I have mixed emotions about sandboxes.
My son loves them. I love seeing the joy in his face when he slings sand around.
They are also very messy. Sand sticks to everything and magically spreads throughout the yard.
Not to mention that sandboxes attract bugs.
1. Fight bugs by mixing cinnamon into the sand
I was happy to hear that bugs hate cinnamon, and just a little bit will keep the insects at bay. I bought an industrial-size bottle for a few bucks and poured some in. Not only does it help keep bugs out, it may keep them away from the perimeter, too. It’s amazing how well cinnamon works!
2. Choose your sand wisely
Play sand is specifically cleaned for children. We almost bought the run-of-the-mill sand at Home Depot until we were warned against it. Play sand is softer and nicer, and it doesn’t have carcinogenics that may be present in other sand. Read the package, do your homework and make sure you are getting the sand you want.
3. Keep baby powder on hand
Is sand stuck to your kid? Feet? Hands? Arms? This magic powder will get it right off.
4. Don’t forget to keep it clean.
Take out any stray plants or other flotsam that has migrated into the sand box. Use your kids strainers to clean out the gook (bonus if you have your kids help with this). Keep it covered when not in use.
5. Change out the sand every year or two.
We won’t need this reminder because we lose sand daily. There is something about flying sand that delights a kid! However, it’s good to keep track of how old your sand is.