23 June 2006

Talk amongst yourselves: How to make a sand and water table

My kids love sand and water tables, but good ones are so expensive. There must be a way for a non-carpenter such as myself to make one. Any suggestions?

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I saw a couple cheaper ones that essentially looked like a platic tub on legs. So maybe you could find a platic tub that is long and shallow (like an under-bed storage box), then buy some table legs at a home store. Mount the box to a piece of plywood (they can cut it to size for you at the store) with a strong glue or epoxy (so it will hold the weight of the water and sand) and then screw the table legs to the plywood.

Of course you could paint all the wooden parts so they are fun and splinter free.

Heck, I may go make one of these today!

I forgot to add that if you use the under-bed box you will have a handy cover for the table, too!

It's so funny, I almost typed out exactly what Christy suggested above before actually reading that we had the same idea. One neat sideways hack to this would be getting a bunch of smaller and shallower totes, like four or five, and having water, sand, mud, shaving foam, and a few other things. Give them a set of time with each one - no mixing - and make it even MORE multi-textural.

Probably not the kind of advice you're looking for, but we found our One Step Ahead sand & water table (complete with umbrella!) at a yard sale for $30. The kids love it.

I have a friend who made a rice bin for her kids. She took dry white rice, separated out several cups and dyed each cup with food coloring, then mixed them back in with the undyed rice, and put it all in a plastic bin with a lid. It's also stocked with plastic scoops in different sizes, though the kids bring other toys to bury in it too.

I made a sand table using 3/8" plywood for the bottom and lid (2 ft by 4 ft); 1x6" boards for the walls, and 2x4s for the legs, 16 inches high. It holds about 3 bags (150lbs) of sand. We painted all but the legs with exterior paint. I learned the hard way that the lid should be supplemented with a tarp: what was supposed to be a sand table is now, after a few rains, a sand-and-water table. I think I spent $30-$40 on materials.

I was thinking to use an infant tub instead of a plastic container because they come with a drain and plug an you can drain it daily that way.

I just bought a used stainless sink at a reuse store for 18 bucks. It has to sinks and drains! Perfect for a sand and water table. Just have to build a stand...

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