54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2009
We bought this when my son was 18 months, he's almost 6 now. It is a great product that he got a lot of use out of when he was smaller. After a couple of years of stomping on the lid it began to not keep the water out, and that's pretty much when we stopped using it.
Here's the pros:
> HUGE sandbox part- will hold a lot of sand and a lot of little kids. 2 older kids would still fit just fine.
> Very durable (except for the umbrella). We just replaced it with a standard beach umbrella. However, keep the kiddos and dogs from traipsing all over the lid or it might stop keeping it dry after a couple of years like ours did.
> Table is a great size.
> Sold it after 4 years of use at a yard sale and got $35 for it. These things will last forever just about.
> If you put it in the grass you are in for a real pain in the rear keeping the grass from under it. We live in the south, and have a LOT of spiders. LOT of spiders. The black widow is a particularly bad problem on our property, and the underside of this picnic table is a perfect condo for them. Add the grass there and it is a nightmare. The weed whacker won't fit underneath, so you have to trim the grass under the table and seat with scissors or gardening shears. Spiders,and my hands do not make a happy combination. It got to be a real pain, so we just stopped using the table part because it was always full of sand and dirt anyway.
> The sandbox did start to collect water after a couple of years. It got really really nasty as the water has no way to drain out. Even after drilling a few holes in the plastic to allow water to escape it was not much better. Keep a good watch on how your lid is fitting. If I had contacted Step 2 at the first sign of trouble they might have been able to help me.
> If you don't have the umbrella in the hole, kids are going to fill it with sand. THere is a stopper in there that prevents the umbrella from going down too far (or at least there was in my model) which also prevents the sand from going through. Now you have a problem with not being able to use your umbrella.
Hope this helps!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2009
This was the best outdoor purchase we've made. Our 16 month old LOVES this, and it definitely fits up to 4 kids at a time. The picnic table is a great feature, although it's mostly used for pouring sand onto. I bought a small broom to sweep it off and leave in the sandbox. Umbrella feature is fantastic as well. To keep it on during those windy days, I purchased some clear flexible tubing from plumbing dept, and cut the tube and placed it around the umbrella tube, right where it sits against the top of the table :) Works perfect to keep it in place.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
We've had this sandbox for 2 years and it's still going strong. Our kids (6 and 3) love it, but there are 2 major problems with it that have led us to get rid of it.
1. There is a large interior space underneath the area that contains the sand. Yesterday we found THREE BLACK WIDOW spiders nesting in it. I was very distressed to find out that my kids have been playing within inches of the spiders. Black widows are common where we live and apparently serious bites are rare, but this was just too close for comfort. You could eliminate the danger by frequent cleaning to eliminate any webs, but the design makes that hard because you would have to empty a couple of hundred pounds of sand and turn the thing upside down (which might also irritate the spiders) to properly clean all of the crevices. Spider experts (I consulted an online spider expert forum) recommend a thorough clean each week to remove webs and I don't see how I could easily do that with the way it's designed.
2. Even though it has a lid, it still does get water inside it and it will make the sand nasty after a while. There are directions on E-How for sanitizing a sandbox, and I did clean it out, but if the lid locked somehow it would be better. I usually lean a deck chair against it when we get a storm so that the lid doesn't blow off.
So, the thing is on it's way to the dumpster. I'm sad because my kids love it and we have had a lot of use out of it, but I just don't feel like it's safe where we live (Tennessee).
If you live in an area where spiders are not a problem, go ahead and buy it, but if you are at all concerned about spiders, stay clear!!!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2012
This sandbox would be great if it weren't for the major design flaw. I have had it for 2 weeks and my daughter 3years and son 14 months loved playing in it every day. Then it rained! I had the lid on correctly but it is VERY thin and flimsy and it just sits on top with nothing to hold it in place so the rain caved in one of the corners and flooded the whole sandbox. I spent hours scooping out the $25 worth of sand/water and had to throw it all away.
I thought it was supposed to have a plug so I called the company and they were no help at all. They informed me that they don't advertise that it is weather proof and that the old version of this sandbox had a plug in the bottom and a clamp to keep the lid in place but this newer model does not. I have always bought step2 products knowing that they are well built and will last but it seems like now they are going backwards and instead of improving their products they are making them cheaper. They had no advice on my situation but to empty all the sand and start all over again with clean sand and they would not even let me buy the clamps and plug to make this a usable product; they said that they would not sell them to me because the sandbox I bought didn't come with them originally. So I asked if the consumers are supposed to purchase new sand every time it rained she said sorry but she doesn't have an answer to that but there is nothing that they can do and that I should try to place something heavy on the lid to keep it in place. They should know that even the weight of the rain makes the flimsy lid cave in and fill with water so placing anything heavy would just bend the lid completely in.
Finally my husband went to lowes and bought some metal hinges and a little metal clamp to keep the lid in place. I just think it is ridiculous that after paying so much money for a product that you should have to go out and install extra parts just so that you can use it.
Some of the good reviews on this page are really for the older model sandbox that had the plug and clamps, it seems like that one was built better!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2010
I have been using this as a pool for 3 years. There is a stopper in the bottom, so that water doesn't leak out. I love that the umbrella keeps my fair-skinned kids from burning while playing in the water, and the water is the perfect depth for both my 1 year old and my 4 year old. I have been able to keep the cover on, in even the stormiest weather, but using bungee cords. I've been amazed that this has survived 4 seasons of winter strorms and salty air year long. It's still going strong, and I'm sure you younger son will have many fun summer days planying in his pool. I do have to buy a new umbrella this year, but it's cheaper than the additional sunscreen that I would need to keep my kids from burning while in the water! You won't regret this purchase!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2009
My daughter loves the sandbox. The connected table works perfectly for serving "tea" or just sitting on for snack. We had no problems with assembly or durability. I would recommend this sandbox set over any others.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
My 6 year old daughter loves this combination sandbox and picnic table! Assembly was very easy and intuitive too. The only issue is the very flimsy sandbox cover. 'Step2' could have done a much better job designing it. It is very lightweight and cheap, and does not provide a good cover for the sand during rainstorms or windstorms. The cover is not heavy enough, so it easily flies off unless you use bungee cords to hold it on (there are holes in the unit to accept bungee cords), or if you place a couple of patio chairs on top. More importantly, our cover seems bent in one area, so it does not provide a good seal (there is a good sized gap where the cover meets the sandbox), and allows some rain in to wet the sand.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2013
I think this sandbox will work for me, but I did a ton of research before I bought it. I live in the second wettest place in america, and wood sand boxes don't seem to withstand the harsh conditions here. Plastics seem to do better here, so I am giving this sand box a shot.
- Pros, I like the size. It is good enough for my small 1, 3, and 4 year old. All of them can play in it well together. My 1 year old climbs all over it, and we've only had it for a week. She loves it.
- The umbrella, in all honesty, is better than I thought it would be. I wasn't expecting the greatest thing here, but it will function for everything we need.
- The table is good size for all my kids. My kids are a little smaller than most, but expect it to last my oldest boy until he is at least 6.
1. No drainage in the new models. So unless you drill a hole, you can't drain it. I will drill holes, and expected this, so be aware, if you buy it, you need to drain it, because the lid . . . well read on.
2. THE LID: LOL this thing cracks me up. I am a teacher, and I run a class called research and technology for 6th graders. My students could have easily designed something better than this for a $200.00 retail price tag. Whatever moron at Step 2 designed this lid and thought it was a great plan needs to rethink his career choice. I knew this going into the purchase, of course, because of the research I did, so I had a back up plan if the lid did in fact suck (which it does). If you don't have Bungees, and a solid way to hold those Bungees on, this lid is a major waste of time. I simply criss-crossed mine to predrilled holes I did myself and it works fine. We get 30+ mph winds regularly, so the lid staying on is important to me. I anticipate some water will still get in where I have it in my yard, but since I drained it by drilling drainage holes as well, all should be fine.
3. For the money: Not sure it is worth the retail price tag. If you can pick it up for $100.00 or less like I did then, I say give it a shot. It is a good size, plastic, and will last a long time. Step 2 usually has good products, and overall I am happy with this because it is what I expected it too be. An uneducated consumer that buys this might feel like they got hosed for 200+ dollars.
Hope this helps. Take care
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
We received this from my father when our son was 1. I will echo the issues others have had: First, we live in Tennessee: this thing is a spider magnet. Weed-eating underneath it is difficult, so we have to drag it around the yard to different spots (it's heavy). Second, there are no drainage holes: I routinely have had mold issues. As in, green, red, and other colors growing. Third: our cats sit on the lid. The lid is not as strong as it seems when you first get it, so after they're done urinating, a storm will arrive and dump all of the liquids into the box. Bad, bad, bad. I tweeted Step2 and received no response. I'm considering drilling drainage holes and filling it with pea gravel instead. Maybe planting flowers? The cats are a problem, obviously. If you don't have rain, animals, or spiders, go for it. We love the idea, but after a few years, it hasn't held up and we're very disappointed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2013
My daughter has a blast playing. However, the lid just sits on top. It doesn't fit securely and any little wind blows it off.