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Baby in Garden

The Wooden Sandpit and DIY Options


Childrens Sandpit

The perfect Childrens Sandpit for toddlers or small spaces.

Designed to last the wooden sandpit is a good option if you want something durable and have a designated shady spot in the garden to place it.

Most wooden sandpits come with a cover and need to be put together, but this is not complicated. They are constructed out of pre-treated wood to enable them to stay outdoors over winter and don't require much maintenance. They also tend to have a lip or seating area around the outside which is useful.

When your kids have outgrown the sandpit, you can convert it into a raised bed for flowers or vegetables.

As for different shapes and sizes ... there are obviously the standard square boxes, but more and more octagonal or rectangular versions available, and there are some really lovely wooden sandpits shaped as ships which add an air of adventure and encourage imaginary and active play.

Pirate Ship Sandpit

Every little kid's dream! The Pirate Ship Sandpit is a whole new adventure!

Wooden sandpits are also often integrated in larger outdoor play equipment. If you are looking for a combination all-in-one answer, these are the ones to go for, as they provide a whole playground which will last right into the teenage years.

One of the benefits of these activity centers is that the sandpit is usually incorporated under a platform which acts as a canopy to provide some shade. The only con is that the sandbox tends to be rather small. If you have a number of children aged from toddler up, and can afford it, these combination models are definitely worth serious consideration.

A further pretty neat option, fairly new to the market, are combination picnic tables and sandpits. The sandbox is located under a removable panel, and the children can sit on the benches and play with the sand, then pop the panel back on and enjoy a picnic in the fresh air! These are available in both plastic (especially suitable for toddlers and available from the Early Learning Centre) and wooden models.

Check out the info in these sections too:

Basic consideration before buying
Plastic sandpits
Sandpit covers

sandpit clipart

Homemade DIY sandpits

Constructing your own sandpit is fairly simple and inexpensive - generally the larger you make the box, the more you save compared to buying an equivalent sized wooden one new - especially if you already have a stack of wood hanging around.

The basic principle is simple. You can either build one out of wood or use modular raised bed panels.

If building one from wood, cut four equal lengths of 1" smooth timber and screw these together to form a square box shape. To add a seating area, cut a triangular shape to fit one of the corners and screw in firmly. Make sure there are no sharp edges on the construction by filing any cut edges with a fine woodfile. You can then either construct a timber base for it out of further smooth wood, or include some other form of sheeting, eg tarpaulin, for the base, stretching it taughtly and then hammering it in firmly. Stain or paint it your desired colour to waterproof it (ensuring it is kiddie safe paint and designed for outdoor use), fill it with sand you are done!

In my first school playground, we had old tractor tyres which were filled with sand and did the job for us just as well as any expensive construction. So if you happen to know a farmer with a spare tyre, why not use them?

The other option is to use modular raised bed sections. Usually made out of strong frost-proof plastic, it is as easy to put them together as is playing with lego, though possibly not as fiddly as some lego! This would be a good option to go for if you have an older child and don't expect to be using it as a sandpit for very long and are already thinking ahead to the flowers or vegetables you want to plant in it sooner rather than later! Suttons Seeds can provide modular raised beds which could easily be used.

They are quick and easy to put up, but rarely include a base in the kit, which means you do need to think about adding maybe a board or tarpaulin under the construction while it is being used for sand. Both DIY sandpits and modular raised beds don't come with covers - a definite con for the modular system, and just a bit more work and wood if making the sandpit yourself.

sandpit clipart

 

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