A sandpit is the favorite “toy” for many children. Whether one year old or eight, digging, baking sand cakes, building castles, dredging or just muddy, there is nothing nicer for many children. So if you have the space for it, you should definitely set up a sandpit. You can of course buy it, mostly as a kit, in a wide variety of designs and price ranges. These sandboxes also have to be assembled and filled with sand. Pre-assembled play equipment is usually made of plastic and is very flat. They often consist of two parts that can be folded together. The shell shape is often bought there. However, this sandpit is only for very young children.
With a little skill and time, however, you can easily build a sandpit yourself. This has the advantage that you can choose the size, shape and material yourself. If possible, you should build a roof for the sandpit. This is important for the simple reason that cats are prevented from doing their “business” in the sand, which they love to do. So you put the roof on the box when not in use and everything is safe. However, you always have to wet the sand with the watering can, otherwise it will quickly become too dry for the molding shop. But it mustn’t be too wet either, because then algae will quickly form and bacteria will settle. That would be counterproductive.
Building material wood
The best material for building a sandpit is wood. Which one you choose is a matter of taste and a question of price. You shouldn’t overshoot the mark.
- Wooden planks are quite cheap.
- Up to four meters in length, which is usually sufficient as a side length for a sandpit, they are quite inexpensive. Usually smaller buildings are built. 2 x 2 meters are enough for a child, so you can even divide a wooden plank. Usually one takes 1.50 m side length
- The wooden boards should not be thinner than 2 cm, 4 cm is better.
- A width of 20 or 30 cm is a common dimension.
- Regardless of which wood is used, it must not be impregnated. Rain or irrigation water can wash out the substances. You end up in the sand and with it the child.
- A protruding roof is beneficial for a sandpit. This protects the wood of the box from moisture. So the sand can stay dry and the whole frame is not so prone to rot. The roof absorbs a lot and can withstand that.
- A sandpit does not normally have a bottom.
- Douglas fir, robinia or larch are good wood that can withstand moisture for a long time, but they are quite expensive.
Tips for building sandboxes
- If there is no roof to protect the sandpit from rain, a drainage layer must be placed under the sand. You use gravel. A thick, water-permeable fleece is placed over it so that the sand does not slip in between. That should be stapled.
- As an alternative, there are paving stones that may be left over from building the house or creating the paths.
- The edges of the wooden planks and strips should be rounded. You use a router, a sander or just sandpaper.
- There must not be any sharp or pointed edges.
First you dig the hole where you want to set up the sandpit. You have to dig about 15 cm deep. The size of the area depends on the dimensions of the sandpit. The ground is covered with gravel. It should be a flat surface. It is best to walk over it a couple of times with sturdy shoes so that the stones move into place.
Material list for a sandpit with frame and bench – all around
- gravel for drainage
- sand, at least 350 kg
- Water-permeable film 2 x 2 m
- 12 planks, 40 mm thick, 200 x 20 cm
- Countersunk head screws
- wood drill
- Cordless drill
The frame for the sandpit
Countersunk screws are used to connect the walls and the seat. As the name suggests, these can be completely sunk into the wood. So nothing remains that could injure a child.
- The planks described above are used for the frame. Four planks simply have to be screwed together.
- You can determine the height of the side parts yourself. However, 40 cm is usually sufficient, with a sand layer of 20 cm.
- Two square frames are placed on top of each other for the border, because our planks are only 20 cm wide. Then the two frames have to be joined together. The best way to do this is to use a bar, of course on each side.
- Of course, the strips are attached to the inside of the box.
- The frame is ready.
- If you use boards with a width of 40 cm, you save yourself the assembly. Dan is enough.
Benches for the sandpit
A seat is really comfortable for the kids. Even an adult can sit there if they want to play along or just want to be careful. You don’t have to let the seat run around, but it is nicer, purely optically and for sitting.
- Wooden planks can also be used for the seat. A width of 20 cm is actually sufficient, at least for children.
- The simpler way is to attach a seat on only two sides, opposite. You can simply take the two boards and screw them onto the frame, left and right and lengthways.
- The corners must be adjusted when the bench is running around
- The corners have to be beveled so that they fit together, just divide a 90 degree angle to fit. The seat can run around harmoniously.
- Here, too, you have to screw the parts tight
- Actually, the sandpit is already finished.
- It is turned over again so that the foil can be tucked on. It is attached to the inside.
Material list for a sandpit with two frames (inner and outer frame) and a surrounding bench
This sandpit is a little more solid, built more to last. Nothing will kill him that quickly.
- gravel for drainage
- sand, at least 250 kg
- 4 outer boards 2 cm thick, 150 x 30 cm
- 4 inner boards 2 cm thick, 114 x 30 cm
- 4 seat boards 2 cm thick, 132 x 20 cm
- Water-permeable film 150 x 150 cm
- Tools as above
- You start with the inside boards. These are screwed together so that a frame is created. Three screws per joined side panel should be sufficient.
- The film is now stapled to the inside of the construction.
- The inner construction can now be placed on the prepared gravel bed.
- The outer frame is assembled and then set up in the same way.
- Now the seat is missing. The boards planned for this have to fit exactly into the gap between the outer and inner construction.
- You start in a corner, attach the first bench. A piece is missing at the bottom, bank two begins there. This is how it goes around, very easy.
- It is important that the screws are completely countersunk so that no child can be injured.
- In the end, of course, the sand has to go into the sandpit.
A roof for the sandpit
A roof simply makes sense so that you can cover the sandpit. This prevents it from getting soaked and puddles in it when it rains and prevents the neighbour’s cat from using the sand as a toilet. So everything stays nice and clean and you can let your children play in the sandpit without hesitation. Of course you can also use a tarpaulin as a cover.
A fixed roof is nice, but it doesn’t help against cats. For this variant, it is advisable to knock in four posts including post sleeves as a framework for the roof and as outer edges for the sandpit. That is why the construction is built. There are sandboxes where the roof can be turned up and down with a crank. This is of course optimal, but it is not that easy to build.
In my opinion, the sandpit does not have to have a roof made entirely of sun protection, a parasol is sufficient. This still has the advantage that it can always be set up as the position of the sun requires. This is not possible with a solid roof.
In principle, you still build a frame, the size of which must be such that it either stands on the bench or is larger than the sandpit with bench so that it lies above it. You use four boards again. They don’t have to be wide, they have to be 10 to 20 cm. A frame is being built. Boards are then screwed onto it as a roof. These boards can be a few inches apart. This way rainwater can still get through, which is not at all wrong for the sand.
Whoever has the space should tackle the project. Children like sand to play with. You can keep yourself occupied for hours so often. It is important that you can always keep an eye on them. The location has to be well chosen so that you don’t always have to sit next to it.