be fun to add to our water table and experiment with.

VARIETY – You can change it up each time, so your creatives get more variety!


The Actual Table:

There are many different types of tables you can use, have a look around your house to see what is waterproof and child sized. We have little patio tables, which are a perfect height for my creatives.  Because we have a few of them I arranged them in a way that made them feel like they were behind a counter, because children love being behind counters.  Here are some ideas for what you could use for the table part of your water table:

  • OLD SHELF – Each level of the shelf could have a different water play purpose.
  • STORAGE CONTAINER– Turn it upside down – you could even use the cover as a separate play area on the ground.
  • DIFFERENT SIZED TABLES or containers for different heights, what do you have around your house?


The Water Play Equipment:

This is the fun part, get creative, look around your house for the following:


You’ll need a container for the main water content, we used our toy storage bins, but you could use any large plastic food or storage container, or a sand bucket, if you have a tray it might be fun to put the tray on top of the table to catch the water for optimum play.


Our main water containers were big enough to play in too, but if you have your main water stored in a bucket or smaller container, you’ll want to put a tray, or baking pan under to catch any spilled water.


Buckets, small food storage containers, cups, bowls, measuring cups, plastic Easter eggs, muffin tins, ice containers.


Things that float: corks, flowers…  Things that sink: rocks, pebbles, beads… or if you feel so inclined why not try adding food coloring so they can practice color mixing.


Spoons (big wooden ones and tiny baby ones), sticks, whisks, chopsticks.


Strainers, funnels, tubes, droppers, medicine syringe, paint brushes, measuring spoons, straws – think of things that hold or dispense water in a cool and different way.

PARENT TIP: Sometimes the amount of endless possibilities of things to put in your water table can be a bit over whelming, give yourself some boundaries: set a timer for 5 mins and see what you can pull together in that time, or, only search for things in 1 room – ie the kitchen or garage.  The best part is that if you think of things to add after this time, or from a different room, you can add it next time you set up your water table, this will save you stress and give your creatives something new to play with in the future.


Name It:

I find that my creatives engage in things longer if there is a theme to what they’re doing.  It doesn’t work for everyone, but its usually a fun starting point. Here are some examples of what you could call your water table:

  • Potion Shop
  • Soup Station
  • Mad Scientist Lab
  • Perfume Boutique 


Have Fun!

Hopefully the tips above will spark your creative thinking to make your own water table.  Remember this should be fun for you to put together as well as your creatives to play with.  Make sure your water table is age appropriate for your child and supervised as needed.

The best part for me was watching my little ones get creative with their water play, it was fun to see their different personalities come out as they played.  My little girl loves small things, she loved pouring water into the small food storage containers, adding some beads, then putting the tops on.  My older boy on the other hand loves experimenting, he took it one step farther and asked me to get some tape to fasten two small plastic cups together with water and beads floating inside, the clever chap.

DIY Water Table / Potion Shop / Kids Water Play #watertable #diywatertable #kidswatertable #diypotionshop

Do Tell: Leave a Comment Below

  • What were the materials your creatives loved using most?
  • What did you name it?
  • Did you play with your creatives at their water table? or leave them to explore on their own?



  1. Great, concrete suggestions and extensions to draw them in! My kids love food colouring and little animal, dinosaur & sea creature figurines for water play. Foaming soap pumps are often a hit, along with toothbrushes for cleaning! I enjoyed reading your post- I think that it is particularly helpful for parents!

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