The other day I had filled up the sink for something, and my water-lover instantly pulled over a chair and helped himself. My project had to be put on hold, but what does that matter when you have a happy little man playing in your kitchen?
It really is great, because most of the mess stayed in the spot it was supposed to, and he just had a ball for ages. And it is such a quick and easy, (and free!) thing to let him do. Plus, it is available all year long - not just warm summer months.
Just about anything can be used as a toy in our homemade water table. Cooking utensils are great (measuring cups, basters, colanders, funnels...) but all kinds of little kid toys are great too since they are plastic and can't get hurt by the water. On this day I just threw a few shapes from his shape sorter toy in there, but we've also done animal figurines, Little People, toy boats, plastic balls.... really the list is almost endless.
When he was finally done, we just pulled the plug, tossed the toys in the dish rack to dry off, and put on a dry shirt.