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If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best sandboxes for kids is, I’d recommend the KidKraft Wooden Backyard Sandbox.
Sandboxes can be loads of fun for kids. It’s like bringing the beach straight into your backyard, featuring endless sand castles and possibilities. Kids love to play in the sand, and it can be both an educational and a skill-developing activity.
Here are the kids’ sandboxes I will be reviewing:
- KidKraft Wooden Backyard Sandbox
- Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox
- Exaco Felix Gaspo Sandbox
- Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
- Jack & June Octagonal Redwood Sandbox Playset
- Be Mindful Solid Wood Sandbox
- Costzon Sandboat Sandbox
- Costzon Kids Wooden Sandbox
- Step2 Naturally Playful Sandbox
- Badger Basket Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox with Canopy and Bench Seats
- Tierra Garden Large Children’s Wooden Sandbox with Roof
- Creative Cedar Designs Octagon Wooden Sandbox
- Step2 Crabbie Sandbox
- KidKraft Cabana Sandbox
- Plum Store It Wooden Sand Pit
Why You Should Consider Getting a Sandbox For Your Child
One of the things parents dread the most when it comes to getting a sandbox is the mess they fear it will make. However, sand is one of the most beneficial toys a child can have for many reasons.
If you’re worried about the dirt, placing a rinsing station right outside the backdoor so your child can clean up before they come in is an excellent way to help eliminate what they track in the house. After you consider the educational opportunities, you’re likely to change your mind.
Developing motor skills
Kids can engage their bodies in playing with sand, making it a physical activity. They need to use different muscle groups to rake, dig, sweep, and scoop. They’ll develop their gross and fine motor skills with a lot of different tools.
Playing in the sand is a great exercise for refining movement and strengthening muscles. It’s a great way
Enabling sensory play
Sand has a great texture. Depending on the grit of the sand, it can be coarse or fine. Add water and it transforms into something completely different. There are so many opportunities for feeling sand between your fingers and toes.
For some children, it’s soothing. For others, it’s stimulating. Either way, it’s a great way for your child to experience sensory play.
This type of play allows your child’s brain to develop. Exposure to many different materials engages the senses in new ways. Kids learn best by stimulating multiple senses in many ways, so it helps to boost their cognitive learning as well.
Sand is a great material for kids to explore lots of different textures in one. It’s flexible, so they can do a lot of things with it. This develops their understanding of the world around them.
Sand has no rules. You can play with it any way you like. This freedom allows your child to be creative with how they play and make up new games or use toys in unique ways. Building, digging, and scooping are just the beginning.
Plus, these types of limitless possibilities within the boundaries of the sandbox will still make your child feel safe and accepted, so they’ll be free to explore as much as they want.
A sandbox gives your child a place to play independently without you and can make them feel safe within the confines of the sandbox walls. This encourages them to spend time on their own.
Sandboxes give your child a natural separation that feels casual rather than forced, making it much easier for a timid or attached child to make the transition to playing on their own.
It keeps your child safe while you’re still watching and your child won’t feel left behind or alone. This works to build confidence and trust, reduces anxiety for both child and parent, and makes the relationship stronger.
Teaching math and science
Sand is a great way to teach your kids about sizes, shapes, magnets, numbers, and more. Research and creativity will make way for some really great projects, making your sandbox a fantastic educational toy.
Developing language, social, and emotional skills
Playgrounds and beaches are great places for kids to connect with each other while playing with sand. A sandbox in your backyard will be the same way. It helps them interact with their peers, refining language and social skills.
They will have to communicate effectively with their playmates when they want to build something or play a game they made up.
Honing problem-solving skills
Along with being creative, your child will also have to figure out how to make sand do exactly what they want it to do. It can be challenging to form it and shape it. They’ll have to find ways to play with it that create the shapes and designs they want.
Exploring with caution
Not all children are willing to explore new things right away. A big sandbox may be overwhelming, so give your child time to familiarize themselves with it. Introduce them slowly and carefully to make sure they’re ready.
Don’t force your child if they’re not ready. Let them watch you play first. Eventually they may get in on their own. You may also expose them to smaller amounts of sand in a toy they’re already familiar with.
Also make sure you get non-toxic, child-friendly sand. You can get it nearly everywhere, but it’s important to make sure you get the kind that’s meant to go in the sandbox and not any other kind.
Getting close to nature
Sand is a natural toy. It’s one of the best ways to ensure your child has some contact with the outdoors and the substances in it, especially if you live in an urban area without much of a backyard.
For all of the reasons above, sandboxes are great toys to let your child explore, and the fact that they’re outdoor toys enhances that experience even more.
My Kids’ Sandbox Reviews
These are the top sandboxes for kids, ranging in size and price so you can find the one that’s best for you. We all have different needs, and luckily, there are a lot of different sandboxes to accommodate!
This is the best sandbox for kids for a lot of really great reasons. Solid design, elegant wood construction, large size, and built in corner seating are just the beginning.
This sandbox holds 800 pounds of sand. It’s big enough for a lot of kids to play together or separately and never be in each other’s way. If you’d rather not fill it up that much, that’s fine, too. Your child will have a ball if you only fill it with 200 pounds.
The versatility makes it a great sandbox for most people because the natural design looks great in rock gardens, backyards, and patios. Plus, the wood is reinforced and treated to prevent warping and weathering.
The built-in seats on each corner give your child a convenient place to sit so they don’t get their pants dirty, but there’s plenty of room in the box to play, too.
The mesh cover is made to fit. It ties directly onto the wood for secure protection. It’s lightweight and easy to put on and take off. Fold it up and stow it away easily when you don’t need to cover it up.
The sandbox comes disassembled but it has step-by-step instructions for you and it’s very easy to put together. The only downside to this large design is that it’s hard to move once you get it set up.
- Size and shape enables awesome play for multiple kids
- Built-in seating on all corners
- Sturdy construction and elegant design
- Wood is treated but may still weather
- Too heavy to move once full
This is likely the one we all remember from when we were kids. It comes with a bit of an updated design these days, but it’s a basic plastic sandbox in the shape of a turtle. It’s a medium-sized box, and it’ll do the trick just fine.
For those who like to feel nostalgic, this is the best retro sandbox because the basic design has been around for decades. The cute turtle face will make fast friends with any child.The feet can be used for benches so you don’t have to sit in the sand and the shell conveniently doubles as a lid to keep rain and critters out.
It can hold 150 pounds of sand, which is plenty big enough for up to four children to play together with toys. The two seats molded onto the outside of the box are perfect for kids and don’t take away from the play area.
With a molded bottom to encourage digging, tools like shovels and rakes will feel fun scraping along the bottom under the sand. This makes exploration even more interesting for curious kids.
The great thing about this sandbox is that it looks like it has a friendly face, but it’s wide and shallow shape means that your child will have endless hours of play that’s wide enough for plenty of toys and friends.
While it will be heavy when it’s full of sand, it’s still the perfect size for moving throughout the yard if you decide you need it in a different place.
- Great size for expansive play and easy moving if needed
- Friendly face with built in seats
- Shell doubles as a cover
- Molded bottom makes for more exciting digging
- Shell is not very heavy and may blow away in strong winds
The cute canopy on this sandbox makes it the best covered sandbox option. It protects your child from the sun and the wind while they play. Even if your child wanted to play with sand in the rain, you could take comfort in some sort of protection.
It’s a fun and versatile solution for playing in the sand because it’s design lends itself well to being a sandbox or fostering the creativity to make something else out of its shape.
This sandbox has an open bottom, which may not work well on grass, because you’ll find that very shortly, your grass may be growing in the sand. However, it works really well on hard surfaces because it enables drainage for health and safety reasons.
The safety bolts hold the roof in an up or down position, so you can put it up to block the sun while your children play and then lower it to cover the sandbox when it’s not in use. This enables the roof to serve two purposes and makes it much more practical.
Because the roof doubles as a cover for the box, you won’t have to worry about taking a separate cover on and off all the time, and you don’t have to find a place to store it when it’s not in use.
It holds 150 pounds of sand, so it’s a great size for up to two children playing together. It’s colorful corners make it appealing to children while the pine and spruce construction make it an attractive, neutral sandbox that you can put anywhere.
- Roof doubles as a sandbox cover when not in use
- Open bottom allows drainage for health and safety
- Open bottom does not work well on grass
- No built-in seats
This cute little sandbox is the best toy sandbox because it’s small and portable. This makes it easy for your child to play with sand anywhere! It even includes the toys and tools they need to have a blast digging in the sand.
There are two characters, a sand sifter, a sand cup, a dump truck, a shovel, and a rake. There’s a storage place for each item in the sandbox itself for easy clean up when not in use.
When folded up, the truck ramp doubles as a lid to keep the sand dry and contained. It also provides a clean playing surface for other toys. The lid doesn’t snap into place or seal, so while it covers the sand, it is not designed to keep water out.
Unfold the ramp and you have an expanded area revealing sand and plenty of room to play. The characters can haul sand away in their dump truck or operate the crane excavator on the side. The construction theme is fun for all kids and will inspire hours of creative play.
This sandbox can hold up to 100 pounds of sand, which is an excellent size for multiple kids to play, but you don’t have to fill it up all the way if you want it to be more portable.
It’s not designed for children to get inside and play, so the design helps keep your child cleaner than others. It’s even a great size for indoors if you have a place you feel comfortable putting sand in the house.
It requires a bit of assembly out of the box, but it’s easy to put together. Just snap the plastic parts in place and it’s ready.
- Comes with construction themed toys
- Ramp doubles as a lid
- Great size for portability
- Lid does not keep water out
This is the best minimalist sandbox design. It’s a simple octagonal frame with built-in benches for sitting. The large size is great for a lot of kids or a lot of toys. Because it doesn’t have a bottom, it’s more of a sand pit than a sandbox.
Without a bottom, this sandbox needs to be a permanent fixture in your backyard because once you place it and pour the sand in, you won’t be able to pick it all up and move it together.
It does come with a liner for the bottom that you can use to protect your sand from grass or bugs, but it is not a hard bottom and you don’t have to use it for the sandbox to work.
The nice thing about this design is that it features rounded corners for safety. Most sandboxes made of wood are square or rectangular and have sharp edges. This ensures that your little one won’t hurt themselves on any of the sides or corners.
The premium redwood materials used create a natural look that’s beautiful in any setting. It’s also a versatile toy that can be used as an instant ball pit if you just add balls. You could use it indoors if you chose to do something other than sand on the inside.
The frame comes unassembled with all the hardware and instructions you need to put it together yourself. There’s also a hexagonal design by Jack & June if you prefer that shape.
One of the downsides to this product is that it is not shipped with a cover, so you would have to purchase one separately, make one yourself, or do without.
- Simple design with built-in benches
- Rounded corners for added safety
- Beautiful natural wood construction
- Bottomless design helps with ventilation
- No cover
This sandbox for kids has an awesome design. The bench seats fold down to create a lid over the box, giving you a great place to sit while you watch your child play.
It’s made of 100% compostable untreated wood, which is great for the economically-minded parents who care about what happens to the wood when the sandbox wears out. However, leaving untreated wood outside can cause faster weathering and warping. If you want this sandbox to last even longer, you can treat the wood yourself to ensure its longevity.
When you fold the bench seats down to cover the sandbox, the lid locks into place so it won’t come open again accidentally. While it doesn’t come assembled, it’s easy to put together and comes with comprehensive instructions on how to do so.
It comes in two sizes so you can pick the one that works best for you. The extra large size can easily hold 800 pounds of sand, but you certainly don’t have to fill it all the way up if you don’t want to.
This is the perfect backyard sandbox for your kids to play, learn, and explore. Plus, the wood is natural and elegant, so it looks great, too.
- Attractive design
- Bench seats fold flat to create a lid
- Made from compostable, untreated wood for environmentally friendly construction
- Can weather or warp easily if left untreated
This clever design will have your kid pretending to be a pirate all day long. This is the best quality pirate sandbox, because believe it or not, there’s more than one. This one comes in two different sizes.
The small size has one bench seat with a mast, a steering wheel, and a sizable play area. The large size has two bench seats with a mast, a steering wheel, a sizable play area, and cute anchor designs on the sides.
The bench seats have backrests for added comfort, making them nice places for adults to sit and watch while their child plays.
Both sizes are made of natural wood that’s elegant and appealing to adults and kids alike. They are painted with blue trim for added flare.
The large size also has storage space under the bench seat, which is a great place to put all of the sand toys when they’re not in use so they don’t blow away.
This is another bottomless design that allows you to easily pick up the pirate ship without taking the sand with it, so you can transport it to the beach or use it as a toy by itself without anything in it.
It does come with black, non-woven fabric you can place on the ground to hold sand in, but it does not have a hard bottom. It also does not come with a cover, so you’ll have to find your own solution. While the pirate ship design is cute and fun, it makes it hard to cover because it would have to be a custom fit.
All of the wood is sanded smooth for your child’s protection. You won’t have to worry about splinters here. It comes unassembled with instructions that are easy to follow so you can do it yourself.
- Cute pirate ship design
- Easy to take to the beach or use for things other than sand
- Two convenient sizes
- Bottomless design helps with drainage
- No cover
This is a popular design for wooden sandboxes, with a square shape and bench seating on the side. Costzon takes a different approach, with the bench seating taking up sandbox real estate, which means you have less room to play.
However, the seating can be removed to reveal two storage boxes, providing an excellent place to store toys when you’re not using them or put extra snacks when you need a break. You can even remove the storage boxes to create a bigger play space.
The bottomless design is great for drainage and ventilation, so you won’t have to worry about overly wet sand or bacterial growth in the box.
It’s easy to assemble and maintain, and the high-quality fir wood construction is non-toxic for kids. It can hold 200 pounds of sand, but the bottomless design ensures that you can take it to the beach or anywhere else that has sand and play without limits.
This sandbox is a little bit more pricey than other similar designs, but the Costzon brand ensures that you get quality manufacturing. It’s ASTM and CPSIA certified for your safety.
- Certified by ASTM and CPSIA
- Bottomless design is great for drainage
- Convenient bench storage
- Seating takes up valuable play space
This sandbox for kids also doubles as a kiddie pool for lots of summertime fun. The neutral color allows it to blend in with any backyard space, giving your child a great place to play and making you happy with the way the design works with your outdoor area.
Each corner has a built-in seat for your kids to sit so they don’t have to sit in the sand. The design mimics natural bricks, so it’s fun and attractive at the same time. And because it comes fully assembled already, you can get right down to business playing without any delay.
The lid snaps on tight to protect the sand from water and bugs, so you’ll always be able to ensure a safe play space for your kids.
Its large design can hold up to 200 pounds of sand, making it the perfect size for almost any backyard. It’s convenient, but hard to move once it’s full, so if you think you might need to move it, you can fill it partially and still allow your kids plenty of sand to play.
The nice thing about this sandbox is that it’s from the Step2 brand, which is well-known in the world of kids play things. You can rest easy knowing you’re getting a quality product you can trust.
If you would rather use this product as a kiddie pool, it’s definitely a very sturdy option that makes a better summertime backyard pool than many of the cheap, flimsy designs. The cover will also come in handy for keeping things out of the water.
- Doubles as a backyard kiddie pool
- Built-in seating for more comfortable play
- Neutral design fits any backyard space
This adorable solution is a really large sandbox, great for the whole family. The canopy protects you from the sun and the benches give you a great place to sit and watch the action.
Bottomless construction is a great way to eliminate moisture and bacteria, while allowing you to adjust the sand depth according to how deep you want it to be. It’s a rather large sandbox, but you can fill it according to the size of your child or your family.
The cedar is heat-treated and stained to withstand wear and tear as well as weather. The hardware is rust resistant, so you can enjoy this sandbox for a long time.
Rather than being made of flimsy faux wood, this sandbox is constructed of real wood, which makes it really heavy and hard to move, but means it will be sturdy enough to withstand weather and years of play.
As an added bonus, the benches fold over the top of the sandbox when it’s not in use to cover the sand, protect the toys, and make sure it’s ready for the next time everyone wants to play. Handles make it easy to lift and lower the benches quickly.
Water is able to drain through the lid, which means you may encounter wet sand occasionally, but you can also count on it draining through with a bottomless design. If you want to keep grass and weeds from growing up through the sand, you can place it on a plastic weed or garden liner.
Because of its large size, this sandbox comes disassembled, so it does require a little work to put it together. Holes are pre-drilled to make it easier, but some people have noticed that some of the pre-drilled holes were missed, so they needed some extra tools.
- Canopy to protect children from the sun
- Benches convert into a lid for tidy pick up
- Heat-treated and stained for longevity
- Rust-resistant hardware
- Sand will get wet if it rains
This is another really great bottomless sandbox that holds up to 400 pounds of sand. It comes with a canopy, sturdy sides for sitting, and a cover, making it a fantastic solution for any backyard.
The thick and sturdy sides give everyone a place to sit. Not only that, but the awning slides down to create a durable cover, so you can protect your sand and your toys from the wind and rain.
For the environmentally-minded family, this is one of the best recyclable sandboxes because the wood goes through a special waterproofing process that makes it more durable, but retains its environmentally-friendly components.
This type of treated wood lacks chemicals, so it’s safe for your children and your pets as well.
The canopy is made of vinyl, but some complain that it’s not as thick or durable as they would like. It may rip easily.
It’s large and heavy, so once you put it together and fill it with sand, you may not be able to move it. It also requires some assembly, and the instructions could be a bit more clear.
- Canopy converts to sandbox cover
- Completely recyclable materials
- Assembly may be difficult for some
- Vinyl could be more durable
This sandbox can hold up to 500 pounds of sand, so it’s one of the largest sandboxes out there. The stained cedar offers an attractive looking finished product while the cover protects your sand when not in use.
The cedar wood is stained to protect it from weathering and warping. The dark color makes it attractive and it will fit in with any backyard decor.
The polyethylene cover is easy to pull over the entire sandbox to protect it and tidy it up when you’re not using it. It’s an eco-friendly solution that you can feel comfortable with using.
The thick sidewalls provide places to sit without having to sit in the sand. It’s a bottomless design to encourage drainage, but it comes with a ground liner if you prefer to use that.
It comes disassembled with all of the hardware and instructions needed. The unique shape is different from other sandboxes and makes for an attractive addition to your outdoor playspace.
The other benefit to purchasing a cedar sandbox is that cedar smells really nice and its scent repels pests. You will likely struggle a lot less with critters and bugs in your sandbox if you choose a cedar design.
- Cedar smells nice and repels insects
- Easy to put together
- Large size
- Cover is soft and could rip
- Ground covering is not attached to the sandbox
This cute little dude is definitely the only crabbie one in the bunch. Your kids will love his sweet face and enjoy playing with a trusted friend. The red vibrant color makes him interesting while the molded seats give everyone a place to play.
The sculpted shell means you can cover him up when you’re not using him and he’ll stay dry. This is a small, lightweight sandbox that doesn’t hold as much sand as the large sizes, but is perfect for smaller children.
It’s also not hard to move if you decide you want to set him somewhere else. While it holds 300 pounds of sand, you don’t have to fill him up if you think your child will be content with less.
The great thing about sandboxes like this one is that they come in one piece. They’re fully assembled already, so you don’t have to put anything together. You can just fill it up and play.
The hard plastic is durable and meant to withstand the weather as well as a lot of play, but the inadvertent step could mean a dented lid very easily. It’s also not hard for the wind to grab it and blow it away if it’s not secured properly.
One of the things people seem to enjoy most is that this is a very similar design to the turtle sandbox that seems to be so popular, but it offers something a little bit different than everyone else.
- Already assembled for fast and easy play
- Small and portable for easy moving
- Lid could get dented or blow away
- No drainage means you could have moisture problems
This is perhaps the best fully enclosed sandbox I’ve seen. It’s really cute with the oatmeal and white striped fabric, and it makes for a really fun place for the kids to hide out and play.
My kids would have loved something like this because it feels like a secret clubhouse where they can conduct meetings and get away from Mom and Dad.
The sides roll up, so you can keep an eye on younger kids and then roll them back down on windy days so the sand doesn’t blow about the yard. There are also mesh windows and a mess front that you can roll up individually if you’d like.
While it’s another bottomless design, it also includes the plastic liner if you want to use it. It comes with three storage bins on the side for all of your sand toys.
The wood is weather resistant so it can withstand being outdoors and give your children years of play. The large size will grow with them, so you can add a little sand now and more later.
The sides also have benches, offering a place for people to sit, although they’re a bit low to the ground, so probably not the best solution for adults.
It comes disassembled, but with detailed, step-by-step instructions to put it together. Some people complain that the sides don’t close as securely as they’d like, but velcro strips are a great solution for tightening your sandbox so animals can’t get in.
- Cute cabana design
- Storage bins for sandbox toys
- Weather resistant wood and a plastic liner
- Sides could secure better
- May have to drill your own holes while assembling
This lovely natural wood sand pit is a smaller design for smaller kids. It comes with a large storage compartment and a lid, as well as two corners with small platforms for sitting.
It comes with a ground sheet for added protection that is attached to the bottom of the sand pit. No worrying about whether or not your sand pit is centered on the plastic sheet. It also has a protective cover to keep your sand out of the weather.
The primary colors are attractive for your kids while the natural color of the wood blends in with anything in the backyard. It’s not treated so it may not last as long as those that are treated or stained.
However, without stain and treatment, they’re also more environmentally friendly and recyclable. It’s made of real pine, so it smells nice and will fill your play area with a natural aroma.
It comes disassembled, but its small size means it’s easy to assemble and it doesn’t take very long to put together. It can hold up to 300 pounds of sand, but will still offer hours of play with a lot less sand than that.
In some places, you may need some extra tools to drill the holes needed to assemble it. However, it’s well-built, sturdy, and durable.
- Sturdy, natural pine with a great aroma and beautiful design
- Storage compartment for sandbox toys
- May need to drill extra holes
The KidKraft Wooden Backyard Sandbox is the winner of this roundup, simply because of its large size and convenient design. It’s attractive and very functional, enabling a lot of hours of fun play for many kids.
The mesh cover provides added protection for when you’re not playing, and the stained wood offers an elegant addition to your backyard space. It’s large enough for multiple children, making it a great choice for a lot of families.