Why a sand and water table is great for sensory play

Toddlers are tactile little people who thrive with messy play. Given a sand and water table, they can immerse themselves for hours – and you’ll love creating happy memories joining in with them. From finger squiggles in the sand table to splashing around the water table, sensory play is not only lots of fun – it also aids children’s development in all kinds of ways.

Summertime is the best time to bring out the outdoor sand and water table, giving kids the freedom to explore new sights, smells, and textures. Here, we highlight how to help your mini explorer make the most of their messy play, as well as the vast benefits they’ll get from it.

Benefits of sand and water sensory play

It’s fascinating watching your little one touching, cupping and sculpting the sand in a sand table, isn’t it? Letting it trickle through their fingers with awe, spreading it in all directions, building castles. Bring water into the mix and there’s all sorts of messy joy to be had. What’s even more fantastic is knowing how much all this sensory play helps your tot grow and learn.

Inspires limitless creativity

Playing in the sand and water is perfect for blooming imaginations. From crafting castles with moats, moulding mountains, or even creating wacky sand monsters, little ones can create a world of their own in their sand and water table. Give them buckets, shovels, animals or cars and watch their ideas come to life. Our Anchors Away pirate sand and water table has everything from exciting character toys to real squirting water cannons – plenty to set your young adventurer’s creative juices whirring.

Builds fine motor control and problem-solving skills

All that pouring, turning and building and submerging does wonders for your young one’s fine motor skills, while encouraging them to figure out the most efficient ways to play. For example, kids can lead, explore and learn with their hands using the Factory Fountain Water Table, pushing with the water pump, fixing interchangeable pipes, and pouring liquid into fountains, funnels and cups. It’s such a feast for all the senses.

Develops STEM skills in preschoolers

With both a sand table and a water table, little ones have an even wider variety of textures and materials to develop foundational science, technology and maths skills. What happens if you spin the Ferris wheel of the FOAMO™ 3-in-1 Water Table? It creates a whirlpool! From clappers to scoops, it’s an action-packed learning extravaganza – it’s the best kind of messy play. And because sand and water is completely natural, you can rest assured knowing there’s zero toxins involved.

Encourages social-emotional skills

Messy play helps little ones communicate and bond with others, whether they’re working as a team with other mini builders on the Builders Bay Sand and Water Table, dumping materials from the crane into the nifty trucks, or nurturing wildlife friends together with the multi-level Magic Flower Water Table.

Fun ideas for sand and water table play

To give you a head start with your own sand and water table, we’ve got some lively ideas to make the most of your little one’s sensory play.

  1. Have a spray ‘n’ sink battle with the Fun Zone Battle Splash Water Table. When your little sailor isn’t navigating their boats, challenge them to a splash battle! First to sink the other’s boat by shooting targets that spill out water wins. Prepare for a soaking!
  2. Create a cool construction zone. Dig out the trucks and tools for little site managers to build their very own city. Or watch kids lose themselves in make-believe messy play as they scoop, dig and dump real sand with the Dirt Diggers™ Excavator Sandbox.
  3. Build your own safari park. Grab a bunch of toy lions, zebras and elephants to turn a sand and water table into a teeny jungle adventure. Little zookeepers will delight in finding rocks, sticks, flowers and leaves to really set the scene.

With the weather warming up, now is the perfect time to build imaginary lands of sand in the sun. And, of course, bring out the kids’ outdoor water table for plenty of refreshing games! Encourage messy play and send imaginations wild, all while helping young minds blossom. See our full sand and water table range and treat your little one to the wonders of stimulating, sensory play.

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