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1,036 of 1,038 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going on our 6th year with this toy...
Below I'm going to cut and paste my first review of this toy, one I posted almost 3 years ago. My five stars still hold true although I have had some leg weakness since then (but we've owned the toy 6 years now and I've got three bigger kids--7, 5, 3--leaning on it in every direction as well as an 80 lb. labrador retriever who has taken to standing in it to look over the...
Published on March 15, 2010 by AVA

versus
105 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaks but worth buying
I purchased this even after the reviews about leaks in the legs. The design really is a bit silly as there is no reason to have holes for the legs as you screw them in via the side. We put it together and it leaked, I took it apart purchased some sealant at my local hardware store and reassembled. No more leaks and my little girl (16 months) loves this table. We only put...
Published on April 23, 2009 by Kirsty Hanvey


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1,036 of 1,038 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going on our 6th year with this toy..., March 15, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
Below I'm going to cut and paste my first review of this toy, one I posted almost 3 years ago. My five stars still hold true although I have had some leg weakness since then (but we've owned the toy 6 years now and I've got three bigger kids--7, 5, 3--leaning on it in every direction as well as an 80 lb. labrador retriever who has taken to standing in it to look over the fence, ahem...anyway). I am about to rescrew new holes in each leg and the table and fill the legs with stand to make it stable again but it is completely worth it given the joy it has brought my children. The water cover is still 100% effective and the toy still looks practically brand new. I have bought one more new umbrella since my last review. So, that's two new umbrellas and some leg maintenance in 6 years. Not bad. I'm determined to keep it because it is a great place for us to do lots of messy science experiments and activities, as listed below, that are best kept outdoors.

Old Review from May 2007:

First of all, we have had this toy for 3 years and it still looks like the first day it came out of the box (in the BLAZING Texas sun). Also, it has been moved around too many times to count and is still as strong as ever. It's durable. Plus, it really does keep water out and the cover stays put tightly even through the most violent and windy thunderstorms. The umbrella is awesome, although I did have to replace it once due to weathering. I soooooooo don't care. Read on...

I'm on my third child now and if there is one thing I'm sick of, it's the toy that's a one-trick pony. I'm really looking for more versatility in a toy. That said, let me tell you why we will keep this toy until the kids outgrow it even though we also have an 8x10 ft. sandbox in the back yard. Sure, it's a sand and water table but we've done it all:

(1) sand alone

(2) water alone

(3) potting soil/trowels/silk plants/plastic pots

(4) landscaping stones and small Tonka construction vehicles (aka "the quarry")--sometimes the small trucks even deliver to the Tonka Mighty and it goes on for hours

(5) bubble solution to use with the large wands and even the small and different wands (so that the kids aren't fighting over the tiny opening of a tiny bottle of bubbles that inevitably gets spilled all over the patio)

(6) a Mommy-made iceburg (colored blue) on the hottest summer day with dollar store penguins and polar bears--you can even shave the iceburg to make snow (I used a putty knife) and put crushed ice (if your refrigerator makes it) in the water to make it a happier habitat

(7) dishwater and play dishes with sponges and scrubbers to play clean-up without making a mess at the sink like they do inside

(8) aquarium gravel/toys/plants with pretend fish

(9) sand over buried "fossils" (pretend dinosaur bones found at the local dollar store) -- Put a small layer of sand on the bottom of the table, place bones all over that, add more sand to fill, then saturate all the sand with water and let it dry completely (left in sun, might take a day or two depending on temps). That way, they'll actually be able to kind of chisel the bones out instead of just easily moving the sand.

(10) sand sifters and dirt with various sizes of rocks that I spray painted gold -- super fun day!

(11) measuring spoons/cups/jugs that teach lessons about volume -- pair with bath color tablets to learn about color mixing!

(12) Did you know that Little People LOVE to go to the beach? (Off subject, they're also not opposed to a tumble in the dishwasher!)

(13) any number of arts and crafts activities that I would rather do outside than inside (making slime, papier mache, etc.)

(14) tin pans/muffin cups paired with dirt/sticks/water mud for mud pies

(15) sand castles, of course!

(16) dinosaurs and various animals add a tremendous amount of play value to your basic sand environment.

Well, that's all that I can remember doing in three years time as I sit here writing this review, although I'm sure there's more. As if all that isn't enough, this table is a great size. No elbowing for more space here. There's room for 6 kids. Yep, one on each end and two on each side. True story.

Do you miss sipping iced tea and reading a magazine or chatting with friends? It can happen again while your toddler plays happily and safely. I LOVE this toy. Can you tell?
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336 of 344 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sand + Water = Mud! Good for ages 1-8..., May 31, 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
One question you need to ask is do you want one side sand and one side water, or do you want two sides with mud? You should decide otherwise your kids will decide for you.

Seriously though, we have a 1, 3, and 5 year old and all three enjoy this. I'd say that ~8 years might be the upper limit at which point kids might start to get bored...

UPDATE: I'd still stick with ~8 years as the upper limit, ours are now 3, 5, and 8 and it's clearly the younger two that enjoy this the most. We're not on about our 5th year with this....

I'd recommend not filling the sand side up all the way as the kids enjoy it just as much with only an inch or less of sand. Also you end up buying sand less often this way - it seems universal that they DO NOT want to keep the sand on the table.

Note that there is a water drain ONLY on the "wet" side so you may have to bail the "sand" side out when they start moving the water around.

It came with a few boats, bridges, etc. Naturally, Hot Wheels and other toys will end up here. Consider adding a few empty yogurt cups, plastic utensils, etc to the mix. It's amazing how much fun and unstructured play they can have with these.

The umbrella is a nice touch as our deck is very sunny. If you don't need it for this toy you can still use it elsewhere as it's basically a beach umbrella with a shorter stick. The original umbrella is in a matching color, though if you need a replacement it seems Dollar stores sell one that is identical except for color. UPDATE: We bought another umbrella at Harbor Freight - same style except it tilts for better sun protection.

My one complaint is that the top tends to collect water. It's designed to drain, but the top will sag, particularly because kids like to sit and stand on top. I put an empty yogurt container over the umbrella hole before I put the lid on and it helps prop up the top enough for (most of) the water to run out.

UPDATE: After ~5 years outside it had collected some algae and mildew on the lid and sides, but a quick blast of the pressure washer this spring cleaned it up and now it looks as good as new!

Otherwise very sturdy just like all Step 2 products.

If you've found this review to be helpful or have questions/comments, please let me know!
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105 of 118 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaks but worth buying, April 23, 2009
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
I purchased this even after the reviews about leaks in the legs. The design really is a bit silly as there is no reason to have holes for the legs as you screw them in via the side. We put it together and it leaked, I took it apart purchased some sealant at my local hardware store and reassembled. No more leaks and my little girl (16 months) loves this table. We only put water in both sides as that's entertainment enough for her. We live in Texas and I'm afraid of snakes and bugs getting in, so once she's ready for sand the fact that it's not on the ground and has a cover will help. I can see how it would be a little heavy with sand if you need to constantly move it but overall it's a great product. If we didn't have to use sealant to get it to stop leaking I would have given it 4 stars.
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66 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great summer toy so far, April 15, 2010
By 
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
After much internet research, I went with this sand and water play table over several others, and I have been very happy with my choice. However, I do not have anything to compare to as this is our first (and hopefully last) sand/ water purchase. My daughter is 21 months.

Pros -
1) it is off the ground, which keeps it (and the child) a bit cleaner. Also safer with little ones, as they can't fall into it and drown. The pattern of roads through the water side also ensure they can't get their heads underwater.
2) The lid fits on well, and is secure even in storms.
3) the water side has a plug and is easy to drain. We've had no leaks, and we didn't even screw the legs on, just popped them in.
4) the umbrella is great, the height can be adjusted and it keeps her mostly in the shade all day.
5) the little enclosed toys are a perfect size for the sand and the water.
6) a perfect size for smaller children such as mine, though I suspect older children would find it a bit too small. Several children can be around it, we have had 4 year old visitors who loved it, and we have managed up to 4 children easily.

Cons
1) the sand and water WILL mix, and you will spend a lot of time emptying the water side and refilling it with clean water.
2) need to store the umbrella - not a big deal but my daughter likes to wave the detachable pole around like a sword if I leave it under the table.
3) there is a tendency to tip the sand onto the floor, I guess if you are 2 and you have a shovelful of sand, you want to experiment with gravity, but it is messy!
4) pretty low table for an adult

Things that might help
1) matchbox cars fit the roads perfectly. Little kids soft tonka toys (those cute soft plastic ones with the faces) do not. This was a bit upsetting to my daughter as she wanted to make the cars go on the roads, and it took us a day or two to sort it out.
2) the sand side takes about half a 50lb bag of playsand. You could fill it higher, but then you will lose more over the edge. We just top it up as needed. You can buy a bag at Home Dept for 6 dollars.
3) normal beach toys are a little too big for the table, eg buckets. We use the digging toys (shovel, rake, castle mold) from the "Green Toys Sand Set" Green Toys Sand Play Set but the bucket is too big really. Other beach toys from Toys R Us, etc are way to big.
4) get a small stool for the adult play partner - it makes the whole experience much more fun for you!
5) we use a spare silicon food loop Fusionbrands The Food Loop 15" Silicone Trussing Tool, Set of 4, Pink to hold the umbrella and pole together when folded. This has made it harder for my daughter to wave it around and keeps the umbrella neatly.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for summer & all year long!, May 4, 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
We bought this last summer for my at the time almost two year old daughter. It was very easily assembled & we dumped a bag of sand in it for immediate play. The difficult part is the water because its so fun the kids love to mix the water with the sand (fine) and the sand with the water (messy). We have had to spray the water side out a couple times which is easy enough to do and let the water/sand mixture fall under the table through the drain. We've had this now for a year. It is very durable. We have no problem with the drain. The cover still works great (although is a little discolored from the sun/weather). Its still a hit. We would buy this again in a heartbeat! It is a gift that has been enjoyed by everyone!!! (oh...and this only requires 1 bag of sand to fill the sandbox the guy at the store told us it took 2 so we ended up with an extra - one bag will be just fine!!!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best product for the money., August 23, 2013
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This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
I scoured reviews of all the combination sand and water tables for months before I settled on which one to purchase for my daughter's second birthday. I wavered back and forth between a combo table, and a water-only table. Ultimately, I went for this one, which has the highest reviews of all similar products.

I'll start by saying that my daughter loves it. She's played with it every day since her birthday almost one month ago, and when it's time to go inside, I have to drag her away from it. That alone makes it worth the investment, because there have been plenty of toys that haven't kept her attention more than the initial 5 minutes of "ooh, this is new!". The construction is sturdy, and it was easy to assemble. Once my husband screwed the legs on, I wiggled it and sat on it and I can say with satisfaction that it's not going to fall over. It's big enough that she and the kids I sometimes watch can all play at the same time and not trip over each other to get at things. I love that the cover goes over the entire table, not just the sand side. Yes, I empty the water every time we're done playing, but my neighbor has a table where the water side is left uncovered, and that side is always nasty. I appreciate not having to scrub it clean before each use. The umbrella is big and provides lots of shade during playtime.

That said, I wish there was a cover I could slide over the umbrella hole when we're not using it, so the sand stays in the table instead of being dumped onto the ground. Also, it didn't come with much in the way of accessories. A quick trip into the dollar section at Target and we had a boat, a sifter set, some extra pails and shovels and a few sand molds, but for the price, they could have included more than a cup and a couple of bridges.

Now, if you're the kind of parent that is going to complain that there's no way to keep the water out of the sand and the sand out of the water, don't buy this. Buy a sandbox, with a cover, and a water-only table or a kiddie pool and set them up on completely opposite ends of your yard! Of course kids are going to mix the 2--that's the fun of it! For some great messy tactile play, this is the table you want. Oh, and I started with only 10 pounds of sand, but that was hardly enough to cover the bottom. We've got 20 pounds in there now, and that seems to be the perfect amount. Just expect to have to replenish a bit, especially if your kid loves the table as much as mine does. Also, if you mix some cinnamon in there, you'll keep the bugs away!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Every Penny!, April 2, 2011
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
I bought this water and sand table from Amazon because it was cheaper online than at any of my local retailers. It arrived quickly and in perfect condition. My husband put the table together with a drill and it was easy as pie to assemble.

My 16 month old daughter just LOVES this table. I put only water in it, on both sides. I knew I wanted to do that when I purchased it because I did not want mud and was looking for a water table. She plays on both sides equally. It comes with two boats and two gardening pots, but I added beach toys, a mechanical fish, a watering pot and I am going to add measuring cups.

I love the umbrella! This is an excellent feature of this product. One reviewer complained that it didn't keep out the sun, but I found it did a great job. Of course, it depends on the time of day. I was able to lower the umbrella so low that my little girl was completely covered the first time she played with it. The second time the sun was at a different angle, but I had put sunscreen on her and the only part of her that was in the sun was her legs. No sunburn at all.

This toy can definitely be used for educational play. There are so many water toys out there you can use with the table to teach measurement and basic physics ideas.

As several reviewers have noted, the table can leak at the legs. We have found a couple leaks, but they are so slow, there is no reason to worry about them. The leaks are minimal and haven't interfered with the play of the table because there is enough water for the entire time of play.

Update: My daughter is now 2 and still enjoying this table. It has held together--this thing is durable! Only the cover has faded a bit, but that's not an issue as the play is inside the table. I still am so glad we purchased this table.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Sandbox, February 11, 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
I bought this sandbox a little bit ago and my son loves it. A little bit annoying screwing the screws all in but you only have to do it once if you decide you want the legs permanent. Since we have had it, I have not seen any problems. One of the other reviews on here says that the water was leaking through the legs but I have not had a problem with that. If you make sure the legs are tightly secure while screwing the screws in, it should be fine. Make sure your using the right length screws for the holes. Have someone hold the legs while someone else uses the drill. The sandbox is a good size and I like that you can have water on one side and sand on the other. Since it is a standing sandbox, my child is able to play with sand without getting sand in his clothes. I looked at other websites and Amazon sells it for the best price.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Leaks, July 15, 2013
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This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
I have tried three times to adjust the legs and 1 still leaks. I would not reccomend this product to anyone
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish it lasted more than 5 minutes!, March 22, 2012
By 
K. Hambly (Mountain Town, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (Toy)
Length:: 0:35 Mins

First, according to the assembly directions this is only made to hold 1 gallon of water, which turns out to be less than an inch of water to play in. That in itself seems ridiculous to me. However, we figured a little water in better than none, so we followed the very simple directions perfectly and put it together.

I took this video about 5 minutes after we had set up the Playful Sand & Water Center and filled it up. It instantly started leaking from the both the legs on the water side, the plug and a small defect hole in the very base. I don't have the time or desire to take it apart and package it back up to be shipped so I'm going to try and seal it up with silicone but I'm so disappointed that I spent money on something that instantly failed and that my daughters birthday gift wasn't the huge success I hoped it would be.
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Step2  Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center
$99.99 $62.19
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