How to Build a Sandbox
How to create a backyard play area, with instructions for parents and kids
Age Range: 10 and up
A sandbox brings a little bit of the beach into your backyard, and playtime is even more fun when the box itself has an imaginative shape. Kids can "drive" at the playground for hours of fun in this red car. It even has special storage under the hood for when you're ready to make a pit stop.
This project is a bit challenging, so older kids may want to help build it with the younger ones. You can construct the basic box in your garage, then park it on a level spot outside. With the whole family pitching in, it will take just one weekend to get this car roadworthy, so you'll soon be ready to roll.
The sandbox car has four sides and a seat all built from 2x12s. The ½x6 decking forms the dashboard and the hood, which opens to reveal storage. Inside the box, landscape fabric lines the bottom and sides to keep weeds from growing up through the sand. The sand used to fill the box is a special debris-free, soft sand sold as "play sand."
The best way to build this box is to assemble it in a workspace, such as your garage, then move it to a level spot outside. Before you even cut the wood, you'll need to support the big pieces on blocks or sawhorses. And since the large 2x12s used for this project are so thick, you'll need to drill pilot holes anywhere you will be screwing parts together. You'll also need to clamp plywood pieces to a worktable before cutting them. Make sure the piece you're cutting off can fall freely.