You don’t always need to be at the beach for your toddler or child to play in the sand! Fortunately for your little one who enjoys building sand castles and other such pieces of art out of the sand, there are sandboxes or sand tables available for purchase and some of them might even be more fun than an actual day at the beach due to the fact that they come in fun shapes and have a lot of extra features to play around with.
However, since there are many different styles on the market, there is no doubt that it can be very challenging to determine which one is the best for your own child and your particular situation, such as the space available in your house for a product like this.
With that being said, this guide is meant to help you on your journey to picking the ideal sandbox or sand table for your little one so that they can have the time of their lives playing in the sand whenever they feel like it in the comfort of your backyard and even if you live far away from the beach.
First of all, you should know that this activity is not just fun for children, it is also scientifically proven useful since it helps with their motor skills and also aids with fine tuning their hand-eye coordination.
Some parents may try and replicate the beach on a smaller scale by building a sand pit in their backyard but that’s not ideal either since your child will end up dragging sand into the house by rolling around in it and dirtying their shoes and clothes.
Sand tables, on the other hand, are a great alternative since they can only use their hands and can’t actually get into the sand with their whole bodies.
This way, your child can explore the texture of the sand and build whatever they wish without making too much mess at the end.
Besides, as mentioned before, as opposed to traditional sandpits and the beach itself, these products come with loads of interactive features and fun shapes, only further enhancing the experience!
But before we move on to exploring some of the best sand tables on the market, here are some things to take into consideration.
First of all, keep in mind that height is important, especially if your little one is really young. After all, you wouldn’t want to buy a sand table only to then discover that your child can’t reach it.
The opposite can happen as well if you have an older child that is too tall for the table and will then have to uncomfortably bend at the waist to use it.
The material is also a key consideration, especially for younger kids since they tend to lean on the table more to support their weight.
As a result, if you pick a lightweight plastic sand table, you run the risk of it then toppling over along with your little one and all the sand.
Speaking of sand, it should be washed, blended, and graded according to safety regulations for safe use by children.
Some tables come with accessories too, such as rakes and spades, buckets, molds, and sifts, so if that is something you are interested in, you might want to pick a product that comes with some extra stuff, especially if it’s too much of a hassle to purchase them separately.
Storage is also essential, of course! Make sure your sand table comes with a lid that will keep the sand free of rainwater, bugs, animal feces, and more!
For even more protection, you could move it to a garage or shed every night, but if you don’t have a lot of space to spare, pick a sand table that has detachable legs to reduce its footprint when storing it.
Plum wooden sand and water picnic table
The first product on this list is suitable for young ones ages 18 months and up and measures H49cm x W89cm x L105cm.
It is an adorable picnic table that has a secret sandpit inside and is big enough for up to 4 kids to sit around at one time.
All you have to do to reveal the built-in tub is to lift off the center of the table and fill it with sand.
Then, when it’s time for lunch, it’s super easy to convert it right back to a picnic table, which is both useful and aesthetic since it’s not going to look out of place and like a random plastic toy in your backyard.
The bench is made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber, which means that the product is made with wood from responsibly managed forests, so this is a big plus if you care about the environment as well.
For some extra safety, the bench has rounded corners, so you can worry a bit less about your child hurting themselves.
Step 2 Crabbie Sand Table
Another super cute product, this sand table is shaped like a red crab and the perfect choice for toddlers since it’s small enough for them, measuring 22 x 24.4 x 24.2 inches.
It holds up to 25 pounds of sand and the legs come off, allowing your child to use it at ground level as well and can even be used with water during hot days.
It comes with four accessories – two small shovels and two small cups – and an adorable crab shell lid to protect the sand from the elements when it’s not in use.
This sand table is lightweight but still sturdy.
Step2 Naturally playful sand table
Recommended to kids ages 2+, this sand table measures H42cm x W91cm x L66cm and it’s a really durable product with thick, reliable legs.
The lid is also well designed, coming with elastic ties that manage to seal it really well, keeping the sand clean and dry no matter the weather.
Not only that, but the lid also doubles up as a road track for toy trains and cars, which is great since it means more play options for your child with one single item.
It also features 2 shovels, a bucket, and 2 claw rakes, meaning that you will not need to buy anything separately since it includes all the accessories most needed when playing in the sand.
Finally, this table is ideal for toddler dates too since 3 of them can easily crowd around and use it at the same time.
Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
If your little one is a fan of trucks, this sand table might be the one for you!
After all, it is construction site themed and features molded in roadways and ramps, allowing a lot of imagination to flourish.
It is also great if you have less available space since it’s on the smaller side, measuring 28.5 x 51 x 25 inches and weighing 13 pounds.
That being said, it’s great for self-play but also allows for one more child to join in.
When not in use, the lid will keep the sand dry and clean and can also be used as a truck ramp.
It comes with no less than 7 different accessories including 2 construction workers, 1 truck, 1 shovel, 1 rake, 1 cup and 1 sand sifter.
All you need is 50 to 60 pounds of sand which is not included so you’ll have to purchase that separately.
Step2 Play and Store Sandbox
This product measures 11 x 42 x 28 inches, weighs 13 pounds, and is ideal for kids between the ages of 2 and 6.
It is really well made and is big enough for quite a few kids to play around it at the same time!
To keep the sand dry and clean, it comes with its own lid that does a great job protecting it from the elements.
The inside of the sandbox is designed with four molded seats on the inside, meaning that it comfortably fits at least four children playing together.
Furthermore, it has a natural color and a contemporary design that ensures it will not stand out like a sore thumb in your backyard, matching most decors.
Another plus is that you won’t have to assemble it since it comes as it is.
The only downside is that this sandbox does not include any accessories or sand.