Summer didn't wait for it's official start here in Columbus. Last week it was hot - unbearably hot. And of course I had two children who wanted to go outside every day.
The problem, of course, is that any amount of time spent outdoors will melt the lot of us faster than a bucket of water on the wicked witch. Wait - water! Add water to a hot day, and suddenly it's not so bad anymore, right?
So last week we introduced the Step 2 Sand & Water Cart to our backyard, and the girls were very excited to try it. It required a little bit of construction, so I told the girls to be patient. (Never an easy task.) Thankfully, the pieces fit together easily, and the screws were easy to put in. I'm not good with building things, but this took only 10 minutes and very little effort with the well-written instructions.
The cart is very compact, yet still offers plenty of room for several kids to gather around and play. Wheels and a handle on the front make it easy to move around the backyard (we moved it to the shade), and a cute umbrella provides shade if the cart is out in the sun.
Cordy saw the water wheel toy on the cart and decided that no sand was needed. I was ordered to fill both sides with water, even though one side is designed for sand and I had a bag of it sitting nearby. Both girls immediately started splashing, pushing the boats around, and Cordy poured water into the water tower to watch the wheel spin. I splashed around with them for a little while (we had boat races by blowing on the plastic sails) and then I pulled up a chair nearby and relaxed in the shade for a bit.
An hour later, I had to drag them in from the backyard and deal with the wails that dinner wasn't important, because there was water to play with! Clean up was a snap: there's a spout on the bottom to drain out the water, and the toys can be stored inside or on the lower level of the cart. The cover fits tightly with bungee cords to secure it, keeping bugs and water from getting into your sand.
I really appreciate how portable this toy is. We don't have a deck or patio, so we have to move all of their toys to mow the lawn. Wheeling this cart out of the way is a breeze. And the cart can be used in several ways: sand and water, sand alone, or water alone. We added the sand this week, and they love digging in the sand to find things Cordy has buried. (And I get to practice my observation skills, as Mira tries to eat the sand every now and then.)
It's also a toy that both girls can use together. The one year old enjoys it as much as the nearly-four year old does. Mira enjoys the sensations of feeling the water and sand, while Cordy learns how water can make a wheel move and a boat float, and practices hiding and digging up toys in the sand.
I can see this cart will give us years of use, and I highly recommend the Step 2 Sand & Water Cart. Having this toy around has resulted in more time spent in the backyard and less around the TV. But I think we need to build a patio now just so I can relax at a table (with my computer, of course) during these extended outdoor play sessions!