This is Geologist Jerry Bergosh of Jurassic Sands and it’s time to think about getting a sandbox for your children and grandchildren so here’s three tips from a pro that made play sand and sandboxes his career specialty.
Tip 1: Good, Better or Awful Sand?
The play sand that goes in the sandbox is the most important decision!
Many people put a lot of effort and money to find a 'cute' looking sandbox and forget that the play sand they put in it is the most important ingredient to the success of the sandbox.
Going to the local home improvement store and buying dusty play sand with small rocks and pebbles defeats the purpose of a pleasant play experience. And to keep your house clean, the sand shouldn’t leave grime on your children’s clothes.
Tip 2: Sandbox Size - Big, Little or Great Alternatives
Here are the key considerations when deciding how big to make your sand box: how much space do I have, how many kids will be using it and their ages.
Large sand piles and sandboxes take a lot of sand. A 5-ft. square sandbox 12” deep needs 2,500 lbs. of sand. Big sandboxes do offer the kids a lot of room to play and if you have the energy, space and budget they can't be beat.
Small backyards should consider small sandboxes like Little Tikes Green Turtle or Step 2 Crabbie.
They hold 50 to 225 lbs. of sand which is plenty for children ages 1 to 5 years old. These are inexpensive ($40-60) and come with a lid. They can easily fit 2 to 3 little ones.
Sand and water tables are a great alternative to a sandbox. Children stand and play so they stay cleaner but still get the learning benefits of sand. If you live in a condo and the grandkids are coming, get them a sand table and put it on your patio.
I can guarantee you will be their favorite place to visit !
And the comfortable height means you can pull up a chair and join in the fun of making sandcastles while building some memories with the kids!
Sand tables hold 25 to 100 lbs. of play sand and good ones can cost over $100.
Another great alternative to a sand table is one of my all-time favorites. They are called concrete mixing tubs and are available from home improvement stores.
The funny thing about these concrete mixing tubs is they are nearly identical to the $40 units sold in educational catalogs to Childcare centers except they only come in black and are a lot cheaper.
The medium size tubs shown above are $6 and holds 25 lbs. of sand. They also sell a larger tub for $13 and it takes 50 lbs. of sand. Both are very durable and can sit on any picnic table or patio.
Shown in this picture is the half-size tub (which is not usually stocked in the store) in a wooden stand at child height.
Tip 3: Don’t Go Too Deep
We’ve worked with thousands of child care centers and here are good rules of thumb for how deep to make your sand:
- 1” deep for 1 and 2-year-olds (they throw it out of the sand box)
- 2” deep for children 3-years-old (just starting to make sandcastles)
- 3” deep for 4 to 6-year-olds (now they are serious about play sand)
- Older than 6 years-old then 4" is plenty
So in summary,with the warm weather coming start thinking about getting some good sand in your sandbox and your kids and grandkids will love you for it!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you or answer any questions about play sand that you may have.
Best regards & happy sandcastle building-
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