Product Type: Tp Activity Toys Outdoor Toy
Newest Review: ... I had been anticipating and prepared for, though I am told that it is not dangerous if children do try to do this and swallow a bit of s... more
Fab party piece - if you can afford it
TP Boat Sandpit
Member Name: lights84
TP Boat Sandpit
Advantages: Great novelty value and potentially hours of play for children of varying ages
Disadvantages: Expensive, takes time to pack away properly after use
My mother in law bought this sandpit for my little girl recently and she said it cost her around £25 from our local ELC store. I think this is a fab price as I have bought other development toys from ELC for between £15-£20 and they have not held my daughter's attention for as long as this sandpit will. However the sandpit does not come with the sand, we had to buy that ourselves from Argos which cost us £6 for 30kg for non-toxic playsand.
I had a little gathering recently of other mums and their babies and because the weather happened to be nice that day we decided to try out the pit, as I had been waiting for the rain and cold to stop before doing so. 3 little girls between 11-19 months climbed in and they all absolutely loved it. Us mums had a long natter and cups of tea without little ones climbing all over us the whole time as usual. We kept an eye on the babes of course but they were happily contented in the pit for a few hours, and the two other mums who came along went away saying that they were going to buy the same sandpit for their own gardens! There was also no eating of the sand which I had been anticipating and prepared for, though I am told that it is not dangerous if children do try to do this and swallow a bit of sand. My daughter was the youngest there and although she is below the recommended age of 18 months for the sandpit she was completely fine in there as she mostly watched the other kids play and explored the sand texture herself while doing this. The other two had masses of fun doing everything they could think of with the sand and the mums resolved to bring buckets and spade for them next time as the oldest child seemed to think she was on holiday at the beach! If the weather is any good this summer I am anticipating good use of the sandpit at BBQs at my place, as it seems to go down really well with groups of children.
The sandpit is a triangle shape like a boat, which is completely lost on my daughter as she is so young, but the older girls did like the seats in the corners for sitting in and gathering sand in- 2 of the corners of the plastic are shaped for little ones to sit in. The sandpit is also a nice bold colour which stands out in the garden, blue against green, again something my daughter seems to like. When she sees it being uncovered she gets excited as it draws her attention and she knows what's coming next. Sand!! I have tried sitting my girl on a mat outside while I do gardening and it doesn't last long, however she will play in the sand for quite long periods of time, as it is such a novelty to her and also a special space just for her, and easy for me to keep an eye on her in while I go about my business in the garden.
Having said all that, if you don't mind the mess and have a rug you can put down indoors, or a piece of tarp, there is nothing to stop you using the sandpit indoors. I have tried this once and it didn't make too much mess, BUT it was a bit of a hassle dragging it indoors when full of sand, as it is so heavy when filled.
I go camping a lot so I already had a large piece of tarp to protect the pit with when it's not in use. Otherwise you will need to empty it out and bring it indoors every time, as it is too heavy to move about when full of sand. It's much easier to secure it with tarp and leave it in the garden, but it will cost you another £20 for a strong piece of tarp and you'll need to learn to secure it with rope too to stop crawlies from getting in or cats from pooing in it or rainwater ruining the sand. Having said that, there is a lid that fits the sandpit which you can buy separately for £20-£25, which seems a bit cheeky to me as all it is is another piece of plastic.
The sandpit is made by TP and they state that it can also be used as a paddling pool however I personally think that the plastic is a bit to hard and the corners a bit too narrow/sharp to fill it with water as more slips and falls are likely to happen in water and I'd rather avoid that. The sand on the other hand 'absorbs' the falls somehow and they have also been minimal as sand is not slippery the way the plastic pit would be in water. That's just my opinion though and I have not actually used the pit with water in it.
All in all this product would have has cost us £31 if the pit had not been a gift, however that is excluding the cost of the tarp because we already had it. In reality it would all end up costing mum and dad over £56 which I think is too steep for what it is, even though I love the product and it is great for group gatherings and if you like to spend as much time in the garden as possible when the weather is not terrible, like me. So I am giving it 4 stars instead of 5.
Summary: I recommend this if you can afford it and have space to store it.