***Disclosure: As a Step2 Brand Ambassador, I received complimentary product to facilitate my review. No other compensation was provided and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Believe it or not, my kids have never been to a beach. We've never gone to the ocean, and have never collected seashells. We've never really even played with sand, other than in tiny little art kits! (I know...Must add this experience to my Bucket List ASAP!)
So when I got the opportunity to review the Play & Store Sandbox from the awesome folks at Step2, I was beyond thrilled. Sand play is a lot of fun for little ones, and it helps to fine tune motor skills, encourages creativity and imagination, and can even help little ones learn school readiness skills like reading and writing. (You know...By writing numbers and letters in the sand!) Plus, it's just plain fun and a great way to pry kids away from the TV and video games.
Here in Ohio, it's still pretty darn cold out. Yes, I realize it's technically Spring, but I don't think Mother Nature got the memo yet! I was trying to wait till the weather became more pleasant to review this awesome Play & Store Sandbox from Step2, but who knows when that will be! So we have decided to get a little creative and find a way to enjoy this creative, sensory play experience indoors as well as outside. Needless to say, I do not want sand all over my carpets, wood floors, and furniture. That would just be very bad, and not at all fun to clean up.
So we decided to use rice in place of actual sand for the time being. I was able to find huge 20lb bags of rice at our local Walmart, and it did a great job filling up the sandbox. The nice thing about rice is that it doesn't get stuck in clothing like sand does, and it can be used both indoors or outside. I DO want to point out that you should always make sure the lid is securely on the sandbox if used outside. The rice may attract bugs, birds, or stray cats otherwise.
Anyway, I'd love to show you just how much fun Sophie and Xander are having with their Step2 Play & Store Sandbox and their Sand-Tastic Construction and Castle Sets, also from Step2!
Our Review :
The first thing I noticed about the Step2 Play & Store Sandbox was the size. This sandbox weighs 13lbs, and offers the following dimensions: 11.00 H 42.00 W 28.00 D This is a very generously sized box and allows both of my toddlers to play at the same time.
Of course, like all of Step2's products, the Play & Store Sandbox is very durable and is made to endure years worth of use or abuse. My kids stood on top of it, and even jumped, and there were no dents or dings to speak of. While this sandbox may look like it's made of wood due to the natural looking wood-grain texture, it's actually made of a very strong plastic. This is great because it makes it basically maintenance-free. There is no danger of rot or mold here!
This sandbox also comes equipped with a nice, sturdy lid that features a fun beach scene! This lid comes in very handy because it helps keep sand and toys safe from the elements, as well as from curious critters who may want to use the sandbox as a litter-box. (Yes, this really can and does happen with sandboxes!)
Another great feature of the Play & Store Sandbox is the built-in seating! As you can see, all 4 corners come with a neat little stool, perfect for little ones to sit on while they build sandcastles or excavate!
You can also use this sandbox to store all of your sand toys and accessories. This is pretty convenient because everything is always in one place, ready to go. Simply lift the lid off of the sandbox and you're ready to play! No need to rush through the house or garage looking for toys while the kids grow more and more impatient by the second. Okay, so that's what my kids usually do...So having space to store everything really scores brownie points here!
We also received 2 fun sand accessory kits to review along with the Play & Store Sandbox. These kits are colorful, well-made, and loads of fun. Each set includes toys perfect for scooping, spreading, rolling, and packing sand. There are even cute little characters to go along with each theme, which makes for the use of imagination and creative play.
Sophie and Xander love both the Sand-tastic Construction set and the Castle set. I don't think there is a clear favorite, since they both seemed to enjoy all of the components from each set. Both of my kids really liked the scooping toys the best, though.
We decided to brave the cold and take the Play & Store Sandbox out onto our deck. Kyle, my 13 year old, helped me spread the rice into the bottom of the sandbox. We put a large blanket in first, and then just poured about 50lbs of plain, uncooked white rice into the box.
Once the rice was evenly distributed, we added the Step2 sand toys. And then we brought some bundled-up toddlers outside to play. Sophie and Xander both had a blast, and they really enjoyed being able to scoop and sift the rice. I was a bit worried about the fact that we didn't use sand this time, but the kids didn't seem to mind it at all!
Here are some pictures of my kids enjoying their sensory play, as well as a cute video! I apologize in advance for the fact that the video isn't "stretched out". I took it using my iPhone, and I am not entirely sure how to make edits using my new Mac. (Yep, I am an Apple product virgin who is trying to learn the ropes!)
Even though it's cold and very windy, my kids played in their sandbox for hours!
Overall, we are really loving the Play & Store Sandbox from Step2! I love how easy it is to transport from inside to outside, and the quality is truly amazing. This sandbox is extremely durable and built to last, so we will surely enjoy it for many years to come. This product is also very versatile, and can be used indoors and out in the yard. Once the weather warms up a bit more, we intend to replace our rice with sand and have sand-castle building play-dates with the neighborhood kids!
How to Connect :
You can check out this and other awesome products on the Step2 website.
You can also connect with Step2 on Facebook, on twitter, on Pinterest, and on YouTube. Oh, and for some great creative play inspiration, check out the Step2 blog!
***Disclosure: I received complimentary products to facilitate my review. No other compensation has been provided and all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud mama of two munchkins and a teen. You can read more about me HERE. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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