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Best Sandbox for Kids 2014

Updated on January 9, 2014

Reviews of Kids Sandboxes

Sandboxes are a great way for your kids to spend some time outdoors. Back in the day, families used to make their own, but now you can buy several different styles with different features to keep your kids entertained. While some of the best sandboxes are still homemade, you might be surprised by what's available.

Age Considerations:

The first thing you should consider while shopping is the age of the child who will be using it most. Younger toddlers may benefit from sandboxes made especially for them. These are often made of plastic and some feature toys to go along with the box. Older children prefer a larger more traditional sandbox where they can rest their legs and play with a few friends.

A Cover is Best in Areas with Pests and Animals:

In my opinion, purchasing a sandbox that has a cover will be the best investment you can make. This will keep bugs from nesting inside of it, and deter cats from using it as a giant litter box. The last thing you want is to have your children get bug bites, or play in poop!

You will also need to consider where you will be putting this sandbox and how much room you have for it. These can be great for small yards since many of them don't take up much more room than a patio table.

If you have plenty of room, then consider getting one that is a bit bigger than you think you might need. This way, your children have more than enough room to play. Plus, if neighborhood friends come over, there is adequate space for them all to play.

Activity Sandbox with Canopy

I really like this Activity Sandbox with Canopy. The canopy is large enough to cover the entire sandbox and will help protect children from getting sunburned.

If you live in a very windy area, I suggest taking the canopy down when not in use. The poles it is attached to do not seem very strong to withstand wind over a long period of time. This will also protect the canopy and keep it from tearing.

I also really like that it has wide enough edges to comfortably sit around the entire thing. It features 2 plastic sand and water bins for more play. The wood panels are reinforced to reduce warping or weathering as it sits outside.

One thing you should be aware of is that the manufacturer advises that you stain the box with an oil based sealant to further extend the life of the box.

It also comes with a mesh cover to use when your kids aren't playing with it. I would say that three to four children could comfortably play in this at the same time. The entire thing measures 46 1/2" x 43 1/2".

KidKraft Pirate Sandboat

Great for toddlers, this KidKraft Pirate Sandboat is great for some whimsical play. It is shaped like boat with the front of the "ship" the sandbox part, and the rear featuring a seat with a wheel to steer the ship.

I love that this comes with some small storage compartments so all your sand toys are kept in one convenient place. It has a small shade canopy that will help protect from the sun, though it's not large enough to cover the entire ship, just the sandbox area.

Speaking of the sandbox area, it is only large enough to comfortably let two, maybe three, children play at one time.

I am glad that it also includes a cover for the sand as well. However, I have noticed that it doesn't sit very tight on the box, but my husband just rigged some hooks and eyes to keep it tauter.

You should know that since this is made from wood, you may want to extend the life of it and stain it to protect against the weather. The paint also can start chipping over time if left in a particularly sunny area, but adding a sealant can easily reduce this.

Overall, this has been a good box to have for all the toddlers in my family. This toy measures 75.7" x 43.8" x 58.7".

KidKraft Backyard Sandbox

For more generic sand play, consider the KidKraft Backyard Sandbox. This is a very sturdy box with reinforced wood panels.

Even though the wood is reinforced, I always recommend that you use an oil based sealant to ensure that it stays intact for many years to come. Assembly was not too difficult, and the instructions were very easy to follow.

This square box has rounded seats in each corner and can comfortably accommodate four children playing in it at the same time. It comes with a mesh cover to use as well, when play is over for the day. Be advised that the mesh cover will still let water in when there is wet weather.

Also, bugs can also still get inside, so make sure to inspect the sand when you are ready to let your children play in it. You should also be aware that this box does not come with a bottom. It is quite easy to get some wood to place underneath it to create your own however. Or, if you place it on concrete, then there is no need to put your own bottom together.

Overall, this is a fairly decent sandbox. This box measures 60" x 60" by 8.5".

Badger Basket Covered Convertible Sandbox

You might also like the Badger Basket Covered Convertible Sandbox. It features a canopy that covers the entire play area, and two bench seats.

I would say it can accommodate four to five children at one time. The seats fold up to cover the sandbox so there are no extra pieces to store. The slats in the wood will allow for moisture and some small bugs to make their way inside, but it will adequately keep the sand from blowing out, and keep cats away for sure.

I like that this is made from cedar that is heat treated and pre-stained. To make it easier to cover, and uncover the box, there are handles made specifically for it.

The canopy is made from a waterproof material, so your kids could easily play in it even if it is raining a little. The box is bottomless so you can determine how deep you want the sand to be.

It can easily hold up to 750 pounds of sand if you choose and can be filled up to 6" deep. The seats have a weight limit of 200 pounds each. The entire thing measures 46.5" x 46.5" x 9.5".

Sandlock Sandbox

Another one of my personal favorites is the Sandlock Sandbox. Because it is made from commercial grade plastic, there is no need to seal it or treat it at all.

It also is made with UV stabilizers so the sun won't make it fade much over time. It comes with a bottom and plastic panels to keep the sand in the box, and not in your yard.

It features two seats that can be positioned on the corners, or removed if not needed. Measuring 5 feet by 5 feet, this box is big enough to hold several children and will hold up to 886 pounds of sand easily.

Assembly has got to be the easiest I've encountered thus far with interlocking pieces that took us under 20 minutes to put together.

I think this has the best cover of them all with a heavy duty vinyl material that covers the entire thing to protect it from moisture, animals and insects. This cover keeps our sand cleaner than any other that we've discussed so far.

Our preschool has this same sandbox and found that their cover was tearing after several months; the company replaced it for free with no questions asked. That one cover must have just malfunctioned for some reason. The one in our yard has been intact for over a year now however.

Step2 Crabbie Sandbox

Your kids will love playing in the Step2 Crabbie Sandbox. As the name suggests, this is shaped like a crab with fun googly eyes on the front. It features a lid shaped like a crab shell to protect the sand from everything - moisture, bugs and animals.

There is no drain hole for moisture so you will want to make sure the lid gets put on when play is through. Because the lid sits so tightly, there is not a lot of airflow. If your sand is wet from either weather, or play, you will want to let it air out since it can easily get moldy inside.

The lid does not lock into place specifically, but it does sit heavy enough that wind won't blow it off. The two "claws" feature a seat for children. There is almost no assembly required for this sandbox which was very nice.

It measures 47.5 " x 47" x 16" and holds up to 300 pounds of sand. Be advised that this is a small sandbox and can hold two children comfortably; maybe three small children. Overall, this has been a great toy for my little one.


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