Sandbox ideas???? Need creative help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 03-19-2009, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey ladies! My DH and I really want to build our DS a sandbox for his May birthday - I have found some great plans online, but am loathe to pay as much as $300 for new wood/hardware etc and just think there HAS to be some great ideas out there for putting easy to find used materials to work. I would like it to ultimately look nice in our desert/xeriscape/low maintenance backyard, I would also like it to have a lid that is easy to put on and looks nice, and a space to store toys - my husband is pretty handy so some alteration is def possible. Ideas I have had so far:

find an old free small boat and use this as a frame, cut out he bottom (problems = hard to find this boat, there was one on craigslist but it was snapped up, also, hard to make a lid for)

a good lid idea was to use an old solid or slatted closet door as a lid and hinge it to a frame.

so yeah, that is kinda where my ideas petered out. I just KNOW there is probably some super great ideas out there that could also end up looking like beautiful, eco friendly yard art and I have just run into a mental block after seeing all these shiny new high dollar ones. Dying to hear your ideas!
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#2 of 14 Old 03-22-2009, 12:01 PM
 
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Wow that's a tough one.I've seen people reuse old plastic swimming pools but I don't think that's what you're going for.

What about a big old cabinet turned on it's back?Or a book shelf with the shelves removed?

I've seen people use lattice with screen attached as the lid.

I'll keep thinking....

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#3 of 14 Old 03-22-2009, 12:08 PM
 
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Ok I just searched and found someone who used an old tractor tire.

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#4 of 14 Old 03-22-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Ok I just searched and found someone who used an old tractor tire.
That's what we had growing up. I'd worry about toxic leaching . . . and it may not be related, but I'm now allergic to latex and sensitive to many rubber additives.

Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.

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#5 of 14 Old 04-05-2009, 11:18 PM
 
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I just found a sandbox on freecycle (sand & toys included), after putting up a wanted ad. If you have a similar forum in your area that may be the way to go (if you can be the one to scoop it up, that is!)
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#6 of 14 Old 04-06-2009, 12:12 PM
 
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I don't know if this would work for you, but I thought i 'd share our sandbox set up. We had a very organic, sort of kidney shape, large hole dug for a water garden, but didn't end up doing the water garden, so the space was open for another use! You can find large plastic liners at garden stores/home depot, etc. to create a template and then use the liner for the inside of your sandbox. We simply lined ours with two tarps. We then had a truckload of dirt brought in and dumped. We surrounded the sandbox with large flat rocks which gave it a nice organic look, and also allows for a place to sit, or to use as a resting spacee for little cars, trucks, etc. We try to remember to cover with a tarp but it doesn't always happen. Really our only cost was the dirt as we had old tarps. We're lucky in that the sandbox is shaded by birches and flowering trees, but I have seen others use sailcloth and poles to create shade.

The great thing about the sandbox is that it's huge. We can easily have multiple kids in there. The big space is so satisfying because they can really dig and build. We hope this summer to be able to run some water out to the sandbox with a hand pump because there is nothing better than water and sand together according to my kids!
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#7 of 14 Old 04-07-2009, 01:43 AM
 
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The sand is the expensive part - the wood is cheap in comparison.

Alyssa
Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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#8 of 14 Old 04-07-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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Ok I just searched and found someone who used an old tractor tire.
This is what we are going to do (we live on a working farm). DH had one of these growing up and loved it. Don't know how we are going to cover it just yet though, but DH is handy so I know he'll think of something...
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#9 of 14 Old 04-07-2009, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well, dh got tired of me brainstorming and went out and bought wood and made a very nice boat shaped sandbox. amen to the sand being the expensive part! The box part is just 4' x 8' and it is going to cost $150 to fill it up with the clean "playground sand" in bags from lowes. I'm planning to call around to some sand and gravel places to see if they deliver bulk for a little less.

I love the idea of the huge sand "box" that was going to be a flower bed - I do think bigger is better when it comes to sandboxes, b/c I just know we are going to spend all this money on sand and ds is going to be busy dumping it OUT of the box and letting it escape in the Nevada wind

I am going to be a cover nazi b/c I am a vet tech and know what those feral cats and other critters like to do in loose dirt and the worms they could be carrying can cause very serious illness in kids, so keep the boxes covered everybody and deworm your pets!
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#10 of 14 Old 04-07-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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Ouch on the cost of the sand! Have you tried calling around to local quarries/landscape suppliers? I was able to get clean sandbox sand delivered in a dumptruck (and he dumped it right in the box - no lugging tons of sand!), for around $80. Our sandbox is 6' x 6' and a foot deep, so it was a fair amount of sand, too.
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#11 of 14 Old 04-07-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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Yes, we too had better luck getting a sand/gravel dumptruck to bring in a load, literally, of clean sand to the sandbox. Congratulations on your new sandbox! I think it's one of the best investments for kids play.
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#12 of 14 Old 04-08-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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I once saw a beautiful sandbox(in a magazine sorry I forget which one!)that was dug into the landscape. It was "sunken" and the person who built it dug a large round area out of the ground. Put some sort of material down that would prevent the sand from sinking into the ground, and keep it nice,etc. Maybe a fabric that is used to put down to keep weeds from growing and that you could then put mulch or something over, something like that. Then it was filled with sand(you could use any color)Then there were beautiful rocks put around the area. A tarp was then placed over to prevent the weather, like rain or what not from washing out the sand. Good cover to prevent cats from coming in. It was so beautiful though. Level with the ground, great size, and blended right in with everything else in the yard.

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#13 of 14 Old 04-10-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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My DH bought 4 cedar 2 x 8 boards. Then cut them in half. Made a square, put it in the yard, put sand in it.

Made another in our new house with boards from another project. Then took scrap wood, cut out 2 triangles and put them on 2 corners as sitting places. We had a piece of recycled plastic 1/2 inch like a plywood material left over so he cut it size and now we have a cover. The sandbox gets lots and lots of traffic from all the kids in the neighborhood. One family called us to find out where we got our "great sandbox her son loves....". The sandbox is in my pic to the left of this post w my 2 dds.
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#14 of 14 Old 04-12-2009, 08:29 AM
 
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Our neighbors are redoing their back yard and deck, and dumped all the old lumber out by the curb for trash pickup. One of the things they dumped were the old wooden steps, which were essentially boxes that were upside down. I took one and am just going to fill it with sand and put a piece of plywood over it as a cover, and put a brick on top of the plywood to keep the animals out. I know that lumber places sell these steps, so perhaps this would work for you.
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