Product Type: ELC Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... lid on because the lid has a road track on it. The road track is wide enough to fit the ELC magnetic vehicles so he likes to play with tha... more
The fun of the beach at home!
ELC Sand and Water Table
Member Name: CheshireJ
ELC Sand and Water Table
Advantages: Great fun for creative and imaginative play
Disadvantages: High cost
We've had this sand and water table for a couple of years now and it's still going strong. Bought for my daughter's 2nd birthday, both her and her younger sister have had more than their money's worth from it.
We got the pink table, but it's also available in red.
It came in a large box and instructions were included, but not really needed as assembly was very straight forward. It was simply a case of putting the two top pieces together and slotting the legs in from what I remember. The legs can be easily taken off if you need to store it away.
The legs go out at an angle, making it very sturdy and I'd say pretty impossible to fall over.
A lid is provided in the form of two large pieces which slot together like a jigsaw on top of the sand pit, sealing it and preventing water getting in if it rains. You do need to make sure the two pieces are fixed together in the middle to prevent anything getting in. The lid also does a pretty good job of keeping any bugs out, and doubles up as a track, which is built into the top of the lid and can be used for racing cars around.
The table is intended for using sand in one half and water in the other. We did this at first, but found that the sand was getting mixed in with the water, and vice versa, which makes a bit of a mess and leaves the sand too wet to play with. We now just use both sides for sand, which is perfect when you've got two children as they can have a side each. Although two or more children can comfortably fit around one side of the table as it's big enough to do so. Each side is deep enough to put a good amount of water or sand in. Although unlikely to come to any harm and end up face down in the water, you should always watch little ones around water.
There is a plug in each side of the table so you can empty water out when needed. Simply twist it round and pull it out.
Kids being kids, sand will inevitably end up on the floor. We have ours on the patio, where it can easily be swept up, and put back in, providing it's not too dirty. If you have the sand table on the grass you won't be able to do this and will end up losing sand. You could have the table indoors although it's not something I'd recommend as it's so messy.
There are six holes along the middle of the table in which you can place the accessories that come with the table. One is a funnel that has a water wheel underneath. Pour the water into the funnel, it runs down into the wheel and makes the wheel spin round. All being well the water then pours into the table. You can switch a piece under the funnel that has two different size holes, each giving a different speed of water flow.
There are two of these funnel pieces provided, which can be fixed into another attachment that's like an upturned U shape, with a scale-type scoop on, which lets water down onto two smaller water wheels. Children will love playing with this and it teaches them cause and effect - what happens when you pour water in the funnel, how changing the speed of the water flow affects the wheel turning, and more water in one side of the "scales" makes it tip up. My girls pour sand into the funnels, which isn't too bad if it's very fine sand, it just about flows through if pushed, but if it's a bit wet it just sticks in the funnel.
Tools provided are a scoop shaped spade, regular shape spade, a rake, boat and starfish shape. The starfish shape can be used as a star shaped sand mould. It also has holes in so water can be poured through, making it flow through underneath. Or it can be used as a sieve to filter sand through. The boat sails nicely on the water, but can also be used with the sand, pouring sand into it. The spades are a nice neat size with round chunky handles that are just the right size for little hands to hold. The tool handles fit neatly into the holes down the centre.
The only real downside is that you can't leave the attachments and tools stuck in the holes if you want to put the lid on the table, it won't go on. So when packing away each day you'll need to take everything out and just leave it laid down inside the table, where it fits ok. The funnel parts can be difficult to pull out sometimes if there is sand stuck around the holes.
The table is extremely durable and totally weather-proof, we've always left it outside over winter. I'd highly recommend it for young children. My youngest played with it before she could walk, she'd just pull herself up on it and lean against the table while playing in the sand. They've had two years of fun from it and I'm sure they'll still be playing with it in another two years time.
We've gone through about three bags of play sand in the time we've had it. The first two were from ELC, and the latest from Asda which was cheaper.
We also use sand toys that we bought for playing on the beach with. Sand moulds are particularly good for using with the table and can be bought cheaply from a lot of places, including ELC.
depth: 65 cm
width: 65 cm
height: 45 cm
The table currently retails at £45 from Early Learning Centre.
Summary: I'd highly recommend for outdoor play for young children