Aqua Sand

I got home from work and my 4-year-old daughter Olivia and her 6-year-old cousin Lauren were waiting for me with big smiles on their faces. I saw the Time to Play box ripped to shreds on the floor and knew that the Aqua Sand had been delivered. The first thing my daughter asked me was, “Can Lauren and I play with the Aqua Sand? We want to try to make castles like the commercial.” Since they asked so nicely, I decided to let them try it. We opened the package and the Aqua Sand kit came with a water container, a cardboard background, two bottles of sand, a nozzle, a sculpting/shovel-net tool, a castle prop and a turtle.

The girls were excited and began setting up their play area. With this toy you definitely need to prep the area as water and sand will get everywhere. Once they got their area set up they began trying to create “castles.” Since there were no instructions the girls just winged it. Watching them play I could see that this set should have come with at least an FAQ sheet. For example, do not pour the sand on top of the water or the sand will float. But it didn’t matter that the sand was floating or that they were not able to make “castles,” the girls had a blast for over an hour just trying. They used their hands, the tools, pencils, rulers, etc. to try to sculpt the sand. Then it was time to clean up. This was a chore as it was hard to separate the sand from the water with the little shovel-net tool the kit had.

The next day my daughter wanted to play with it again. Remembering the clean-up from yesterday, I set her up outside to play. She again played for over an hour. It was like she was playing in a sand box but the sand was in water. She had a great time. Here is her creation the second day:

Overall, Aqua Sand is a nice play activity for kids but as a parent who has to clean up after the kids supposedly “clean up,” it is an activity that I wouldn’t consider letting them do on a daily basis with the current tool. If the kit came with a sifter-type cup where I can pour the contents to separate the sand from the water, it would save so much time compared to the little shovel-net tool. But the bottom line is whether the kids enjoy playing with it - my daughter truly enjoys playing with Aqua Sand and has not really grown bored of it yet. I would recommend it, but parents be warned. I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars because of the clean-up.

Pros

  • Great tactile toy
  • Kid-friendly


  • Con

  • The cardboard background was destroyed after two sessions of play (should be laminated to prevent it getting wet)
  • The sand is like Play-Doh and once you mix them together it becomes one color
  • A bit messy - parents should set up the area and expect sand and water to be spilled
  • Loss of sand - the more it is used the more sand will be lost (be sure to buy the refill packs)


  • Follow Evic on Twitter at @evico

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