Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play

Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

If you have been following along with my Mammatography posts at all, you would know that Jesse is mad about sand, and mud for that matter but in this post I will concentrate on his love for sand.

Jesse found a pile of building sand left over from when we renovated our cottage and it became his new best hangout. He would spend countless hours playing in there, and dragging any nearby person to join him on the pile. Alas, it was out of eyesite from the house, it was cold and damp and the building sand was not great to play in. We decided he deserved a better sandpit, and I spent some time researching plans on the internet.

I came across a few lovely sandpits, but which all required quite a bit of work and money. Eventually I had a brainwave to use an old tractor tyre that we had in our garden, we had previously been using it to store compost.

It has worked perfectly! We simply trimmed the edge with a jigsaw to make the bowl of the tyre wider, gave it a lick of paint - which could be totally optional, and ordered a bakkie load of sand.

Step 1: Trim the bowl of the tyre with a jigsaw.

We placed it near the house, in full winter sun so that its a great place to play in winter, in summer we may need to put up an umbrella to shade it. The best thing, is that it is situated right next to where our dogs sleep, so this deters any cats (our own, or the neighbours) from using his sandpit as a litter box!

Step 2: Fill with sand

Jesse has had countless hours of independent play in here, and he loves it when anyone joins him too. A couple of plastic spades and buckets later and this project is a hit!

Step 3: Add a coat of paint, and enjoy! :)

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children of all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don't always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer's Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking... Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen's family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she's sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things ... And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children's Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children's artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father's Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It's a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with... well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura's Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


  1. Brilliant! I'm looking for a way to incorporate a mud pile into our outdoor play space. We don't have a tractor tire, but I like the idea of repurposing something. I'll keep my eyes open...

    1. Ooooh, a mud pile would be fun! :)
      Thanks for hosting!

  2. What a great idea to use to the old tractor tire! It's picturesque, really.

    I love that you have dogs watching out for you, too — otherwise, you have to cover to keep the cats out. Nothing like watching your kid dig and find a … treat. ;)

    1. Lol, if the dogs weren't a good enough deterrent I would have to cover it up... ew! ;)

  3. I love your idea of reusing something instead of buying it new. There are way too many plastic turtle sandboxes in the world already! :)

  4. I love how you repurposed the old tire - and I think the paint really adds something. It looks so cheery, and I can see how many pleasant hours will be spent out there. We used to have a sandbox for the kids (of the plastic crab variety, though at least we bought it used) and the kids LOVED it. I think even now (~4years later) they'd still find it fun!

    1. Kids and sand... or any dirt / mud really = happiness! :)

  5. What a sublime idea. I love how it's not only functional, but completely "bump-proof" since it is made of rubber. Genius.

  6. What a brilliant idea!!! I applaud your creativity! Everybody is happy now :)

    1. Thank-you! :) Thanks for stopping by :)

  7. Perfect! Looks like a ton of fun. :) My kids keep asking for a sand box. I just tell them to dig in the dirt. ;)

    1. Lol, that would work too... except they seem to stay cleaner with a sandbox, which is always a plus :)

  8. My nursery school had sand pits like that! They were great! Too bad I don't have enough room for one!

    1. You could always try using a small tyre, such as a car one perhaps? :)


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