Sand and water tables. What do you recommend?
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  1. #1
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    Default Sand and water tables. What do you recommend?

    I'm looking at changing my outdoor sand and water tables.

    I want separate tables, not joined sand & water sections. The main thing though is a proper lid that doesn't let rain in. It doesn't matter so much for the water table as I change the water each day, but I get so fed up of the sand tables getting full of water.

    So, what are your favourite tables?

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    I've been through numerous types over the years. The last plastic lid we had clicked together in the middle but the sun and kids standing on it has broken it. I'm now on a floor sandpit with wooden sides and little seats at each corner. The lid is a tarpaulin type with elastic corners. If I prop a toy up in the middle under it the water runs off but if I forget a big collects in the middle. I got it second hand so don't know who makes them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I'm looking at changing my outdoor sand and water tables.

    I want separate tables, not joined sand & water sections. The main thing though is a proper lid that doesn't let rain in. It doesn't matter so much for the water table as I change the water each day, but I get so fed up of the sand tables getting full of water.

    So, what are your favourite tables?
    I use a sand and water table from elc that is 14 yrs old! But I either have just sand or just water in it! I then put my tough tray on the top as a lid!

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    I was inspired last year by this blog:

    How to Make a PVC Pipe Sand and Water Table - Frugal Fun For Boys and Girls

    DH built two frames to fit around Ikea deep storage tubs with lids.
    We dismantled it after the hols ( it wasn't glued like in this one, but held together well) and it will be too high for my 2 and under this summer so we are in the process of redisigning.

    I find the water play tends to spread out from a water tray/ table and so mostly the table is where they get the water from easily and play in initially ....then water various things, paint the slabs and take a variety of containers full of water around the garden ....the added top tubes extended the play and they explored water at the table for longer.

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    I have a large tts table with lid, but am looking out for an old style tea urn which I want to pair with tin baths and old troughs for water play this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I'm looking at changing my outdoor sand and water tables.

    I want separate tables, not joined sand & water sections. The main thing though is a proper lid that doesn't let rain in. It doesn't matter so much for the water table as I change the water each day, but I get so fed up of the sand tables getting full of water.

    So, what are your favourite tables?
    So weird i was just going to post something similar! I have a combined sand and water table (sand in one tray, water in the other) -or supposedly - it all ends up a big slushy mixed mess. I wondered about doing away with the sand altogether but i know they enjoy it. Its very costly too to keep topping up the sand each day when by the end of the session its pretty much unusable.

    With the water i top mine up from the water butt, is this how you fill yours up (with rainwater??). Are we "allowed" to leave this in there or is that then considered standing water and therefore unsafe?

    Sorry hijacked your thread a bit there! x

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    So weird i was just going to post something similar! I have a combined sand and water table (sand in one tray, water in the other) -or supposedly - it all ends up a big slushy mixed mess. I wondered about doing away with the sand altogether but i know they enjoy it. Its very costly too to keep topping up the sand each day when by the end of the session its pretty much unusable.

    With the water i top mine up from the water butt, is this how you fill yours up (with rainwater??). Are we "allowed" to leave this in there or is that then considered standing water and therefore unsafe?

    Sorry hijacked your thread a bit there! x
    I generally use water from my kitchen tap or outside tap for water play.
    But my LO's access the waterbutt nearest to the house to fill to water the plants.
    I have risk assessed: I clean regularly, as we use our 5 butts to water our garden, they all regularly get drained - weekly ( that's the problem area if it lies there for a long time) I add a cleaning agent : WATER BUTT CLEANER: Amazon.co.uk: Garden & Outdoors and supervise.
    As long as you are active in minimising risks your water should be clean, but I just prefer prolonged play in water I know definitely has passed the clean test from the water board.

    I had training in my other life for water borne issues as we had water tanks and showers, the big issue with any water storage is when it warms up, schools have to regularly record water temps in tanks. A HT was sent to prison following hygiene issues and water and a child becoming extremely ill. ( not following procedure) Salmonella and E. coli, amongst other diseases can happen when bacteria forms in water and gets into body via cuts or drinking.

    Our butts are in the shade and DH in the summer takes temps just for our piece of mind as the children use so often to water the plants. If it gets high then we don't allow children to use and drain ourselves, clean thoroughly and start again.
    Life is that children put fingers in muddy puddles etc, which is why we encourage regular and definitely after outdoor play washing of hands. But water play is completely submerged hands often until fingers wrinkle....so I wouldn't risk it.

    Inspector watched child fill her watering can ( in January) to water the carrots, it is a regular activity when in the garden and commented on independence and caring for plants, encouraging healthy eating etc... I did highlight my RA's to her before she asked as I was a little nervous about her thoughts ( her face gave nothing away)...so not sure if she would have asked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    So weird i was just going to post something similar! I have a combined sand and water table (sand in one tray, water in the other) -or supposedly - it all ends up a big slushy mixed mess. I wondered about doing away with the sand altogether but i know they enjoy it. Its very costly too to keep topping up the sand each day when by the end of the session its pretty much unusable.

    With the water i top mine up from the water butt, is this how you fill yours up (with rainwater??). Are we "allowed" to leave this in there or is that then considered standing water and therefore unsafe?

    Sorry hijacked your thread a bit there! x
    I gave up with combined tables years ago as I was fed up of the sludge! The sand does last much better when it doesn't have water mixed in with it. I don't need to top it up very often.

    I tend to fill the water table daily with fresh tap water. At the end of the day any water that's left is used for the plants, or to wash chalk off the slabs etc. Throughout the day the water gets transported all over the garden and some of it does end up in the sand, but not as much as if they were in the same table!

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    I've separate tables at either end of the garden and also away from the mud kitchen - it makes no difference - still ends up sludgy, muddy mess!

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