Jun 12 2017

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Summer Play: DIY PVC Sand and Water Table

sand and water table

DIY PVC Sand and Water Table

Bring the beach to your backyard with this inexpensive, versatile sand and water table. Include your kids in the design. Planning and design are part of the play process.

Here’s what we used:

  1. Two cement mixer bins
  2. PVC Pipe. 1/2″ PVC pipe–other sizes are fine to use. Just remember to buy the same size elbows, T’s, etc. as the pipe. (I normally buy 5 PVC pipes at a time for any project because more PVC is more creative play potential.)
  3. PVC contractor packs of 90° elbows, T’s, and connectors (A contractor pack is 10.)
  4. 1 bag of sand (to start)
  5. PVC Pipe Cutter. TEKTON 6466 PVC Pipe Cutter (affiliate link) to easily cut the pipe. My son, Bear, started using his pipe cutter when he was 8. It is simple (and fun) to use.
  6. Sharpie for marking the PVC.
  7. Tape measure.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Talked about how we wanted to design the table.
  2. Measured the mixer bins.
  3. Measured the PVC
  4. Marked where to cut.
  5. Cut PVC.
  6. Put the pieced together.
  7. Tested our sand and water table.
  8. Made adjustments.
  9. Added sand and water.
  10. Played…and played…and played.

Here’s what we didn’t do:

  • Buy a pre-made table or kit.
  • Have mom or dad do everything alone. Kid-powered ideas made this sand and water table a success. Kid-powered creativity makes play a success.
  • Keep the sand and water table permanent. (We assembled and changed this table into new things.)

If you want to have some design ideas:

  • Look at the picture above and ask your kids what designs they have in mind.
  • Find inspiration with these sensory table ideas here or Sand and water table here.
  • Here’s another design (notice the “All” water source):

PVC water table

Other water play

You don’t need to build a PVC sand and water table to have fun with water. If it rains hard, let them have fun in nature.

water play

Or, take them to a river, stream, or lake. Don’t forget to join in the play.

water play is good for everyone


PVC pipe rocks at being a source of play for my children. Here are some other ways to build with PVC.


An outside fort

An inside tent

A table

Marshmallow shooters




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  1. Anita Ojeda

    Great ideas! I’ll be sharing this with my daughter (although I suppose our grandson is a little too young to start building things…he’s only 10 months old!).

    1. Cheryl

      At 10 months, he’s doing a lot of internal building while exploring his world.

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