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25 DIY Summertime Sandboxes

In a world of technology, the lure of screens is a powerful force. Look around the playground and you’ll often note 3 out of 4 adults with their faces buried in a smartphone. For kids, the ability of a screen to hypnotize is even stronger. Not many things can compete for a little one’s attention when there’s a TV, iPad, or video toy blinking its way into their heart. Which is why i find it all the more wonderful that there is still one toy so simple, inexpensive, and universal that has the power to draw children outdoors and into active play: A box of sand.

It doesn’t matter what size or how fancy it is — there’s something about running your fingers and toes through the sand that’s therapeutic and just plain fun. Heck, I even enjoy taking a break to build a sand castle or two (or three or four). Since not everyone has the space to build a 7×7 foot sandbox, there are plenty of portable and mini sandbox options for your family to enjoy. Not a master carpenter? Don’t worry — because a painted tire, wreath container, or plastic pool can do just fine. If you really want to tackle the project, add a water area to the sandbox. Check out the pool sandbox and many other sandbox tutorials with these 25 DIY summertime sandboxes …

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  • Shaded Comfort Sandbox 1 of 25
    Shaded Comfort Sandbox
    This adorable canopy sandbox is not too difficult to make and was inspired by the cutest Pottery Barn Kids sandbox.
    Find out more at iGriza
  • Sandbox on Wheels 2 of 25
    Sandbox on Wheels
    With the right tools in hand, you can make this sandbox on wheels in under 2 hours.
    Get the tutorial at Nonchalantmom
  • On the Run 3 of 25
    On the Run
    These portable sandboxes are made out of bins filled with sand and buried treasure.
    Find out more at Dollar Store Crafts
  • Wine Barrel Sandbox 4 of 25
    Wine Barrel Sandbox
    Fill an old wine barrel with sand, rocks, and seashells for a mini sandbox.
    Spotted at Little Eco Footprints
  • Recycled Pool Sandbox 5 of 25
    Recycled Pool Sandbox
    Instead of throwing out an old plastic swimming pool, use it to make a fun sandbox.
    Spotted at Satori Smiles
  • Instant Brick Sandbox 6 of 25
    Instant Brick Sandbox
    If you have some bricks laying around, use them to built the perimeter of an
    instant sandbox.
    Find out more at The Golden Gleam
  • Demolition in Progress 7 of 25
    Demolition in Progress
    Build a roadway-turned-sandbox for tractors and cars to zoom around.
    Find out more at Lowe's
  • Wooden Sandbox 8 of 25
    Wooden Sandbox
    A wooden sandbox is nice and sturdy and can last for years to come.
    Find out more at Modern Parents Messy Kids
  • Striped Sandbox 9 of 25
    Striped Sandbox
    Brighten up your backyard with a burst of color with this vibrant sandbox.
    Find out more at MADE
  • Sandbox To-Go 10 of 25
    Sandbox To-Go
    Another great idea for a portable sandbox is to put it on wheels for easy transport.
    Check it out at Raise a Boy
  • Custom Sandbox Using Noodles 11 of 25
    Custom Sandbox Using Noodles
    Build a sandbox using pool noodles for the sides.
    Get the tutorial at DIY Network
  • $10 Sandbox 12 of 25
    $10 Sandbox
    Keep expenses low by building a sandbox out of a wreath container.
    Find out more at Prudent Baby
  • Sandbox in a Drawer 13 of 25
    Sandbox in a Drawer
    Make a sandbox quickly by using an old drawer.
    Find out more at Irresistable Ideas
  • Covered Sandbox 14 of 25
    Covered Sandbox
    Keep twigs, leaves, and icky cat you-know-what out of the sandbox with a cover.
    Get the tutorial at DIY Network
  • Tire Sandbox 15 of 25
    Tire Sandbox
    Clean out an old tire and fill it with sand. Then paint it to add some bright colors.
    Find out more at Squidoo
  • Car Sandbox 16 of 25
    Car Sandbox
    Spice up the basic square sandbox by turning it into a car.
    Get the tutorial at This Old House
  • Backyard Beach 17 of 25
    Backyard Beach
    Escape the hot sun this summer with a backyard beach.
    Get the tutorial at Better Together
  • Teepee Sandbox 18 of 25
    Teepee Sandbox
    Turn your sandbox into a shaded and bug free teepee.
    Find out more at Packing the Panic Room
  • Playtime Sandbox 19 of 25
    Playtime Sandbox
    The ornate spindles on this creative sandbox add an adorable touch.
    Get the tutorial at Life in the Dub Lane
  • Minimal Work Sandbox 20 of 25
    Minimal Work Sandbox
    If building a sandbox from scratch is not your thing, you may just want to order an almost complete sandbox that you just have to set up.
    Buy it for $339 at Pottery Barn Kids
  • Sandbox Pool 21 of 25
    Sandbox Pool
    Have double the outdoor summer fun by adding a pool to your sandbox.
    Check it out at Frugal Minded
  • Sailboat Sandbox 22 of 25
    Sailboat Sandbox
    Turn a standard sandbox into a shaded sailboat with this crafty tutorial.
    Find out more at Jasey's Crazy Daisy
  • Your Basic Sandbox 23 of 25
    Your Basic Sandbox
    If you are not looking to build anything fancy schmancy, this DIY sandbox is a
    go-to basic.
    Get the tutorial at TLC
  • Deluxe DIY Sandbox 24 of 25
    Deluxe DIY Sandbox
    Give your kids years worth of fun with this durable and long-lasting sandbox.
    Find out more at Small & Friendly
  • Tree Stump Sandbox 25 of 25
    Tree Stump Sandbox
    Build a pretty and unique sandbox using tree stumps for the perimeter.
    Find out more at Dearest Daughters

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Jaime Morrison Curtis is author of the bestselling book Prudent Advice: Lessons for My Baby Daughter (A Life List for Every Woman) and founding co-editor at Prudent Baby, the premier DIY destination for crafty moms seeking ways to make their lives even more stylish and beautiful.

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