Wednesday 13 April 2011

My Little Sandbox

One of the big regrets I have about our house is that we have no garden. It could be worse - we do have a big patio and there's a park literally opposite so the kids still get to play outside every day - but there are some things I enjoyed as a child that they just don't have. One of those is a sandpit. That's why I love Moonsand which is the closest we get. I was therefore really excited when we were asked to review My Little Sandbox.

We received two sandboxes - a mermaid-themed one and a pirate-themed one. As you open the box, the first thing you discover is a colourful playmat (they read my mind - I was just looking for the plastic tablecloth we use when we do crafts !). The girls excitedly laid the sturdy wooden sand trays on the plastic mats, pulled out all the little plastic bags for a quick inventory then hurriedly poured their bags of fine blue sand into the boxes.

They excitedly discovered the various accessories - Juliette had a posable mermaid with a removable fabric tail (like a dress) underneath which she has legs, tiny real seashells, plastic fish, a turtle, a starfish and various other objects. The attention to detail is impressive - she even has painted toe and fingernails, which Juliette loved ! One thing that would have disappointed me enormously if I'd bought this rather than received it as a review item is that the sparkly platic rock that the mermaid lounges on is very flimsy. Within half an hour of normal (not particularly rough) play, it has cracked three quarters of the way across and, more worryingly, left a very sharp pointed edge that I'm sure a child could cut themselves on. I was going to throw it away but Juliette wants me to try to glue it back together.

Sophie played with the pirate set, which somes complete with two pirates, a parrot, a crocodile, a treasure chest complete with little jewels and coins, a palm tree, a pirate ship ... I love the creativity that the toy automatically inspires, with the girls (playing side by side) making up stories about the pirates kidnapping the mermaid and the mermaid stealing their treasure and hiding it under her rock ! We also had a quick look around the house and found a variety of tiny plastic toys (mainly from Kinder eggs) that they managed to incorporate into their sandbox stories !

There was inevitably some slight spillage of sand on the floor but it was easy to hoover up (on lino - I'm not sure what it would be like on carpet). One thing I would love to see is a lid on the sandbox to keep the sand safely in the box. I placed a piece of clingfilm over the top and have crossed my fingers ! The cardbox box that it comes in, complete with velcro fastening, is quite sturdy though so I'm hoping it won't be too messy when we open it again, after pushing it in and out of the toy cupboard !

The girls loved playing with both playsets and made up lots of stories together. I love the fact that it encourages creativity and imaginative play, as well as sharing and playing together. It's not as messy as I feared, although the sand does stick to your hands so make sure you have wipes and handwashing facilities available for when you stop playing. The only thing I was disappointed about was the flimsy glittery mermaid rock which split the first time we played. Apart from that, they get a huge thumbs up.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £24.99

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Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. Children nowadays have such a choice of entertainment and educational games! It is wonderful!

  2. Oh... this looks great, we only have a small yard out the back and no real space for a sandpit. My DD (also a Sophie) would love this. I'm thinking a great Easter treat, thanks for reviewing

  3. I like the sound of this. We haven't got a sandpit, but this is a great creative way of getting round the problem.

  4. wow love the sound of this , just may have to purchase this for my two little uns x

  5. Another great review, and another possible 'toy' to add to the list

    Thanks xx


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