I purchased two of these 41qt Storage Totes, one for "sand" and one for water. (They were a little pricy at $11.99 each, but I knew we could clean them up and use them for under the bed storage later, so I didn't mind. ) We already had two of these tables from IKEA, and when put together, they are the perfect size for holding one of the storage totes. I also purchased two turquoise rubber baskets from Hobby Lobby to hold sand and water toys. (They were only $6.99 each, and I was able to use a 40% off coupon on one!)
So here it is all nice and pretty, waiting for two little boys to come and turn it into this...
No worries. It's nothing that a little vacuuming can't get up!
Instead of using regular sand or purchasing (expensive) moon sand, I made up a batch of cloud dough to try out.
Basically, you add 1 cup of oil (some use baby oil, I used vegetable oil) to 8 cups of flour. Mix it together with your hands and when it is thoroughly combined, it will resemble dry sand, but will hold the shape of sand molds like damp sand would. The initial making of the cloud dough is pretty messy because you are dealing with flour, but after it is combined, it barely even sticks to their hands. To fill up my 41qt container, I used a 5lb bag of flour and 2 1/4 cups of vegetable oil. The boys love it!
I got a little smarter and added a vinyl tablecloth underneath to protect the carpet from getting the cloud dough mashed in.
When we want to switch to water play, I simply put the lid on the "sand" tote and set it aside, and fill up the other tote with water. We were talking about Noah's Ark that day, so we made a little boat for all of the animals.
I gave the boys some flat colored marble stones, and the boys absolutely LOVED playing with these in the water!
On pretty days like we have been having, I move the water tote outside to a little table we have out there. The boys love playing with the water outside and using it alongside their mudpie kitchen.
On the days that the weather isn't pretty, the indoor "sand" and water table will get plenty of use!