Product Type: Little Tikes Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... and a domed back with a pattern like that on a turtle's shell. This makes it slightly resemble a turtle from above, but it doesn't look to... more
Our friendly turtle
Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
Member Name: chrisandmark
Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
Advantages: Ready to use straight from the box, provides hours of fun
Disadvantages: None worth mentioning
My aunt bought this sandbox for Hollie for her first Christmas, obviously we both knew that at (then) six months old it wasn't going to be used for a while but a few months later in the summer I took it out of the huge box and set it up in readiness for any interest Hollie may display. And also for Alice, who has always loved playing with these chunky plastic toys despite being eight years older than Hollie!
As you can see from the piccie, this is a green turtle shaped sandpit (sandbox sounds *so* quasi-American) which comes complete with a lid to prevent your local cat population from deciding to use it as a toilet. It'll hold 70kg of sand, although personally I use less than this as if you fill it with the full 70kg you'll find there isn't much room for your child to sit and they'll be kinda 'perched' on the top of it rather than actually sitting in the sand. Obviously the sand isn't included, although play sand (you must never use builders sand due to the glass content) is available very cheaply from all sorts of places including Argos.
The turtle doesn't need putting together; you literally just need the arm power to extract the base and lid from the box and find somewhere to lay it down. It has quite a large footprint so be aware that you need quite a bit of room for the sandpit, also remember that wherever this is placed it will result in the grass underneath dying - not a problem if you're planning to leave it in the same position for the duration of summer, but even after a couple of days the grass turns yellow and flattens down beyond all chances of saving it. It took me less than ten minutes to get the turtle in a playable condition, including emptying several bags of sand into it, so this isn't a toy you're going to end up hating after spending hours putting the thing together before it's even been played with.
The turtle is made of very chunky plastic and has an excellent centre of gravity due to it being so low down on the floor. Once filled with sand it becomes so heavy that it would be impossible for your child to flip it over by standing on the edge, actually I doubt this would happen even when empty as the base is so wide and the sandpit is heavy and bulky in it's own right. Hollie's had a few bumps and bruises over the years which have been caused either by over-enthusiastically jumping around in the sand, or even just because she's been running around in the general area of the sandpit and has tripped and banged herself on the base - the feet of the turtle being notorious in this garden for being tripped over.
The lid fits brilliantly thanks to two chunky posts on the base which fit into corresponding holes in the lid. This makes the sandpit much more secure and protected from the elements than the more traditional clamshell sandpits where the lid simply rests on the base; no water has *ever* got inside the turtle sandpit, a couple of winters ago I forgot completely to empty the sand out and when Hollie came to use it again (five or so months later) the sand was still in perfect condition despite the fact that the turtle had been quite literally covered in snow at one point! Weathering is fine, the sandpit has lost some of it's vibrancy in the almost four years that we've owned it but to be honest you'd never notice unless you compared it to a newer toy of a similar colour. Little Tikes do produce toys with a long lifespan, and this turtle is no exception as there are no cracks or scuffs to be seen on the body of the sandpit - which is surprising considering Hollie shows little interest in actually looking after her toys.
Hollie has had so much fun with this sandpit and I think it's a lovely item to have in the garden. Unfortunately he's off to another home soon as she's now the proud owner of a sand and water table, which is more suitable for her age and height. She has played with him over three full summers though and I've lost count of the amount of sandcastles she's built in this time, my only criticism really is that the lid has too much of a rounded shape to be able to fill with water (as you can with most clamshell sandpits) as this would have given the turtle a completely new play-value aspect.
We do love this turtle though. At one point or another we've all played with it (I recall one vodka fuelled night when me and Mark spent hours creating an exact replica of Warwick Castle, or so we thought in our drink-addled minds), I'm extremely impressed that such a very basic toy has lasted for so long and has given Hollie so many hours (nay, months) of enjoyment.
Summary: A great idea for these summer months
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