Missing Our Giant Sandpit? Some Ideas for Sand Play at Home

With this warm weather we are remembering our giant sandpit! We loved seeing kids (of all ages!) play in the sand and invent games in the playhouse.

My name is May – and installing the sandpit at the Great Northern was my obsession! Now, like so many others, I’m working at home with my kids. If you’ve got children and any outdoor space at all (even a balcony) then here’s how to make your own sandpit on a budget. It will give hours of fun and you might even get a chance to have a quiet cup of tea. So here’s what you do.

  1. Get a container for the sand. You can buy a bespoke sandpit, but my top tip is an old blow up paddling pool. Cheap, fantastic and often hanging around in the cupboard.
  2. Go large: if you have the space make it big enough for a child to get into it – but even a washing up bowl full of sand is fun.
  3. Make a few holes in the bottom, so that water can drain out.
  4. Order some play sand and fill your sandpit up! If money’s tight but you’ve got some soil, fill it up with soil instead.
  5. How much sand? If you’re not sure how much sand to buy – here’s a handy equation!

Amount of sand you need in kg = (area of the sandpit x depth of sand you want – measure both in metres) x 160

It’s pretty much the same even if the sand is sold in litres.

  1. Now raid the kitchen – any bits and bobs from the kitchen will make brilliant sand toys: spoons, saucepans, yoghurt pots, a watering can or jug. Think pretend cooking and you’ll be onto a winner.
  2. Add water! Sand is most fun when you add water.
  3. Grab a brush – if the kids get covered in sand, use a brush from a dustpan and brush set to dust them off before they come back in.
  4. You don’t need to cover the sandpit – it’s good for the sand to be in the fresh air.
  5. Check the sand each morning for any litter and dispose of anything you find. If you find a cat poo (very rare) or your child has an accident in the sandpit, just clear away the spoilt sand – and if you are worried, water the surrounding sand with diluted disinfectant.

Then sit back and watch the fun! Be happy that’s its great for kids’ brains too – it develops motor skills, creativity, concentration, problem solving and imagination. That’s home schooling done for the day then!

We are crossing our fingers that we’ll be able to open the Great Northern sandpit for some of the summer … but until then … we are staying at home to keep safe. Let us know how you get on with your sandpits!

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