Best Sandbox Ideas – Below you will find a unique collection of epic sandbox ideas for kids. Follow the do-it-yourself sandbox plans to make your own DIY sandbox, or, purchase any of the ready-made outdoor sandbox ideas listed below!
This list of sandbox ideas for kids will make it easy to choose the perfect sandbox to fit your needs. A sandbox can be a fantastic outdoor play area for kids that is perfect for the backyard. We have also listed a few sandboxes and sand tables that work well indoors, or, on smaller decks and patios.
The type of sandbox that you choose will depend on the age of your children, the space that you have available, personal preference, and if you plan to buy or DIY. We have included links to DIY sandbox plans, and, pre-assembled sandbox kits to help you find a sandbox for your children that will fit your needs.
Below you will find an awesome list of outdoor sandbox ideas, tips, tutorials, and hacks for backyards and patios everywhere! Other amazing outdoor play areas for kids include an outdoor chalkboard, mud kitchen, sunflower house, or fairy garden.
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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 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–scroll down to see them all!
Related: The Best Rock Painting Ideas for Kids
Several creative sandbox plans make it easy to build a sandbox with or without a cover. 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, sandboxes made to look like a car, sandboxes built with a cover, covered sandboxes with convertible seats, and naturally landscaped sandpits would make anyone want to sit down and play in the sand.
To make it easy to find the type of sandbox 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. Fill these sandboxes with play sand and invite your toddler to give it a go. Many of these ideas are portable and can also be used indoors.
Best Sandboxes for Toddlers:
- Extra-large Portable Sand Tray with lid – This portable sandbox is great for small spaces.
- Creativity Kids Sensory Bins – These creative sensory and sand play bins with sensory toys are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
- Turtle Sandbox with cover.
- Tractor sand playset sandbox – includes cover, sand, and construction site toys.
- Little Tikes Dirt Diggers Excavator Sandbox for Kids.
- Naturally Playful Sandbox – Store and play sandbox with sand tools and a cover.
- Round, or oval, sandbox with cover.
Best Sand Tables for Toddlers and Preschoolers:
- Naturally Playful Sandtable with cover for kids.
- A portable see-thru sensory table on wheels – This is an excellent indoor sandbox and sensory table for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners.
- Portable Sand (or water) play table on wheels.
2. Cool Sandbox Hacks and Tips
Nowadays, 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 by Coconut Love.
- Tee Pee Tent Sandbox – Put a wading pool in a teepee tent and fill the collapsible pool with play sand.
- Tractor Tire Sandbox by I Heart Naptime.
- Pool Sandbox with Tutorial for Cover by What Shall We Do Today?
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. These sandbox ideas could be used as sand or water tables in small yards, decks, and patios.
Another fun idea is to make or purchase more than one sensory table for sand, water, gravel, slime, or any sensory play material!
- Naturally Playful Sand Table.
- DIY Style #1 Sand Table by Prodigal Pieces.
- Sandbox Table by Shanty 2 Chic.
- DIY Sand (and water) Table by Boxy Colonial.
- 30 Minute DIY Sensory Table by Teaching Mommy.
- Kids Picnic Table and Sandbox Combo by Ideas 2 Live 4.
- Wooden Picnic Sandbox Table with umbrella cover.
- Water and Sandbox Activity Play Table – Sensory play table with wheels and cover.
Related: The Ultimate Eco-Friendly Gift Guide for Kids
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 playset, can be used with sand, water, or any other type of sensory play material placed inside. Or, try this picnic table playset with an umbrella.
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.
Related: Rock Balancing Stone Stacking STEAM for Kids
5. Easy Sandbox DIY Tutorials and Ready-Made Ideas
An easy way to make a backyard sandbox is to build a raised garden bed of any size, place a tarp underneath, fill it with sand, and place a second tarp on top to cover it. A few more easy backyard sandbox options you can DIY or buy are listed below.
- Easy DIY Sandbox Tutorial for the Backyard by Kenarry Ideas for the Home.
- Simple DIY Sandbox by Nomadic Thoughts from Lexi.
- Colorful DIY Backyard Sandbox by Made Everyday.
- Square Backyard Sandbox Kit.
- Modern Home weather-resistant outdoor sandbox kit with cover.
- Outsunny Kids Outdoor Sandbox – oval-shaped sandbox with seats and a cover.
Related: 15 Reasons to Climb a Tree and Other Benefits of Risky Play
6. Backyard DIY Sandbox Tutorials with a Surrounding Seat
These sandboxes have a seat that goes around the entire perimeter of the sandbox. Sandboxes like this serve the dual purpose of sitting on while playing in the sand or using it as a place to sit while hanging out in the backyard.
- Wooden Sandbox with Seats | Dover Projects
- How to Build a Sandbox (with a surrounding seat) | Kaboom
Related: Easy Rainbow Art Projects Kids LOVE!
7. Outdoor Sandbox with Cover or Canopy
People have come up with so many fun ways to cover a sandbox. Use a simple tarp, or build a door, roof, cover, or canopy on poles for a sandbox. Or, use a tent or a TeePee to cover a sandbox!
Each sandbox idea listed below has a cover that can be made or purchased. Both DIY sandbox tutorials with a cover and kits that can be purchased are listed below. Put a covered sandbox in your backyard with any of these epic sandbox ideas.
- 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 cover
Related: How to Make Mud Pies: Sensory Play for Kids
8. Covered Convertible Sandbox Ideas with Bench Seats
This sandbox has a lid that converts to bench seats when folded open. Some sandboxes with convertible seats are built with a canopy or cover to protect children from the sun’s harsh rays.
We also found some cool backyard sandbox options which you can DIY or buy convertible seats. The sandbox plans describe how to build a sandbox with a lid and seating or, purchase a kit with or without a cover.
- Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Two Bench Seats
- How to build a Convertible Sandbox with Seats | Utah’s Adventure Family
- DIY Sandbox with Built-in Seats | Ana White
- 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 and Storage
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
- DIY Pirate Ship Sandbox | From My Home
- 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!
- Tent Sandbox | Coconut 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
- Tractor Tire Sandbox | by I Heart Naptime (plans for this sandbox idea are no longer available–but the photograph in the image below says it all.)
- Tee Pee Tent Sandbox | Put a kiddie pool in a teepee tent and fill the collapsible pool with play sand.
11. Natural Sandbox and Sandpit Landscaping Ideas for Children
We LOVE natural sandboxes (or sandpits) that blend into the outdoor space 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 these gorgeous natural sandbox DIY ideas spark your creativity to design a nature-scaped sandbox!
- Rock Border 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 Tabletop or Desktop Sandboxes for Kids and Adults
Make a mini tabletop zen garden, a mermaid fairy garden, or a simple day at the beach with these easy beach fairy garden ideas.
Or, look at these ready-made mini-sandboxes that you can take with you or use on a desktop. 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 (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 all kinds of creative DIY sandbox ideas for kids, are listed above.
Click on the link for more outside activities and fun backyard ideas to try with the kids.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
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