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How-To Projects | July 15, 2020

DIY Kids Sandbox, Parents Serenity

Okay parents, as much as you love your kiddos, we can all agree it’s time for them to enjoy some “me time” of their own… outside! A day at the beach sounds great, right? Well, we’ve got the DIY project that’s the next best thing – a classic wooden sandbox with seating. Your kids are getting a sandy oasis, and you’re getting a little time to regain some sanity. Building your sandbox takes one afternoon, but the number of them your kids are going to be building castles outside is endless!

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

Materials:
  • (4) 2" x 12" x 8' Board* (Pressure Treated)
  • (1) 5/4" x 6" x 8' Board*  (Pressure-Treated Decking Board)
  • #9 x 3" Torx Flat Head Wood Deck Screws
  • Weed Mat
  • Drill Bits: 1/8" 
*Board Dimensions are “nominal.” Actual dimensions are smaller due to lumber industry standards. Cuts are actual length.

**Starting grit will depend on board surface condition, a rough surface will require starting with a coarse grit first.

LUMBER CUT LIST & LAYOUT GUIDE

  • Side Boards: (2) 2" x 12" cut to 72"
  • Side Boards: (2) 2" x 12" cut to 69"
  • Seat Board A: (4) 5/4" x 6" cut to 11" (LD)
  • Seat Board B: (4) 5/4" x 6" cut to 22" (LD)
*Board dimensions are “nominal.” Actual dimensions are smaller due to lumber industry standards. Cuts are actual length.

ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1

Cut out all material using the Lumber Cut List & Layout Guide.
Step 1
We recommend wearing safety glasses when operating power tools.

Step 2

Take (1) of the 72" side boards and attach it to (1) of the 69" side boards using (3) #9 x 3" wood deck screws.
Step 2

Step 3

Attach the 69" side board to the opposite side using the same method.
Step 3

Step 4

Add the remaining 72" side board to complete the (4) sides.
Step 4

Step 5

Add (1) seat board (A) to the corner and make it even with both outside edges. Attach with (4) #9 x 3" wood deck screws.
Step 5

Step 6

Now attach seat board (B) to the inside of seat board (A).
Step 6

Step 7

Repeat the same process on the remaining (3) corners.
Step 7

Step 8

Sandbox complete. Add a layer of weed mat before filling the box with sand.
Step 8
PRO-TIP: To fill your sandbox with 8" of sand requires (48) 50lb. bags, 0.9 cubic yards; 6" of sand requires (36) 50lb. bags, 0.7 cubic yards 

GO ALL OUT

While sand is fun on its own, adding a variety of items will inspire their imagination and challenge your child in different ways. From cooking utensils to gardening tools to natural objects like stones, leaves, flowers, shells and twigs, there’s no shortage of things they’ll enjoy. Other benefits include: Building muscle skills as they learn to dig, pour, sift and scoop. Sand play also promotes social skills, when small kids play together they learn how to share, compromise and negotiate.
Sandbox Activities:
  • Use measuring spoons, cups and containers to help your toddler understand the concepts of more/less, many/few, empty/full, heavy/light, etc.
  • Punch holes in a plastic bottle and fill it with sand 
  • Practice sensory adjectives like rough, smooth, gritty, bumpy and dry 
  • Create a zoo for plastic animals using twigs for cages
  • Dig tunnels and make ramps with cardboard
  • Set a small umbrella in the sand with shovels and buckets
  • Hide fake coins in the sand and provide a colander to sift for gold
  • Dig holes, plant seeds (or rocks), pull pretend weeds and rake sand in an imaginary garden
  • Build a giant volcano together. Your preschooler builds a large hill, you fill it with white vinegar and then pour baking soda inside for a powerful effect.
Remember, you were once a kid too, so hop inside the sandbox and get messy. It’s so much fun when you #DoItWithHART.
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