Product Type: Chad Valley Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... keep the table up but it'll be a handy during the winter when we try to vastly reduce the amount of plastic toys on the lawn! Our table i... more
Water, Water Everywhere!
Chad Valley Sand and Water Table
Member Name: chrisandmark
Chad Valley Sand and Water Table
Advantages: Excellent value for money, sturdy and strong
Disadvantages: Poorly fitting lid!
We have a fabulous Little Tikes sand and water table, but I hated the mess of the inevitable mixing of said sand and water so started using it purely as a sand pit. This worked well until Hollie decided she wanted to play in some water during the warm weather we had in March, usually she'd just play in our large kitchen sink but this year her sixteen month old brother wanted to play too and there's no way he could safely perch on a tall stool at the sink. I bought this Chad Valley table from Argos, planning to use this one just for water at the opposite end of the garden.
It's been a good plan so far; the table holds a good amount of water and is separated into three compartments, it's a different design to the one pictured above and is the table currently shown on the Argos website. All we had to do when it arrived was push the chunky legs into the holes in the base of the table, this was very easily done and the holes were perfectly shaped to accommodate the legs - if you push them in as far as you can before turning the table over you'll find the weight of the water/sand will push everything into place. The legs can be removed for storage, I don't bother as our garden is big enough to keep the table up but it'll be a handy during the winter when we try to vastly reduce the amount of plastic toys on the lawn!
Our table is orange with green legs, it has a flimsy lid which is protection only from dew really. It doesn't clip into place and just rests on top of the table, anything stronger than a mild breeze will move it and even if it stays in place the contents will get wet if (and when!) it rains. This isn't a problem for us as there's only water in it anyway, but if you're planning to use it for sand this is something you'll need to think about if using as an outdoor toy. It can be used inside as it's a fairly compact little table at 80cm high and roughly 75cm square, personally I'd not fancy sand + small people inside the house but would (maybe) consider letting the kids use the table for water in the kitchen.
This size suits my two youngest children perfectly; at four Hollie is tall enough to sit on one of her plastic chairs while she's playing, sixteen month old David has to stand on tiptoe to reach right into the compartments despite being tall for his age but can pretty much play unaided. The recommended age for this table is two years and above, but providing you supervise them I can't see why younger children shouldn't have a play - mindful of David's newly walking status I empty the water out of the table after each play session, both for hygiene and safety reasons.
Once filled with water or sand the table becomes very stable; while empty it feels substantial but not overly sturdy, but after filling there isn't so much as a wobble and it'll easily hold the weight of David hauling himself into standing position. The three compartments combined will hold a maximum of 30kg, I tend to fill all three with water to around 4/5 of the capacity which prevents water sloshing out each time the kids plunge their hands in but gives them plenty to play with.
Sometimes we'll do something a little different and add bubbles to one compartment and food colouring to another, this adds an extra element of fun and discovery for young children even if it does all end up getting mixed up quite quickly. One of the compartments in our table is slightly discoloured thanks to heavy-handed-Hollie adding too much blue food colouring (ie. a full bottle) and not telling me - I didn't shout, was more relieved that she'd walked away and not started playing in it (or encouraging her brother to). A few hours later I noticed, emptied it all out and gave the table a good scrub but the damage had been done and now our table looks much older than six weeks old!
When I bought the table it came with a small selection of plastic accessories, it didn't say on the Argos site what these accessories were but it's a nice little starter set. A small spade, fork/rake, mini bucket and three sand moulds all of which Hollie uses in the other sand and water table - to be honest she has lots of toys to play with in the water and the accessory pack is more geared towards sand play, rather than the water aspect. Argos suggest that you can use play balls in the table but it honestly doesn't hold enough to make this a sensible idea - each compartment is wavy edged so you can't really fill them completely, but Hollie did use the centre compartment to hold her Lego one day last week when she was attempting to build Barbie's Diamond Castle in the garden (which, incidentally, didn't go all that well).
For the £20 I paid I'm really pleased with my purchase, knowing that ours would only be used for water made the decision to buy this one easier than it might have been if I'd had to consider storing sand too. From the shape and dimensions of the compartments I know it would make an excellent table for sand, but as I mentioned earlier you'd need to invest in a stronger lid or cover to prevent the sand becoming weather damaged.
Summary: A great compact sand and water table
- Plum 10ft Whirlwind Trampoline & Enclosure
- Plum 10ft Trampoline Cover
- Plum Trampoline Fixing Kit
- Plum 8ft Trampoline Cover
- Plum 12ft Trampoline Cover
- ELC JCB Tractor with Frontloader and Rear Excavator
- ELC John Deere Tractor with Frontloader and Rear Excavator
- ELC John Deere 6920 and Rolly Tractor Loader
- ELC JCB Dump Truck Ride On
- ELC John Deere Tractor