Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DIY Sand Table

My kiddos are getting a little bit bigger (They just turned 9 and 7 in the beginning of June) so we had sold our Little Tykes sand/water picnic table at a yard sale before we moved. Well, since I'm now keeping 2 other younglings (a 2 yr old twice a week, year round; and a 6 year old weekdays until the school year begins) I was thinking that we might need a sand option to add to our backyard activities. We already have a great swing set. (Awesome Craig's List deal. It just needed new hardware.)

A fire pit and circle (The actual fire pit is drying out in the garage at the moment.) Of course, this is a 'supervised' activity, but the kids love to jump from stump to stump.

And a tree swing. My car had a flat tire that needed to be replaced so when we bought a new pair of tires, rather than have the garage recycle them both, we kept the nicer one and Bass got some rope and hardware to hang it for the kids. (They also enjoy the neighbor's trampoline pictured there too.) :)

But we still needed some sand! I looked around at yard sales and consignments shops but didn't see anything that would work for us (budget or space.) Then... *lightbulb*!
I've heard of parents using a small plastic storage tub with sand or rice to keep kids occupied which made me think of the underbed storage container I keep my out-of-season shoes in.
I figured that I could downsize my shoes a little bit and stick them in a box instead thus donating my bin to the cause of summer sanity.
I gave Bass the bin and some general ideas (along with hand gestures and technical terms like "about this high", "about so wide", and "just make something to fit the bin".)
He found 3 4x4" posts in his wood stash and another chunky piece of wood that were about the right height. I left him with his toys, ahem, tools and came back to this.

This is why I don't often tease him about his wood pile because whenever I have an 'I-want-to-make-this-right-now' idea, he usually has something on hand to make it happen.

He did, without prompting, downsize it greatly before our move and has determined on his own to use as much as can from it whenever possible. (BTW---This totally reminds me of the 'Wood Pile' episode from the sitcom 'Til Death. We didn't watch the show too often but caught this one and laughed. A lot!)

He also used some molding leftover from the last house to dress it up and added a shelf which is the perfect size for a milk crate full of the kids' sand toys or to hold the bin's lid while the kiddos are playing. A bonus with using a storage container is that we can put the lid on when the kids are finished playing and help keep the sand clean and debris-free.

Even though this looks small, as soon as we put it out there were 5 kids huddled around it. They all seemed to have enough room to play.
Total cost for this project --- $3.00 for the bag of sand.
Having another play option in the backyard that doesn't require them to be sitting in the sand --- Priceless.

Linking up to these blog parties.
Beneath the Rowan Tree
including http://christinasadventures2010.blogspot.com/

This project was featured here:


  1. This is wonderful! I love the storage possibilities (and a lid, too!!)

    Would you like to share this at our link party?
    We hold a weekly Playdate for kid & family related posts and would love to have you share: http://beneaththerowantree.blogspot.com/2011/06/playdate-link-party-in-summer-13.html

    Come & Play:: Playdate

  2. Hi, I featured this sandbox project on our Wicked Awesome Wed blog party this week. Come on over and pick up an "I've been Featured" button if you'd like!

  3. I'm visiting from Handy Man, Crafty Woman. You are a woman after my own heart. My granddaughter has one of those wonderful sand/water tables at her house. Since I keep her one day a week, I thought it would be fun to have one at my house. Just like you, I couldn't find one at a yard sale/thrift store. Not like you, I didn't make one either. I told hubby we could take our big plastic bin and just put it on the bench on the deck! I'm creative like that. But your idea with the top is so much better. And I must admit, your hubby is craftier than mine. Great job.


Your kind comments make me smile!

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