Tuesday, June 21, 2011

DIY: Toddler Sandbox (easy & CHEAP!)

My boy Levi (17m) loves to be outdoors. I've been trying to find cheap, frugal outdoor activities that are age appropriate. A friend of mine who lives in a condo came up with this great idea: a storage bin sandbox!!! SUPER frugal and fun for toddlers! To make your own, here's what you need:

- one storage bin w/ a lid (I used one we had just cleaned out when we had our garage sale last month)
- one 50lb. bag of play sand @ $3.86 a bag at Lowe's (not all-purpose sand, it's specifically "play sand"... both are found near concrete in a hardware store)
- misc. measuring cups (my mis-matched ones from my kitchen)
- other sand-safe toys (I found a bag of construction vehicles for $.50 at a garage sale)
TOTAL COST: under $5 (since I used an old sweater storage bin)

Find a spot to put your sandbox in your yard, on your porch, etc... (This works even if you live in an apartment, because it's easy to sweep the sand off your patio that gets spilled out!) Pour the sand in, add some toys, and you now have a toddler sandbox for anywhere from $5-$15 (depending on if you have a storage bin lying around somewhere already). Make sure to put the lid back on so that no neighborhood kitties use it as a litter box!

My son is even learning to share with the neighbor girls:

Linked up at:


  1. I used to teach and know what a great asset a sand table can be for the kiddos. I love this idea, so much better than going out and buying an expensive table. This could be used as a water table too. During different seasons I would put different things in. For example during the spring season, I would put in Easter basket grass and a bunch of bugs. The kids loved playing in different types of things.
    Please stop by www.laughloveandcraft.com and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! it's open until Sunday. I'm your newest follower!

  2. Thanks so much! just linked up with your Share the Wealth party, too.. great idea with changing things out with the seasons... I know you can also make them different sizes (smaller/larger) to fit your needs or space. This was a lot of fun to make using things we already had around the house!!!

  3. Great idea ! IF a vinyl tablecloth or old shower curtain liner were used under it, the (spilled) sand could be collected and poured back in : )

  4. I posted as anonymous because I didn't have a profile and that was the only one I knew what it was : )

  5. Bird seed works really well instead of sand as well any spill the birds will gladly help you clean up also try colored rice

  6. This sounds great!! I've been wanting to get a sand box for my toddler. This will be perfect. Thanks for sharing!