Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Early Learning Centre Sand and Water Table

Sand and water play is one activity that Little One seems to really love at nursery. It was also something we didn't really get much chance to do at home, mostly because we didn't really have a suitable container for him to play in properly. As he is turning two this week, we decided a few weeks ago to purchase a sand and water table from the Early Learning Centre as an early birthday present for him. As the weather can be a bit unpredictable in July and August, we wanted to get it early so he could make the most of spending any warm days outside and getting the most use out of the table for the summer.

The table came with the trough in two sections, a lid which is also in two sections, 4 plastic red legs which are really easy to slot in to the wholes underneath and a pack of accessories. It took me 5-10 minutes to assemble and it was really easy to do. 

 The accessories include 2 funnel toys, a scoop, spade, rake, water sieve and a boat. 

I did find the table difficult to move around once it had water and sand in, so I would advise putting the table in a safe place to play and then begin filling it. 

 When we have had warm days this summer, we have set up the table in the garden and it has kept Little One entertained for a good half hour at a time as there is lots for him to discover and explore. Playing with the different tools is great for developing their motor skills and exploring the water and sand is a great way for them to discover new textures. Little One loves the water especially, and although he finds it hard to reach the top of the funnels to pour water into at the moment, he still gets lots of enjoyment from scooping water out and pushing the boat around. 

 For sand, we purchased the ELC play sand which is £2.50 for a 5kg bag. So far we have lost a bit but we only used just over half the bag to fill the tray. Little One isn't as keen on the sand at the moment as he doesn't like getting it on his hands, and prefers to scoop it up and pour it into the water, or water into the sand. This can get a bit messy so the double plug system comes in handy when you need to empty either of the trays. The plug is a bit stiff to undo, but I found that by securing the underneath of the plug and holding the top of the plug with the other hand, it does release more easily. 

At nearly age 2, Little One will definitely have a few more years use out of the sand and water table. He enjoys splashing, pushing the boat around and making a shower of water with the star sieve. There is so much for little ones to do and discover with this activity. He is yet to discover the joys of being able to build sandcastles and moats, burying treasure in the sand and digging it up to find, playing diggers and quarries, moulding shapes in the sand, and discovering all about how water travels down a chute (a separate water chute can be purchased separately which fits into the holes on the top of the tray).

In terms of storage, we have kept the table in the garden but it comes with a handy waterproof lid which keeps the sand dry. The plastic is sturdy and hasn't faded in the sunlight yet. At the end of summer, we will put it in the shed to keep it from weather damage. The top of the lid has a road track built into it, so little ones can drive toys cars or trains on the lid when the table isn't in use. The legs are easy to remove to make storage easier too. 

At £50, the sand and water table one of the more expensive toys we have bought for him and I do hope that he will get enough use out of it over the next couple of years. Before we bought the table, I had wondered if it'd be more cost effective to buy a couple of cheap trays to fill with water and sand, but I don't think we would have used them as often as we have this table. The bright colours make it look fun and inviting to play with and the accessories are what make it for me. It's so easy and convenient to fill and empty too. I just wish we had warm sunny days more often as when we do, as he loves nothing more than to be out in the garden playing with the water and sand. The website suggests it is suitable for children from 18 months, so with supervision, younger children will be able to get use out of it too. I look forward to Little One and baby number 2 being able to enjoy it together next summer. 

We're going on an adventure


  1. Plenty of garden fun with these. I'd love to put one on every veranda for our guests here, they look like hours of outdoor entertainment. #TriedTested

    1. They are so much fun and keep littles occupied for ages! You should definitely get some!

  2. I love this, they are great fun and keep children entertained for hours I need to get my boys one I am sure it would get lots of use the price is pretty good too #triedtested

    1. I can really recommend them, although I suppose they won't get much use in winter months. The quality is fantastic so I think the price is worth it

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