Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Sandosaurs: New Waves in Beach Play

photo: Think Of It

DOES:   for those who need more than a sandcastle bucket; maybe just a change of pace at the beach
INVEST: $20.00 approximately (other retailers may vary)
TOOLS:  More Make-Believe Please, My Body Needs to Move, Social Scene Helper, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer

I love when readers make comments and requests here.  It really helps me figure out in which direction I should be heading.  I also feel like I have more eyes and ears because if I spent all my time searching for cool stuff then I wouldn't get a chance to test it or write about it.

One of the products that was suggested to me was SandOSaurs which I found to be quite interesting.  A dinosaur sand mold? Hmmmm....  I have two children. One who hates sand and the other who loves it and only requires a pail and shovel to be satisfied.  Actually, he needs even less than that.   He is happy with just his bare hands in the sand.

We actually had fun fitting all the pieces into the bag. You have to put it back in is a certain way to make sure it all fits.  At first I didn't like that but now I see it as the best way to make sure the molds don't crack.  They are light in weight but not flimsy.  Still, you still have to be careful. 

The "excavation" process is different for every child.

But some of us need more and I think that is okay.   There could be tons of reasons including disliking sand or just plain not interested in building a castle or digging a hole to China.

Not Everyone Needs to Build the Taj Mahal

Some of us like  a more 2 dimensional way of sand-sculpting.  I know that makes no sense but hear me out.  Basically what I mean is that some kids don't want to go crazy with digging and building at the beach.  Some people don't want to go home and find huge lumps of sand in the bathing suit.  Some folks like clean, clear cut molds or taking a stick to write in the sand.  It's a bit more 2D.  You can say it is the same amount of play and art but just less mess.

Even the molds can be pretend play props.  This is me just being silly with my kids. 

I was thinking about this because Number 2 Son loves dinosaurs but really does NOT love sand.  He tolerates it a lot better now but seriously, he used to cry, cry, cry* as soon as we got to the beach.    I am not sure when but sometime in the past year, he started softening up to the idea of sand on his feet and hands.  I figured it was a great time to introduce a totally different experience on the beach.

What could be better than a cool sand mold that he has ever seen before?  To be sure, I've never seen anything like SandOSaurs on the beach!   It is so cool!  The molds themselves actually looks a bit like a fossil too making it a great pretend play item as well.

Oooooh, fossils!
Clean it off and press down hard.  Does that work?

Challenges Keep You Busy

If your child is on the perfectionist side then beware, he may really love this set.  I suppose it might be a little frustrating for some but making a dinosaur from a mold, with all it's intricate ridges and grooves means that you may have to try more than once to get it right.  I actually did once see a dinosaur mold in a toy store but that one was very simple looking.  SandOSaurs looks much more "real."

I appreciate that it takes a bit more work to make it the way you like.  Kids will have to figure out how wet the sand should be and that is exactly what happened with us.  We had to think like sand sculpting engineers and ask ourselves, should the sand be wetter? drier? or maybe it's the sand itself? maybe it's too coarse?

It's nice to be precise!

Additionally, making friends at the beach was easier with SandOSaurs, everyone keep staring as they passed by us.  Sometimes we'd ask other kids if they wanted to join in.  Let's just say, no arm-twisting was needed!

Lastly, I love toys that have more than one function, especially if it is appears to only be a seasonal toy like a sand mold.  We haven't done it yet but I've already purchased plaster of Paris because I plan on having the kids make their own fossils.  I think it will be fun and I can see it being used possibly for a class or school science project.  I also wonder if we can use SandOSaurs to make a Jell-O dinosaur....... hmmmm...

How did he do?

Put SandOSaurs in your shopping cart today with my Amazon link!

* Some folks are over-sensitive to touch and have issues with touching things like sand, foam, chalk, & paint etc...   If you think it might be significantly interfering your child's functioning, check out the resources at  It's a great organization.

Disclosure statement: Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any fashion by the manufacturer or retailer of any of the mentioned products for the publication of this post.  The product was given to Toys are Tools' testers to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.   


  1. That is very cool! and I love how you think out of the box - Jello SandOSaur!

    Parents could also pre-bury the mold and kids could have an archaeological dig to try and find it. A park near my Mom's house has a permanent cement dinosaur in a sand pit for kids to do just that

  2. OK, you know I bought this the second, i saw it! I LOVED it, the OTHER KIDS on the beach loved it, the OTHER PARENTS on the beach loved it. Tyler was on the fence... That said, I could see how it was an organizational challenge for him to set it up. I set up the pieces in place once I saw it was too hard for him and helped him get the sand in and flip. He Had trouble with the flipping (fine motor issues) but he did LOVE the finished product and that everyone came over to watch and see...

  3. We are heading to the shore tomorrow and I am going to see if I can get them shipped there in time for the kids to play with these. Big A has already started his science journal for the trip and I can see him having a great time with these!

  4. Bummer! We JUST got back from the beach. Oh, well...maybe next year!