The Best Sandbox for Kids to Enjoy in the Backyard

A child’s sandbox is a place where imagination and motor skills develop, where kids can play with friends and spend hours of their childhood getting their hands dirty and making memories.

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The Best Sandbox

Photo: amazon.com

There’s no denying the importance of engaging your child in educational play. Unstructured playtime is another vital component of childhood, and playing in the sand unleashes children’s imaginations and help them hone their motor skills.

The best sandbox for kids is, first and foremost, one that kids gravitate toward during playtime. A quality sandbox must also be able to withstand wear. For that reason, look for a sandbox frame that’s made of materials such as wood or tough plastic.

Remember also that outdoor sandboxes need a cover in order to keep out animals and insects, and in order to keep the sand dry and clean for playtime. Some outdoor sandboxes have no bottom; this helps with drainage and allows you to adjust the sand depth.

Is a canopy necessary? That depends on where you plan to put your sandbox. If it’ll go under a shady tree, a canopy may not be necessary. Just bear in mind that sand, like water, reflects the sun’s rays, making it wise to consider adding sun protection in many instances.

The Best Sandbox Options

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Our Top Picks

Choosing the best sandbox for kids should factor in size for solitary or social play, features that enhance playtime, the stability of the sandbox, and the overall design.

Best Overall

The Best Sandbox Option: CREATIVE CEDAR DESIGNS Octagon Wooden Sandbox
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For homes with ample space in the yard, this octagon-shaped, stained cedar sandbox from CREATIVE CEDAR DESIGNS is a simple design that ages well. Measuring 84 inches by 78 inches by 9 inches, this sandbox is large enough for several kids to play in, with wide board seating on four of the sides, where kids can hang out or parents can supervise comfortably. With a capacity for 500 pounds of sand, this outdoor sandbox gives children a sturdy and safe place to play for many years. This bottomless sandbox comes with 0.75-inch timber panels, hardware for assembly, a ground liner (if needed), and a protective cover. Constructed from eco-friendly polyethylene, the sandbox cover goes on quickly when playtime is over to keep moisture and animals out.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Sandbox Option: Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
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Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox is a terrific starter sandbox for toddlers or children developing their motor skills and imaginations. This small sandbox measures 61.74 inches by 47 inches by 13 inches, making it a sandbox children play with from just outside the sandbox’s perimeter. Made of easy-to-clean plastic, this play space can be sanitized with a quick wipe of a clean cloth. This digger sandbox holds 100 pounds of sand and becomes a miniature construction zone to inspire playtime. The protective lid to the sandbox flips over, revealing a ramp for the included dump truck to drive up and down. Also included in the set are two characters, a real working excavator that scoops sand, plus a shovel, rake, sand sifter, and sand cup. This sandbox is an affordable starter play space to spark plenty of creative play in younger children and help them develop their imagination.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Sandbox Option: KidKraft Pirate Sandboat
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The KidKraft Pirate Sandboat inspires children to play pretend and imagine themselves as pirates (flag and ship wheel included!). The front of the ship hosts the bottomless sandbox, which holds 300 pounds of sand and comes with a clear plastic liner that’s placed under the sand during assembly. Conveniently shaded by a canopy made to look like the ship’s sail, the design helps protect kids from the sun. At 78.5 inches by 44.25 inches by 59.5 inches, this sandbox is roomy enough for multiple little pirates to play inside. Constructed from weather-resistant Sanmu wood, this sandbox can last for years. When not in the sandbox, children can hang out on the bench seating or lift the benches to retrieve toys from the built-in storage areas. When playtime ends, a mesh cover snaps over the sandbox, keeping it clean until next time.

Best With Cover

The Best Sandbox Option: Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox
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This bottomless covered convertible sandbox from Badger Basket is a practical design with a convertible cover that folds flat to protect the sand and keep animals away when it’s not in use. When playtime starts, parents can pull the built-in handgrips to easily unfold the sandbox and reveal the play area. Unfolding the cover creates two small benches on either side of the sandbox that can each support 200 pounds. Measuring 46.5 inches by 46.5 inches by 9.5 inches, this sandbox holds approximately 750 pounds of sand. There is enough room for several children to play or for an adult and child to play together. Strong construction with heat-treated, stained cedar wood and rust-resistant hardware helps ensure the sandbox’s durability and longevity.

Best With Canopy

The Best Sandbox Option: KidKraft Activity Sandbox with Canopy
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This bottomless Activity Sandbox by KidKraft makes playtime safe, fun, and organized for little ones 24 months and up. A large, striped canvas canopy covers the entire sandpit, providing shade for the sensitive skin of little diggers and sculptors. The canopy stands up to rain but should be taken down if strong winds occur. A play area of 64.25 inches by 60.25 inches by 51 inches is large enough to host several explorers. The weather-treated wood material keeps the structure standing securely for a long time. Two built-in plastic bins can hold toys, water, sand, or other belongings. When playtime ends, use the included mesh cover to protect the sandbox so it’s clean and ready for next time. For kids who want to stick to the sidelines, the box offers comfortable wide board seating. An enjoyable place to play and hang out, this sandbox is a fun addition to the backyard.