I wanted to buy my son a water/sand table for his first birthday, but sadly all of the tables that appealed to me were over $300.00. That was a bit more than I had expected and more than I was willing to spend. I mulled it over and decided that I could go with a cheap, plastic water table from Walmart or build one myself. I found some pretty straight forward plans on various blogs for how to build a simple water table, but I found myself worrying about taking time away from my son in order to buy the supplies and build the table. I had a Walmart water table in my online cart when I realized, “Hey! My son needs to see his mom working with wood and tools and he will have a great time at Lowes.” It was settled; I was going to make this thing myself.
The easiest set of instructions I found are from Make at Home Momma http://makeathomemomma.blogspot.com/2012/06/diy-watersand-tables.html
The project really is easy and Mateo really did love Lowes. I have to admit that I was nervous when I went to pick out the wood since I do not have a lot of experience with carpentry. The Lowes employee ,who was lucky enough to help us cut our lumber, seemed less than thrilled when he spotted me with a one-year-old in tow. He was a bit gruff when asking me for the lengths that I wanted, but he seemed to lighten up once he realized that I was prepared with my measurements (scribbled on the back on an envelope).
My table is a bit smaller than the one described in the plans since I do not have a ton of storage space. I bought the container that I wanted and took my own measurements and then followed the plan.
Mateo was a bit frightened by the giant saw that they use, but overall it was a great trip. We swung by the garden section to gaze at the flowers too.
I made sure to work on building the table in front of Mateo so that he could understand that yes, both mommy and daddy can use tools. I had Mateo hangout in his playroom and he watched me through his baby gate. This worked for about 10 minutes maximum before he was very concerned about not being directly involved. I also let him explore several of the extra pieces of wood. He was very interested in placing them in a plastic container and taking them out again.