We love Little Tikes toys in this house, especially as toys in the garden – they are great quality and always last. We’ve got one of the obligatory Little Tikes Cars as well as a kitchen in the play house. We’ve now been lucky enough to have been sent the Little Tikes Fountain Factory water activity table to put to the test. We’ve been trying it out for the past couple of weeks now and the novelty factory is still going strong.
I love getting the children out in the garden – there is so much fun to be had outdoors and I always find the children squabble less too! That said, now that Isabella is that much older than Benjamin, even though they want to play with each other, they sometimes end up frustrating one another instead. Benjamin just isn’t quite old enough to keep up with Isabella’s imaginary world and Benjamin will often just end up kicking or throwing toys instead.
Hours of Fun
Introducing the Little Tikes Fountain Factory into the garden had brought the two of them together in their play. While Benjamin is happy to simply splash around and fill up buckets or push boats along the water, Isabella has certainly got the hang of experimenting by moving all the taps and pipes around to see how to get the different elements to work.
As well as being brilliant fun come rain or shine (if you’re going to get wet anyway!), it’s also a really brilliant tool to use to encourage problem solving in the slightly older children. At first, Isabella just wanted to see the end result of something working. However, the more we use it, the more she’s focusing on finding new challenges and understanding the mechanics of how it works.
We’ve had a couple of sand and water tables in the past, but we’ve always ended up using just one or the other to avoid over saturation of sand or mucky water which no one then wants to play with. The trouble with the basic sand or water tables is the limitations they have. They are usually just an empty bucket ready to be filled. While this has a certain element of enjoyment for the children, it certainly won’t hold their attention for the same length of time as the water activity table.
The Best Bits
We have loved how the tubes are all interchangeable and you can set the Fountain Factory up in different ways. We followed the instructions to assemble the table but after that, we’ve moved the pipes around a few times to see what happens.
The fun factor that this water activity table has is brilliant. It has been a huge hit with my children as well as neighbours and friends’ children too. There are lots of accessories included to keep everyone amused and had had my children squealing with delight.
Simple to empty
When you’ve finished playing, you can quickly and simply release the water from the table by unplugging the plug at the bottom. We have taken to putting a watering can underneath to catch all the water in and then watering the plants with the remaining water so it doesn’t simply go to waste.
My only one small criticism of this brilliant toy is that the orange base that holds the three main pipes to the main base doesn’t click into the base fully and can therefore be pulled over if things get a little too exciting. It would just need the tabs to be slightly longer to enable them to push fully through the base. This hasn’t affected the endless fun the children have had with this toy, it’s just a little niggle from a parental perspective.
Isabella’s favourite part of the water table has to be the pump. She can turn off all of the taps and push the pump down several times, watch the water rise up the center of the water table before deciding how she’s going to let the water out – most of the tie she likes to use the mini hose to squirt her brother with!
Benjamin really enjoys watching the spinners at the top of the fountain. We over-fill the center pipe to let the water overflow resulting in three spinning discs which flicks little bits of water as they spin. Once we’ve gone that a few times, his attention turns to filling up the bucket which is attached to the side of the water table. When full, it will gently tip the water back into the base. Benjamin likes to try and get the tipping water in to the boat.
My favourite thing has to be being able to sit back and watch the two of them playing nicely together while enjoying all the different elements it has to offer.
I’m so grateful for being sent this from Little Tikes and can’t wait to add more to the garden over the coming summer months.