Summer is a great time to play outside. One creative way to get the kids outdoors is by switching up the backyard with some different textures and materials for them to play with. We all know the amazing fun of playing in the sand of the beach. What if you could bring it home to your yard? Here are a few steps to help you create a sandbox in your own back yard:
Pick Your Location Well
Unless you choose to create a moveable sandbox, you’ll want to carefully plan out the location. First of all, you’ll require plenty of good, level space. Secondly, you’ll want a good balance of shade and sun. Too much shade, and the sand won’t be able to drain and dry properly between rainfall. But if there’s too much sun on the sandbox, it will be too hot and sunny for kids’ sensitive skin. Additionally, avoid areas that will receive a lot of fallen leaves and other yard debris. Consider how close the box is to your house–is there plenty of space for kids to shake the sand off before they enter the house?
Prep the Space
Put down some gravel for good drainage. You don’t want things growing in the sandbox, or mud and water to puddle. Once the foundation is done, you can build your border. It can be made of stones or wooden frames. Some people like having transportable sand boxes made out of barrels, boats, or plastic tubs. Before you fill the space with play sand, put a tarp on the bottom. Avoid plastic tarps that will prevent drainage. A good landscaping weed mat or a shade cloth will do the trick of blocking weeds and bugs and keeping your sand where you want it.
Pick a good play sand that will be clean and fun for you children. You can pick up appropriate sand at our store.
Maintain It Regularly
- Weed regularly or treat it with weedkiller, preferably an eco-friendly one since you’ll have kids playing around there.
- Make sure it’s draining well. A day after rainfall, check by pressing your fingers into the sand and make sure that it’s dry.
- Clean out yard debris like leaves, chips, and sticks. Filter through the sand now and then with a sifter (which, by the way, makes a great toy in your sandbox).
- Change the sand regularly. Switch it out completely so that you know the sand is clean.
More Fun Ideas
Here are some more creative ideas that can make your space even more fun and functional:
- Have a trunk, box, or basket close by where you can stow sandbox toys.
- Add a shade overhead to keep the sand from getting too hot.
- Expand it into a big playspace with large boulders, a beam for kids to walk across, and maybe even a mudpie zone.
- Bury some treasure in the sandbox for kids to find.
- Find a way to put a cover on. You can install one that fits over the top and you can place on whenever no one’s playing in it.