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The Best Sensory Table - 2021

Last updated on August 16, 2021

We looked at the top 12 Sensory Tables and dug through the reviews from 50 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Sensory Tables.

Best Sensory Table

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Our Picks For The Top Sensory Tables

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

TEMI Water & Sand Sensory Table

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

TEMI

Water & Sand Sensory Table

Overall Take

Lots of AccessoriesThis sensory table is made from a high-quality plastic that is non-toxic and free of lead and cadmium.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Built-In Roadways

Step2 Lidded Sand Box & Sensory Table

Step2

Lidded Sand Box & Sensory Table

Overall Take

Quality MadeThe lid on this sensory table includes built-in roadways to allow for another mode of play.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Wheeled Bottom

Children’s Factory Sand & Water Lidded Sensory Table

Children's Factory

Sand & Water Lidded Sensory Table

Overall Take

Best Indoor and Outdoor TableMoving this sensory table around is a breeze, thanks to the four bottom wheels.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  We Also Like

SOWOW Sand & Water Sensory Table & Lid

SOWOW

Sand & Water Sensory Table & Lid

Overall Take

Lots of AccessoriesWhen you opt for this sensory table, you'll get 15 accessories, including a spinner, pyramid, shovel and rake.

Experts Included
DWYM Baby and Kids Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the sensory tables available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

50

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Wiki EZ Vid, Review Best 1, Imagination Ward, Best Gaming Pro, Best Kid Stuff.

15,857

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Sensory Tables and also dug through the reviews from 50 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Sensory Tables.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

TEMI Water & Sand Sensory Table

User Summarized Score

7.6
463 user reviews

Our Take

The two-sided design of this sensory table allows little ones to play with sand on one side and water on the other. The table can be used indoors or outdoors and comes with a total of 27 accessories. A few of these items include a watering pot, shovel, pinwheel, water tower, sand molds and a stool.


Overall Product Rankings

TEMI Water & Sand Sensory Table

1. TEMI Water & Sand Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.7
Reviews Included: 1

Step2 Lidded Sand Box & Sensory Table

2. Step2 Lidded Sand Box & Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 1

Children’s Factory Sand & Water Lidded Sensory Table

3. Children’s Factory Sand & Water Lidded Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 1

SOWOW Sand & Water Sensory Table & Lid

4. SOWOW Sand & Water Sensory Table & Lid

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Sensory Table

6. Manhattan Toy Tree Top Adventure Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 10

Play Platoon 5-In-1 Kids Activity & Sensory Table

7. Play Platoon 5-In-1 Kids Activity & Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 10

Built Me Dinosaur Play Sand Sensory Kit

8. Built Me Dinosaur Play Sand Sensory Kit

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 2

Best Choice Products 3-in-1 Outdoor Picnic & Sensory Table

9. Best Choice Products 3-in-1 Outdoor Picnic & Sensory Table

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 10

ECR4Kids Sand & Water Play Sensory Table

11. ECR4Kids Sand & Water Play Sensory Table

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 10

Our Sensory Table Findings


TEMI Water & Sand Sensory Table

What We Liked: The two-sided design of this sensory table allows little ones to play with sand on one side and water on the other. The table can be used indoors or outdoors and comes with a total of 27 accessories. A few of these items include a watering pot, shovel, pinwheel, water tower, sand molds and a stool.


Step2 Lidded Sand Box & Sensory Table

What We Liked: This sensory table is raised to be the perfect height for toddlers. Parents can fill the table with sand, so kids can dig, explore and build sand castles. The unit comes with two shovels, two claw rakes and a bucket, as well as a lid with tie downs to keep the sand secure when not in use.


Children’s Factory Sand & Water Lidded Sensory Table

What We Liked: High-quality construction is what you’ll get when you go with this sensory table. It’s made using a durable galvanized steel frame and a weatherproof plastic bin. The bin is large enough for four children to play together, which is great for playdates and teaching toddlers to share.


SOWOW Sand & Water Sensory Table & Lid

What We Liked: The bright yellow color of this sensory table is sure to appeal to young explorers. Parents can fill the table with either sand or water and there’s even a cover to keep the content safe when not in use. Since the table weighs just over 2 pounds, it’s easy to move from inside the house to outside on the lawn.


Little Tikes Spiralin’ Seas Waterpark Put & Take Sensory Table

What We Liked: A combination of thoughtful design and sturdy materials make this sensory table suitable for a range of play areas from the patio to backyard. It holds up well against the elements and has many activities to occupy large groups of kids. The Ferris wheel and other features are great for building motor skills.

Our Sensory Table Buying Guide

The first few years of a child’s life aren’t just the cutest ones. Behind all that laughter and shouting and yes, all that chaos, your kids are learning. They’re learning constantly, and what looks like toy abuse to you is actually the beginning stages of fine motor control development. When they smack your best pots and pans with whatever blunt instrument they can find, they’re making connections between their actions and the sounds they hear.

All this is to say that when it comes to your pre-schoolers, you may not want to waste too much money on expensive tablets and alphabet apps — or at least don’t make those the only “educational” toys that your child uses. Most childhood therapists agree that simple, unstructured play can do a world of good for a little one’s physical, mental and emotional development. And one of the best focal points for that is a sensory table.

What is a sensory table? Essentially, it’s a play space that incorporates substances like sand or water and/or objects of various shapes and consistencies. That means that any table can be a sensory table if you put the right materials on it. You can even make a kid-sized one at home if you’re feeling ambitious and you’ve got a little space where toddlers can make a mess. But even the least expensive commercial sensory tables are ready-made for tiny hands and can offer some extra bells and whistles to keep kids’ interest as they grow older.

The simplest sensory tables might be nothing more than a plastic bin mounted on table legs — and that’s perfectly fine. Fill that bin with sand, pasta, rice, soil or dough (to name just a few) and you’ve got an environment that’s just as appealing to curious kids as a day at the beach. Toss in a few implements such as scoops or buckets and your kids will learn about concepts like volume and weight all by themselves. You can even make little scenarios for your older, speaking age children by adding buried “treasure” and daring them to find it.

More complex sensory tables might incorporate slides, gears or simple puzzles, which can be great as kids grow older. Just make sure that it’s not too busy if you’re buying it for very young children. Some kids can get frustrated quickly if they can’t move an object easily along the track that it’s meant to go on. Again, embrace the chaos and make sure it has a little space set aside for that all-important unstructured play.

There’s also an entire sub-category of sensory tables dedicated to water. These water tables can be particularly great in the hot summer months, and the best ones offer the same opportunities for learning and exploration. Many might have slides or waterfall effects that encourage kids to discover cause and effect relationships, and you can add bathtub or pool toys for extra fun. Some are clearly designed to be used with water only, while others can be filled with water, sand or whatever material your child likes to get messy with. If it’s a dedicated water table, a spigot or other valve mechanism near the base can be a big time-saver when it’s time to clean up.

Obviously, any table with sand or water on it will need to be placed outside, or at least in a patio with flooring that won’t be harmed by the inevitable splashes. With that in mind, durability becomes all the more important. That’s the case for any toddler’s toy, but sensory tables will need to stand up to the elements and abrasion as well as the usual rough handling. If your table is plastic, make sure the components are well secured. If it’s wood, make sure that it’s weather treated and finished to prevent any splinters in those tiny hands. A big bonus for summer playtime is an umbrella, which can be installed in some water tables.

If you’ve got enough space in the car, a portable sensory table can be just the thing to occupy youngsters on picnics or other family outings. Many plastic tables can be easily disassembled for on the go fun — just make sure you bring along a screwdriver or any other tools you might need for reassembly.

Toy storage is an issue for many parents, and a sensory table can help with that. Look for tables that might have shelves underneath where you can put outdoor toys or other accessories. Some sensory tables even have a tabletop that doubles as a lid. Just top off the sensory bin with the toys inside and it’s ready for play the next day.

DWYM Fun Fact

Just watching your child play at a sensory table, you can tell they’re learning to develop physically. But did you know that play space can be just as valuable socially? Occupational therapists use them to help groups of kids build cooperation, communication and sharing skills.

The Sensory Table Tips and Advice

What should you put into your sensory table? The possibilities are almost endless. Some common picks for a “dry” table are sand, rice, uncooked pasta, oatmeal and even shaving cream. Feel free to combine some if you’re using it exclusively for the table. Water tables can obviously be filled with water, but that doesn’t have to be the only thing. Sand can be added to allow the children to create their own “islands,” for example.

Into this mix you can add any number of toys, as long as they’re water or sand-proof. Scoops, shovels and pails are some obvious picks, as are funnels, toy animals, sticks, cars or boats. Just make sure that you leave plenty of room for kids to use their imagination, and remember that a sensory table doesn’t have to stimulate only one sense. Go ahead and add some drumming instruments, bells or containers that can become sand shakers.

With that in mind, use caution with very young children that will want to explore one sense in particular: taste. It usually won’t take long for them to discover that they don’t want to eat sand, but some parents may want to fill the sensory table with edible materials just in case.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness is a professional writer and journalist for the past 20 years. More importantly, he is the father of a 7-year-old boy and an 2-year-old girl, and enjoys curating a library of books for them both. He figures his "dad tour of duty" will be done when they can both beat him at Settlers of Catan.