Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... build at all, and is extremely good quality as are the majority of toys i have had from here. cover and detachable legs. The idea of th... more
Hours of messy sand and water fun!
ELC Blue Table Sand Pit
Member Name: KLockwood75
ELC Blue Table Sand Pit
Advantages: Well designed, keeps the kids entertained
Disadvantages: Fairly expensive
We bought the ELC Blue Table Sand Pit for our son last summer when he was one and a half years old. We only have a smallish, paved garden area so our choice is somewhat limited by the lack of grass so a sand and water play table on legs seemed like the ideal solution. Hunting one down last summer was a big challenge though - it took us weeks to track down a blue one, although the shops seemed to be full of the pink version and, by the time we actually found the one we wanted, a lot of the early summer sunshine had disappeared to be replaced by that wet weather that seems to characterise the British summer these days.
** The Main Product **
The ELC Blue Table Sand Pit is a sturdy square play table with a lid to protect the contents from the elements. The blue lid has a road layout on it which is perfect for little boys to play with their cars outside on days where the weather isn't good enough to open up the table (this is compatible with the ELC Happyland vehicles, but I honestly don't think it matters which type of cars you have). Inside, it is split into two sections, one for sand and one for water, which are at the perfect height and depth for toddlers and pre-schoolers to play comfortably. The lid fits well and keeps the rainwater out which I think is important for this type of toy.
** The Accessories **
The accessories included with the sandpit consist of funnels and water wheels which slot into holes on the ridge between the two sections and a selection of sand and water toys to enhance the playability of the toy. There are two types of funnel / water wheel for the central section. The first of these is a fairly wide cream funnel with a blue water wheel with a smiley face underneath it. The second is a more complicated structure, topped with a bright red funnel, with a water wheel below it. Under this first water wheel is a seesaw type device with two small water wheels underneath. The additional accessories are two scoops, a fork which is hollow enough to also be used to scoop up sand and water, a small blue boat for sailing in the water section and a starfish for making shapes in the sand.
** Playability **
My son absolutely loves this toy. Last summer he was 'scared' of the sand so mostly played with the water part. This usually involved him and his playmates soaking each other by tipping scoops full of water over each others heads, although as he got used to the toy he did start to play with it more constructively. He has now overcome his phobia of sand and loves playing with the sandpit part. I haven't filled it with water yet this year as he gets so wet that I only let him have water in it on a warm day, but he does play with the sand regularly. The only problem with this is that I have to keep scraping sand out of the funnels as he loves filling them up - however, he is happy and it occupies him for ages so I don't mind. I think it's a great toy for one child on their own or a group of small children - you can fit a few children round it and they all seem to love it, although in true toddler style, this does cause a few disagreements over who gets to play with what!
** Durability **
I have been pleasantly surprised by how well this product has survived being left out in the garden all winter. The lid fits so well that the inside has stayed really clean. It has taken a long time for the saturated sand to dry out, but when we opened it up a few weeks ago it was ready to be played with. I have seen other reviews which say that the funnels / water wheels break too easily, but ours are still in great condition, and all the accessories are still in one piece as well.
** Price **
The ELC Blue Table Sand Pit costs £45.00 from the Early Learning Centre. You can buy the sand to fill it there as well, but I think there are cheaper places to buy it.
** Overall Verdict **
This has been a great purchase for us and has provided my son with hours of entertainment. He's always really enthusiastic about the idea of playing it (especially if he sees me filling it up with water which he loves) and will play with it for a long period of time, even though concentration isn't usually his strong point. It's good for me too, as it means I can get out my deckchair and book and just relax in the sunshine, knowing that he is totally absorbed in what he is doing. I would highly recommend it for people who only have a small outside space and not much room to store garden toys as you really can just leave it in the garden and it doesn't take up too much space. My son can even set it up on his own now - I made the mistake of leaving the lid slightly loose while we were outside the other day, nipped in to make a drink and by the time I came out, he'd put all the funnels in the right places and was playing happily with the sandpit!
Summary: A great outdoor toy for summer... lots of fun in the sunshine!
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