“ Brand: Little Tikes / Type: Water Toys „
We bought my son this water table by Little Tikes last summer. At around 15-16 months I felt he was too young for sand but I knew that he would love water, so I wanted a sole water table rather than one that contained both. This cost £39.99 from The Entertainer. The table is suitable from 2 years of age, but I felt that, under supervision, he would be fine with it at his age and would get even more benefit from it the following summer.
The table comes flat packed but is relatively easy to assemble and the instruction are easy to follow. The table is essentially a cream circular tray that stand on three blue plastic legs. In the middle of the table stands a large blue transparent plastic twisted tube, with an orange 'funnel' tray on top of it. Three are six rubber 'squirty' balls with faces contained that can be dropped down this and twist down. The balls can be squeezed under water to fill them up and then squirted to shoot water out quite some distance.
At the three points on the tray where there are legs, there are three different activities. One is a spinning wheel with a handle to turn it. On the other side, there are three green plastic cups that the balls can be placed in and dropped into the water. There is also a green plastic disc that the child can spin using their finger and create ripples in the water. The last activity is a plastic funnel with two water wheels/cogs underneath. Water can be poured into this using the red plastic jug contained and the wheels spin under the pressure of the water. The table has a black rubber plug on the base of the table that can be removed to let the water out.
The table is sturdy and hold a fair amount of water. My son is tall for his age so it was an ok height for him but I can see why they recommend that your child is 2 years old with this. He could just about reach the top of the tube to place the balls in. This 'ball drop' part of the table was the main reason I bought this particular table for my son as he has various ball drop type toys for indoors that he absolutely loves. Sure enough, this part was an instant hit. He loved watching the balls spiral down the tube over and over again and end up splashing in to the water. This was easy for him to use due to the 'funnel' shaped top which provides a large area for the child to aim at.
The other activities were a little less appealing to him at first but he did begin to explore these after encouragement was given. The spinning disc was appealing to him too but also frustrating as this kept slipping off it's holder as he tried to spin it. Eventually, he retreated to just pulling this off and on over and over again. The use of the jug to pour water over the water wheels helped him with his co-ordination and motor skills. This also helped him to understand water and movement. The spinning wheel with the turning handle also helps with his co-ordination although he maintained very little interest in this part throughout the summer.
We are really pleased with the purchase. It doesn't take long to fill it up (good when you have an impatient child) and it empties quickly and easily too. It is very sturdy and well made - it will not tip easily when empty and is very stable when filled. The plastic is thick and smooth and of good quality. It is attractive to look at with lots of bright colours too. The one thing that is missing that we would like to have had included is some form of cover to protect this when not in use - particularly if you lack storage space and you have to leave this out over the winter. We have made do with an old bicycle cover which suits us but I would worry long term about any fading etc.
I think my son will love this even more next summer when he is 2-2 ½ as he will have even better understanding, co-ordination and manipulation skills to use all the toy parts of the table. These have helped to encourage him to explore water and develop his manipulation skills already and this means that the toy has not only been fun but great for his development too. Good purchase.
Features and benefits for Little Tikes Ball Drop Bay Water Table Children can develop their lifting skills and other early motor skills with this engaging water table.They can drop the character balls down the spiral, watching them go round and round and down into the lazy river then turn the ferris wheel to scoop up and drop off the balls. They can then fill the cup and pour into the funnel to power the twin water wheels and turn the spinner that powers the lazy river.Comes complete with 6 balls and a fill cup.