Kids

The UK’s Best Children’s Sandpits For Outdoor Garden Play

toddler playing in sand
Written by April Foot

A kids’ sandpit can bring the magic of seaside holidays, trips to the beach and building sandcastles into your garden, for children to enjoy year-round.

Having a sandpit in the garden can encourage kids to get outside, as well as to develop their creative skills, as they build and play in the sand. If playing with other children, a sandpit can also help improve their social and sharing skills.

There are many different types of sandpits, ranging from simple hexagon shapes, to elaborate pirate ship designs with added features – so there should be one that’s perfect for your family.

If you’re sold on the benefits of a sandpit, and you’d like some help choosing one for your garden, check out our selection of the 5 best kids’ sandpits available, based on their design, quality, fun features and value for money.

Our #1 Top Pick
DEUBA Large Wooden Sandpit Sand Box with Roof Canopy Play Veranda 130x130x143cm Outdoor Garden...
Value Pick
Charles Bentley Kids Children Outdoor Hexagonal FSC Wood Sand Pit Box Play
Also Consider...
Garden Games Sand Sailer Wooden Boat Sandpit with Canopy Shade, Pirate Ship Sandbox with Toy Storage
Material
Pine Wood
Timber
Fir Wood
Size
130cm x 130cm x 143cm
24cm x 137cm x 119cm
165cm x 78cm x 114cm
Weight
23Kg
9.5Kg
19.5Kg
Price
Price not available
£39.99
£149.99
Our #1 Top Pick
DEUBA Large Wooden Sandpit Sand Box with Roof Canopy Play Veranda 130x130x143cm Outdoor Garden...
Material
Pine Wood
Size
130cm x 130cm x 143cm
Weight
23Kg
Price
Price not available
Value Pick
Charles Bentley Kids Children Outdoor Hexagonal FSC Wood Sand Pit Box Play
Material
Timber
Size
24cm x 137cm x 119cm
Weight
9.5Kg
Price
£39.99
Also Consider...
Garden Games Sand Sailer Wooden Boat Sandpit with Canopy Shade, Pirate Ship Sandbox with Toy Storage
Material
Fir Wood
Size
165cm x 78cm x 114cm
Weight
19.5Kg
Price
£149.99

Last update on 2020-10-27 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

Your children will be building sand forts in no time!

Best Pick: Deuba Large Wooden Sandpit With Veranda

Our best kids’ sandpit has a covered veranda for play and storage

Topping our selection of the best kids’ sandpits is this Large Wooden Sandpit with Veranda from Deuba. It’s made from pine and features a covered veranda alongside the sandpit, which provides an additional area for playing or sitting.

One of the main advantages of this is the fact that the sandpit can be stored under the veranda when not in use. This both saves space in your garden and helps protect the sand from the elements, eliminating the need for a cover. The dimensions of the sandpit when under the veranda are 130 x 130 x 145 cm.

The veranda is on wheels, which makes it easier to move around. The disadvantage of the design is that there is no base on the sandpit – the intention is for the sandpit to remain in a fixed location, whilst the veranda is moved over it.

This means you need a perfectly flat area of ground to place the sandpit on, and also makes it easy for the sand to get mixed with dirt from the ground – unless you build your own base (this would be relatively easy to do, using a sheet of plywood or tarpaulin).

The sandpit does require self-assembly, and the instructions aren’t the best, so it might take you a bit of time to put together. Once you’ve got it assembled though, it’s guaranteed to provide kids with hours of outdoor fun.

Pros

  • Made from pine wood.
  • Includes built-in veranda for playing or sitting outside.
  • Sandpit can be stored under the veranda.
  • Wheels make it easy to move.

Cons

  • No base on the sand pit means the sand is prone to getting dirty.
  • Poor assembly instructions – might take a while to put together.
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Value Pick: Charles Bentley Hexagonal Sandpit

Our best value sandpit is a simple hexagonal design, with a fabric base

If you’re looking for a more traditional-style sandpit, for an affordable price, check out this Hexagonal Sandpit by Charles Bentley. There’s no fancy veranda on this one, it’s just a simple sandpit made from Nordic softwood spruce – but that’s all kids will need to have fun.

Unlike the Deuba sandpit, this one has an internal ground lining, so you can fill it with sand without worrying about it not being contained, or mixing with the dirt underneath. The fabric lining also prevents weeds from breaking through, whilst allowing for proper drainage. However, if you’re after a solid wood base, you’ll still need to provide this yourself.

This is another sandpit that comes flat-packed and requires self-assembly, but unlike the Deuba, this isn’t too difficult and should take only around 30 minutes. It measures 124 x 137 x 119 cm and is recommended for ages 3+. The manufacturer state that it could also be used as a ball pit if your kids get tired of sand (or you want to avoid the mess!)

The downside of this design is that there are no additional play features to entertain children, and no included cover to protect the sand when the sandpit is not in use, so you’ll need to purchase something separately, or use a tarpaulin.

We think we can forgive that though, considering the ultra-affordable price point. If you’re looking to add a sandpit to your garden and encourage your kids to play outside, without spending a fortune, this simple sandpit could be the perfect solution.

Pros

  • Made from Nordic softwood spruce.
  • Includes polypropylene lining to contain the sand.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Can be painted.
  • Highly affordable.

Cons

  • No cover included.
  • Basic design – no additional features.
  • Wood ideally needs to be treated with a varnish or sealant.
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Garden Games Sand Sailor With Canopy

This ship-shape sandpit is a dream-come-true for pirate-mad toddlers

This Garden Games Sand Sailor with Canopy offers something a bit more exciting than a simple sandpit. Made from pre-treated fir wood, it’s designed to look like a pirate ship, which is sure to delight young children.

As well as the sandpit in the middle, there’s a rotating steering wheel, flag and sun-shade canopy, and the lid of the sandpit folds out to create 2 bench seats. An included geotextile underlay provides a base for the sand, whilst allowing water to drain – although again, there’s no solid wood base.

The disadvantage of the elaborate design and extra features is that the size of the sandpit suffers – the whole thing measures 165 x 78 x 114 cm, but the sandpit is only a small part of that and is unlikely to fit more than one toddler at a time. There is, however, space in the bow of the boat for convenient toy storage, which might make up for this.

One great thing about this one is that there’s a built-in solid wood cover for the sand, to protect it from the wind and debris when not in use – this is the first sandpit on our list to include this feature. It does require self-assembly, but this is not too difficult.

Although it is the most expensive product in our selection, considering everything that’s included, we still think it’s great value. For any pirate-mad shipmates, this boat-shaped sandpit will bring their dreams of sailing the seven seas to life.

Pros

  • Made from sustainably-sourced fir wood.
  • Fun pirate ship design, with additional play features.
  • Includes overhead canopy for sunshade.
  • Textile base to contain sand.
  • Includes a toy storage area in the bow of the boat.
  • Fold-out lid to protect the sand when not in use.

Cons

  • Comparatively small area for sand – only suitable for very young children.
  • Priciest sandpit on our list.
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Big Game Hunters 1.8 Metre Octagonal Wooden Sandpit

A large wooden sandpit that’s great for bigger families

It’s back to a more traditional style for our next sandpit – this 1.8-metre Octagonal Sandpit by Big Game Hunters. At 180 x 180 cm, this sandpit is larger than most and is therefore ideal for slightly older children, or for siblings and friends to play together.

It’s made from fir wood, which has been pre-treated with varnish to help protect it from the elements. There’s a geotextile underlay, to contain the sand and prevent weeds, whilst allowing water to permeate.

There’s also an included PE cover, to help keep the sand free from debris. However, this is fairly poor fitting – it’s difficult to put on, and doesn’t stay on well once it is on, so you might want to replace this with something more suitable.

The design is relatively easy to assemble, as the pieces slot together. Once assembled, you’ll notice that there are 4 small bench seats around the edge of the sandpit, which are perfect for observers, and help to accommodate more children at a time.

Recommended for kids aged 3 years and above, this sizeable sandpit is one of the best options for families with multiple children who want to play together – just be prepared to spend more on the sand to fill it!

Pros

  • Made from pre-treated fir wood.
  • The larger size can accommodate multiple children.
  • 4 built-in bench seats around the edge.
  • Geotextile underlay to help contain the sand.
  • PE cover to keep sand clean.
  • Easy to assemble – pieces slots together.

Cons

  • The larger size means it’s more expensive to fill with sand.
  • Takes up more space than many competitors.
  • The cover is difficult to get on.
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Plum Octagonal Sand Pit

Another great option for multiple children – if you don’t mind splashing a bit more cash

Our final sandpit is this octagonal offering from Plum. This one has a very similar design to the Big Game Hunters – it’s an octagonal shape, and has 4 built-in bench seats around the edge, which are perfect for children to sit on whilst they play. At 177 x 177 cm, it’s almost exactly the same size, too.

The sandpit is made from FSC certified timber, with rounded corners, for added safety. It’s recommended for children aged 18 months +, with a maximum user weight of 50 kg, so it’s a good, safe option for toddlers.

Included with the sandpit is an internal ground cover, to help prevent weeds and allow water to drain out of it – although be aware that this is not attached to the sandpit in any way.

There’s also a protective cover, to keep sand clean and dry when the sandpit is not in use. However, as with the previous sandpit, the cover is quite flimsy and not a great fit, so you may wish to replace it with a hardcover, or something larger that can be weighed down with rocks.

It has to be said that this isn’t the most affordable option, and you can get a very similar sandpit for considerably less. However, Plum is a well-known name in the field of outdoor toys, so if you want to feel assured of quality, you might consider it worth investing a little more.

Pros

  • Made from FSC certified timber.
  • Rounded corners for safety.
  • Internal ground cover to prevent weeds.
  • Protective cover to keep sand clean.

Cons

  • Pricier than similar products.
  • The cover doesn’t fit very well.
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How To Make A Sandpit

When making a sandpit, it is always a good idea to enlist another person to help you. If you’re installing a pre-made sandpit, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to assemble it.

If you want to build your own, small square sandpit, you can start by cutting 8 lengths of wooden joist – 4 measuring 1 metre in length, and 4 measuring 1.05 metres (the difference in size will allow for overlap at the corners). You should treat the wood with a varnish or protective stain, to prevent mould and deterioration.

To assemble the sandpit, drill pilot holes at the corners, and use 100mm nails to secure the joists. You should end up with 2 box frames, which you can place one on top of the other, and secure with metal plates. If you like, you can also create a bench seat around the top edge for children to sit on.

Next, secure a sheet of weed-control fabric to the base of the structure, using staples or felt nails – this will form the bottom of your sandpit. Find a flat, firm location, with good drainage, and no obstructions, and position your sandpit here. Fill it with play sand, and it’s ready to use!

Can You Use Builder’s Sand?

You should not use builder’s sand for a children’s sandpit, as it often contains harmful chemicals and additives. Instead, it is recommended to use a washed play sand that is specifically designed for use in sandpits, and that comes with a safety certificate.

How Much Sand Will You Need?

How much sand you need depends entirely on the size of the sandpit you purchase, and how full you want it. As a general rule, start with 4-6 bags of play sand for a small-to-medium-sized sandpit, and go from there. If the sandpit is on the large side, such as the 1.8m option from Big Game Hunters, you will likely need upwards of 10 bags.

About the author

April Foot

April is a freelance writer who specialises in travel, home and garden design, and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.

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