Sift Through 8 Stylish Sandboxes
These sandy playspaces hold high appeal for kids but are sophisticated enough for grown-up landscapes
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating media and immediately discovered a new passion. An Atlanta native, I spent several years as an editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine before making the leap to national publications and websites such as Houzz, Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Accents. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband and son, who’ve gotten used to coming home and finding the furniture rearranged. When I'm not dragging case goods across the floor, I enjoy good food and wine, college football, music of all kinds, and traveling.
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating... More »
When it comes to backyard playtime, kids don't need a lot of bells and whistles. Take sandboxes, for example — tots are perfectly happy with a few basic boards nailed into a square and filled with the powdery stuff. You, on the other hand, might like something a bit more refined to elevate the look of your landscape. Check out these inventive sandbox ideas to create a kid-friendly play zone with grown-up appeal.
This structure looks simple but packs in quite a bit of function. The benches on either side keep little tushes out of the sand and provide a spot for parents to perch as well, and the roof shelters kids from too much sun.
With the wooden cover on, this sandbox looks like a decorative detail. But the cover's role goes beyond beauty — it also protects the sand from cats or other animals who might treat it as a litter box, and shields it from fall leaves and spring rains.
This sandbox is tucked in the shade beneath a playhouse structure that looks like a kid's own personal beach cabana. Removable grates on top of the box make it easy to sift out debris and keep out critters.
Filled with sand, a boat-shaped wooden box turns into a playspace that kindles the imagination on multiple levels.
Here's one way to ensure a soft landing! Kids can zoom down the slide into a pit of sand that's ready and waiting for playtime.
Although its design is streamlined, this sunken sandbox is oriented along the walkway so thoughtfully that it becomes an integral part of the hardscaping.
A feat of green design as well as visual appeal, this trio of industrial-size water drums includes a sandy spot for teeny-tinies to enjoy.
This free-form sand pit appears to flow like water along the rocks that surround it.
Once your sand-filled setup is ready for playtime, follow these tips to keep little ones safe:
• Replace sand at least once a year. Old sand can harbor bacteria that lingers throughout the off season.
• Be mindful of the sand you choose. Some varieties contain crystalline silica, a carcinogenic compound, so look for brands that are marked "silica free." River or beach sand is usually fine, and companies such as Safe Sand offer good options as well.
• Have your sandbox fitted with a cover to ward off wildlife and pets and to keep sand dry during rainy days. If sand does get wet, allow it to dry completely before you replace the cover.
• Aerate sand periodically with a trowel or rake to check for trash and other unwanted debris.
• Always supervise sandbox playtime, especially for younger kids who might be tempted to taste the contents.
Browse thousands of clever kids' spaces
Ideabook published on July 3, 2012.
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