Sand and Water Table

Promoted Skills

Product Description

Clear plastic basin with undulating form is set on a yellow painted steel frame that is adjustable in height and has two lockable wheels for ease of moving the Table into different play spaces. Multipurpose Table lid can be used as a storage shelf (under the Table) for supplies, as a separate play surface to hold sand and toys, or as a writing surface when placed on top of the tub. 

Sensory 4


  • The Sand and Water Table provides opportunity to develop tactile discrimination skills while players search for objects utilizing only touch, focusing on differentiating characteristics of objects.
  • The Sand and Water Table provides opportunity to develop visual discrimination skills while players scan objects in the Table with their eyes, focusing on their differentiating characteristics.
  • The Sand and Water Table provides opportunity to develop auditory discrimination skills as while players distinguish the sounds objects of differing weight and density make when entering and exiting the water (splashing, pouring water, objects full /saturated v. empty of water, etc.).

Adaptation Ideas

  • For children with a tactile aversion to water or sand, use alternative substances to fill the Table such as confetti, cotton balls, rice, beans, or clothing such as socks and scarves. Otherwise offer scoopers or sieves to players to dig into Table materials to find objects hidden in the fill material. 

Cognitive 4


  • Children learn to explore and distinguish characteristics and properties of water / sand / other Table fill materials.

  • The Sand and Water Table offers opportunity to learn / reinforce the concept of cause and effect as children experiment with manipulating objects within the Table fill materials (floating or sinking to the bottom of the Table.

  • The Sand and Water Table does not have rules, thus fostering creativity and imaginative play.

Play Ideas

  • To strengthen understanding of cause and effect, fill the Table with water. Facilitator will provide player with a bucket of objects from which the player will toss into the water and record if the object floats or sinks in the water.

  • To strengthen the understanding of the relationship between the symbolic and tangible, facilitator will read a book about natural habitats for animals and assist player to recreate the environment for the animal in the table. For example, discuss different habitats that bugs, turtles, fish, etc. live in and find items to create a representative habitat.

  • To strengthen auditory processing skills, fill the Table with water and multi-colored familiar objects which float (animals, shapes, etc.). Provide each player with a small net or sieve. Facilitator will call out the color and / or name of an object and the player has a limited amount of time to find and scoop up the matching object. 

Physical 3


  • The Sand and Water Table encourage reach and range of motion in arms as participants manipulate toys and objects across the span of the Table.

  • The Sand and Water Table encourage dexterity and hand / finger grasp as participants manipulate objects under table fill materials of varying resistance levels

  • The Sand and Water Table encourage balance and weight shifting as early stage walkers cruise around the table to manipulate objects in the table.

Play Ideas

  • To encourage dexterity and fine motor skill development, fill the Table with dry material such as rice / pasta / sand. Hide puzzle pieces in the filled Table and instruct players to carefully search for and grasp the puzzle pieces with their thumb and forefinger and assemble it on the Table top.
  • To encourage the development of arm extension and reach, at equal intervals (such as 1 inch) draw 2 – 10 concentric circles around the Table.  Place equally sized items around the edges of the filled table. Instruct players to stand on the circle closest to the table to reach and grab an object, and then repeat at each circle farther from the table until they can no longer safely reach the Table.
  • To promote balance and weight shifting development, play music while the players are engaged with the Table. When the facilitator turns off the music, all players must stand on one foot until the music resumes.

Adaptation Ideas

  • Use Velcro or a pool noodle on the outer table rim for children with physical disabilities some stability while digging in the table.

  • Use a foam kneeling pad for modified play and added comfort.

  • For children with limited or weak grasp, utilize adapted shovels / diggers while playing with sensory materials in the table. 

Developmental Processes Promoted

Additional Details

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AblePlay Rating

Sand and Water Table

Developmental Skill Rating (1-5)
Physical 3
Sensory 4
Communicative 4
Cognitive 4
Social/Emotional 5