Sandpits for kids are great fun for the little ones, giving them an opportunity to play and get creative with toys and plastic building implements. It makes for some imaginative and messy fun, building sandcastles, sculptures, and shapes in the sand with their peers, or let their imaginations run wild with toys as the sandpit becomes the setting for their make-believe adventures and storytelling.
They’re also great for exercising fine and gross motor skills during all stages of development and give kids a great opportunity to interact with children their age and forge friendships as they hone their social skills.
This makes the sandpit the perfect addition to any schoolyard playground or toddler jungle gym at home or at your local creche. But like one would own and care for a swimming pool or garden, sandpits require maintenance and care to keep them clean and safe for kids.
Here’s how you can keep your sandpit clean and safe for use all year round.
Promote Clean Sandpit Use for the Kids
Kids should be taught good hygiene practices from the earliest stages of development, and that includes things like washing your hands. Children should be encouraged to wash their hands after playing in the sandpit and should dust themselves off after playing. This stops them from trekking sand inside but also keeps their hands clean.
Little ones should also be taught to refrain from putting things in their mouths, and while there’ll always be the slipups and occasional mouthful of sad, encourage them to avoid sticking sand and other foreign objects in their mouths.
Keep the sandpit covered when not in use
By keeping the kid sandpit covered when it’s not in use you can keep debris and other things from accidentally or carelessly ending up in the sandpit, like rocks and leaves, metal or glass. By covering up the sandpit when unattended you can also keep it clear of animal faeces.
When choosing a cover opt for something that isn’t solid plastic, like fine chicken wire or mesh. Solid plastic traps air and moisture and makes the sand damp, and also keeps out elements like rain which can help to clean the sand naturally.
Take toys out the pit every day, and rake it regularly
It doesn’t hurt to keep the sandpit neat and tidy, and by raking the pit you can keep it even and stir up the sand to air all of it. This also helps you to find rubbish or anything else that may have ended up in the sand.
On that note, make sure that your sandpit isn’t filled too deep; keep it at a depth that you can easily rake over before each use to check it for foreign options.
Clean the sandpit whenever necessary
If the play sandpit becomes contaminated by faeces or any other bodily fluids, the sand should be cleaned. Shovel the dirty sand into a plastic bag before raking the sand over in intervals throughout the day to give the sand time to bake in the sun. If the contamination is quite severe it’s best to remove and replace all of the sand entirely.
If the sandpit isn’t regularly washed by the rain you can clean it yourself with a bucket full of tap water. To disinfect the sandpit (we recommend doing this in conjunction with the methods above), remove the contaminants before using a mild detergent or household disinfectant mixed with water and apply it evenly over all of the sand. Then you can allow it to dry in the sun, raking it in intervals.
Remember that disinfectant is only necessary when the sand is contaminated, and the best way to look after your sandpit is to keep it clean and dry. To avoid it staying damp after rain or disinfecting, make sure it’s got sufficient drainage when it’s built so water has somewhere to go.
Treat the sand to keep bugs and animals out
For schools and domestic use you can sprinkle the sand with coarse sea salt or Sandpit Powder to keep bugs, slugs and bacteria out, and if you want to keep the dogs and cats away you can use white vinegar, pepper or cinnamon. Rake it all into the sand and apply it again every so often.
These are important tips and tricks to keep up your sleeve as a proud sandpit owner! If you’re looking to have one installed for the little ones to enjoy, we craft handmade and highly durable sandpits in varying shapes and sizes, including themed ones like our famous jeep sandpit. And our team will be sure to install your sandpit with safety and drainage in mind. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries about our sandpits or sandpit care.