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My daughters were bought this sandpit as a gift when they were aged 1 and 2.
The sandpit arrives flat pack in a big box. It's fairly simple to put together as the planks all just slot in to each other. It took my husband about 20 minutes.
Some of the planks did not really sit flush with each other, but I guess that's partly what you should expect with natural materials - they are never going to be as exact as plastics.
The sandpit comes with a large black material-type groundsheet, which keeps the sand in the box and to a degree, stops bugs coming into the sand from the ground underneath.
Once the sandpit is set up it measures 4 foot by 4 foot, with the sides being about 8 inches deep. Two of the opposing sides have a little narrow shelf so that little ones can sit on it whilst they are playing in the sand.
The sandpit comes with a vinyl cover which stretches over the top to keep it waterproof.
For the first few weeks that we used the sandpit, it seemed to be ok. Then it rained.
The cover is jut not fit for purpose. The slightest bit of rain and it would just sag and start to pool water. We tried propping it up from the inside and angling it, but nothing worked and it always ended up a foot deep in water, which was not just annoying (children heading straight for the mini swimming pool) but also dangerous when you have young children around.
The sand would also be constantly damp and crawling with bugs as they could easily get in through the wooden slats.
After 2 Summers of battling with the bugs and the ineffective cover, I gave up and purchased a large plastic sandpit, which has been fantastic.
The wooden sandbox has been relegated to firewood.
Personally I think this product is grossly overpriced for what you are getting (a few planks of wood, a piece of thick material and a cheap vinyl cover). When we were given this sandpit it was around £35 in Argos. Possibly £15 would have been a more realistic price.
If you are planning on having your sandpit in a covered area, this product might be ok, but for us it was just not what we needed.
I bought this sandpit last Summer for my daughter's second birthday. I got it from Argos and I'm pretty sure it was around the £30 mark so I was surprised to see it's currently priced £44.99 on their website. I thought I'd wait to see how it fared over Winter before reviewing it and now that Spring has finally sprung it's time to do just that, as the cover has been taken off for the first time in months and it's back in play.
It's a very basic square sandpit measuring approximately 120cm by 120 cm with a height of 23cm. It comes as self assembly with wooden slats that slot together and includes a cloth groundsheet and waterproof cover. It could also be used as a ball pit and is recommended for age 18 months and over.
It's easy enough to assemble but the slats wobble and lift apart easily, especially when taking the, (too tight), cover off. We added some corner brackets to the lower section to make it more sturdy. The corners are slightly rounded for safety. I much prefer wood to plastic as I think it looks nicer and also it could possibly be re-invented in later years as a flower bed. The wood is FSC timber - FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, so basically that means it should be responsibly sourced.
It's not that big, but ideal for two or even three little ones to play comfortably. I have had four children playing in it, but it was rather cramped, (and they fought). There are side shelves which can act as little seats to give extra room. I think eight to ten 15kg bags is about the right amount of sand. The sand isn't included in the purchase, (you can expect to pay around £3 per bag). Garden centres can be cheaper sources of sand than toy stores but make sure you buy specific play sand which will have been washed and treated to ensure it's gentle on children's skin.
The groundsheet is meant to be a weed suppressant but still allows water to drain through it. I have found a small amount of growth still occurs. I had to pull up a few limp but obviously determined blades of grass that had found their way up through the groundsheet over Winter. There were a couple of dead worms in there, they can get in between the planks of wood, and the sand was quite damp underneath after all the rain we've had, but overall it's fared well and having had a rake around I'm happy for my daughter to get stuck in and play in it.
The cover, as mentioned, is far too tight. The corners stick out through four holes in ours where it has been stretched and torn. I have a friend with the same model who simply covers three corners and sits the other end on the edge of the box with a brick on top to keep it in place. There were a few reviews on the Argos site complaining about the cover and some people said that Plum Products, who make the sandpit, sent them a better fitting cover after complaining, but that seems rather a long winded way to go about it. It is quite an effort taking the cover off and replacing it. It's a good job I am Hippolyta the Amazonian woman - if you have false nails forget it! When covering the sandpit it is advised that you keep the middle raised so it doesn't get waterlogged, this is best done by placing a bucket or toy in the centre, but it's difficult to avoid it collecting at least some water. Ours has acted as a birdbath for a while and I've quite enjoyed watching the birds splashing about outside my window so once we started using it again I decided to provide them with an alternative birdbath, which, of course, my daughter proceeded to fill with sand.
I think a sandpit is one of the best toys around for young children. It gets them out of doors in a safe environment where they can become seriously absorbed in creative exploratory play. Obviously there are also drawbacks - sand can get everywhere, very little children often eat it or rub it in their eyes then scream with pain. Small children do need to be supervised but when they have a bit more sense they get hours of fun out of it, add a bowl of water and a few toys to keep them extra busy. I have enjoyed managing to sneak a bit of reading time in, sat next to the sandpit whilst my daughter plays, (another advantage is that our daughter has inadvertently done a gardening job for us by sprinkling sand all around the place).
I had originally ordered a bigger, pricier sandpit which was due to be delivered on my daughter's birthday, but, thoughtfully, the night before said birthday the shop rang us up to tell us they were out of stock. Hence much ringing around and discovering that this appeared to be the only wooden sand pit left in the whole of the North East. I was quite pleased with it for the price, but would expect a bit more for the current price as it doesn't seem to have been changed/improved in any way. It would be quite easy to do a few improvements yourself to make it a better class of sandpit. As I said we added brackets to stop it moving around as much, the groundsheet and also the cover could be replaced and the wood could possibly be weatherproofed, but if you're going to do all that I think you may as well either make your own in the first place or pay for a better quality one.