What could be better for your youngster than a little old fashioned outdoor fun this summer? Sandbox play is the perfect sensory activity to pry those electronic devices away from tiny fingers and occupy the kids with amazing hands-on activities to spark their active imaginations. For toddlers, there are many benefits of playing in the sand, including engaging in pretend play and strengthening problem-solving and gross motor skills. Not to mention simply getting outside to soak up some sun! We’re sharing the scoop on the coolest backyard sandbox styles from big to small and classic to canopied guaranteed to deliver hours of entertainment.
But before the fun can begin, you have to make sure that you’ve chosen a model that best suits your child’s age range and play preferences, as well as your backyard space. Once you’ve determined the proper size and features, then you can factor in exciting details like canopies, water compatibility and more. Some sandboxes even double as playhouses and functional outdoor furniture with their unique designs and seat attachments.
In terms of maintenance, the sandbox should be regularly sifted of debris and the walls of the model disinfected to ensure that your children are playing in a hygienic environment. If your child was sitting in the sand with a dirty diaper, it’s best to change the sand completely (use play sand instead of builder’s sand because it’s already been properly sifted and cleaned). If the sand is wet from weather or playtime, make sure that the sand has dried completely before your child digs into the sand again. You also want to keep your sandbox covered when it’s not in use; opting for a model with a secure lid will help keep animals and insects out of the sand and cleanly for your kids.
Below, explore the 11 best sandboxes for kids that will create endless outdoor fun for your little ones.
- Best for Toddlers: Step2 Crabbie Sandbox Kids Plastic Outdoor Sandbox with Cover
- Best Wooden: KidKraft Backyard Sandbox
- Best Budget: Starplay Novelty Sandbox
- Best for 6-Year-Olds and Up: Badger Basket Deluxe Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox
- Best With Cover: Creative Cedar Designs Solid Wood Octagon Sandbox with Cover
- Best With Canopy: KidKraft Cabana Sandbox
- Best for Indoors: Be Good Company My Little Sandbox, Doggie Day Camp Play Set
- Best for Multiple Kids: KidKraft Pirate Sandboat
- Best Kinetic Sandbox: CoolSand 3D Sandbox Dino Discovery Edition
- Best for Small Yards: Step2 Play Sand and Water Table
- Best With Water: Step2 Splash N Scoop Water Table
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.