MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.

10 of the best sand tables for kids

From bench-style tables to tables for toddlers, we've chosen some fantastic options for playing with sand starting from £13

sand-tables

Playing with sand is a lovely garden activity and can be great for your child’s development – it’s an incredible sensory experience and when combined with toys and tools to use alongside it, can help fine tune hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Advertisement

But we all know what the aftermath of a day at the beach looks like – filthy fingernails, finding sand in your shoes for weeks to come, towels that are never the same colour again – so a sand table makes a great alternative. Unlike a traditional sand pit, your child can’t actually get into the table (although they may try!) but instead they can use their hands to explore its texture, movement and versatility.

We’ve chosen some of the best sand tables available to suit a range of budgets from tables with interactive elements, small tables for toddlers, bench-style tables and more.

What to look for when choosing a sand table

Age suitability – For table toys, height is a key consideration – buy it too high and they can’t reach, too low and they may have to bend forward to use it. Younger children will often lean on the table more and try and use it so support their weight – this is fine if you’ve bought a robust model but less-so if you’ve gone for lightweight plastic that is likely to topple over with them, sand and all.

Sand – Regardless of age, always use child-safe play sand that has been washed, graded and blended accordingly. The Early Learning Centre, Argos and The Entertainer are among stores that stock it.

Accessories –  If you’re buying online, always read the information about what is included in case you need to find some extra accessories. Many tables come with a selection such as rakes and spades, buckets, moulds and sifts. These are all great toys for developing your child’s coordination and stimulating their mind. If the table you chose doesn’t come with accessories don’t worry, you can easily add your own cups, buckets and beach toys to the mix. Plastic toys work well in sand too so characters, vehicles and building blocks can all be inserted.

Storing your sand table – A lid is essential if you want to keep the sand free of bugs, animal poo and rain water whilst storing it outdoors. While many products do come with a lid, you will find a lot are not completely leak-proof so it may be a good idea to get an extra layer of protection, such as a barbecue cover, or to move the table into a garage or shed at night. If you don’t have much space, also look for designs where the legs can be easily removed and reattached to cut down on their footprint when not in use.

Assembly and construction – While many of us are trying to buy less plastic, a plastic table will weather well, wipe clean and is likely to require minimal assembly. Wood, while better for the environment and more likely to have been sustainably sourced, often requires more work to put together as it can involve screws and tools. Check all this beforehand so that if you’re giving this as a present, you can get it all set up in advance (rather than having to deal with complicated drill-bit fittings and an excited child).

Here’s our pick of the best sand tables for kids:

1. Plum wooden sand and picnic table, £129.99

– Best for group play

Age: 18 months+ | Size: H49cm x W89cm x L105cm

This cute little picnic table, with a secret sandpit hidden inside, is great for larger families as up to 4 children can sit around it at the same time. The centre of the table lifts off to reveal the built-in tub which is quick and easy to fill with play sand. Then simply add your own beach toys and accessories.

It then easily converts back into a picnic table in time for lunch, also meaning won’t stand out in your garden like some colourful, plastic toys tend to do.

While the lid prevents bugs and leaves from getting in overnight, some buyers did complain that it is not leak-proof meaning that rain water can get in. Many recommend using a barbecue cover or popping some plastic lining over the sand for extra protection.

A real selling point is the fact the bench is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber. FSC certification ensures that products come from responsibly managed forests. The wooden bench features rounded corners for extra safety too.

Available from: Amazon, Activity Toys Direct, Plum Play

2. Step2 Naturally playful sand table, £75

– Best for pre-schoolers and beyond

Age: 2+ | Size: H42cm x W91cm x L66cm

This is a simple yet sturdy sand table with nice thick, toddler-proof legs. The lid , which seals well thanks to the included elastic ties, also doubles up as a road track for toy cars and trains which extends the play opportunities.

Another nice feature is the included accessories – 2 shovels, 2 claw rakes and a bucket – which are not just fun to play with, but will help to boost your child’s fine motor skills and improve their grip. It also means you don’t have to buy anything else to use with it, as everything arrives together.

There’s enough room for 3 children to crowd around it too, so is great for group play.

Available from: Amazon, Argos, Activity Toys Direct 

3. Wilko Pirate Sand and Water Table, £13

– Best budget buy

Age: 3+ | Size: H58cm x W51cm x L30.1cm

This simple sand or water table that is really fun to look at and boasts some great interactive features, which you get for under £20. For example kids will love pouring sand into the top of the crow’s nest and watch as it makes the wheels spin on its way down.

While this table is suitable for both sand and water play, it can only be used for one or the other at any one time. Most of the tables we featured include 2 separate compartments to accommodate both simultaneously. However, at just £13 per table, you could buy one for each.

This table is on the small side and is easy to put together, move around and to store but it is not particularly sturdy. However it’s ideal if you are short on space in your garden.

Available from: Wilko

4. TTS Sand & Water Play Table, £137.94

– Best for height adjustment

Age: 18 months + |  Size: H40-58cm x W62cm x L112 cm

This sand table offers great longevity as you can adjust the height from 40cm to 58cm as your child grows. With locking castor wheels it’s easy to move around your garden and you can even remove the clear tray with the handles to fill it with sand or even turn it into a sandpit on the ground.

The flat rim is perfect for placing buckets, spades and any other toys your kids have filled their sand table with. Though it’s worth keeping in mind there aren’t any extra accessories included in the price.

The large tray space with no divide is great for group play too, with online reviews praising the table for its ability to accommodate multiple children.

Available from: TTS

5. KandyToys Sand and Water Table , £19.99

– Best for small spaces

Age: 18 months + | Size: H26cm x W28cm x L42cm

This super compact sand table offers great value for money at under £20, even with 8 accessories being included in the price such as sand moulds, a watering can, a spade and more.

It’s lightweight and simple to put together so ideal if space is tight or if you want to move it around your garden. You can also easily take the legs off, so it is perfect if you want to store it away in a smaller space using the lightweight lid included.

If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful option then this could be it – but do bear in mind it is quite small and not all that robust as a result. Therefore it’s worth keeping an eye on younger toddlers who might try and stabilise themselves using the table, as it’s not the sturdiest to be able to support them.

Available from: Amazon

6. Step2 Crabbie sand table, £59.99

– Best for eye-catching design

Age: 18 months+ | Size: 55.9cm x 61.9cm x 61.6cm

This fun, brightly-coloured design will appeal to children of all ages while the price, tight-sealing lid and the included accessory pack is likely to get the parents’ vote.

A cute added feature is that there are slots to store the accessories on either side of the table itself. While this is great from a practical point of view as it means they are less likely to get lost, it’s also good for younger children as it will help develop hand-eye coordination and improve grip as they slide them in and out.

The accessory pack of 2 buckets and 2 spades is an ideal starter kit (and great for siblings to have their own) although there is plenty of room in the sandpit to add your own toys.

Available from: Amazon, Activity Toys Direct

7. deAO Sand and Water Table, £57.99

– Best for interactivity

Age: 18 months+ | Size: H71cm x W34cm x L64cm

Keep little hands busy with this super interactive table, where kids can pour sand at the top and watch as it pours down through the funnels and cogs attached on the inside of the lid.

Its compact size is ideal if you’re short on space, though keep in mind that you could probably only fit 2 toddlers around it. If you’re after something for older kids or for group play, take a look at some of the larger options on our list.

You won’t need to buy any extra accessories as there’s plenty included such as a bucket, spade and shovel and even a watermill and watering can if you want to fill one of the sides with water.

Available from: Amazon

8. Little Tikes Easy Store Sand and Water Table, £99.99

Best for easy storage

Age: 2+ | Size: H50.5cm x W144cm x L74cm

This multi-use play table features an unusual folding top design that effectively gives you 3 tables for the price of 1 – a table for sand, a table for water and then a regular table top for colouring, crafts and snacks. This also provides room for 3 or 4 children to play around it at the same time.

It takes a bit of setting up with some tools and a fair bit of brute force required, but you’ll be rewarded with a genuinely useful piece of play equipment. We particularly like the addition of the little net bag, on the side of the sand table, which provides a place to store all the toys/accessories that come with this product.

At the end of the day, the water side can be drained, dried and folded over to form a lid over the sand side making the tidying process a lot easier. The legs on the water side are detachable and once removed, leave you with a dinky little play table with room to store a few pens and pencils or a drink. You can also store the water legs inside the sand table when folded, further saving on space and the risk of parts going missing.

Available from: Very, Adventure Toys, Little Tikes

9. Early Learning Centre My First Sand and Water Table, £34.99

– Best first sand table

Age: 12 months + | Size: H34.5cm x W46.5cm x L68.5cm

If you’re in the market for a 1st birthday present this could be the ideal investment. One of the few products of its kind recommended for use from just 12 months, the My First Sand and Water Table is an ideal introduction to sensory play. It offers great flexibility depending on the space you have available, as it can be used with or without legs (depending whether your child is sitting or standing) or placed on an existing table top.

A sand pit in the middle, water can be poured into the rim or you can let your child experiment with sand in both. Included is a rake, scoop and boat to play with, plus a lid to keep the pit covered in between play time. There even slots around the table for all the accessories to fit into which will help you keep them in one place while your little one learns vital hand-eye coordination skills trying to find them.

Available from: Early Learning Centre

10. Plum Play Sandy Bay Wooden Sand & Water Table, £134.95

– Best wooden sand table

Age: 18 months+ | Size: H60cm x W67cm x L63cm

While this product comes in at the top end price-wise, it’s a beautiful and versatile piece of play equipment that will stand the test of time and appeal to your child for years to come.

The nest-style wooden tables, designed for both sand and water play, are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber. This means they are sourced from sustainable forests following eco-friendly practices and ethical, environmental manufacturing methods. The wood frame is a good eco alternative to plastic and looks a lot more natural in a garden setting too.

This is also a great option if you are short on space as the tables stack underneath one another when not in use. A lightweight cover and liners for the 2 tables are also all included in the price.

Available from: Scandiborn, Plum Play

Advertisement

About the author

Amy Burns is a journalist and mum-of-1. She is the expert parent and baby reviewer for iBuys and a regular contributor to IndyBest.

Read More…

Comments ()

Please read our Chat guidelines.