Sunday, March 16, 2008

Gardening with Children: How to Build a Sandbox

A tried and true way to make your garden inviting for children is to place a sandbox in it. After the 100+ year old oak tree crushed our last sandbox, my husband built a bigger and better one. Here's how he did it:

1. Select a location. You need a flat or a relatively flat location. We have relatively few flat locations on our property, so we placed the sandbox in the Walled Garden. With the oak and tulip trees gone, our sandbox is now in full sun, though we preferred the part sun/part shade. We are growing some new trees around the sandbox which should provide shade in 25+ years.

2. Determine the size. When it comes to sandboxes, our kids seem to think that bigger is better. Our sandbox is eight feet by eight feet, which is big enough for all of our kids and their friends to dig and build to their hearts' content.

3. Gather together your materials and tools. Here's what we used:

  • 6 two by eight foot boards (we've seen instructions using two by fours or two by sixes, but these are too shallow) cut to your desired length
  • one box of deck screws
  • one roll of landscaping fabric
  • 40+ fifty pound bags of play sand
  • cordless drill
  • staple gun

4. Construct the sandbox. Using your cordless power drill and deck screws, construct the walls of your sandbox. The walls should be parallel so that the ends are eight feet long and the sides are eight feet four inches. Attach the seats on the top at each end.

5. Line the sandbox. In order to prevent anything growing up from the ground into your sandbox as well as to allow water to drain out out of it, lay landscaping fabric on the bottom of your sandbox and using your staple gun, staple it into the inside walls.

6. Fill the sandbox. Okay, here's where the heavy lifting comes in. You need play sand--a lot of play sand. Initially, we put in 40+ fifty pound bags of play sand. If you have active kids, be prepared to replenish the sand once or twice a year.


Note: if you have active cats on your property, you may want to think about adding a sandbox cover.

Related posts: How to Build a Playhouse (Fort), Ten Tips for Planning a Children's Garden


Mme. Meow said...

I'm so happy I found your blog! I am enjoying all your advice and tips! Thank you.

heirloomgardener said...

Mme. Meow,

Thank you so much for visiting! I like your crocuses.

Heirloom Gardener

anna said...

I bookmarked this page a couple of months ago. We just completed building our house we have barely moved in and I want to surprise my two little guys with a dream sandbox. I'm so happy I came across this...wish me luck, we plan to get this done this weekend. Thank you, hopefully it's as easy as you've made it look!

Search Heirloom Gardener


Blog Archive


Blog Flux Pinger - reliable ping service. Blog Directory Alltop, all the top stories