Children are easily bored. While letting your kids sit through the whole day watching television can sometimes be a quick and easy solution for most parents during weekends or school vacations, it is not good practice. Not only do we contribute to global warming by excessive use of electricity, but we are unknowingly turning our kids' brains to mush. Coming up with fun activities that will encourage learning and teamwork in our kids is still the best way to give their endless energy an outlet. This is where creating your own sandbox from scratch will come in. By employing these tried and tested methods, you will surely turn that day in the backyard like a visit to the beach.
- Select the most suitable location for your sandbox. When doing this, a few things have to be kept in mind. Firstly, a shaded area should be the first in your list. Too much exposure to the sun will result in a number of serious health problems. A shaded area beside the house or under a tree will be the best. However, putting your sandbox under a tree may be a little more difficult as you will need to cut and dig through the roots. A sandbox should also be placed in an area with proper drainage to make sure that the sand dries up after a rainstorm. Sandboxes should also be situated in a place where you would easily see your kids. Windbreak is another consideration as the wind may blow off the sand and cause damage to your kids' eyes.
- Prepare the area by measuring and marking. Once you have chosen the spot for the sandbox, use twine to lay out the desired size for the sandbox. Dig up to a 4 inches into the dirt. This will help keep the walls upright. Put weed fabric on it. This will allow the water to drain out but keep weeds from sprouting into the sand.
- Assemble the frame. Now it's time to put together the outer frame of the sandbox. You will need non-toxic wood about 12 inches wide and 1 inch thick. The length of each side wall depends on the area you picked out - it could be a square or a rectangle. Assemble these side walls into the shape of the area you marked, making sure you follow the area's measurements. Use either nails or wood screws to connect the side walls, making sure there are at least three from top to bottom on each corner joint to make the frame sturdy. Once you've put the frame together you can now lay it in the dug out shape in the chosen area and fill in the gaps with soil.
- Fill up the installed frame with sand. There are generally two types of sand to choose from - contractor's sand or river sand. River sand is cleaner and finer so it would be a good idea to use this.
Building the sandbox can in itself be an exciting and fun outdoor activity. You can actually ask your children and their playmates to help out. The work is easy enough to be enjoyable and it will surely teach them a lot about cooperation.