How to Install a Sandbox

Sandboxes are like little wedges of imagination you put in your back yard, and scientists say they can increase interest in outdoor play among children by as much as 26% under optimum conditions.

Okay, so that’s a complete fabrication, but who doesn’t want to encourage their kids to get outside and play? Sandboxes are great, and today's little budding minds could probably use a break from the never-ending Miley Cyrus slideshow, anyway. So, here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: The Sandbox

First, you’re going to need a sandbox. They’re not too hard to make, but they’re also easy to buy and come in a lot of different styles, depending on how fancy you want it.

TIP: Choose/build a sandbox that’s big enough for your brood, plus a few playdate guests.

Step 2: The Location

Plot your location carefully, because the rumors are true: It’s kinda hard to move a sandbox. Pick a flat patch of grass that’s out of the way, but still within your line of sight of the house so you can keep tabs on your sand devils from afar.

TIP: You’ll also want to keep in mind how you’re going to get your sand to the spot. Hilltop sandboxes are a castle-builder’s dream, but someone has to literally move earth to make it happen.

Step 3: The Setup

Once you’ve picked a spot, now you have to do a little work to prep it. First, stake out the dimensions and rope it off to ensure a straight frame. Next, dig out the sod and a layer of dirt deep enough to secure the sandbox walls.

TIP: Once you’ve excavated the hole, lay down some landscaping fabric to prevent weeds from growing up into your sandbox.

Step 4: The Sand

What kind of sand goes into a sandbox, anyway? Oh, and in other news: Yes, there are different kinds of sand. At least, that's what the Sand People want you to think.

TIP: The gritty truth is that sand is sand and it depends more on where you buy it than what’s in the bag. Some stores will try to sell you “play sand” at a significant markup, or you can go to a quarry or other supplier like Lowe's for a bargain.

Step 5: The Fun

This is the easy part. Just add sand and kids, and you’ve got a recipe for a good time that gets everyone out of the house and into the fresh air.

TIP: No more tips – go play!

This large KidKraft sandbox features reinforced wooden panels for added durability and a mesh cover for when not in use. 

Exaco's clever convertible playhouse design rolls to cover up the sandbox when not in use. 

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