When we moved to our new house last year, we left behind the kid’s sandbox at the last house. At some point, we knew we’d replace it because of how often they used the last one and when we go to the Children’s Museum, the first thing they always want to do is dig around in the giant pile of sand.
I knew we weren’t going to do another basic 4′ x 4′ box this time and really wanted something unique and to be a continuous part of the backyard and unobtrusive. I came across a natural sandbox on Pinterest – of course – and used the design as a jumping board to create our own natural, dug-in sandbox big enough for all three kids to play in it at the same time and still have their own space.
To get started, we removed a ton of overgrown juniper bushes that were blocking the entire area and sticking out into the yard and taking up precious lawn space. After we removed them and the roots, we cleared the area and determined the perimeter of the play area.
Next, we put down railroad ties to keep the area contained and then started digging out the sandbox area. After we dug out the pit, we put down weed barrier and secured it in place to keep unwelcome plants from growing in the play areas in the future. After that, we set all the boulders around the play area. Some of the rocks we had to dig in to make sure they were secure and no kids standing on them would cause the rocks to move or shift.
After the weed barrier was down, we set all of the medium size rocks around the play area. Some of the rocks had to be dug into the dirt to make sure they were secure and no kids standing on them would cause the rocks to move or shift when they’re playing.
Once the rocks were in place, we wheelbarrowed a half-ton of sand into the sandbox and spread it out until it was level. The other side of the play area, we covered in soft-tumbled playground wood chips to hold a water table, slide, and see-saw.
It took the most time to dig out the roots and dirt, and move the dirt to another place in the yard. Overall, we spent nearly 10-hours digging, buying product, assembling, hauling material and boulders, and finishing up the sand and wood chips.
The total cost for everything was $289.00 which included two (2) railroad ties, (2) fasteners, (2) rolls of weed barrier material and stakes, sand, wood chips and boulders.
10 hours and $289.00 was definitely worth it since the kids play in it every day!