As the temperature drops, we start thinking about all the things we have lying around outside, one of which is sandboxes.
That’s why, many parents wonder, “What should you do with a sandbox in the winter?”
In this article, we’ll share some marvelous inspirations for winterizing your sandbox and keeping it as entertaining as ever.
We’ll also show you how to store it properly, so grab your mittens and let’s get to work!
Winter is an amazing time to transform sandboxes into something more magical! So, before you proceed to the section below on how to store your sandbox, allow us to change your mind.
Here are three ideas for things to do with your sandbox during the cooler months:
Our first and favorite suggestion is to turn your sandbox into a winter wonderland!
We all love that sand play is a great sensory activity that fosters our children’s imaginative play. But who said it had to be limited to sand?
To winterize your sandbox, remove the sand and replace it with snow. Let your creativity run wild as you create a winter scene.
You can build a lovely snowman, place a sledding hill, put decorative ornaments, and add anything else that’ll fit in your sandbox.
Then, there are countless activities that children can do there.
For instance, you could bury items like pine cones, fake snowflakes, as well as twigs, and then invite your kids out for a scavenger hunt.
Scavenger hunts are a great way to encourage exploration, build problem-solving skills, and promote teamwork!
Alternatively, you can ask your little engineers to help you construct a mini-village in this winter wonderland.
This collaborative project is ideal for keeping them entertained while also allowing them to spend quality time with you.
Bringing an ice skating rink to your backyard doesn’t sound like a bad idea, does it? This project is perfect if your sandbox is large and winter is a little longer where you live.
Ice skating isn’t only a ton of fun, it also helps kids focus, strengthens their leg muscles, and is a great exercise for maintaining healthy blood flow.
The good news is, making a rink isn’t as complicated as you might think. Half of the work is already done because you have the sandbox frame.
All you need to do is line the entire box and its edges with a white trap. After that, you’ll add cold water to make the first base.
While making the first layer, you should stop pouring water until the base is covered and the water is level.
Then, over the next week, keep adding additional thin layers, and allow them to freeze completely. Meanwhile, you can decorate the rink with dazzling string lights.
Once it’s ready, let your little ones put on their ice skates and have a blast!
Both designs are stunning, but which one you choose will be determined by your personal preferences and the size of your sandbox.
In any case, remember to use a durable and waterproof fabric to protect your precious fort from inclement weather.
Of course, you’ll need to switch out the sand for snow and start matching up with the new wintery aesthetic.
You can spruce up the fort with flashlights/lanterns, branches, dangling ornaments, and other winter-themed decorations.
Don’t forget to include shovels and buckets so that your kids can build structures in their fort. Your kids will love spending hours there in their own little world, we’re sure of it!
We completely understand if you prefer not to make any changes to the sandbox for the winter. That’s why we’ll walk you through four key steps for safely storing it:
First things first, start by taking all of your child’s toys out of the sandbox. That way, you can sanitize them and safely store them until they’re needed.
Most importantly, bringing the toys indoors will keep them from being ruined by the cold weather.
This is especially true if the toys are made of plastic, which doesn’t fare well in freezing temperatures. You see, it tends to warp and become brittle to the point of breaking.
Cleaning the sand before storing the sandbox is vital. It primarily ensures that the sand is safe and hygienic to use once winter is over.
Thoroughly rake or sift the sand to remove any debris or organic matter. To explain, if a leaf is left there, it may decompose, leaving behind a significant amount of fungi and bacteria.
The same thing would apply if there were pests or animal droppings. So, to avoid future contamination or infection, make sure to remove any foreign bodies from the sandbox.
You can take it a step further by sanitizing the sand after cleaning it.
The star of the show is household bleach! As you may already know, it’s a strong disinfectant that effectively kills the majority of pathogens in an environment.
Fill a one-gallon spray bottle half full with water and the other half with bleach. Shake the mixture well before spraying the top layer of sand.
When the sand looks damp, use a rake or a shovel to turn it over and repeat the spraying process.
Allow the sand and bleach mixture to sit together for 30 minutes after soaking. Then, rake the sand once more and let it dry completely.
Finally, it’s time to say goodbye and seal this play area. Purchase a waterproof sandbox cover with ties or a weighted edge.
This is to prevent water from getting in and the cover from being blown away by the strong wind. Covering the sandbox is necessary to maintain its cleanliness, so don’t skip this step!
Fortunately, if you’re storing the sandbox, you can create a variety of sensory activities for your children to enjoy indoors. Take a look at our top two picks:
The ocean-themed sensory bin will provide your toddler with unique textures, and he’ll certainly enjoy its vibrancy.
Simply combine chia seeds, water, and blue food coloring in a large plastic bin. Toss in some sea animal toys, shells, as well as fake pearls, and you’re done!
If your kid has construction toys, making a dried bean sensory table is a terrific idea.
Dried beans resemble the gravel used on construction sites. So put them in any container you have; it could be a water table.
Then add in the construction toys, and your child will have a great time loading, transporting, and dumping the beans.
The next time someone asks, “What to do with a sandbox in the winter?” you’ll have plenty to say!
Winter may seem to be the end of outdoor fun, but it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, our suggestions for seasonally transforming your sandbox proved our point.
That said, if you’re team storage, make sure to follow the steps we outlined here. They’ll help keep your sandbox in good condition and safe to use for as long as possible.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
If you want more backyard tips including recipes, how-tos and more, make sure you subscribe to my youtube channel