crafts | DIY

5 Ways to Hack Your Water Table This Summer

We can all breathe a sigh of relief now that it’s finally summer! And we here at Step2 are of course celebrating by breaking out some of our favorite water tables to play with. But, did you know that water tables aren’t just for water play?

There’s a whole host of other ways that you can repurpose and “hack” your water table!

Plant a Garden

If you have older kiddos that have outgrown their water table, then this tip is for you! With just a few supplies, we turned our Tropical Rainforest Water Table into a real-life rainforest!

What you’ll need

  • A water table
  • Landscape rocks
  • Horticultural vermiculite
  • Potting soil
  • Herbs or flowers of your choosing
  1. Make sure your drain in the base of your water table is OPEN.
  2. Layer the landscape rocks in the base of the water table to cover the bottom.
  3. Create a thin layer on top of the rocks by sprinkling the horticultural vermiculite across the base. The vermiculite will help with drainage and absorb excess moisture
  4. Make a third layer with the potting soil. The larger your plant, the thicker the dirt layer should be.
  5. Place your desired plants directly into the base of the water table.
  6. Fill the empty areas around the plant’s roots with more soil. Make sure all roots are covered and not exposed.

Now your plants are ready to be watered and grow!

Hold a Water Balloon Fight

Nothing beats the summer heat like a good old-fashioned water balloon fight!

What you’ll need

  1. Fill your water balloons with water.
  2. Place in the water table.
  3. On the count of three, go!

Build a Giant Ice Cream Sundae

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! We couldn’t show you how to hack your water table without building our classic giant ice cream sundae.

What you’ll need

  • A water table
  • Plastic wrap
  • Approximately 5 giant tubs of ice cream (may vary depending on the size of the water table that you own)
  • Ice cream cones
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Cherries
  • Chocolate syrup
  1. Line the water table with plastic wrap. Wash any accessories that come with the water table that will also be touching the food.
  2. Scoop (or dump) the ice cream into the water table. Then layer on all the toppings. The more toppings, the better!
  3. Add the accessories for display. You can even use the scoop cup that rests on the edge as a cherry holder!

Clean up is easy! Simply remove the plastic wrap lining and throw it away. If your water table is sticky from the ice cream and toppings, rub a little dish soap onto the table and hose it off. We guarantee you’ll be the most popular parent on the block with this tip!

Make an Excavation Site

If you’ve got a budding paleontologist on your hands, then this hack is perfect for them! We’re combining sensory table basics and adding in the fun of an excavation site!

What you’ll need

  • A water table
  • 1 cup wet coffee grinds
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Mini plastic dinosaurs
  • Sensory table ingredients of your choice (we used the remaining coffee)
  1. Mix the coffee grinds, flour, salt, and sand together so the mixture is well blended.
  2. Add a ¼ cup of water to the mix at a time.
  3. Once the mixture is well combined, take a piece of the dough and flatten it in your hand.
  4. Place a dinosaur on top of the dough and then mold the dough so it resembles an egg.
  5. Leave the eggs to dry for up to 2 weeks. (We left ours to harden for 5 days so the insides were still semi-soft).
  6. Once the eggs are dried out, it’s time to build your excavation site!
  7. Fill the base of your water table with the sensory base of your choosing and then add the dinosaur eggs.

Your excavation site is now ready for digging. Little ones can have fun breaking open their dinosaur eggs and seeing what’s inside!

Create the Cutest Cooler

It’s happened to the best of us. You’re getting ready to host a picnic and all of a sudden you realize that you forgot to get a cooler for the drinks. Have no fear; we’ve got the easiest solution to that!

What you’ll need

  1. Make sure the drain in the base of your water table is CLOSED.
  2. Fill the base of the water table with ice.
  3. Place drinks of your choosing inside.

Now you’re ready to have fun and enjoy the afternoon with family and friends! When you’re ready to clean up after the picnic, all you have to do is pop the drain open and let the water drain out. It’s that simple!

Show Us Your Hacks

Have you ever hacked your water table or plan to do one of the hacks above? Make sure to tag us on social media so we can see your summer fun!

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