How to Make a Portable Kids Water Station

Too hot to play outside? Make this indoor water station with your kids this summer.

Summer in Michigan is one of my favorite times of year, but sometimes metro Detroit can feel so hot and humid that it’s hard to enjoy the summer days outside. That was the scenario I found myself in when my niece was headed over for a play date and the temperatures felt like 100 degrees outside. Wanting to still have some water play fun, I quickly filled a plastic container and lined our family floor with towels to create an indoor play station.

The simple organizing tool ended up being a huge hit with my 2-year-old niece. Since we don’t keep a kids’ water table at our house, I decided to turn this bin into a portable water play station; all you need is a quick modification to a bin’s lid and you can have a water activity ready when it’s simply too hot to head outdoors.

By keeping water toys in the storage bin and having an old towel stored right with it, you’re always ready to play.

The big towel goes underneath the bin when filled with water to keep splashes to a minimum.


  • Clear 16-quart storage bin with lid
  • 1″ wide elastic in your choice of color
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Old beach towel


To get started, roll up your bath or beach towel so that it’s no longer than the length of the storage bin’s lid. Tip: Have a few old towels that you were getting ready to recycle? They’re perfect for an activity like this!

Next, cut two lengths of elastic that are about 15 to 16″ long. You want the elastic, when added as straps to the bin, to be snug enough that the towel doesn’t slip off the top; double check the elastic length against your own rolled towel. For fun elastic choices, check out the offerings from Dritz.

Fold over each end of the elastic pieces 1″ and hot glue into place.

Attach each strap about 1″ in from either end of the top with hot glue. Let dry. Slide the towel through the straps and your on-the-go water station is ready!


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