Pros: Sand box, Wading pool, durable, fade resistant, lid
Cons: No bottom drainage hole, heavy when full
Spring is finally here. Summer is soon to follow. For those of us that live in the northern climates spring and summer are our chances to wear out the children by getting them outside to play. But, what all can a person fit in the back yard to play in? In our back yard there is a swing set, a soccer goal net, the Little Tykes Castle, assorted odds and ends, and the Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox. Originally bought for my older sons, the Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox has become a favorite toy of my two year old daughters.
WHAT YOU GET
This sand box has just two pieces. The turtle bottom, and the turtle shell lid. But best of all, no assembly required!
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE
With two round eyes and a smile on his face the turtle invites you to come on in and play. The bottom half (fillable half) of the turtle is round. He has four small, round feet that are outside of the play area. His head is also on the bottom half. The turtle sits low to the ground making it easy for toddlers, or even crawlers, to get in and out on their own. One of the key words to describe the Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox is round. No sharp or square edges for a child to get hurt on.
Every spring we empty out the previous years sand and refill the sand box. This year we put in six bags of sand.
Don't limit yourself to just using it as a sandbox. It also makes a shallow pool for small children to play in. Because it is small you can fill it with warm tap water (We hook a hose up to the kitchen faucet), so even the babies can comfortable sit in it and splash to cool off on a hot day.
The sand will of course need to first be removed from the sand box. I have a small wheelbarrow I clean out and put the sand in while we "swim".
The lid fits on the turtle very easily. There are two round "pegs" on the bottom half, and two recessed areas on the turtles shell. Simply line up the two and the lid slips into place. These "pegs" are pretty big, to hold the lid in place. Amazingly enough the lid has not blown off. While strong, the lid is flexible. It gently bends with childs weight, but does not break or crack. It also keeps cats out, but not small bugs.
One of the main reasons I buy Little Tykes toys is their durability. Made of strong plastic, these toys just last and last and last. The Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox is no exception. The green turtle still is the same shade of green as when we bought him.
I've truly been amazed at how the lid has held up though. We live in Michigan, a land of variable, unpredictable, and sometimes unsettling weather. And, I do not have enough space left in my garage to store the sandbox inside. So, it stays outside all year round-in the hot sun, in the cold snow, in the rain, in the wind, in the hail, etc... Through all of this though the lid has only blown off one time. Despite the weight of the snow, and the ice, the top has not caved in, cracked, or in any other way been damaged.
As with most everything there are a few negatives to the Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox.
There is no drainage hole in the bottom of the sand box, or on the side of the sand box, or anyplace else on the sand box. To empty it you must dump it over. This is not an easy feat when the sand box is filled with sand or water. We use a plastic shovel to dig out some of the sand then two adults pick it up to finish emptying it. With the water my husband puts in a drainage hose and mostly drain the water before we pick it up and dump it out.
Because there is a solid bottom and top the grass under the sand box will die unless you move it around every couple of days. And, this is not easy considering how heavy it is. So, either build up your muscles or put it in a position you can leave it in.
We have found it difficult to mow around it too. I either use my hand clippers to clip the grass around it, or use the weed wacker.
I think all children should have a sand box to play in. Learning to build sand castles not only involves the imagination but also basic spacial relation and architectural skills. Just digging in the sand, dry and wet, exposes children to different textures and works basic motor skills.
The Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox makes for an excellent play area for children. Whether it is filled with sand or water, children will enjoy the time spent in it. Just add in some sand toys and a little imagination, and enjoy!