The 11 Best Kids’ Sandboxes for Endless Outdoor Fun

by Samantha McIntyre and Emily Belfiore

The 11 Best Kids’ Sandboxes for Endless Outdoor Fun
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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. 


RELATED: The Best Outdoor Toys for Toddlers to Enjoy All Spring and Summer Long


Below, explore the 11 best sandboxes for kids that will create endless outdoor fun for your little ones. 



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Best for Toddlers

Step2 Crabbie Sandbox Kids Plastic Outdoor Sandbox with Cover


Mom and dad won't mind shelling out some dollars to snap up this Step2 Crabbie Sandbox Kids Plastic Outdoor Sandbox with Cover to entertain their tot. The super cute sandbox features two claw-shaped seats for the kids to sit on and comes with a convenient cover for when playtime is over. This sandbox style is designed for kids ages 1 and up and holds 300 pounds of sand.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Perfect for a toddler. Great buy. My son who is 1 ½-years-old loves this sandbox. I fit four 50-pound sacks of sand in it and was perfect to sit in.”

2 of 11 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Wooden

KidKraft Backyard Sandbox


Summer is no time to think outside of the box when there's so much fun to be had inside of this spacious KidKraft Backyard Sandbox. The wooden, weather-resistant sandbox features built-in seating for four and plenty of play space for the kids. This style is designed for children ages 2 to 8 and features a mesh cover to protect the sand when not in use.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“The quality of the kit is really great. The wood seems to be of good quality and the seats for the sandbox have held up to constant attacks from our 30-pound son... This sandbox is pretty big. We fit four kids in it with plenty of room between them. The wood is treated, but since we live in the Pacific Northwest, we will be treating it once the summer is over.”

3 of 11 Image Credits: Wayfair

Best Budget

Starplay Novelty Sandbox


The Starplay Novelty Sandbox is a wallet-friendly option that will keep your child entertained for hours on end. For just $45, the hippo-shaped sandbox, which can also be used as a bite-sized pool for your little ones, is able to hold 50 pounds of sand and comes with a lid to ensure that the sand is protected from critters and the elements. Made for ages 2 to 4, choose between two fun colors.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“One of my three daughters has two boys, ages 1 and 2. This is the perfect-sized sandbox for them! It's not too big, and is just enough for them to have a place to play in the sand. It only takes a $4 bag of sand to fill this cute little hippo sandbox too. It has a lid on it to keep cats from visiting and leaving little presents! The lid is not too heavy, and can easily be removed by my grandsons.”

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Best for 6-Year-Olds and Up

Badger Basket Deluxe Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox


Perfect for building castles in the sand, there's plenty of room for older kiddos to play inside of this fabulous, wooden Badger Basket Deluxe Covered Convertible Cedar Sandbox. This spacious, canopied sandbox features two benches, which can support up to 200 pounds, for comfortable seating with a protective lid to keep it covered when not in use. This style holds up to 750 pounds of sand.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Bought this for my 6-year-old son. Took me about 45 minutes [from] start to finish to assemble. Very easy assembly... Plenty of space for a couple of kids to play. Good value overall.”

5 of 11 Image Credits: Wayfair

Best with Cover

Creative Cedar Designs Solid Wood Octagon Sandbox with Cover


Prevent critters and animals from ruining the fun with this paneled, octagon-shaped sandbox from Creative Cedar Designs. The wooden sandbox has a sturdy weather-proof nylon tarp that securely covers the sandbox to keep the sand clean while also providing adorable seating for your little ones thanks to its wide seat boards. The sandbox can hold over 500 pounds of sand and an easy-to-use drainage system so you can still keep up with your yard maintenance.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Easy to put together and very durable. The cover stays on very well even in our horrible windy area.”

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Best With Canopy

KidKraft Cabana Sandbox


This super cool, KidKraft Cabana Sandbox is a great way to beat the heat while having fun outdoors! Perfect for the kids to play in the sand while covered from the sun, this sturdy cabana style is made with weather-resistant wood and features a roll-up canvas cover and mesh windows. The sand capacity is 662 pounds.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“This sandbox is so nice. Great to be out of the direct sun, fun for kids to have their own little spot. Takes a while to put together but well worth it.”

7 of 11 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Indoors

Be Good Company My Little Sandbox Doggie Day Camp Play Set


What better way to while away the dog days of summer than with this Be Good Company My Little Sandbox? This Doggie Day Camp PlaySet is a soothing way for little pet lovers to play in the sand. The wooden, tabletop sandbox comes with a play mat, six plastic dogs, dog toys and accessories, a doggie bed and a dog house. It's designed for kids ages 3 and up and fun for mom and dad too!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“I love these sandboxes. They are perfect for the 3 to 4-year age range in terms of understanding how to keep their mess inside the box and also getting more involved with their imaginative play but still needing sensory input.”

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Best for Multiple Kids

KidKraft Pirate Sandboat


Batten down the hatches and prepare for a raging storm of activity! Kids can climb aboard this awesome KidKraft Pirate Sandboat with buckets and shovels in hand for a boatload of fun. This mighty sandbox, which features pirate-themed decorations, comes with a steering wheel and two large compartments for storage. It’s roomy enough to fit multiple mates. Ahoy!

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“[It’s] made of real wood, and stood up to a birthday party for our 3-year-old grandson and his cousins who loved it.”

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Best Kinetic Sandbox

CoolSand 3D Sandbox Dino Discovery Edition


Kids, get ready for a roaring good time while playing with this portable CoolSand 3D Sandbox Dino Discovery Edition. Made with cool sand, mom will love that the moldable sand sticks together rather than ending up in every crevice of her kiddo's clothing. Kids can form shapes in the sand while creating exciting adventures with the 12 3D dino figures included in the set. This playful prehistoric set also comes with 10 shaping molds and a pound of CoolSand for an awesome afternoon of fun! Designed for kids ages 3 and up.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“My 5-year-old grandson just loves this sand. No worries about drying out and it’s very moldable. He enjoys the dinosaurs but also puts in his small construction trucks in the box and will play for an hour, that’s amazing. Very few toys will keep his attention for this long in peaceful play. Any sand that falls on our wood floor is swept up easily, and replacement sand is not that expensive. He’s had his cool sand for about a year now and enjoys it as much now as a year ago. We just bought another for a birthday gift.”

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Best for Small Yards

Step2 Play Sand and Water Table


Those with limited outdoor space need a sandbox like the Step2 Play Sand and Water Table, which has a compact and versatile design that creates endless playtime possibilities. This elevated sandbox acts as a small pool for your little one’s favorite water toys and comes with a textured cover, which can be used as a racetrack for toy cars. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use, it also comes with a nautical-themed umbrella to block out the sun and a secure cover to ensure that no critters can get inside.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Sturdy, and very functional. Has enough room for all three of my children. Love that it has an umbrella for shade. Glad that it has a cover to keep the environment out when not in use. Comes with a few toys.”

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Best With Water

Step2 Splash N Scoop Water Table


Take your child’s sensory play up to new heights with the Step2 Splash N Scoop Water Table, an elevated sandbox with water compatibility. This dual-purpose sandbox holds 1.5 gallons of water and 15 pounds of sand in its bins, which can be covered so your child can choose to play with sand, water or both at the same time. It also has a drain plug for easy clean-up and comes with a water tower toy for extra splish-splash fun.

What Reviewers Are Saying:
“Love this toy. Easy to assemble and holds just the right amount of sand and water for my 16-month-old. It’s the perfect height for her too. She wants to play with it every day.”