Build an Indoor Sandbox

If it’s just too cold to go out, who says you can’t bring the playground inside?

Sandboxes are loads of fun in building castles, moats, bucket monsters and even pies. It’s practically a staple in every backyard. Hardly no child grows up without ever playing with one in his or her life. But, being a toy that’s placed outside the house, it doesn’t give your children much access for an entire year. We want a sandbox that our kids can use even if it’s raining cats and dogs outside.

Here’s when this incredibly simple DIY comes in. This project gives your kids fun all year round, every day, without too much of the mess. It’s very easy to clean up. And the cherry on top? You don’t have to use sand at all.

Here’s what you need:
a large and shallow plastic bin
a big plastic mat, a tarp or a used sheet
play cups, buckets and other scooping tools for kids
your ‘sand’ – this can be a mixture of rice, cornflakes, little decorative pebbles, dried beans, beads, cedar shavings, dried corn bits, oats, birdseeds, different kinds of pasta, shredded paper, oatmeal or foam packing peanuts

Directions:
Lay out the mat, sheet or tarp on the floor. This will catch anything that flies out of the sandbox making the clean up a little easier and faster.
Place the plastic bin in the middle of the mat. The bigger it is, the more space kids will have to move around. You can also sew or overlap little sheets to make a bigger one.
Fill the bin with your chosen ‘sand’ ingredients, and mix them with your hands.

And that’s about it! Watch your kids have fun as they play with their sandbox for hours. And while they busy themselves, you can watch your favorite TV show, read your favorite book, catch up on some news or join just in on the fun.

Additionally, if you there are still some things that you want to know about this project. Here are a few tips:

The different shapes and sizes of the grains makes this a good sensory play activity.
If you don’t have a plastic bin lying around, use an old baby bathing tub.
You don’t have to buy your kids generic toys for scooping things out from the sandbox. There are some things that you can just borrow from the kitchen. Measuring cups, spoons, and lunchboxes will do wonders.
Throw in a funnel and an empty soda bottle. Kids will enjoy trying to cram things inside it. It’s sure to be a huge hit!
You can add a little water to the indoor sandbox to make it sticky. This way, it’ll be easier for kids to shape the little grains into whatever they can think of.
You can make an EDIBLE version of this sandbox by placing only oatmeal and little snacks into the bin.
And, of course, younger kids that are prone to eating anything they put their hands on should be watched very closely.

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