Thursday, May 22, 2014

DIY Outdoor Water Table for Kids

Summer is just around the corner, and the little ones will be wanting to play all day outdoors! If yours are anything like mine, they already do. Even on the rainy days.

We have yet to invest in too many store bought outdoor toys. We did purchase the Little Tikes Endless Adventures Swing Along Castle (affiliate link*) for Hazel's first birthday and both kids absolutely love it. The rest of the toys we have outside, have mostly been given to us by neighbors or purchased at thrift stores, such as the playhouse, ride on vehicles and Cozy Coup.

Earlier this spring, I had been contemplating buying the kids an outdoor water and sand table similar to one like this: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (affiliate link*) or this: Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table (affiliate link*).

But then one very warm afternoon, while both kids were napping, I decided to do a little surprise project for them and set up a fun "DIY" water table outside.
I began with a small folding table similar to this one: Lifetime 4 Foot Adjustable 4428 Height Folding Utility Table (affiliate link*), which is so great to have because, at the lowest height, it is perfect for a toddler's play table. I covered it in a large towel, mainly just to keep everything from sliding off once the table started to get wet.
I got out some items from my collection of enamel kitchenware and filled a cake pan and large basin with water. If you don't have these, you could easily use regular baking pans or large mixing bowls.
I laid out some of their water toys mixed with small enamel kitchen pots and pans and cooking utensils. I knew that they would love pretending to cook with the water. (They do this in the bathroom sink all the time!)
When they woke up, I told them I had a surprise outside and they couldn't wait to get out there. They jumped right in...
(Gotta love Owen's after nap bed head!)
Eventually Hazel started "watering" the grass all around her and Owen started drinking it, but they both had a great time.
Later, they even made some "stone soup."
With kids most of the time, I find that you just have a to think outside of the box a little to come up with some fun and creative ideas for them to enjoy. I know that we will be spending many more warm summer days playing with our makeshift water table, and who knows what else we might come up with?

If you have little ones, I encourage you to look around your house for ordinary items that you can use in new ways. There are endless possibilities when you allow yourself to get on their level and think like a child. And whatever you come up with, in their eyes it will be pure delight!

And the simple fact that you did it just for them will fill their love tanks to overflowing. 

Till next time...
~Alice W.

*This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission from purchases made using them.