Product Type: Argos Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... as it fills my daughter's sandpit with just the right amount of sand to keep her happy, let her make sandcastles but not overfill it. It ... more
All The Fun Of The Beach...With None Of The Germs
Argos Children's Play Sand
Member Name: sandemp
Argos Children's Play Sand
Advantages: Not too fine, great for sandcastles, cheap, British?
Disadvantages: Not as white as more expensive sand
Early last year we bought the ELC Sand and Water Table, and obviously we needed some sand to go in it. As we generally trust the quality of ELC products we bought their version of play sand (rather than collect some from the beach), which worked out quite expensive. Although I can't remember exactly how much it cost, it was in the region of £5 for 10kg and only filled one half of the tray. As this sand had been left out all winter it had become rather manky and needed replacing a couple of weeks ago. After discovering that the ELC does not deliver sand, they lost a little of my loyalty, so when I spied a display of Argos Children's Play Sand in my local store priced at only £2.99 for 15kg, I snapped at the chance.
This rather plain looking bag is heavy, well at 15kg it would be, and does not have a handle to make carrying it easier. There's no way I could have carried it all the way home, but luckily enough there's a basket under my son's stroller and I just about managed to squeeze it in. Although the bag is fairly plain in design, it is very sturdy and showed no sign of ripping as I lugged it over to the sand table. There was no way I was strong enough to rip the bag open, so I used scissors and as I tipped the sand into the table I had a quick glance at the information on the packaging. The bag told me that this sand is clean, safe, non-staining, non-toxic and British, but did not mention whether it had been treated to discourage cats (unlike the ELC sand). How they define it as British sand, I do not know, but it's nice to know I'm doing my bit for the economy.
The sand itself was quite happy to stay in the bag, it clumped together and really resisted my attempts to tease it into the sand table. As it did finally decide to take up a new residence it was instantly obvious that it was so difficult to pour because it was very, very damp. Despite how difficult it was to pour from the bag I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that it filled both sections of the sand table to about three quarters full, which was much better than the single compartment the ELC sand filled. The sand itself, is well sand coloured, it looks far dingier and even a little dirtier than the ELC sand that was an almost white grey. It is also coarser than the ELC sand, the grains are larger, which means that it is less likely to blow away and get in the eyes. With the ELC sand it was almost advisable to wear onion goggles as it dried, as it was so fine that it could almost have been considered dust.
When newly out of the bag the Argos sand is the perfect consistency for digging in and building sandcastles. It's easy to pack into buckets and then holds it's shape well as it is turned out. Two year old Freddy and I have really had fun making castles and digging holes. One thing we have been unable to do with the sand while it is this wet though is pour it through funnels, as it's so coarse and sticky it simply won't go through. As the sand is played with it starts to dry and then is better for the funnels, but not so good for building sandcastles, but if you add a little water, stir it round and then wait half hour it becomes as good as new. Obviously we lose a little sand each time we play, with it landing on the floor and as it's not treated there's no way I'd return it to the sand table, instead I simply sweep it on to the flower bed where it can slightly improve our heavy clay soil. I can't tell whether or not cats are attracted to this sand as we only use it in a sand table and keep it covered when not in use.
The claim that the sand is non-toxic has been completely proved true, as my son tends to try and eat anything he can get his hands on, he has a taste of this and suffered no ill effects, other than it appearing in his nappy the next day. I've not noticed it staining his clothes either, but there again I never noticed either of these problems with the ELC sand. As the sand hasn't been treated we will not be keeping it beyond this season, but at this ridiculously low price that really doesn't bother me and I plan in digging it into the vegetable patch along with some compost to improve the soil quality.
While at only £2.99 for 15kg you'd think this was the lower quality option, on balance I do prefer the Argos Children's Play Sand to the ELC version. While it doesn't look quite as clean and white as the ELC sand, it holds moisture better, builds better sandcastles and is less of a risk to the eyes as it dries. You also get more for you money, pay less money and Argos will deliver if you so wish. So I'm giving the Argos Children's Play Sand five stars out of five and recommending it to those who need to fill a sandpit or table (with the added recommendation that you cover it when not in use to keep the cats at bay).
Summary: A great value play sand that's perfect for your child to enjoy in the sandpit or sand tray
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