Sandbox or Not?

Hubby called me one day while I was doing childcare.  He typically checks in with me once a day.  This day it was earlier in the day.  I had the childcare kiddos outside and was chasing them here and there.  The kids LOVE outside.  I LOVE outside.  They are all so little and it really takes some maneuvering to watch them all-but so worth it.  I’ve been working on making sure I have the right things a little easier by adding better options for outdoor play.

In the years past we’ve just gone to the park in town…but things have changed a bit.  There isn’t enough equipment for the ages of kids I have.  I have too many that aren’t thinking for themselves.  There is no sand in the sandbox.  I have two that we just potty trained and I can’t be that far away from a toilet.  So we need to stay at my house and need to have things to do.

So here we have the front yard and the back yard.  The back yard has the swing set as the main attraction….  The front yard has what the kids currently think is the main attraction…my flower boxes.

I don’t have plants in them yet.  The weather here in Iowa has not been conducive to growing things…cold and rainy…and I plain and simple haven’t made it to town to get them.  In the meantime, the kids think they can play and dig in them.  UGH.

I am so divided about it.  Kids need to dig.  Kids also need to respect what’s planted….but they aren’t planted yet.  Then the realization hit me that I need to stop it or they will dig in my flowers once they are planted.  AHHHHH!!!

But I am not offering my kiddos any opportunities to dig.  That’s it.  I need sandbox….and that’s just when the phone rang and Hubby was on the other end of the line.  Without any preamble I said, “I need a sandbox”.  As I said it for a second turned my head and TWO kids were back digging in the dirt in my flower boxes.  AHHHHH!  Something has to change.  I told Hubby that I needed a sandbox and by this time, I was so frustrated.  Frustrated that I wanted to protect my window boxes and also frustrated that I wasn’t providing what the kids obviously wanted and needed.  So much can be learned from simple filling, dumping and pouring.  They need a sand or dirt opportunity.

Well Hubby came home that night and he asked what I wanted for a sandbox.  I didn’t really know.  Something…anything.  I really didn’t care.  He said he had been thinking about it and said we typically like retro or old fashion so how about a tractor tire sandbox.  As far as I was concerned….Problem solved.  I didn’t care at this point.  I just wanted SOMETHING!!

Right about then Craig came in to pick up Carver.  Hubby asked if we should all go out to the farm and get a tire…and we went.  There are tires at the farm that we could have so the price was right too.

We needed the skid loader and the tires were at the farm trash site so Carver jumped in for a skid loader ride with Grandpa.

Then is was time to select the “perfect” tire.

The only problem…it was in the back of the pile.  UGH.

The ground was wet.  We had rain and things didn’t go well.  See how the skid loader is digging tracks?  The tracks got MUCH worse.  Hubby decided we’d have to try on a drier day.  On a dry day, he was sure he could get to the tire.

So I’m still without a sandbox…but we did stop and show Carver the cows.  He loved it.  See?

He wasn’t scared….Just curious.

At the farm they have both Holstein and Black Angus steers.  We went to the Blacks.  Here three of my favorite guys.

Carver stood in the feed bunk to see the Blacks.

I don’t know if he’ll grow up and have an agriculture related job..but I do know we’re going to do what we can so he appreciates agriculture…he had so much fun.

…and as for my sandbox.  I guess that will happen on another day…in another blog post.

14 thoughts on “Sandbox or Not?

  1. Ana Sweet

    I remember how much fun we had with sticks and some rocks and such. We would outline rooms, make piles, and just enjoy them and the dirt. Oh, the dirt. Mud pies were messy but so much fun. Loved the texture and the earthworms. Do they have their own garden spot?

  2. Cindy F

    What an adorable picture of Carver in front of the cows. When my boys were very young we had a little tykes picnic table that had a place for sand and/or water. They loved playing in it. Can’t wait to see what your husband comes up with in his design!

  3. Roberta McKiski

    How about one of the plastic turtle sandboxes. They have a lid which is nice in rainy weather and keeps the animals out. I think that the lid fits over some toys too. My kids had a tractor tire for awhile, it was kind of a hassle when the sand was wet.

  4. Sally

    We had a “dirt pile” that we so enjoyed. It was just a spot in the yard where there was no grass and good quality dirt. We played for hours. My brother constructed forts for his Army men and reinacted battles. My sisters and I added water and made mud pies. One sister buried her glasses (we never did find them).

  5. Kathleen

    We always had a struggle with the sandbox because the stray cats would use it for a litter box !!! Mother Nature always wins, you know …:)

  6. Donna

    If it’s not covered the stray cats will get into it so regardless of what you use get Hubby to make a cover. That was the only problem we had with our son’s sandbox. He sure spent many hours playing in it.

  7. Janet

    I agree with the other comments. We tried a sandbox and abandoned it because of the animals. No sandbox unless it’s completely covered/sealed. Cats and other animals LOVE sand and you don’t want kids playing in sand that has been used as a litter box. I do like the tables that hold sand and water that are covered. Otherwise I would pass on the sand as much fun as it is. It’s not sanitary for the little ones. Your house might thank you as well because it won’t have sand all over!

  8. Lisa B

    A covered sandbox will keep the neighborhood cats from using it as a litter box. My kids are grown now, but their daycare provider had a very small child swimming pool that she put on her kitchen floor and filled with a large bag of rice and a bag or more of colorful beans (think kidney beans) for the kids to play with in the winter months. Spills swept up easily at the end of play and were added back to the pool and was stored in a covered 5 gallon bucket. I hadn’t thought about that for years. Thanks for jogging that memory!

  9. Donna P.

    We had an old plastic pool that we used as a sandbox for a while until my hubby built one for the kids out of some wood we had.
    Carver should meet my grand daughter – she loves cows and had her birthday party at a dairy farm!

  10. Ruth

    When I was doing daycare, one year my husband built a two-foot high frame for a vegetable garden in our front yard. We planted veggies the first year. The second year the veggies died early, and the children took over the “dirt box.” They had such an enjoyable time that year!! It wasn’t sand, it was dirt. Plus it was about 6 ft by 4 ft, large enough that the children could fit around it standing up. They would drag over the hose, turned on to a little dribble under my supervision, and use the toy bulldozers and other toys to move the dirt with. They weren’t allowed to sit in it, and I worked very hard to keep the dirt out of the house. But even the neighbors saw how much they enjoyed the dirt box.

  11. Chris Wells

    I have read several different articles to buy cheap cinnamon and mix in the sand to keep sand fleas out. Hope this helps.

  12. Kim

    Thanks for taking us along to the farm, brings back memories of growing up on one in MN. My parents are Osage natives who also grew up on farms. The pictures of Carver visiting the cows is precious and a ride in the skid loader pure fun!
    Hope you get your sand box problem solved, kids do love to dig.

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