With summer on the way, it's time to start planning all the ways to make the most of it. The best place to start? Your own backyard! Like last year, inflatable pools and water toys are either hard to find or selling out fast.
Similarly, many parents are on a quest to find the best sandbox. And for good reason! Besides simply enjoying the outdoors (and perhaps even giving you a few minutes of peace and quiet) sandboxes offer kids of all ages a fun opportunity to learn and play at the same time. From helping develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to learning how to share and take turns, sand play (and sensory exploration in general) is packed with developmental benefits.
We've rounded up the best sandboxes with covers (because nobody has time for wet sand or becoming the neighborhood wildlife port-a-potty) that are currently in stock and ready to ship. But don't wait—we're not sure how long they'll last!
According to Conz Preti, Motherly's content director, this is "the best sandbox in the world." The cedar planks are easy to assemble and the generous size means at least a few kiddos can play together without argument. (Well, they'll have room at least—kids find reason to squabble with an entire beach's worth of sand, so...) The long-lasting design also comes with a durable, eco-friendly cover that keeps out moisture and critters (of the non-human variety).
Size: 84 x 78 x 9 inches (the largest on our list!)
For kiddos who'd rather not plop themselves directly in the sand, this clever design features benches on each side which double as a cover when not in use. (Not to mention, it's nice on parents backs as well.) The bottomless design is made to last from heat-treated cedar and comes with a liner for underneath to help keep it drained and ventilated.
Size: 47.25 x 49 x 8.5 inches
No backyard? No problem. The compact design makes this one a great choice for balconies or decks. A hefty domed lid that doesn't blow away in the wind also makes it easy to store toys and trucks inside.
Size: 28 x 42 x 11 inches
Ships ahoy! With multiple ways to play, this super-fun sandbox will make your yard the neighborhood hot spot. The sand area is big enough to accommodate a kid or two while the back bench offers a cool place to hang out (or plot a takeover). It also comes equipped with a cover to keep sand dry and debris-free!
SIze: 59.5 x 44.25 x 78.5 inches
Construction-obsessed kiddos will love the Big Digger from Little Tikes. With a set of sand toys, real working excavator, dump truck and a lid that doubles as a ramp, it comes with everything they'll need for hours of outside fun.
Size: 61.74 x 47 x 13 inches
Eighties kids will appreciate the nostalgia of the turtle sandbox. As you may remember from your own childhood, this one is fairly small which makes it a great choice for toddlers. It also requires zero set up—just dump in a few bags of sand and it's ready to go.
Size: 12 x 38.75 inches
There's more than meets the eye with this clever table/sandbox combo! After lunch, simply remove the middle panel to uncover the secret sandbox inside. Between the minimalist aesthetic and compact size, we love it for patios and decks as much as backyard shenanigans.
Size: 21 x 36 x 41 inches
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