One of the best things kids love about beaches is all the structures they can make with sand. Building a sandbox can let kids spend hours playing in the sand and bring their imagination to life anywhere-even indoors or in your yard. To help with that process, below are some inspiring ideas for building your own backyard or residential outdoor sandbox.
Sandbox Frame Material Options
Sandboxes can be made with various materials, including wood, stone, brick, concrete blocks, and poured concrete.
Building a sandbox is not very different from building a raised bed for a garden. Kits that provide the same type of lumber in both materials are available to those interested in building either kind of project.
A rectangle can be created from wood, but it’s useless for organic shapes. Poured concrete is durable and can be shaped to any shape with the use of flexible boards.
On the other hand, it becomes difficult for children to play on that type of bed once they are outgrowing it. Flat edging is also available and can be used in outdoor areas such as flower beds or lawns.
Sandbox Design Tips
- To avoid pesky ground-level weeds, install landscaping fabric beneath a sandbox.
- Cover the sandbox when it is not in use to keep it from attracting neighborhood cats.
- Cat owners who don’t want to cover their sandboxes with a lid will also find that motion-activated scarecrow sprinklers are the perfect solution for keeping cats out of an open sandbox.
- When children grow older, the sandbox can be converted into a raised bed vegetable garden.
Super useful DIY Sandbox Tips!
- Putting cinnamon in the sandbox, so keeps most bugs out.
- Making colorful “in-destroyable” toys from rocks.
- As an alternative to expensive toys, provide old toys or household items in the sandbox. You might also include sand toys, small shovels, and other similar objects to keep them occupied.
Sandbox Installation Tips
Flat ground is the key to a functional sandbox, so before installing a sandbox, the ground needs to be leveled out, and any existing vegetation should be removed.
Once these steps are complete, the installation will depend on the edging used. Curved shapes can be laid out on the ground with a garden hose or marked with spray paint or flour as a guide for installing concrete blocks and natural stones.
Lastly, a weed fabric should be placed on the bottom of the sandbox before the sand is added to prevent grass and weeds from growing through it in the future.
Safety is the most important consideration when arranging a sandpit and choosing to edge. One common way to make a sandpit safer for small children from falling and hurting themselves on rock-hard surfaces is with softer materials such as stone or brick.
When building a sandbox with wood, sand the wood so that children don’t get splinters and round off any rough edges.
Sandboxes can be made of wood and should not contain any chemical treatments. Instead, alternatives such as cedar or redwood are recommended because these woods decay at a much slower rate.
List Of Sandbox Ideas
This list of creative sandbox ideas includes everything from toddler-friendly creations to elaborate kid-designed sandboxes that will impress the neighborhood.
Fabric Covered Shaded DIY Sandbox
This sandbox is designed from the same shaped wood as another company and offers a more basic shape for younger kids to play in. The simple square panel consists of dark planks that overlap with the fabric ceiling for protection against rain and sun. You can pick fabric ceiling color or pattern to suit your preferences.
The big difference in this backyard playset from others is the sheet of fabric that can be tied onto each post. The covers protect the sand when not being used to shield it from wind, rain, and animals.
Novelty Crab DIY Sandbox
In this design that mirrors the ocean, you’ll find an oversized red crab sandbox. This freestanding unit comes pre-filled and ready to use as soon as it arrives at your door; all you need is a little sand!
The crab shell is designed to protect the sand after being used from the elements and animals. And with its compact design, it’s perfect for younger children. This product also serves as a nice visual addition to your lawn when not in use.
This sandbox comes in different animal shapes so your child can have their favorite animal to encourage them outdoors.
Radiating, Rotating Sandbox
This wooden play structure that sits above ground is a multi-level design that incorporates a sandbox for toys and storage space in one. The lack of liners means the entire area needs to be filled with sand rather than line it all individually.
What really sets this sandbox apart is its two functions. When the structure is open, the slotted wedges and the sand-filled portion create a complete circle that can be used for building sandcastles. However, when it’s closed, it becomes an elegant timber spiral.
These slatted covers will protect your kids’ play area from unwanted animals and rain, so it’s always safe and clean.
Multi-Use Lake Side Sandbox ideas
This home’s manicured lawn has been cut to create a circular sandbox that can take full advantage of the mesmerizing view. The fire pit at the center of this unique destination is flanked by deck chairs, providing a place for parents to relax and visit while their kids play in the sand around them—what a perfect way to spend time with your whole family.
Sandbox In Natural Surroundings
If you build this large sandbox from natural materials, your kids will have a fun new playground.
You can create a raised garden full of stone planters by building a structure in the raised garden corner. The two flat sides are composed of reclaimed wood stumps at various heights that form one wall, while the other side is an articulated series of stone planters.
You’ll need some plastic waterproof material to line the bottom and sand for filling the base. You can make a sandbox like this at home, so it’s easily adaptable, and you can make it smaller or larger as you please.
Sandbox Lovely Play Station For Toddler
After you come down from the home deck stairs, check out this awesome play area for kids. There’s so much to do and see! There is a sandbox with beautifully sand-filled borders at one end of the slide to keep things tidy. This would be a fun play area for little kids, depending on how old they are. Lots of decorative objects such as stone or colorful pots can be used to spruce up the area around you.
Hexagonal Plastic Sandbox Ideas
You will never be bored in the backyard again with this hexagonal playground sandbox. This unit will stand up to years of use in your yard with its bright colors and durable materials without looking shabby or worn down.
The hexagon-shaped playground sandbox comes assembled with a plastic base, so you don’t have to line it before playing on it – click together and fill it with sand!
Smart Picnic Table Sandbox
With the play area design taking the form of a kid-sized picnic table with a sandbox in the center, kids can enjoy playing homemade sandcastles at their seats without getting clothes all sandy.
When you aren’t using the sandbox, a slatted cover made of the same timber can be placed over it to keep it clean and allow for use as a children’s picnic table.
Upcycled Tractor Tyre Sandbox Ideas
If you want to be eco-friendly and work your DIY muscles while getting some fresh air, this tractor tire sandbox is perfect for you.
All you need for this project are waterproof sheeting and some staples to attach it to the rubber. You can also paint it any color that suits your tastes.
Many spray paint designs now include a personal touch using children’s handprints as part of the artwork.
The large rubber container creates a nice big sandbox, which is deep so the kids can create holes in it as if they were at the beach.
On The Good Ship Sandbox
This playful over-ground wooden sandbox area is pointed at one end and features a ship’s wheel to resemble a boat. This nautical theme continues with striped fabric bunting and built-in magnetic fishing poles, with comically large colorful fish included.
Choo Choo Train Sandbox
This special novelty sandbox has been transformed into a little train engine with simple wood panels and round red wheels.
The children’s carriage consists of a wooden frame surrounding an open container with a tarpaulin roof to shade the kids from sunlight.
Adding a few extras to the ride offers an extra level of enjoyment for those who take this journey. It’s even more fun when you know kids can steer the train and crawl through the tunnel inside the caboose.
DIY Sandbox With Cover
A printable picnic-table cover will provide shade and protection from the sun by making a sandbox even more attractive. Add some personality to space with a chalkboard sign.
Striped Backyard Sandbox
This brightly painted sandbox is decorated with colorful stripes and has benches for sitting. The bottom of the sandbox consists of wood slats, and PVC pipes in corners hold a beach umbrella.
The kids will love the sandbox pergola with its little pitched roof and stone floor. The adults can relax outside while keeping an eye on them, safe knowing that there are no sharp edges to worry about!
The play area is shaded so children can enjoy it regardless of the sun’s location, and soft white sand contrast with big colorful buckets full of toys. The environment will keep kids entertained without them getting bored or dirty because they are always kept clean!
DIY Unique Plastic Container And Wood Standing Sandbox
Satisfy your toddler’s love for sandboxes with this low-cost and easy DIY project! Just use an under-the-bed storage container, a wooden frame to support it. Then drill in some legs so that you can have a sandbox table anywhere: on your porch, basement, or even bedroom floor.
Little Sandbox Pergola
This sandstone square timber-framed sandbox is an easy to assemble design that you can stain to your liking and place in the backyard. It will give your children a space for both playtime and outdoor entertainment.
Two posts on either side of the sandbox hold up a tarp. The pitched tarp provides shade from the sun and makes it look like they’re playing in a miniature sand-filled pergola.
Giant Tin Can DIY Sandbox
This planter, reminiscent of a pile of tin cans, was designed to provide multiple activities. The bottom level has been turned into a small sandbox, and the lowest level is for the tallest flowerbeds.
The round shape of the walls is echoed in the brick pavers that radiate out from this little cluster.
You can also use your child’s play area to bring your garden design together seamlessly.
DIY Sandbox Under The Stairs
This innovative design for a sandbox with reclaimed wood has been constructed in the dead space beneath steps leading to a patio. The timber cover can be manually opened and closed, making it easy to protect the sandbox when not used. A storage cubby at the bottom of the stairs is made of the same wood to keep sand toys neatly stored.
DIY Sandbox And Play Space
This play area is made from timber and features a playground-sized square sandbox with colorful rounded corners, covered by a tarpaulin roof to shade the children. This compact unit provides a space within which kids can play as they choose between being on the platform or in the sand.
Round Toddler Sandbox With Cover
A free sandbox can be made out of two large pools used for kids. The smaller pool is filled with sand, and the larger one covers it, preventing anything from blowing into it. Bricks or any kinds of flat stones around the edge of the sandbox will make it look more appealing.
Wooden Sandbox On Wheels
Setting up a sandbox in your home doesn’t have to be difficult. Building a large wooden tray may be square or rectangular, making the project go much faster. Casters wheel will also help the team get around easier on your floors.
To ensure your toddler’s outdoor time is a success, fill the sandpit with sand and top it up with toys that are favorable to them!
Innovative Fold Away Sandbox
This sandbox is a step up from the previous example. Here, instead of rolling up the slats stack on top of one another to create two bench seats on either side, we have a hinged lid divided into slats covering the innovative sandpit.
The section of the sand is an all-in-one piece for your above-ground leisure. It has a smart manual covering system that can be closed when not being used to protect the sand from the elements, and it remains just as fashionable as open or close.
DIY Old Barrel Sandbox
Outdoor playing is a great way to get kids feeling active, and it can be as simple or complex as you want. Just cut an old barrel in half and set it up in your backyard then your sandbox is ready to use!
You can build a mini seating area using a wood log for children to enjoy with the dry branches. It’s an excellent and cost-efficient idea for the readers of this article to build a sandbox.
DIY Play Water and Sandbox Table Ideas
To turn a table into a water-play table, fit an old sink in the top of it or build a holding out of wood. This would be a great outdoor area for kids to play in! I recommend checking out this model that is entirely handmade and super cost-effective.
Sandbox Ideas With Lid
If you have kids, they probably love playing in the sandbox. But when your kids are done playing, and it’s time to clean up, things can get tricky as sand is hard to control. This model features a simple solution: a wooden lid that flips up and down for easy cleanup.
If your kids are looking for more outdoor playtime, look in the interior of an old paint can lid as a way to turn it into an instant art studio.
Quirky Boat Inspired Sandbox
One way to create a nautical-attired sandbox for kids is by using an oval of concrete blocks and two triangular platforms made from timber, one on either end.
Thick rope and timber posts that mimic the look of a pirate’s ship accentuate this whimsical design.
A metal pole with a crossbar in the sand makes up the mast, held by sails attached to both sides.
Dresser Turned Sandbox
Need an appealing alternative to a typical sandbox? This project is your solution. Paint a beautiful dresser and convert it into a sand table; when you’re finished, the piece will look stunning on your porch or patio. You can also make a cover for the sand between play sessions if desired.
Raised Hexagonal Sandbox
This hexagonal structure made out of timber is filled with bright white sand and coordinates with the decking on the house beside it.
A large outdoor umbrella is planted in the middle of this sand area to provide shade and protection from the rain.
Installing a play set in your backyard for your children is a way to provide them with somewhere to play while giving the appearance of an aesthetically pleasing landscape.
Teepee Sandbox Ideas
You’re going to love this teepee design for the sandbox, which provides a shady spot to have some fun. You can build the frame of the tent using wooden dowels, bamboos, or thin boards.
Sandbox With Built-in Seat Ideas
This sandbox is the perfect toy for birthday parties and other events with a picnic-like feeling. Place hinges around the back, fold it up together, and voila! You have two small bench seats that are just perfect for youngsters. When they’ve had their fill of sand, the lid keeps out debris before storms or rain.
All In One Jungle Gym Sandbox Ideas
The multi-levels of this jungle gym consist of a sandbox and treehouse at the bottom with protection from rain, shade under it.
The sandbox also has a step ladder to a raised platform and a blackboard incorporated into it. Many children can play simultaneously, with each child being engaged in different activities on different levels of play.
New Improved Sandbox Ideas
When an old sandbox needs repairs, it’s best to repurpose the worn-out wood. Cleaning and putting it back together with some pieces of 2x10s make for a much more comfortable bench for kids while they play.
Deluxe DIY Sandbox That Your Kids Will Love
Building a DIY sandbox may take more time and patience than other designs, but if you are willing to invest the effort for your kids’ lifetime of enjoyment.
To assemble your sandbox, you will need 8 of the 2″ x 4″ x 8″ and 2 of the 2×6″ x8″. You may also want to buy a piece of plywood for the bottom. Screws can be purchased at any hardware store, and keep in mind that screws come in different sizes. The next step is to purchase these four materials: 3 to 4 stainless steel door hinges, exterior paint, sandpaper, and plenty of beach sand.
Creating this piece requires the following tools: a power saw and drill, a sander, and a paintbrush. Instructions are easy to follow, but there are many steps.
Follow this sandbox construction guide from start to finish. It has videos, downloads, and other helpful materials for you to follow along without missing any steps.
Outdoor sandbox Ideas
A little sunlight gets lost in the summertime’s heat, but kids can still find fun ways to fill their day. Try making an outdoor lounge space with a sandbox and other games for younger children.
Kids love games that allow them to be creative and get their hands or bodies dirty, and fathers are taking a new approach to this problem by using one of these quirky litter box sets in the backyard.
Covered Sandbox Ideas
This DIY-covered sandbox keeps kids from getting sunburned. It’s easy to make with the help of these detailed instructions and readily available supplies. Building this project only requires a circular saw and speed square.
Sandbox Ideas FAQs
Can I Make A Sandbox Myself?
Searching the internet will show many links to websites with DIY plans and videos showing your own sandbox concept. You may see this as an appealing option, but there are costs involved that might not be worth it for you.
You can customize your sandbox to match your desire. You can make it how deep you want, what design and the cover, of course. But it takes time, money, and skill to complete this woodworking project.
What Sandbox Design Should You Choose?
The first thing you need to decide on is what type of sandbox you would like. There are various options available, from basic models with tarps laid over them for cover all the way up to extravagant designs featuring miniature castles. A smart choice will depend on your willingness and ability to spend money and which features are the most.
Some of the most desired qualities in a sandbox are a sturdy frame that does not peel, warp, or split and is a cover made from heavy-duty material. A weed block is also desirable to prevent weeds from growing among sand which can contaminate it. Parents will want seating space for their children either on outside corners or embedded within protected.
Elegant-looking features like an elevated canopy or cup holders on the sides aren’t as great at playtime. Sand and kids tend to cause some messes, but these additions won’t do much to improve your time in the sand and water!
When you design a sandbox for your kids, infuse it with fun by including these simple beginnings. They can craft something more unique as their imaginations grow by designing the way they play and crafting different sandboxes.
It’s important to take precautions for children’s delicate skin when installing a sandbox. Many designs offer covers that keep sand from getting wet and shading the area from the hot sun and sneaky cats looking for a place to go potty.
Children love sandboxes for many different reasons, and the examples in this article show why. So introduce your kids to the sense outdoors with a gorgeous sandpit of their own!