Best Sandbox Ideas – A sandbox is a fantastic outdoor play area for kids that is perfect for the backyard or patio. Below you will find a unique collection of epic sandbox ideas for kids. Follow any one of the do it yourself sandbox plans listed to make your own DIY sandbox, or, purchase one of the awesome ready-made outdoor sandbox ideas!
Below you will find an awesome collection of outdoor sandbox ideas, tips, tutorials, and hacks for backyards and patios everywhere!
We have included links to DIY sandbox plans, and, ready-made sandbox ideas to help you find a sandbox for your children that will fit your needs.
They type of sandbox you choose will depend on the age of your children, the space that you have available, and personal preference.
Related: Outside Activities for Kids
What is a Sandbox or Sandpit?
A sandbox or sandpit is an amazing outdoor play area or space for kids to engage in sensory and/or imaginative play. There are many ways to make or build a sandbox. Basic design plans form a box shape while natural sandbox ideas are made to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
This list of creative sandbox ideas includes everything from toddler sandbox ideas to kids sandbox ideas that will blow the neighbors’ minds!
There are lots of creative sandbox plans that make it easy to build a sandbox with a cover or without one. We have made it easy for you to find everything from simple sandbox designs to a DIY sandbox that will amaze your children and their friends!
We have found upcycled sand tables and sandbox boats, sandbox made to look like a car, sandboxes built with a cover, covered sandboxes with convertible seats; and naturally landscaped sandpits that would make anyone want to sit down and play in the sand.
To make it easy to find the type of sandbox that you are looking for, we have placed this collection of sandbox ideas for kids into categories and listed them by type.
1. Best Sandbox Ideas for Toddlers
The toddler sandbox ideas listed below would also be perfect for families that live in small homes, townhouses, and apartments because they can be used in small yards and on small patios. Many of these ideas are portable and can also be used indoors.
- Play and Store Sandbox with Cover
- Portable see-thru sensory table on wheels – Great sandbox for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners for indoor use
- Turtle Sandbox
- Extra large portable sand tray with lid
- Portable Sand (or water) play table on wheels
2. Cool Sandbox Hacks and Tips
In this day and age, there are life-changing hacks for everything under the sun, and backyard sandboxes are no exception! Check out this collection of fun outdoor sandbox hacks for your patio or backyard. These outdoor sandboxes would also be great for small yards and patios.
- 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. Best Sand Tables for Kids
Outdoor sand tables are a simple option for any backyard no matter the size, and many of them are portable. Many of these sandbox ideas could be used as sand or water tables in small yards, decks, and patios.
- Naturally Playful Sand Table
- 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 | Ideas 2 Live 4
- Wooden Picnic Sandbox Table
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 options, like this Sand and Water Wooden Picnic Table could be used with sand, water, or any other type of sensory play material placed inside.
Click on the link to see our favorite Sand and Water Tables. Most of them are DIY designs, but there are also a few options that you could buy included in the collection.
5. Easy Sandbox DIY Tutorials and Ready-Made Ideas
Here are a few more easy backyard sandbox options that you can DIY or buy. Each of the sandbox ideas listed below has a cover that can be made or purchased for them.
- Easy DIY Sandbox Tutorial for Backyard |Kenarry Ideas for the Home
- Simple DIY Sandbox | Nomadic Thoughts from Lexi
- Colorful DIY Backyard Sandbox | Made Everyday
- Backyard Sandbox
6. Backyard DIY Sandbox Tutorials 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.
Related: Easy Rainbow Art Projects Kids LOVE!
7. Outdoor Sandbox with Cover or Canopy
There are so many fun ways people have come up with to cover a sandbox. You can use a simple tarp, or build a door, roof, cover, or a canopy on poles for a sandbox. You can even use a tent or a TeePee to cover a sandbox!
Below you will find DIY sandbox tutorials with a cover and ready-made options that you can purchase to make it even easier to put a covered sandbox in your backyard.
- How to Build a Sandbox with Cover Doors | Modern Parents Messy Kids
- Deluxe DIY Sandbox Tutorial | Small and Friendly
- DIY Sandbox with Cover | Taryn Whitacre
- How to Build a Sandbox Part I and How to Build a Sandbox Part II (Cover) | Young House Love
- DIY Pottery Barn Inspired Sandbox with Cover | Hometalk
- How to Build a Covered Sandbox | DIY Network
- Play and Store Sandbox
- Sandbox with Cover that Converts to Roof
- Square sandbox with a canopy
- Hexagon sandbox with a canopy
8. Covered Convertible Sandbox Ideas with Bench Seats
This type of sandbox has a lid that converts to bench seats when it is folded open. Some sandboxes with convertible seats are built with a canopy or cover in order to protect children from the harsh rays of the sun.
We found a few different cool backyard sandbox options with convertible seats to DIY or buy listed below. The sandbox plans describe how to build a sandbox with a lid and seating, or you can purchase one of the ready-made options with or without a cover.
- Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Two Bench Seats
- DIY Sandbox with Built-in Seats | Ana White
- Build Your Own Convertible Sandbox with Seats |Utah’s Adventure Family
- How to Build a Sandbox with Folding Lids and Seats | Kaboom
- Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Bench Seats and Canopy
- Kids Foldable Cabana Sandbox with Seats
Related: DIY Rainbow Peg Dolls for Kids
9. Boat Sandbox Ideas for Kids
These outdoor sandbox ideas for children are amazing! Fill an old wooden boat with sand to make a sandbox boat, or build a sandbox in the shape of a boat with these creative sandbox plans for kids!
- Sail Boat or Ship Sandpit | Ana White
- DIY Sandbox Boat Tutorial |Hometalk
- Pirate Ship Sandbox | Family Designs Inc.
- Old Boat Sandbox | Source
- Wooden Boat Sandbox | Source
- Pirate Ship Sandbox | Source
- DIY Pirate Ship Sandbox | From My Home
- Old Boat Sandpit | Two Little Pirates
- Pirate Ship Sandbox
Related: How to Make a Fairy Garden
10. Creative Sandbox Ideas
Like some of the sandbox ideas with a cover and convertible seats, and the awesome boat sandbox ideas listed directly above, these creative DIY sandboxes have unique designs and features that kids are sure to love!
- How to Build a Sandbox that Looks Like a Car | This Old House
- Race Track Sandbox Seat with Parking | Source
- Convert an old Dresser into a Sandbox | East Coast Creative
- Upcycled Color Block DIY Sandbox from a Bookcase | The Homes I Have Made
- Tent Sandbox | Coconut Love
- Tractor Tire Sandbox | I Heart Naptime
11. Natural Sandbox and Sandpit Landscaping Ideas for Children
We LOVE natural sandboxes (or sandpits) that blend into the outdoor space that they are created in. Below you will find photos of natural backyard sandbox ideas that include DIY tutorials, and a few natural sandpit ideas that do not include tutorials.
We hope that these gorgeous natural sandbox DIY ideas spark your creativity to design your own nature-scaped sandbox!
- Rock Boarder Sandbox DIY | Hometalk
- Dry Riverbed Sandpit | Gardening Dreams
- Wooden Sandpit Sandbox | Childhood 101
- Garden Sandbox Play Area for Kids | Source
- Backyard Bliss | Ana White
- The Sandbox | We Play Outside
- Natural Children’s Sandpit |Artful Parent
12. Portable Mini Sandboxes for Kids and Adults
Here’s a collection of mini-sandboxes that you can take with you or use on a desk or table top. These miniature portable sandboxes have small parts and are not for children under 3 years of age.
- My Little Sandbox – Big Builder
- Kitty Tea Party Sandbox
- My Little Sandbox Pirates Ahoy
- Little Mermaid Sandbox
- Mini Zen Garden Sandbox
- Small Sandbox for Desk
- Doggie Day Camp Play
Best Sandbox Ideas for Kids of all Ages (and the Young at Heart)
A sandbox is an amazing outdoor sensory play space for kids. Tips, tutorials, and hacks for several backyard sandbox ideas including plans for a whole bunch of amazing DIY sandbox ideas for kids are listed above.
For more outside activities and other fun backyard ideas to try with the kids click on the link.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
More DIY Backyard Play Areas:
- Top 10 Sand and Water Tables
- DIY Outdoor Chalkboard
- How to Grow a Sunflower House
- DIY Outdoor Art Table & Mud Kitchen
- How to Start Your Own Fairy Garden
The One Essential Tool You Need To Keep You and the Kids Happy!
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…