When it comes to keeping our kids entertained, we need to find more than one way to do it. You know how kids are. They get bored quickly, they do not have the necessary mood to play with a particular toy at a particular moment, and sometimes they just fuss about everything. We all know that it is not easy. That is why as parents, we need to stay on top of things and figure out ways for our kids to play, learn, and ultimately, be happy. A sandbox may just achieve that.
I did not think that sandbox can be so entertaining until my 5-year old played in it almost every day of a single week. I got it as a gift from someone, installed it, and my kid went nuts. All I had to do is buy him a few toys, and he was with his little behind in the sand almost every single afternoon. I even figured out how to keep his interest, every now and then, I buy him a new toy that he can play in the sandbox with. It does not matter what it is. Whether it is a little shovel of a different color than the one he already had or a second bucket, my child is entertained. Everyone is happy in this scenario, and mommy can have some peace and quiet.
The benefits of a sandbox
As you can imagine, there are plenty of advantages you and your child can enjoy if you have a sandbox. That, of course, if you have a backyard. I imagine that you would not buy one if you hadn’t. At first glance, it may seem like a patch of dirt, but I am sure that you are going to see why you need one:
- Your kid is going to be overjoyed – I have yet to meet a child who does not like to play in the sand. It is comfortable, fun, he or she can make all kinds of shapes, and it is just a lovely pastime pure and simple. I guess you can see the children in the park all rushing to the sandbox if there is one. Having one in the backyard is so much better.
- It will keep your child outside – you and I both know that it is difficult to keep children outside these days. With technology conquering everything in our lives, it has done the same for children’s games. Now, all they want to do is play on their computers and tablets. Even 4-year olds prefer staying inside on his tablet. A sandbox is a perfect opportunity for spending some time outside the house and taking in some fresh air. If a sandbox in the backyard is not going to keep your child outside, I do not know what will.
- Your child can learn about 3D shapes – I know that may seem a bit over-fetched, but it is actually a thing. When you buy a sandbox, you fill it with sand, of course, but you also buy some toys. There is the old little bucket and shovel, but you can also buy several shapes that will enable your child to make in the sand. That way, he or she will have a very clear representation of cubes, semi-spheres, pyramids, and so on. That has a significant impact on your kid’s brain.
While some parents like to focus on the positives, some of you may have the feeling that a box full of ‘dirt’ is actually child endangerment I can guarantee that it is not. After all, you do not take a 4-month old infant and stick him in the sand. A child that is 2 years old or older can play in a sandbox without you worrying about the germs. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Specialists recommend to let your child play in the sandbox because it enhances the immune system of your child. It is proven that children who are over-protected from germs can develop allergies when they grow up. So, let your kid play in the dirt. That will trigger the immune system to respond and act accordingly. It basically becomes better, and your child can avoid atopic diseases during his entire childhood.
How to choose the best sandbox
Now that you decided you want to buy your kid a sandbox, you need to learn what to look for. While the internet is full of sandboxes, you may want to consider the following aspects before you actually make a purchase:
- Size – this aspect depends on the location where you want the sandbox to be. Just measure the space, and then look for a sandbox that fits the criteria. Of course, keep in mind that you have to eventually fill the box with sand, and the bigger the box, the more sand you need to buy. It usually comes separately.
- Material – a sandbox will suffer the elements, so you need one that is durable. While the plastic sandboxes are manufactured to go through all that, my opinion is that the best sandbox is made of wood. That is because it is sturdy, and it will not fade in time. Some treatments may be required, but there is nothing out of the ordinary. Wood sandboxes, as opposed to plastic sandboxes, are more durable in time as a whole. Plus, they do not get overheated in the hot summer days.
- Covered vs. uncovered – a sandbox that comes with some sort of lid is a pretty good idea. After all, you do not want water in it after it rains. Or leaves in the fall. The cover has plenty of benefits, but some models that include a cover are more expensive. You always have the alternative of buying a plastic cover and pin it down around the box. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but you need to cover the sandbox. Especially in the winter.
- Canopy vs. no canopy – while staying and playing in the sand is good for your kid, too much sun exposure is not. Insolation is not something you can toy with. Some days, a hat is not enough, which is why you could go for a sandbox with canopy. It may be a little bit more expensive than the no-canopy alternative, but at least you know your child is not overexposed to the sun. Vitamin D is always good, but direct sunlight not so much.
What are the best sandboxes?
All that is left for you to do now is choose a sandbox and make a purchase. There are more models online than you can count, which is why you may find it difficult to make a choice. However, after you establish a budget, things should get easier. If that is still inconvenient for you, you can always go with one of the models below.
Step2 Play and Store Sandbox with Cover
This sandbox is ideal for small children because it is not too big itself. It measures only 28 by 42 inches, and it is 11 inches high. Even so, I think your child will have a blast with it. You can fit about 200 pounds of sand in it, buy some toys, and you have got yourself some fun time with your kid.
The sandbox from Step2 is light brown, which means that you do not have to worry about leaving it in the sun, and it features four molded seats that your child can sit on while he or she plays. You need to buy the toys, however. Even so, I am sure your child is going to like it. At the same time, the sandbox comes with a lid that you can use for protection. It will keep water and critters away from it when not in use. Furthermore, you can use the box with the lid as a storage space for toys. It comes in handy during the winter.
The Step2 sandbox is delivered assembled. You do not have to do anything. Your child can use it as soon as it arrives provided that you already have the sand. The lid is well done, and no water will get inside. It will also keep the sand in during windy days. This sandbox is quite cheap, and for the money you are paying, you will get pretty much what you would expect from it.
Best Choice Products Cedar Sandbox with Two Bench Seats
The Best Choice Products is in another league, so to speak. It is a large sandbox that measures 47 inches by 47.25 inches, and it is 8.5 inches high. This is suitable for all kids, not just the little ones. As for the materials used for its manufacture, this is made of sturdy, heat-treated, weather-resistant wood. To put it simply, this sandbox is built to last for many years to come. However, you do not have to worry about toxins. The wood is treated with safe solutions that cannot harm your child in any way.
One of the things that you will like the most about this sandbox is its cover. When not in use, the double-door cover folds down to protect the sand from the elements. However, when the lid is off, it turns into two benches your children can use to sit on while they play. I think it is a brilliant idea. The benches have a capacity of 200 pounds each.
One of the issues that you may think of is what happens when it rains. After all, water can get past wood because it is not sealed. However, the manufacturer thought about that and came up with a simple solution. The sandbox is built with a sand screen. It keeps the sand inside the box, but the moisture goes into the ground. Simple as that.
Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Canopy
Last but not least, the Badger Basket sandbox is yet another option that you can consider. It is a beautiful product made of cedar wood. As you can expect, the wood is heat-treated. The wood is stained, and the hardware is rust-resistant. There are no flaws with this sandbox. At least none that I can notice.
As for size, this sandbox is 46.5 by 46 inches. The interesting part about measurement is that the depth of the sand pit is customizable. The side-boards are 5 inches high, but since the construction of the sandbox is bottomless, you can dig a whole and put in as much sand as you want. You are not limited by the manufacturer.
You may wonder what the convertible part is. Well, the sandbox from Badger Baskets has a lid made of wood. However, when in use, you can turn the two-part lid into two benches. And that is not all. This model comes with a canopy to keep your child protected from the harmful UVs. While it can be used as a sandbox, this model can also be used as a small covered deck. Just put a blanket on top of the lid and your kid can play there.
I am not a fan of plastic sandboxes, so my choice is between the two cedar ones. Even so, I cannot choose them both, which is why I am going to recommend the Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Canopy. It is pretty similar with the one from Best Choice Products, but it has the canopy, and I like the idea of my kid being protected from the sun. I think it is one of the best sandboxes you can find online.
A sandbox is not a complicated item. It is just a bordered pit of sand, after all. However, your child will have a lot of fun with it, and parents always seek new ways to make their children happy. One of the sandboxes above will achieve that. I guarantee it. Click here to buy on Amazon
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