Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Opening Pandora's Sandbox

What you should consider before putting a sandbox in your yard.

My husband has been talking about putting a sandbox in the yard for a few years now. I have been resistant to the idea because I have a hard enough time cleaning up after two young boys (and the husband) while I work and attend school.

Last week, however, that resistance was bypassed suddenly as my husband got up early one weekend morning, gathered the supplies, and built this before I even had the chance to wipe sleep from my eyes.

Hubs and I both knew that the little turtle sandboxes sold at Walmart wouldn't be big enough for boys ages 6 and 8, so he custom-made this "sand rectangle", complete with a lid. And it's a hit!

For the boys.

Now that the box has been in the yard for a week or so, let me tell you what I've discovered about it:

-The sand is expensive.

Play sand, while marketed in big bags too heavy for my back to handle, doesn't go very far. Ten bags were emptied into the box and it barely left a dent. And it will only keep going from there. We will probably end up buying more before the summer is over.

In all fairness, though, the initial purchase is probably the biggest expense we'll see. Maintenance probably won't take much, so long as we can keep the majority of the sand in the box. This is questionable.

-Neighbor kids flock to it like moths to a flame.

If you're the only family in the neighborhood with a pool, then you probably know the feeling that comes with kids knocking on your door at all hours with their swimming trunks on. My kids can't play in their box without two or more kids coming over. But that's fine... sometimes. When you consider how expensive the sand is when you have four kids or more throwing sand around (not to mention that they are going to argue and fight over toys, what they are building, etc.), things get a little stressed for this mom.

-Sand in the eyes.

Going along with the previous point, when you have such chaos in the sandbox, it's inevitable that a child is going to get sand in their eyes. Sand in the eyes hurts and if they rub their eyes, the sand could scratch their eyeball.


Though the sandbox is positioned a few feet from both porches, somehow, there is a layer of sand over each porch. In addition, no matter how much the child shakes, shimmies, rattles, and rolls, sand WILL be tracked inside the house. It's a plus that I have hardwood floors in the living room so sweeping isn't too bad an imposition.  However, it's when, after a long day of work, I crawl into bed at night only to discover that it, too, has become a sandbox. This has happened twice. I've had to impose a new rule: only after they've taken a shower are they allowed to stretch out on my bed.

Despite all my gripes, though, the appearance of a sandbox in the yard has made both boys incredibly happy. I suppose I can put up with the annoyances if it gets them out of the house to play.

Peace, love, and sweeping,


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