Fun with Sand Bins

We don’t have a large yard and we have lots of neighborhood cats, so we needed a small, inexpensive sandbox we could discreetly store. We ended up using a Sterlite under bed bin and a bag of sand from Home Depot.

It’s smaller than a lot of traditional sandbox arrangements, but it is quite sufficient for home use. I find the size lends itself well to small worlds and play with little toys.

Things to use with sand bins:

  • Construction toys
    • Little ones love pushing sand and things around. We found some tiny CAT style construction toys at the dollar store and they’ve been pretty popular.
  • Small dinosaurs or other animals
    • Kids like making spaces for their small toys. We have used secondhand dinosaurs and some very cute Melissa and Doug bugs in our sand bin
  • Artificial leaves and flowers
    • These are great for making little landscapes for the dinosaurs, bugs, or other toys to live in. Kids can stick them in the sand and rearrange them.
  • River rocks or glass stones
    • River rocks can be used to build tiny mountains, designate trails, or make patterns in the sand. We have some blue glass stones that are sometimes used as pretend rivers or ponds.
  • Yard clippings
    • A kid can plant a garden or create a forest with clippings from your bushes.
  • Spray bottles
    • Sand is easier to shape with just the right amount of water. With a spray bottle, your child has enough but can’t get too carried away and make a muddy mess.
  • Traditional sand toys
    • Smaller toys are handy for the tiny environment. Some of the little molds they make for kinetic sand are especially well suited.
  • Kitchen tools
    • Measuring cups, sieves, and funnels offer different ways to manipulate sand.

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