My project of making a wooden sandbox is now complete. I wanted to get rid of our sandbox because of its flimsy concave lid that filled with water. And it was small but was about the biggest that would fit in the car. So making one made sense. And as much as I like to think I'm too sensible to care too much about what something looks like, I happen to love our beautiful backyard and there's no way a plastic sandbox could ever add to that.
I tried to keep it as cheap and simple as possible so the box is just made from 2x10s with landscaping fabric stapled to the bottom. The lid was a little more tricky. I used 2 2x4' panels of 1/4" plywood and put a hinge between them. Making it hinged makes it much easier to manoeuvre. Underneath the hinge I attached a strip of tarp to keep water from streaming in through the crack. And around the edges of the lid I attached strips of wood to make a lip to keep it in the right spot (maybe I should have taken a few more pictures to show how I did my lid instead of just a million of Henry).
We mostly just weather proofed the lid since it gets the most exposure and is a thin wood. (Kevin and I both hate weatherproofing and staining and Kevin says the only time I ever want to use weather proofing is when I'm pregnant and have an excuse to make him do it for me.) I am actually worried about the lid being so thin that it will crack but when I was shopping for it I was so preoccupied with making sure it wasn't too heavy that I didn't even think about that.
And in the process of researching making a wooden sandbox I came across this post on Young House Love about the health hazards associated with chronic exposure to modern manufactured play sand. It was something that I probably could have put into perspective and decided that the joys of a sandbox were worth the minuscule added risks. But then I fell in love with the idea of a rock box like they made on Young House Love. Henry had been playing in the sandbox a whole lot recently and so I had been sweeping up sand in the house a whole lot recently. A rock box sounded lovely and clean.
So we found pea gravel at Lowe's and bought $50 worth (it was a little more expensive than the play sand and it is a big 4x4' rock box). And on Sunday we removed the sandbox and replaced it with our awesome rock box. Henry was so excited, his arms were flapping like crazy as Kevin poured the rocks.
So he seems to love the rock box. We were nervous that he would miss sand. He asked about his sandbox once after we'd been playing in the rock box for several hours but seemed fine with it when we told him that there was no more sandbox because now we had a rock box instead. We had perfect weather on Sunday so we were out there just about all day playing with Henry. His favourite thing was pretending to make chocolate chip cookies.
And doesn't the wooden box look so much nicer than a plastic thing in my beautiful backyard?