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Anybody have any ideas for a sandbox-type play area? I hate the idea of vacuuming up after a sandbox playtime (sand really never seems to go away) but ds really likes to play in the one at the park. Does anyone have any experience with small gravel, dirt or maybe mulch?
 

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Lentils work well too.
 

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I wouldn't do mulch. Who knows what they put in that stuff plus there are sharp pieces that could really cause problems if they got in a child's eye or wherever. Dirt sounds like it would be a bigger mess than sand to me.<br><br>
At our county fair, they had a big wading pool filled with dried soybeans and the kids really liked that.
 

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We just got a sand table for DS thinking it would be a little cleaner than a box...nope! He has managed to track sand everywhere.<br><br>
I'm also thinking of switching from sand to beans or rice!
 

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beans, rice, pasta, oatmeal, um....my brain is fried, thats all i can think of as dry and not messy. You can put bat leaves in with the oatmeal to prevent bugs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Yea, I used to be a preschool teacher
 

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Only problem I've had with grain is water play is as big a part of sandplay as the sand for dd - eek! What I do is strip her down before she comes in and hose her off (we live somewhere very hot), she likes it, and the sand doesn't come in the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>2bluefish</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7968684"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What I do is strip her down before she comes in and hose her off (we live somewhere very hot), she likes it, and the sand doesn't come in the house.</div>
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I was thinking about doing that, too, but I guess I wasn't fully convinced that it would really take care of the problem. I definitely want this to be an outside activity so I'm not too sure about the beans or grains as an alternative... we might start growing them! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
And, lindberg99, I hadn't even thought too much about the mulch, but you are so right! I once even found a used needle in the mulch pile! Not ideal <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
thanks for the suggestions so far, keep 'em coming!
 
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