We are outside every day, weather permitting. In the extreme summer heat, where it can get to almost 100 degrees plus another million degrees of humidity in New Jersey, I try to get the boys out in the morning before it gets too gross out. More often than not we are out for two hours before lunchtime. The older two go out without me after lunch, while I keep the baby cooled off inside. With all of the heat and humidity, the water toys are the most popular and most played with in our yard. When Little Tikes offered to send us one of their newer water tables, I thought the Little Tikes Fish ‘n Splash Water Table would be fun for all the boys.
Like all Little Tikes toys we have (and we have a lot) set up was pretty easy. The plastic pieces snapped together in under 10 minutes, and the instructions were easy to read. No additional tools were needed and in a matter of minutes I was ready to add water and let the fun begin. What I love most about the Fish n Splash water table is that there are a few different activities the children can do with it, allowing all three boys to play without screams of, “NO FAIR” or “MY TURN”. Okay, the three year old still does scream those things occasionally, but they are his most used phrases. If he were more rational all could peacefully play.
Michael usually stands next to the table and using the included “net” to catch the assorted plastic animals ans they float by. The table can hold up to 7 gallons of water and I fill it to the max, so those plastic animals (2 fish, 1 crab, and a frog) float easily around the center lily pad. The animals are all different colors and numbered, so I use our water time as a sneaky learning time by saying the colors of the animals while playing with Michael. The numbers may be a little advanced for him(1 year old), but I ask Jacob (3 years old) to hand me the animal with number 3 on it as a way to practice number recognition.
Jacob is also my fisherman of the group. He is usually found with the fishing pole in hand trying to hook the sea creatures to place them on the lily. It is harder than it looks, yet it is also simple enough that he can do it with a little effort. I think any easier he would get bored and any harder he would give up, so this is the perfect skill level for him. Those boys somehow lose parts to toys even though the outside toys need to stay outside, making the built in fishing pole holder awesome to me. Whenever Jacob wants or needs the fishing pole it is sitting right in its spot. After Jacob catches all the fish, or Michael grabs them from the water and fills the lily pad, Keith comes to help.
Keith scoops water up using the included cup, and fills the water bowl until the water bowl tips over sending water pouring down the slide and causes the lily pad to spin. This is a task easy enough for any of the boys to do, and at any given time they may create a water slide with the water bowl. The Fish n Splash water table promotes teamwork without trying to, which is always helpful to reinforce with three small children running around. My least favorite part of water tables is constantly dumping them to avoid mold and mosquito breeding, but this one has a small plug in the bottom to make clean up easy. Thank you for that.
The Fish n Splash water table also comes with a spinner the children can twirl round to try to get the water flowing while they are fishing, and a catapult tbe hind where the fishing pole is held that can be used to send the little animals flying into the water. Occasionally the flying animals make it onto the lily pad, which is nice. All in all this may be our favorite toy of the summer, and my water babies give it 6 thumbs up! You can connect with Little Tikes to learn more about this toy (and others) online, on Facebook, and Twitter!