An Extraordinary Sandbox

There are many types of sandboxes on the market. They come in different shapes and sizes. When thinking you want to add a sandbox to your outside space, you may think “where do I get the sand” and “where do I put the sandbox”.

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I had a sandbox under my current deck. I wanted to build a larger deck and still have a sandbox under it. Not wanting a huge sandbox, I added a storage space to the back with a sandbox to the front all under a newer deck. The area left under the new deck is 6 ft by 16 ft. I wanted half for a sandbox.

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To start a sandbox, we need to build edges to hold the sand in. I had leftover boards from my old deck and used the 2×6 boards. They were cut to 6ft and 8ft lengths. They were first leveled and then screwed into the supporting 4×4 legs of the deck. So yes, I was going to make the sandbox smaller. Because the kids always wanted to dig a deep hole and never stopped where the sand stopped, I used some landscape fabric and laid it down inside the box. The fabric would provide the kids with a boundary to stop digging and it would be able to allow drainage. We then filled the sandbox up with sand I purchased from a local gravel pit place. The sand runs about $30 a ton depending where you go so call around. You don’t need to know the exact amount of sand just the measurements. I needed sand for an 8×6 foot area, six inches deep. My husband hauled in two tons of sand. Remember you can always bring in one ton of sand and then bring in another ton of sand later or the following year.

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The wind does pick up in my area. I wanted to make sure the sand stayed in the sandbox area. I decided to enclose it a little. So, I used a few 2×4’s from the old deck and made a frame on the two sides keeping the entrance under the deck. I also picked up several 4 ft pickets similar to the wood on the enclosed area of the deck. It cost about $35. This worked out really well and there was a lot of room for all of my children.

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Time to accessorize! The children in the picture are my own children using a pulley with sand in the buckets. I always have these available. You can also just take out the rope and put it away. I added a pulley to the area because the deck was right above. You can pick these up at the automotive area or the place where the screws are located. The rope is clothes line rope. One photo shows it up-close and attached to the deck so you can see what was used. I found these great lights on a yard sale last year for $1. The buckets were a $1 as well. Projects like this don’t always have to cost a lot.

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I needed a place to store sand toys! One of my Pinterest ideas was to use a crate and place it in the sandbox area. As sand and toys are put away, the sand falls thru back into the sandbox. When next at the store, I went to the office supplies and picked up two crates for about $3 each. I also found a small sink at a garage sale ($10) that was left outside and added this into the sandbox area. The kids love it. The sand stays put for the most part or it is under the deck.

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This was a great adventure and it was not done in a day! I did something new every week when I could afford it. $20-$30 a week is so much easier to spend. I started with a new sandbox area, but you can add a sandbox anywhere!

 Laurie Fisher

Professional Family Child Care Provider