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How can I have a sandbox - we have a really small yard?

Don't despair! You have a lot of options for a small and effective sandbox.

If you want to go the traditional route then google 'sand tables' or 'sand and water tables'. These are basically sandboxes on legs that up to 4 kids can stand at and play. The pro's & con's of these include:

  • many different sizes and now, even options like ramps, wave-making and endless other features. I caution you because these extra's really increase the price point and frankly, when it comes to sand and water play for children ages 9 months and up, just sand and some basic sand toys will be enough
  • Price-wise they start at about $99 and go up fast depending on the material (wood vs. plastic) and the features mentioned above

Sensory bins: these are my personal favorites if you have a small area because of the price and flexibility they offer. Here's a quick review and recommendation:

  • If you google 'sensory bins', plenty will come up. The most common are those that come with a stand but make sure the stand is adjustable as your child grows. This is something your children will use from the time they can stand until at least age 6 to 8.  The bin is plastic and generally about 30" long, 18" wide and 8" deep, and come in three primary colors - red, blue and yellow. With a stand these cost $60 to $100 and don't forget about shipping cost
  • You can also buy just the plastic bins - usually the set of 3 colors - without the stand for a lot less. You may ask why do I need three? Couple of easy answers - maybe you have more than one child or perhaps you want clean play sand in one and water or clay in the others. And, it costs almost as much to send one as three so get the three - you'll find plenty of uses for it. Best thing about these is they nest together so 3 will only take up the space of one on your patio when not in use
  • My favorite: the economy sensory bin - a JURASSIC SANDMAN SECRET TIP! Go to your local home improvement store and ask for cement mixing tub. It is exactly the same sensory bin described above except for two important facts - it only comes in black and I love this - only costs about $6!!! Your store may also have the bigger size for about $12. 

A few more important points to mention on the economy bin above. 

  1. If you have a small table on your patio then these are great because the table becomes the stand (making it easier for Mom & Dad or Grandma & Grandpa to join in)
  2. Kids actually prefer sitting on the ground when playing with this sandbox 
  3. 25 lbs of clean play sand is the perfect amount of play sand for the 30" x 18" bin while the bigger size will need 50 lbs of play sand
  4. This bin will come in so handy for storing stuff whether it be all the sand toys and dino's your kids play with in the sand or your stuff (it's a handy organizer) 
That about covers 'How you can have a sandbox on your patio'. Now its time for this Geologist to get back to work in his sandbox. This writing isn't easy and everyone needs playtime - for the Jurassic Sandman, its sand - whatelse?!