water table/play area Answered
So I recently took my 3 year old to the children's museum in Indianapolis, which was great, but what really stuck out for him was the water table/play area. I think he would have been happy chasing boats around that table all day. But it got me to thinking that i could build one of these in the backyard (scaled down, of course!).
I've been looking for plans to accomplish this, but everything I find is basically an elevated tub or plastic tote. The project I'm envisioning would be on an incline so the boats could follow a set path. Initially, I was thinking it would be shaped like a ring, so he could climb under it to be in the middle, but I think a rectangle would be simpler (and walking around the table would be good exercise for him!) The path would (on a gentle incline) circle around the perimeter of the rectangle, so boats would eventually end up near the starting place. He could then pick up the boats and set them on another circuit. Probably would need a pump to pull water from the end back up to the starting point, which would provide a current to help the boats along.
Any ideas or suggestions that could help this project along? Potential issues? One thing I'm not sure about is how to handle the water depth on the incline. I forsee the water rushing down the incline to quickly, leaving just a trickle to attempt to carry the boats along, leaving the boats "beached." Maybe there should be no incline at all and rely on the pump to provide the current?
I'll attach some images of the super fancy versions we've encountered in museums, just as example of my inspiration.