Thursday, June 21, 2012

DIY water/sand tables

Ellie loves water. This is just a fact. She loves playing in sprinklers, the pool, the bath, Marah's water dish, the bird bath, puddles, the sink...anything with water, the child loves.

Clearly we need a water table.

Clearly I am not spending $40+ on a plastic table, much less $100+ for a wooden one.

I found this lovely tutorial via Pinterest. I pretty much followed it to a T, but here is a recap with some clarifications.

  • Sterlite 41-quart underbed box ($9 at Wal-Mart)
  • 1x3 lumber 
    • I got the cheapest stuff. I'd recommend going a step up or getting a slightly larger cut. My wood was soft and I had to be very careful not to split it -- even if I drilled pilot holes.
    • You'll need 3 8' pieces (mine were about $4 each at Lowe's)
  • Screws (I used 6x1.5" wood screws for most of the pieces, but shorter 1" screws for where the legs attach to the long side pieces)
Step 1. Ask one of the nice Lowe's employees to cut your wood for you. Yes, you can do it yourself, but they will do it for free or very cheap. It is way worth it. You need:
  • 3 pieces that are 33 3/4" (long sides and bottom brace)
  • 4 pieces that are 16 5/8" (short sides and braces)
  • 4 pieces that are 22" (legs -- can adjust if you want taller or shorter)
This of course is only applicable if you use the same box I did.

Step 2. Build your frame. Make sure the short pieces are on the outside of the long pieces.

Step 3. Add legs to the outside, overlapping the two pieces.

Step 4. Add an extra short piece between the legs on each side as a brace. I used a piece of the same wood as a spacer. 

Step 5. Place the last long piece on the bottom, screwing it into the side braces you just added. 

Step 6. Put your Sterlite box inside! Plus, you can still use the lid.


I liked it so much, I made two! One is for water and one for sand (but one will go to our friends who are staying with us this summer, and I'll just eventually store the other bin underneath).

EDIT: Here's the first go of the water table. We ended up filling them both up. The kids loved it (big surprise, right? It's hot and water is just awesome.)

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I'm going to make two for my kindergarten classroom! :)