Plastic table is divided into two sections. One side holds 3 gallons of water while 10 lbs of sand fills the other. A winding plastic road acts as the dividing wall. Thick plastic lid has a small roadway engraved into it, and is held on tightly by elastic cords.
An umbrella can be fitted to the table, and does not affect lid removal or replacement.
Minor assembly is required, but screws are included. Putting the legs on usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes.
Two little boats, two bridge pieces, a flower pot (or bucket?), and a dual-ended shovel/trowel are included.
DIMENSIONS: 23.00 H 42.50 W 24.00 D
WEIGHT: 22 lbs when empty
Buried treasure in the sand? Boats in the water? Dinosaurs hiding in the gravel? Whatever's in the table, kids get to play pretend while enjoying a sensory exploration.
We want to give props to the manufacturer, Step2, for improving the design flaws of the previous model. With so many companies willing to cheapen play value as they cut their own expenses, it's nice to see that Step2 listened to customer feedback and made one of their bestselling toys even better.
The legs on this version attach on the sides, rather than underneath the water/sand compartments, so leaking through the legs is never an issue. Not that it was all that common before, but now it just can't happen.
The drains are now found on both sides, not just one. This makes draining the table so much easier after being used for just water. The old version had to be tipped over onto its side, which though not particularly difficult, did put undue pressure on the legs.
Each side can be filled with water and sand as intended, but it could also be filled with things like rice or dry beans. Marbles, or those glass disks used for floral arrangements, make for a totally different sensory experience, and much easier cleanup if the toy is brought indoors. We're big fans of playing in sand, but beans are cool, too.
Many reviewers have said they prefer to have a standing table instead of the traditional sandbox, and we agree. Sitting in sand, as one might expect, tends to be a rather messy affair. More importantly though, we've noticed that when children sit, they more frequently start thinking in terms of "this space is mine, not yours," whereas standing allows them to move around more freely. Having multiple children take turns and play cooperatively seems more natural when they can shift around the table rather than just staying on their butts.
We found that there is room for about 6 kids to play at once, though that may get a little crowded. 3 or 4 kids at a time may be more comfortable.
The recommended age is for 18 months to 5 years, though users report that older siblings will typically join in if their younger kin are playing. Reports of children as old as 8 or 9 taking turns at the table is not uncommon, though we don't usually seem them enjoying the table by themselves.
The lid is held tightly in place by elastic cords on the sides. Cats and snakes are prevented from getting in, and strong winds are usually not a problem, either.
An umbrella comes with the table, and is big enough to shade at least one side of the play area. It can also be taken down if the table is used on a patio, porch, or even indoors. The lid is not affected by the umbrella.
The table doesn't seem to fade when exposed to direct, intense sun, but the umbrella made fade a little.
- Hose down outside
- Wipe down with a wet cloth
Parts and Pieces
All parts are included, but just about any toys make worthy additions to the sandy/watery fun.
We have received a few reports of sets arriving with the accessories missing. Additionally, we have heard of one user finding that only two of the four legs have predrilled holes. The holes should already be there, and drilling through the plastic would be rather tough. As with any toy, we suggest putting the table together as soon as you get it, just in case a return is needed.