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The Best Sandboxes for Your Kid’s Backyard Adventures

Cute toddler girl playing in sand on outdoor playground

Curiosity and independent discovery can help to cultivate your child’s mind and prepare them for problem-solving in the real world. With the endless activities of a sandbox, parents can grow that skillset while providing a healthy avenue for active kids looking to explore their environment. While fine-tuning their motor skills through digging for treasure and building castles, the sandbox also provides a place to socialize. Parents, family, and friends can create fun-filled memories that will last a lifetime. Here are some wonderful kid’s sandboxes that we recommend.

Purchasing a Kids Sandbox

Keep these things in mind when selecting a sandbox for your child:

  • Size: As most sandboxes are created for outdoor use, they are typically built with a standard backyard in mind. Small sandboxes will need at least 3 feet of space, while larger designs may require upwards of 5 feet of flat space. If more than two children or adults will be utilizing the sandbox at the same time, opt for a large box that can comfortably accommodate a larger number of people. Before purchasing a sandbox, consider how much flat space you are willing to give up in your yard. You should leave at least half a foot of space around the sandbox to ensure that animals are discouraged from creating nests.
  • Material: If you are looking for the classic wooden sandbox design, look for planks made of cedar for the most durable construction. Wood treated with stains and protective sealant also reduces damage from use and weather. Sandboxes made of wood are also great for keeping animals from digging and burrowing into the sand. Plastic sandboxes are reliable against damage and rain, but they might show signs of discoloration from spending many days in the sun.
  • Closure System: Sandboxes attract burrowing creatures and hold onto debris, making it the perfect place to collect allergens and bacteria. To keep your sand as clean as possible, look for sandboxes that come with water-resistant covers. These will keep your sand from retaining water and protect it from gathering leaves, twigs, and grass from around your backyard. Hardwood covers also provide ample coverage, but if they are designed with planks of wood that reveal cracks, make sure that your sandbox has a drainage hole or is bottomless so that rainwater has space to escape.

Best Basic: CREATIVE CEDAR DESIGNS Octagon Wooden Sandbox

A wooden sandbox shaped like an octagon with a green plastic cover.

Create a space for fun and creativity in any backyard with this stained cedar wood sandbox that is comfortable for the kids while being aesthetically pleasing for the parents. The cedar wood planks hold up to 500 pounds of sand due to the 3/4-inch thickness of the durable wood. The design also includes four wooden slats for seating that provide ample seating for children as they create sandcastles. But friends and parents can also join in on the fun as the wide seating panels support the weight of adults, while the 7-foot length allows individuals to play together without feeling cramped.

Best Basic

Octagon Wooden Cedar Sand box w Seat Boards | Eco-Friendly Cover & Ground Liner | 84" X 78" x 9" | 3/4" Cedar Boards | Easy DIY Assembly | Holds 800+ lbs of Sand | Natural Cedar Beauty Built To Last

While this cedar sandbox may look simple, the accompanying ground liner and polyethylene cover keep it looking beautiful for many play sessions to come.

Best with Toys: CoolSand 3D Sandbox-Dino Discovery Edition

Small sandbox with colorful dinosaur molds and figures.

Kids can explore the lost world of the dinosaurs through the box’s colorful molds and flexible sand. The packaging of this product doubles the sandbox exterior and showcases a scenic landscape of dinosaurs and their environment. By seeing the grand creatures pictured on the box, kids will be encouraged to create their own sand dinosaurs with the ten shaping molds. Kids can also discover seven different fossils within the depths of the sandbox. This sandbox’s specialty cool sand is made to be molded and stretched while remaining soft after each use.

Best with Toys

CoolSand Dino Discovery 3D Sandbox for Kids with 1 Pound Moldable Indoor Artificial Play Sand, Shaping Molds, Dinosaur Figures, 3D Tray

The sandbox comes with mess-free cool sand that feels wet but doesn't stick to hands or fabric.

Best with Canopy: KidKraft Outdoor Covered Wooden Sandbox

Two kids play in a wooden sandbox with a white and black striped canopy.

During the dangerously hot days of summer, kids can still enjoy this sandbox’s activities with the protection of the wide canopy. The striped fabric and weather-resistant wood make this sandbox feel like a pirate ship. With the help of two plastic bins, kids can move, dump, or mold sand to create their own world. The wide ledge and reinforced panels keep children and adults sitting comfortably while engaging in interactive play. While the canopy protects the kids from the sun, a provided mesh cover protects the sand from weather and unwanted creatures to ensure that the play area remains clean.

Best with Canopy

KidKraft Outdoor Covered Wooden Sandbox with Bins and Striped Canvas Canopy, Kids' Outdoor Furniture, Navy & White, Gift for Ages 2-8

Friends and family can comfortably play in the sand with the shady canopy and wide seat ledges.

Best Design: Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox

Three young children play with toys in a wooden sandbox that features two benches.

This innovative sandbox design includes a cover and comfortable seating without added accessories. Two wooden panels cover the sandbox when laid down, but when opened, reveal benches that span the sides of the sandbox to create a seating area. The seats can support 200 pounds of weight, allowing friends and parents to stay clean while playing in the sandbox. Parents can make the sandbox as deep as they want with the bottomless design of this sandbox, so kids can dig for fossils for hours. When playtime is over, the curved hand grips make it easy to close down the sandbox and protect it from animals and debris.

Best Design

Badger Basket Original Wooden Cedar Sandbox with Built-in Bench Seats and Cover - Heavy Duty Outdoor Play Equipment

This transformative sandbox is made with both kids and parents in mind with the wooden lid that converts into comfortable benches.

Camryn Lang Camryn Lang
Camryn Lang is a freelance writer and copyeditor that has produced a wide variety of content, from breaking news and memorial tributes to web content and fiction novels. While working on her bachelor's degree in English at Texas A&M University, Camryn led writers and editors at the nationally recognized university newspaper, The Battalion. During her free time, she enjoys reading thrillers and fantasy novels and eating desserts. Read Full Bio »
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