An outdoor sandbox is a fantastic outdoor play area for children perfect for the backyard. Below you will find a cool collection of backyard sandbox ideas for kids. Follow any one of the step by step tutorials to make your own DIY sandbox or purchase one of the ready-made outdoor sandbox options in each category.
Backyard sandboxes are amazing outdoor sensory play spaces for kids. An outdoor sandbox is a fantastic place for children to engage in sensory or imaginative play. Outdoor sandboxes are also a great place to try some STEM and STEAM activities.
Outdoor Sandbox Ideas for Kids
There is sure to be something that works for your needs in this awesome collection. Choose the one that you like best, or use these backyard sandbox ideas to come up with your own idea!
The Best Backyard Sandbox Ideas for Kids
1. Portable Sandboxes for Kids
Some of these portable sandboxes would be great for people that live in apartments with small outdoor spaces. The sand tables and sand and water tables listed below would also be perfect for smaller yards and spaces.
- Sandbox on Wheels | Nonchalant Mom Blog
- Portable see-thru sensory table
- Interlocking sandbox
- Sand and play build a box sandbox
- Extra large portable sand tray with lid
2. Outdoor Sandbox Hacks
There are hacks for everything and backyard sandboxes are no exception. Check out the fun outdoor sandbox hacks below!
- Tent Sandbox | Coconut Love
- Tractor Tire Sandbox | i Heart Naptime
- Pool Sandbox with Tutorial for Cover | What Shall We Do Today? Life as an Air Force Family
Related: How to Make a Summer Nature Table
3. Backyard Sand Tables for Kids
Outdoor sand tables are a simple option for any backyard no matter the size. Most of these could be sand or water tables. You can always make or purchase more than one to use for sand, water, gravel, slime, or any type of sensory play material.
- DIY Style #1 Sand Table | Prodigal Pieces
- Sandbox Table | Shanty 2 Chic
- DIY Sand (and/or water) Table | Boxy Colonial
- 30 Minute DIY Sensory Table | Teaching Mommy
- Kids Picnic Table and Sandbox Combo | DIY Projects & Ideas 2 Live 4
- Sand Table
- Wooden Picnic Table with Sandbox
4. Backyard Sand and Water Tables for Kids
Sand and water tables are a fun option to have instead of, or in addition to, a backyard sandbox. Of course, many of these could be used with just sand or water… or any other type of sensory material.
Click on the link to see my top 10 Sand and Water Tables. Most are DIY but there are also a few options that you could buy included in the collection.
5. Easy DIY Backyard Sandboxes
An easy way to make a simple backyard sandbox is to make a raised garden bed of any size, place a tarp underneath, and fill it with sand. Below are a few other options you can DIY, upcycle, or buy. Each can have covers made or purchased for them.
- DIY Sandbox Tutorial for Backyard |Kenarry Ideas for the Home
- Color Block Sandbox from a Bookcase | The Homes I Have Made
- Build Your Own Sandbox | Nana’s Petals
- Backyard Sandbox | Made Everyday
- Backyard Sandbox
- Sqare sandbox with cover
- Hexagon sandbox with cover
6. Outdoor Sandboxes with a Surrounding Seat
These type of sandboxes have a seat that goes around the entire sandbox. Sandboxes like this serve the dual purpose of sitting on while playing in the sand or using as a place to sit while hanging out in the backyard.
- Wooden Sandbox with Seats | Dover Projects
- How to Build a Sandbox | Kaboom
- Mini Sandbox | Our Family Unit
- Sandbox Seat
Related: Easy Rainbow Art Projects Kids LOVE!
7. Covered Outdoor Sandboxes
There are so many fun ways people have come up with to cover a sandbox. You can build doors, flaps, roofs, and canopy’s of all kinds to cover a sandbox. You can even use a TeePee!
Check out all of the fun ideas to DIY or buy below!
- How to Build a Sandbox with Cover Doors | Modern Parents Messy Kids
- Deluxe DIY Sandbox Tutorial | Small and Friendly
- DIY Sandbox with Cover | Design Dining and Diapers
- How to Build a Sandbox Part I and How to Build a Sandbox Part II (Cover) | Young House Love
- How to Build a Covered Sandbox | DIY Network
- Sandbox with Cover that Converts to Roof
- Play and Store Sandbox
- Sandbox with Canopy
- TeePee Sandbox | Apartment Therapy
8. Backyard Sandboxes with Convertable Bench Seat Covers
This type of backyard sandbox has a lid that converts to seats when they are folded open! I found a few different cool backyard sandbox options of this type to DIY or buy.
- Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with two Bench Seats
- Sandbox with Built-in Seats | Ana White
- Build Your Own Sandbox | Utah Adventure Family
- Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Bench Seats and Canopy
Related: DIY Rainbow Peg Dolls for Kids
9. Boat Sandbox Ideas for Kids
These are amazing! The outward explorer pirate ship play structure sandbox is my favorite!
- Old Boat Sandpit | Two Little Pirates
- Sail Boat or Ship Sandbox | Ana White
- Pirate Ship Sandbox | Family Designs Inc.
- Pirate Ship Sandbox
Related: How to Make a Fairy Garden
10. Nature-Scape Sandbox Ideas for Kids
Uh-oh… you caught me! I’m still adding sandbox ideas to this glorious collection. It has been hard for me to find proper pictures with links for this type of sandbox so I need some more time.
I LOVE natural sandboxes that blend into the space that they are created in. There are a lot of photos of natural backyard sandbox ideas that don’t include tutorials. I hope these ideas spark your own creativity to design your own nature-scaped sandbox!
The Sandbox | We Play Outside
Backyard Bliss | Ana White
DIY and ready-made Backyard sandboxes are amazing outdoor sensory backyard play spaces for kids. Tips, tutorials, and hacks for several backyard sandbox ideas for kids are included.
Don’t forget to check out our summer bucket list seasonal family guide for lots of fun ideas to try with the kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
For more backyard play space ideas check out the following articles:
- Top 10 Sand and Water Tables
- DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
- DIY Outdoor Art Table & Mud Kitchen
- Start Your Own Fairy Garden
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