“ A great option for some fun in the garden with the children during the summer time. Inexpensive, good fun and easy to set up/pack away. „
I bought the Chad Valley Apple Sand and Water Pit about five years ago when my granddaughter was just one and she has made some very good use of it, although last year was a bit of a wash-out for outdoor play. On a fine day, my little back garden can become the seaside without the seagulls. My granddaughter can paddle and build sandcastles to her heart's content, but Grandad doesn't have to get sand in his socks, or have to walk half a mile for a cup of tea. I don't get pestered for candyfloss and ice creams incessantly and if I want to roll my trousers up and wear a knotted hanky on my head, I jolly well can!
The pit is shaped like an apple, not surprisingly, and in two pieces, so that one fits on top of the other, acting as a lid. Fitted together, they do look rather like a squidged apple, only blue. Doubtless they make them blue so that pets, children and stupid grown-ups don't actually think they ARE apples and try to eat them. I figure it works on the same principle as slug pellets.
The idea is that one half can hold the sand and the toys (we have buckets and spades, little rakes, watering cans etc etc) and the other, top, half can be filled with water when required. On the other hand, you could fill one half, or both halves, with those little play balls.
This 111 litre pit ( (H)107, (W)92, (D)21cm). is made of a very tough polypropylene. Mine has weathered well, not only in terms of being knocked about, but also colour-wise. My garden gets a lot of sun, but there has been no fading.
Obviously the bottom half gets quite heavy with the sand, especially when it gets wet, as is inevitable, but the empty half is quite light and manoeuvrable.
Obviously, this is the kind of toy that requires supervision if you are going to use water to any depth. Don't forget that even a small amount of water could be dangerous to a young child.
The edges are smooth, so easy to handle and safe for little ones.
When we've finished with the play pit, I always empty out the water, partly because I worry about the various dangers of having pools of water around, but also because I don't want to forget to cover up the sand, which could get dirty and/or infested. As we normally only use it in hot weather, I find it handy to use the water for my plants. I'd be watering anyway and it feels like I'm not wasting water; it's also better than having a sudden, random flood.
Although the top and bottom fit together quite well they're certainly not secure against the wind, so I keep something else on top to weight it down (Evie has a plastic rocker which does the job usually). The danger here is not so much that the top would blow away completely (unlikely) but more that it would blow off and damage plants.
Cost and Value
When I bought mine from Argos it was about £17.00, which I regard as excellent value. It is still in A1 condition and I fully expect that my next grandchild (expected January next year) will get just as much fun from it as Evie has. Highly recommended.
Today was another beautiful sunny day here in Wales and I spent it in the most peculiar of ways. To elaborate further, I spent it sat in a blue plastic apple, with hot shoulders and a very cold backside.
This is the fault of the Chad Valley "apple", sand and water pit which is a good sized outdoor toy for young kids. Brilliant fun for this weather of course, this was purchased from Argos, at the first sniff of sun. It rains so much here, we do tend to get a bit over-excited when the sun comes out....
My daughter is an outdoor bod. If the weather is ok, then she will be out in the garden making a mess or talking to slugs. I had recently the hose on for her periodically, to keep her cool but really we needed a pool that could fit in the front garden and that was durable.
We have cats and so wanted something that would not puncture. I spent a good few hours looking at paddling pools and sand pits or various makes and sizes, but settled on this one because the price was good, and it had some useful features.
A GAME OF TWO HALVES:
This comes in two apple shaped parts which are surprisingly large. They are made from a thick plastic which stops the need for worrying about blowing the things up with a foot pump or getting a puncture. They are sturdy and well balanced on the ground. We used one for water and one for sand (as they are designed to be used), but you could use one half as a ball pit etc. When you have finished for the day, you simply empty the water side, turn it over and it becomes a lid to cover your sand. Nothing worse than finding out that your cats have very gratefully tarnished the apple shaped litter tray that you kindly left out for them.
The lids fit together well but I shove a big rock on the top of ours as it is very windy up here and I have had all sorts of things flying into the field thanks to the wind. Concussing a sheep with a paddling pool would annoy the neighbours after all.
We filled this with the hose on a very hot day. The cold water warmed up very quickly although we had to keep topping it up due to over enthusiastic child sploshing water everywhere. It was large enough to fit myself and my daughter in with no issues, and did not feel unstable or rock about, so it felt nice and safe for her. My daughter loves water and would quite happily stay in it all day, and she flipped from this to the sandpit and back to the water again. It provided hours of fun and kept her cool in the sun.
INTO THE PIT:
We filled the other side of the "apple" with 4 bags of play sand (also available at Argos priced at £2.99 per 15kg bag) which was more than enough sand to fill it deeply. You could get away with less. The sand held its shape so it was great for digging and sculpting. Again, this is a sturdy container for the sand and a safe place to play and make mess. Although hopping from the sand pit side to the water side makes the water messy quite quickly, it does not matter and is great fun.
My daughter enjoyed both sides of this toy as much as the other and has already asked if she can go out again tomorrow to do the same.
PORTABILITY AND STORAGE:
This is lightweight enough for me to lug, despite its size. Both sides can be emptied and the apple shaped shells can be hung up due to their shape, or just leaned against a wall. We will be leaving ours outside for the summer and will simply cover the sand to keep it fresh overnight.
The pits have a 111 litre capacity and measure 107 x 92 x 21 cm, so will need a shed or space to store them over winter.
* Available in pink or blue.
* Suitable for water, sand and balls.
* Made from polypropylene.
* Product supplied fully assembled.
* Capacity 111 litre.
* Size H107, W92, D21cm.
* For ages 2 years and over.
It is recommended that children are supervised when using this with water.
This is a great price for a product that will provide so much fun. It is dual function, comes in two parts and one can be used as a lid. It is a well made and thought out toy. The price is great too.
Currently £15.99 at Argos:
For those who have read my reviews before I'm usually motivated to buy something if it will save me time OR it will save me money! Money is tight in our house at times so anyway I can save some, I will usually try it! I wanted to buy something for the garden for our two daughters that would keep them entertained, especially it being half term this week and the LONG summer holidays soon.
I asked my daughter which colour she would prefer and she said pink, suprise suprise! She is 4.
== Description ==
It is a set of 2 Pink Plastic apple shaped pools which can be stacked on top of each other when not in use to protect the sand inside. They are suitable for sand and water, which was why I bought it. Capacity of each pool 111 litres.
Dimensions: Size H23.5, W106, D92cm.
They are recommended for ages 2 years and over. My daughters are 4 years old and 1 years old, but as an adult is with them the entire time they are playing in these, I felt confident that these would be safe enough for the youngest.
Obviously when you pick these up from Argos, remember the size of them. They are quite awkward to carry. Luckily I took my lovely helper in with me (long suffering husband!) so he could carry them and I could keep the kids under control.
== In Play ==
The girls LOVE these! So far we have just used sand in one pool and water in the other. It did mention on the website using playballs in there so think we will try that in the future. If you are using it to keep sand in I would recommend putting something heavy, like a plant pot on top to keep the lid on. When it was windy our top one blew away and a cat got inside, so we had to replace the sand.
The pools have been sturdy and robust so far, it does say somewhere not to let children (or adults!) sit on the outside as the plastic isn't strong enough. I have had to remind the girls a few times, they tend to sit IN the sand and IN the water so usually need a bath after these activities.
The only think I would recommend that was changed about this product would be a clasp or something to keep the two pools together overnight, to stop top from coming off.
== Price and Availability ==
I bought this from Argos and at the time I paid £17.99 for it. At the moment it has 10% off so it costs £15.99.
== Overall ==
Overall I am very pleased with these bright pink, colourful pools from Argos. The girls love them and it gives us something else different to do in the garden to keep them entertained over school holidays. I would recommend these.
Thanks for reading.
We don't have the biggest back garden, but we did want to get our 9 month old daughter something to play in outside when the weather is good. During the recent good spell as few weeks ago we were looking for some kind of paddling pool for our little girl, when we noticed that Argos were selling this Chad Valley Apple Sand and Water Pit, for £17.99 though currently on offer at £14.99. It was a little more that we had imagined spending, but we thought it was something that would be durable and therefore worth spending the extra on.
THis product actually states that it is suitable for children over 2 years old, however, we felt with us being always there to supervise our daughter in it, there wouldn't be a problem. This apple pit has two identical blue parts, each in the shape of an apple, and which fit together to act as a sand pit on one side and a paddling pool on the other side, or you could simply use one as a play pit with coloured plastic balls. The great thing about this product, is that you don't have to use both sides if you wish not to, one side can be used as lid to cover the sand pit when not in use, and with one part fitting on top of the other, this also helps with storage.
We bought some play sand for our daughter and put a little in. Unfortunately, she isn't quite old enough to understand the concept of building sandcastles but she does love to sit in the pit surrounded by the sand and rake her fingers through it and play with her bucket etc. It is an ideal size for her even at nine months, however there is still plenty of room left in the pit as she grows for her to sit and play in, as it is a good size, with enough room to build a few sandcastles etc.
During the good weather, we filled the other pit with a very small amount of water and let our daughter sit in it, as we held her, really to try and cool her down. She wasn't sure at first, but was soon splashing her hands and feet in the water. It isn't a big paddling pool but again it is ideal for her sitting up playing with some water toys and splashing and it should do her a good few years.
When the rain came, we were able to cover over the sand in one side of the pit, with the other half of the pit, and put it away keeping the sand clean and reusable.
All in all, I am so glad that we purchased this piece of outdoor kit as my daughter, despite her being a lot younger than the recommended age absolutely loved being in the sand and the water, and I can imagine many more years of fun as long as the weather brings some warm sunshine!
With the great weather we was having towards the start of the year I decided to get my daughter some things she could play with in the garden. I was particularly looking for a sand table, we have a lot of cats around where we live (more cat residents than human!!) and figured it would be wise to get a table of some sort so they wouldn't think to use it for their doo-doo's! Whilst looking around I came across this sand and water pit and it was perfect. A lid to stop the kittys and one half can be used for water so no need to buy a paddling pool!
Me, my mum and my daughter went to Argos to pick it up not thinking about the size! Mum only has a small car and with daughter in the back it was impossible to fit this product in, so we scraped that idea bought some stuff we didn't set out to get and gave up. I then ordered it online, simple!
It came fully assembled in a huge box. Perfect, nothing I have to fiddle with! We quickly took it out into the garden to give it a whirl. It took 4 x 25kg bags of sand to fill one half with an adequate amount to play with, although it could of done with a bag or two more. It's just about the right height for daughter to bend over the side and play, if it was any higher she'd end up toppling in (and she hates the feel of sand on anything other than her hands so would be a disaster!).
The lid isn't very well thought about. The bottom half has some stick out bumps, and the top half has holes for the bumps to slide into so both halves fit together well. There isn't anything to securely keep the top half on top. A big gust of wind and it will fly off so I've stuck a rock on top to keep it in place which has now dented the plastic, but it will undent quite easily when we want to use it.
I haven't come across any other product like this, and at £17.99 (March 2011) I think it's a bargain! Other sand and water products available are a lot dearer. So the lid might blow off, I'd rather keep a rock on top than spend loads more money on a different item. It definitely kills two birds with one stone, a paddling pool and a sand pit, ideal!
I'd give this a 4/5, it would of been 5 but have to mark it down for the lid.
==Chad Valley Sand and Water Pit==
After a week of non stop sun shine back in April I decided enough was enough and we were too start to use the communal garden of our flat a bit more than we already did. We are lucky in the fact that we live right next door to a small play park which has lovely gardens and then the cliff path with the slipway down to the beach is all within a 5 minute walk so of course we make good use of this.
Unfortunately there is nothing like one of those days when you really don't want to go anywhere or do very much. However when you live in a flat and don't have your own outside space this can often be pretty difficult to achieve. This is why we decided we would make use of the fact that we are a ground floor flat and the back door to the communal garden is just next to our front door and perfect for us to invade. Jack loves to be outdoors but he has to be kept busy and this Chad Valley Sand and Water Pit looked like just the thing that would keep him occupied.
They have changed the design of the product in recent years as I always remember it being a shell shape but now it is designed in the shape of an apple. The product still looks more or less the same though as the bright blue coloured plastic is instantly recognisable and not something that you would miss seeing! I can't say the look of the sand and water pit is all that pleasant but for the price of the thing I can hardly complain (plus our windows don't look out at it but my neighbours do!).
==Price and Packaging==
The sand and water pit costs £17.99p from Argos and this is something that can be picked up in store. Bear in mind though that the item is rather big and we just about managed to squeeze it in the back of the car with Jack still sitting in his car seat (we have a 4 door Seat Ibiza which isn't an especially roomy car at the best of times but this is still worth noting if you drive something smaller it might not fit in!). I had also read up a few of the reviews that are on the Argos website to get an idea of the amount of sand that we would need to be able to play efficiently in. The general consensus was that 3 bags of the 2.5kg children's play sand which can also be purchased at Argos would be more than enough. So we piled it all in the car and had a rather uncomfortable journey back home.
==Setting It Up==
We all couldn't wait to get the thing set up as the sun was still shining and knowing our British weather we weren't too sure how long it would last for. The Sand and Water pit didn't come in any wrapping or packaging and the only thing that we had to do was to cut through the two sets of plastic ties which were holding the two separate parts of the apple together. This was easily sliced with a pair of scissors and away we were. The three bags of sand were easy to cut open and turn upside down to pour out into one of the sides and the water part of the product took around 4 or 5 large buckets full of water before we thought it was at a good enough depth for Jack to play with. It does specify on the item in the Argos Catalogue and online that the capacity of each side of the apple is 111 litres but this has got to be when it is full so you wouldn't need this is either the sand or the water.
The age recommendation on this product is from aged 2 years and over but of course even older children should never be left unsupervised to play with this product especially when the water part of the item is full and I should think having a younger child play in it would be fine just as long as there was someone keeping an even closer eye on them.
They also say that the item needs to be placed on a flat area in order for the product not to slip or move from position and for the water and sand level to be a nice flat one. Our communal garden is not especially flat but we have managed to get the item into the flattest part of the garden possible and although still slightly sloped there has not been any problem with it sliding or moving at all. In fact when one of the sides is full up with either water or sand I found moving it at all was really rather tricky. Of course Himself was able to do it with relative ease but I had real difficulty emptying the water side of the product once we had finished with it in order for the sand pit to be covered. I just had to get a little bit of the water out at a time and after a few goes of doing this I found I could lift the whole side up and empty the remaining water out with ease.
==General Use of the Product==
Jack found the whole experience of playing with it brilliant and for the cheap price of the item even with the extra cost of the play sand it is still a great price for what you actually get. There is hours to be had with playing with both the water and sand but of course if you wanted you could always fill both sides of the apple up with either water alone or sand alone the choice is completely yours. Jack did like the fact that he was able to flit from one to the other and it gave him plenty of things to keep him and his hands busy with.
I did fill the water part of the product up with slightly warm water so as it wasn't as cold as down the beach but the sun was also on it so I guess it wouldn't have taken that long to heat up on its own accord. The sand didn't get hot like it does at the beach and Jack seemed to prefer to play outside of the pit rather than getting fully inside it like he did with the water side of the product. I found that even though Jack is nearly 4 years old and a good rugby player build that he could still fit easily into the water and have a good splash about and even a lay down in the water. At first I wasn't too sure if it was going to be too small for him but the size was just about right and I can't say I would have wanted any bigger for either him or the garden. I think even if he hadn't been able to lie down in it, it still would have been a good size because as long as he can sit up in the water I think this is really all you need to have a good time.
The sand itself was a good quality and once Jack had all his toys that he normally would take down to the beach with him inside the play pit he was well away making sand castles and digging and sieving the sand. It must be said though that compared to sand castles down the beach the ones in this sand pit were really rather feeble because the sand is a lot drier of course a bit of water added to the mix might make for better castles but perhaps not for other things so I was a little reluctant to let Jack add water to the sand but he didn't seem to mind once I had told him all his falling down castles were the ruins of an old city!
Finally when it comes to putting the lid on top of the sand pit and tiding up other than emptying the water out the whole process was a doddle. The lid fits onto the other part of the product by way of a few raised and sunken in holes/knobs which fit together okay. There is no way of really fastening it down so I got a bit of string and made sure that if the wind picked up the top wouldn't be blown off and away to the cliff path. This worked well and although it would have been far better had there been a small clip and lock system on the product it really doesn't make that much different. The holes and knobs seem to keep a good enough closure on the set so nothing can get in which is really all I worry about.
I feel that for the price that they are asking for this large piece of fun that you really couldn't get much better. The fact that you can have sand and water to play with in a good sized pit would please any age child and any parent looking for a bit of fun in the garden. It is lovely to be outside and this is an affordable treat which will give the kids hours of fun. I can't say that it is the prettiest thing to look at and I am not sure how I would have felt about getting it if I had to look out my kitchen window at it everyday as I may well have opted for a different one or be looking at getting some sort of cover which wasn't made of such a vibrant colour.
All in all though it has to be said that for price, quality and sheer enjoyment that this product has it all. I am really pleased we decided to make better use of our communal garden and now we have a reason to get outside and enjoy the sunshine without having to walk too far! I love it nearly as much as Jack does and I feel a top score of 5 out of 5 stars is in order and an exceptionally high recommendation.
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
I was looking for a sandpit for my daughter that could be used for both sand or water and had a lid so we could store it outside during the summer. There were several expensive makes that we discovered but we didn't want to spend that much on it so when we discovered this one in our Argos, we decided to buy it. We bought this for my daughter's first birthday.
---About the product:
The Chad Valley Apple Sand and Water Pit is a two piece blue plastic set in the shape of an apple. It is designed so that one half can be used for sand and the other for water, or you can use one half as a lid so it can be left outside. Each half is about 1 metre square (as square as an apple can be...) and at the deepest point are about 20cm. Without sand in them, you can easily carry them and there is a handle on each piece for this to happen. They are easy to set up - just add sand or water and can be stored inside each other when empty.
We got this for my daughter's first birthday and got it out in the garden straight away. We got 3 bags of sand from Argos as well but we only actually used two of them. It would probably be a better coverage with 3 bags so you need to factor that cost in as well. We put my daughter in the sand pit and she enjoyed playing in the sand and the pit was big enough for her to be able to move around and have her sand toys in with her. At the age of 1, she wasn't that interested in the sand pit, instead preferring just to climb in and out of it which she could do easily as it was not too high and was quite sturdy when she leaned on the side.
At the end of the summer, we kept meaning to put the whole thing away but kept forgetting so in the end we put the 2nd half on top of the sand pit and tied it down with some string. It is a shame that there is no way of attaching it more securely provided with the set as we found that over the winter snails and spiders still managed to get in to it so we've had to buy more sand (although we did expect that!). We also found tht if you don't tie the lid down, it blows off very easily so you need to make sure that you don't do that on a blowy day when your child is in the garden otherwise you may harm them.
This year, my daughter seems a lot more interested in it and has already tried to play in it. The sand /water doesn't seem to leak out of the pit and it still looks in new condition (although in need of a wash) despite a winter in the elements. My daughter also likes to climb on top of things which she has done when the lid was tied on and it appears to be both sturdy and durable as it suffered no ill effects from her weight.
I have been really pleased with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good value lidded or two-part sandpit. It was the cheapest one we could find that had a lid and at £17.99 I still think it is good value. The product states it is suitable for 2 and over, but I think it is suitable for younger , as soon as your child shows an interest, as long as supervision is given. You can also buy this in pink although it doesn't mention 'Apple' in the product name when searching for some reason. We got the blue one as I wanted something that could be used for either gender and I don't like pink! Overall, a good purchase.