Tuesday, May 29, 2012

DIY Water Table

Clara and Luke have a new favorite toy. Their very own homemade water table...

Clara's been known to ask if she can use it as soon as she wakes up. Luke even chants, "Water table! Water table!"

They'd both play with it all day if they could. Naps? Meals? Why, those are for children without tubs full of water and measuring cups at their disposal!

I decided a while back that we needed our very own water table to occupy them in the afternoons after their naps and before dinner. That's our tough time, as I'm sure it is for most families. I knew they loved playing with water at friends' houses, and always for very extended amounts of time (score!).

Buying one wasn't really an option because they aren't cheap. And while we are not all that handy, conquering our DIY Play Kitchen showed us anything is possible (sorry, honey.. I know you wished it had instead showed us that one project was more than enough for a lifetime).

So just like with the play kitchen, I decided we'd just wing it. What? That doesn't sound like what people who are not handy do? I guess that's just my personality (Ryan has to come along for the ride due to marriage). I prefer not to follow directions or patterns for most things (like sewing) because they intimidate me and would probably make me give up before I even started.

I did scour the internet, though, and took some general ideas from tables I found. And we decided that if we were going to do it, why not make it a double table? Luke's always getting in Clara's business these days.

We started with some warped wood we had behind our shed that came with the house. See, the problem with warped wood is that it's not level. Luckily, we don't necessarily cut straight, so (as you can see in the photo below) the diagonal cut matches up perfectly with the warped wood!

Ryan did an amazing job and it was done in no time. I'd give you step-by-step instructions, but then you'd really see we had no idea what we were doing! But I'll try to tell you what we did very generally speaking, only because I found most blogs don't give instructions and that irritated me (even though I had no intention of using them!). So I'll apologize now for how silly this might sound.

First, we purchased two plastic tubs (Sterilite under bed containers with lips all the way around the edges) with lids. Lids are key because you can dump out the water and close them up (with toys inside) when not in use. They're also nice for times when you might have sand or rice on one side and don't feel like having the kids make a great big mess with the water on the other side.

He then measured the wood so that it would fit exactly around the two tubs. As you might be able to see, the plastic lips around the tubs are sitting on the wood on all four sides. We were going to put a piece of wood below them too, but it really didn't need it. They stay perfectly.

There are two long pieces and two short pieces on the ends which he screwed into place and also reinforced with wood glue. He then attached the wood piece across the middle.

The legs are 2x2's that I purchased and had them cut down for me at the store (which I highly recommend! Why didn't I know about this sooner?). They were also glued and screwed into place on the inside corners and in the middle (that is making it sound easier than it was - getting them all level was HARD!).

Then we sanded, primed, painted and sealed. And we were done! Sooooo much easier than the play kitchen. And as you can see in these pictures, it's not perfect. But it works and I think it looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

 And the kids absolutely love it, which is really all that matters!



    Isabella has been playing in her little tikes waterpark table tons since getting it yesterday for her birthday. She LOVES it.

    I am not handy, nor do I have time to build my own. BUT, I like yours better! Much bigger for 2 or more kids!

  2. Weird-I just wrote the same blog post tonight. Mine is a little....different :). You guys did a great job! And awesome pictures, as always.

  3. Perfect, perfect!!! What a great way to spend the days of summer!

  4. Way to go. It's obvious that they love it.

  5. Great job! I think it looks really good. But even better-the smiling kids playing with it. :)

  6. Love it! When can we come over?! ;)

  7. Ok seriously, it is a VERY good thing my kids can't read - because they'd want to move to your house, lol! I am SO impressed! And those pictures say it all - they ADORE it!!

  8. Love this - and am now inspired to have Snicks make one, too!