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on May 17, 2003
Great sand pit! However buy safe sand. There are 4 grades of sand(Fill, plaster, masonary, and Play) and only one grade is suitable for children's sand boxes:play sand. It should be silica free (depending on the state you live in) and is often sterilized. For this reason it is more expensive than the fill sand that is sold in the hardware store.
Crystalline silica, a colorless mineral, also called quartz, is an ingredient in sand, exposure to crystalline silica dust can cause lung diseases such as silicosis, inhaling airborne crystalline silica dust also has been associated with other diseases such as tuberculosis and lung cancer.
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on April 19, 2002
My husband and I bought this for our 2 1/2-year-old daughter and she absolutely loves it! She plays in it every day. We liked the idea of natural look so it would not stand out like a sore thumb in the backyard. It is big enough to hold my daughter and two of her friends. She also has a 6-year-old cousin who loves to play in it. They play for hours in it. The sides have little blocks on the corners for the kids to sit while in the sandbox and they are sturdy enough for an adult to sit on. The cover is high and rounded at the top so we are able to store all of her sand toys in the box. We are very happy with this purchase and would recommend this Step 2 product to anyone looking for a sandbox for young children.
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on January 22, 2006
I want to thank M. Beatrice for planting the seed in my mind about "safe" play sand. I read the review, bought this sand box for my one-year old daughter and went to Home Depot to buy Play Sand. The label said it was specifically for use in sandboxes and washed, filtered, etc., so I bought four bags.

When I was unloading it at home, the red warning label caught my eye "Warning: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer". I couldn't believe it, so checked the sand manufacturer's website [...] and sure enough, it's silica sand, known to cause cancer. Good grief and it's legal to sell this stuff for children's sand boxes?

Yes, it's cheap, less than $20 for 200 lbs. But what price do we put on our kid's health? Back it goes and I begin my search for exorbitantly priced "safe sand". (For ideas, type in "safe play sand" in your search engine.) But who cares? At least I won't have to worry about my daughter spending hours playing in a toxic pit! Thanks again, M. Beatrice....
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on February 9, 2005
Never gets wet, never leaks, cover stays on through the harshest of weather! I am still impressed. Well worth every penny!!
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on July 8, 2003
Be warned, this sandbox is NOT any bigger than the Little Tykes Dinosaur or Step 2 Crabbie. It's rectangular, but skinny, and at the ends it's even narrower than in the middle. The interior measure is 44 1/2 X 31 at it's biggest point. The Dino and Crab is about 36 X 36 square. So, really no difference. It is attractive, yes, and durable. But if you're looking for a BIG sandbox, keep looking. And good luck!! I don't know WHY they can't make a LARGE sandbox with a cover. Very frustrating. If you really need a big one, I'd suggest a big pool with a cover. At least they're making larger pools these days. Also, the cover has no area on it where you can easily grab it and pick it up. It's a bit awkward trying to pick it up and hold onto it with no indentation or handle at all.
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on September 29, 2003
We bought this for our son because we liked appearance of it. While it is an OK box, the lid is very awkward and the box itself is much smaller than we anticipated. It really only fits two kids comfortably. The biggest problem is that we have had mice and chipmunks make their homes in it. Imagine our surprise when we lifted the lid and saw three mouse babies feeding off of their mother!! I actually watched a chipmunk crawl up through a space underneath the lid. The lid was attached securely, but their are still a few gaps.
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on January 12, 2006
For my son's 3rd birthday I wanted to buy a sandbox that met all my specifications but yet was fun for him too---size, durabilty, lid design, and cost were my main focus. After researching every sandbox I could find and reading all the reviews, the Naturally Playful Sandbox looked like the best buy. What a great choice it turned out to be! For starters, the size is very roomy (most sandboxes are way to small)--this one is big enough to play in without sand flying out everywhere. It can adequately hold 2 children, possibly 3 if they are small (age 1-2). The design is good because it is very sturdy and holds it shape. The four "rock" corners make a nice seating area since my son will NOT sit down in the sand to play. It can hold 4 bags of play sand very easily which is good so the sand is deep enough to dig in and bury items! My biggest concern was lid design since living in Florida down pours of rain can become an issue. If rain or moisture gets in, sand becomes green. The lid fits snug enough to stay on and the weight of the lid seems to be enough to hold it down under normal wind conditions. When the lid is on, it has a large enough dome shape that you can store all the play toys under it, inside the sandbox. The overall style of the box is good since it blends in with your outdoor surroundings, as opposed to having a big purple dinosaur in your back yard. It also doubles as a planter when your child outgrows it. The surrounding rock shapes would compliment any landscape. Overall, I would rate this as a wonderful buy---and the price can't be beat. Would definitely recommend! You won't be disappointed.
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on July 6, 2003
Sandboxes are great toys and this one has the advantage of not visually dominating a small yard. We have had it now for a month. Our 15month old really enjoys it. The cover keeps the sand pretty dry (not totally dry, but damp sand is more fun than dry sand). Also, flipped upside down and balanced against the sandbox, the cover can be filled with water and makes a great little pool for a 1 year old. The cons: the corner pieces are not comfortable to sit on at all for me and I can't put our daughter on one because if she fell backwards she'd crack her head open on the patio. So she sits inside. When she is in it with her sand toys there isn't room for anyone else, so I wouldn't recommend this to someone with two toddlers. (The neighbourhood kids play with my daughter in it, but they are 8 years old, so just sit outside it and dig with their hands.) We have a very small yard and only one child so this sandbox is ideal for us: for people with 2 kids+ and a decent yard, I'd probably get a bigger box.
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on March 31, 2003
We just purchased this sandbox for our 14-month-old. It's a cool sandbox and she absolutely loves it. The only drawback is the lid. This time of year the wind really blows hard some days and we experience a lot of stormy weather...therefore, it would be nice if the lid snapped on some way as not to come off so easily. We purchased a tarp strap to keep the lid on tight so it won't blow away in a storm. It's working fine, just takes away a little from the neat "look" of the box in our yard.
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on May 14, 2002
My 2 year old son loves this sandbox! I chose it because of the natural color (we live in Texas and it seems the hot sun bleaches out most of his toys). Two children can easily play together in it because it's long rather than round or square. Also for the size, it's a really good value! We had his birthday party recently and had a bunch of one to four year old children really test it out - so I know it's very durable! The lid fits securly and the little bit of rain or sprinkler water that has fallen on it has not seeped in. Niether have any bugs or animals so far! My nieghbor's 7 year old son likes it also, so it's good for all ages. I highly reccomend it!
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