All children enjoy playing with sand, whether at the beach, the playground, or in the backyard. By having a sandbox at home, your kids can play at any time, not just when parents have the time to take the kids to the beach or playground. Besides, with the sandbox in the backyard, parents can keep the sand safe and clean for their kids. Many sandboxes come with covers to keep out pets, insects, and the sand dry.
We spent days researching different sandboxes you can buy to help you save time and make the selection easier. We did the legwork for you – we listed the results of our hard work below.
Our best overall pick for an outdoor sandbox is the CREATIVE CEDAR OCTAGON WOODEN SANDBOX. We like the large size, the natural cedar wood construction, and the relative ease of setting it up. Your kids will be up and playing in no time! If you’ve got the room in your backyard, this is a great choice for years of backyard sand play.
We’ve included sandboxes for indoor play when the weather does not permit kids to go outside. We also included large sandboxes for multiple kids, sandbox tables, sandboxes that come with toys for activities, sandboxes with canopies, and combination sandboxes of water and sand. Why not look at our top picks and see which sandbox features may fulfill the need of your kids, the play area, and what you are prepared to pay.
Top Sandbox Picks
Creative Cedar Designs Octagon Wooden Sandbox
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CoolSand 3D Sandbox Dino Discovery Edition
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Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Sand and Water Picnic Table
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Tierra Garden G31001 Wooden Sandbox
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Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table
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Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
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Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
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Best Large Sandbox: Creative Cedar Designs Octagon Wooden Sandbox
If you are looking for a large sandbox, the Creative Cedar Designs Octagon Wooden Sandbox is one of the best kid sandboxes for multiple kids’ playtime. Depending on the age, the 84 inches long and 78 inches wide sandbox is large enough to accommodate four to six kids in the sandbox comfortably.
The sandbox holds lots and lots of sand. Ten 50-pound bags should fill the sandbox halfway. If your kids want more than the 500 pounds of sand, parents may fill the sandbox three-quarters with 800 pounds of sand or fill it to the top with 1000 pounds of sand. It all depends on how high you want to pile the sand, how much bag-luggin you want to do, and what you deem a safe sand depth for your kids.
The wooden sandbox is designed to withstand the weather. The sandbox is made from stained cedar wood that is durable and aesthetically-pleasing to the eye. An eco-friendly polyethylene sandbox cover prevents unwanted animals or pets from accessing the sandbox. It also keeps excess moisture out.
Included in the package are the necessary hardware and ¾ inch thick panels. The large sandbox is easy to assemble. The walls of the sandbox consist of 34 inches long panels that stack together. Lay the weed-repellant tarp on level ground and join the boards on the tarp. With the tarp underneath, fill the sandbox with sand (the sand is not included in the purchase).
If you are not sure about the setup location, assemble the walls that form the sandbox but don’t add the seating. Wait to screw on the top boards to create the seating benches when you have identified the permanent location for the covered sandbox. Using a screwdriver is gentler on the wood than a drill. No need to secure the tarp to the ground, the weight of the sand holds it down.
Best Indoor, Mess-Free: CoolSand 3D Sandbox Dino Discovery Edition
If you are looking for a mess-free indoor activity for your kids, CoolSand 3D Dino Discovery Edition is the best pick for kids and adults. The playset, which doubles as a sandbox, is the perfect day-at-the-beach experience at home. The CoolSand feels like wet beach sand without it sticking to anything and everything.
Moms may love cleaning up afterward because the sand does not stick to clothing, hair, skin, or bag as beach sand does. No wiping kids’ hands and feet before they are allowed to get into the car and getting home, and you still need to vacuum the car. CoolSand gives kids the same sensory experience as beach sand without the mess.
CoolSand does not dry out, even if kids play with it all day. Kids from ages 3-years old and up may enjoy molding, mixing, and constructing with the play sand. The stretchable, squeezable, and squishable sand motivates creating sandcastles, mermaids, or anything your little one’s imagination can concoct.
The packaging is reusable as a sandbox and a storage area for the sand and molds included in the sale. The sandbox measures 9.5 x 11 x 2 inches, large enough for kids to share the fun but small enough for indoor play. Included in the package is 1.1 pounds of CoolSand, 12 sea creatures, and ten shaping molds.
Best 3-in-1 All-rounder: Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Sand and Water Picnic Table
The Best Choice Products Kids 3-in-1 Sand and Water Picnic Table is one of the most interesting covered sandboxes. The three-in-one design is a multipurpose picnic table set with a removable tabletop section that uncovers the sand and water features. Kids have the option to play with sand, water, or have a picnic.
Children can enjoy a picnic at the picnic table, build sandcastles in the sandbox, or catch pretend fish from the water table tub. Two plastic storage bins that function as a sandbox and water tub fit neatly underneath the removable tabletop. The pole of the adjustable umbrella slides easily through the hole in the center of the picnic table. You can adjust the umbrella to provide maximum shade for the kids on a sunny day.
Two built-in bench seats have enough room for two kids to sit on each side of the table. The bench supports a weight capacity of 220 pounds, and the table dimensions are 38 x 37.75 x 19.5 inches. The playset is recommended for kids from 3-7 years old. The 3-in-1 playset is constructed of 100% real wood, and when your kids are no longer interested in sandboxes, the table may still function as a picnic table or a surface for arts and craft activities outdoors.
Best Cover and Roof: Tierra Garden G31001 Wooden Sandbox
The Tierra Garden Wooden Sandbox is the best sandbox with cover and has a double function. Many sandboxes have lids that cover the sandbox while other sandboxes have canopies to protect them against the sun and rain during play. The Tierra Garden Wooden sandbox comes with both. It has a roof to protect your kids against sun exposure and a cover to keep sand dry and pets out of the sandbox.
A vinyl awning with its high UV rating safeguards your kids from harmful rays while playing outside. The sturdy canopy is a retractable roof. When lowered, the roof becomes a lid that covers the sandbox protecting the sand against elements and animals.
Another great feature is that the sandbox is eco-friendly and recyclable. Its materials are child-safe, pet-safe, and safe for the environment. The sandbox is made from durable carbon-neutral wood and has undergone a unique waterproofing process. The square sandbox has seating covering all four sides of the sandbox, giving kids ample access to the play area.
The sandbox holds 200 pounds of sand when filled halfway but can hold up to 400 pounds of sand. If you do not want the sand piled too high, the 200 pounds of sand is sufficient for kids to have a great time. The sand area dimensions are 44 x 44 inches, whereas the outside dimensions are 56 x 56 inches, which is large enough to accommodate friends.
Best Raised Sandbox: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table
The elevated Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table is one of the best kids sandboxes for indoor or outdoor play. Preschoolers may find the 16.375 inches high table a comfortable height; they can simply walk up to the sandbox table.
Included in the package are five sandbox toys, two shovels, a bucket, and two claw rakes, to give out among friends. The rectangular shape of the sandbox ensures adequate space for friends and siblings to join in the fun. Toddlers should not be crowded, and there is enough room around the sandbox table for multiple kids to play with the sand.
Kids who want a variation may appreciate the lid of the sandbox. Molded roadways decorate the surface of the plastic cover providing additional play options for the kids. It also gives other play areas if the sandbox table becomes too crowded.
Elastic tie-downs keep the plastic lid securely in place. The sand is kept clean and dry for the next time the kids want to play with the sand. Moms may appreciate the raised sandbox for two reasons. Your kids are not sitting in the sand during sand playtime, so they will not be covered from head to toe in sand. Parents do not have cumbersomely try and get rid of sand stuck in clothing. A raised sandbox also stops pets from walking into the sand and soiling it. The sandbox lid prevents cats from mistaking the sandbox for a cat litter box.
The Step2 Naturally Playful sandbox holds up to 80 pounds of sand. The dimensions of the sandbox 16.3875 x 36 x 26 inches make it one of the best sandboxes for small spaces. Its table design allows for bringing the sandbox indoors when the weather does not permit your little ones playing outside.
Best Classic Plastic Sandboxes: Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
The friendly turtle of the Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox is made of heavy-duty plastic that is durable and may outlast your kids’ toddler years. This classic sandbox with cover has been updated through the years, ensuring a modern look and practical seating improvements for more play fun.
The molded turtle face with its friendly eyes may inspire any toddler to creative play. Kids may sit next to the green turtle or relax on one of the two built-in seats, representing the turtle’s front legs, with their feet in the sand. The sandbox holds 150 pounds of sand, giving ample room for lots of sand play and supports a weight capacity of 200 pounds.
The smiling turtle has a molded turtleback shell that functions as a removable lid covering the sand in the sandbox to keep the sand dry. The cover of the sandbox protects the sand against weather conditions and keeps pets out of it. A strong wind, however, may blow the lid off the sandbox.
With a 12-inch depth and 39 by 43 inches in diameter, the green turtle sandbox has ample play sand without being too deep. Toys are not included in the package.
Best Construction Site: Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
The Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox is a kid sandbox with various toys to enhance preschoolers’ imaginative play. The sandbox is an excellent gift to toddlers three to five years old as their first sandbox. It is a combination of a sandbox and construction site with all the accessories kids may desire.
If you were looking for toys that may improve your little one’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills, then the Big Digger Sandbox with its construction theme is one of the best starter sandboxes to pick. The construction-themed sandbox is a great way to develop little ones’ strategic thinking skills as they figure out how the excavator works and how to move the sand with the tools provided.
The working excavator has a crane that turns 360 degrees to dig up sand and then dump it into the dump truck or down the ramp delivering it to the construction crew. The cover of the sandbox acts as a ramp for the dump truck connecting the sandbox construction site to the imaginative roadways.
The starter sandbox comes with seven sand toys, including a shovel, rake, sand cup, sifter, dump truck, and the two construction crew figurines, a male and a female, to assist the excavator and kids at the role-playing construction site. When playtime is over, kids can cover the sandbox with the lid and store the toys in the pockets providing storage space to the side of the sandbox.
Buying Guide for the Best Sandboxes for Kids
Benefits for Children Playing in Sandboxes
Playing in sandboxes helps kids improve and develop essential life skills. What are the benefits, and what are the best sandboxes to enhance these benefits?
Social Skills and Handling Conflict
The best sandboxes for social skills are the ones that are designed for kids to play together. These sandboxes are large enough for multiple kids and often have adequate seating too. Sandboxes that come with toys and accessories provide activities and role-playing opportunities.
Playing together helps kids develop their social skills by interacting and sharing. Kids playing together, create an atmosphere for learning to negotiate and to resolve conflicts that may occur. Sharing tools and building projects together help kids naturally solve any issues that could manifest during sandbox play.
Creativity and Imagination
Sandboxes are designed to inspire creativity and imagination in your little one. Whether the sandbox is small for only one child or large enough for lots of friends boosts imaginative play. The building, creating and playing with the sand inspire kids to express their imaginations.
Sandbox accessories and toys help kids with role-playing and guide them in new ways to play with the sand. With or without the toys, kids have fun in sandboxes while strengthening development skills.
Hand-Eye-Coordination and Motor Skills
Sandboxes that come with toys and accessories are a bonus in helping kids develop their hand-eye-coordination and motor skills. Shovels, buckets, rakes, and molds contribute to strengthening these essential skills.
Parents may purchase sandboxes that include accessories and toys, or they can buy the toys separately. Even without these accessories, kids may find the means to dig, dump, pour, mold, and build with sand.
Where To Buy A Sandbox
Sandboxes are freely available, and you should be able to purchase a sandbox from an online shop or at a local general merchandise store. If you have a specific sandbox or brand in mind and are unsure where to buy the sandbox, the manufacturer’s website should give you the necessary information about online shops or the store closest to you.
Online shops and websites that provide details about the sandbox products, including reviews, allow parents to compare the best sandboxes when selecting the one they want. We have done the parents’ legwork and listed the best sandboxes with their unique features in this article.