Best Sandbox Reviews 2018

Sandboxes are fun and educational with the ability to foster motor skill development and improve creativity. They come in a variety of brands, styles, materials, themes, colors, and capacities. Whereas some can be used both indoors and outdoors, others are designed for outdoor use only. We have researched five of the best sandbox brands on the market, showcasing a toy from each, to help you find one that best meets your needs.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Materials
Size
Color
Extras
Our Top Choice
Step2 Play and Store Sandbox
Founded in 1991, the Step2 Holding Company, LLC brings families together by manufacturing creative play products that promote development and learning.
It’s spacious, affordable, durable, lightweight and portable, and comes fully assembled. It’s also fun, USA-made, easy to use and clean.
It’s not accessorized.
Storage sandbox
Plastic
28 x 42 x 11 inches & 13 lbs
Brown
4 molded seats, lid
Best Value
Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
Founded in 1970, Little Tikes is a popular American toy manufacturer with a large portfolio of high quality toys for children of various age groups.
It’s affordable, interactive, accessorized, portable and colorful.
A lot smaller than expected.
Garden sandbox
Wood
2.7 x 7.8 x 9.9 inches & 2 lbs
Wood finish, multiple colors
Sand, pail, rake, shovel, shells
Outward Play Playfort Sandpit
Outward Play is a popular brand that manufactures high quality products to support outdoor recreational activities by kids ranging from sandboxes to trampolines.
It’s high quality, large, durable, easy to set up and has a canopy. It’s also accessorized for increased functionality.
It’s expensive.
Canopy sandbox
Wood
53 x 63 x 75 inches & 73 lbs
Multicolored
Canopy, swings, slides, trays
KidKraft Pirate Sandbox
Founded over five decades ago, KidKraft inspires the creativity and imagination of children through the exploration of innovative kids’ furniture and toys.
Sturdy, easy-to-assemble. Pirate-themed, colorful, attractive, and provides protection from the sun. It’s built to accommodate many kids and has storage for toys.
Since toddlers can swallow sand, this sandbox isn’t recommended for kids who are 3 years or below.
Pirate sandboat
Wood
75.7 x 43.8 x 58.7 inches & 54lbs
Colorful
Canopy, liner, steering wheel
Be Good Company A Day at the Beach Sandbox
Be Good Company is a brand with a focus on bringing out the little child in you, whether you’re old or young, for great moments every day.
It’s durable, accessorized, affordable, versatile and lightweight for portability. It’s also aesthetic enough to place in your office or home for an appealing look.
Included umbrella isnot of the best quality.
Baby pool and sandbox
Plastic
6.2 x 2 x 6.2 inches & 7 lbs
Multi-colored
Sand castle, bench, ball, bucket

(Updated )
Related Reviews
Best Kids Ball Pit
Best Kid’s Pool
Best Kids Bike
Best Kids Teepee
Watch Our Sandbox Review

How Do I Choose the Best Sandbox?

We all know how much energy kids have (where do they get it from?) and how much they love to play. Your little one might love bouncing around on their bounce house or trampoline, or possible zooming around on a ride-on. Sometimes, however, we just want them to stop running around at 100mph and play a nice, quiet game. It’s sounds like a tall order, but a sandbox could be the answer to your prayers.

Sandboxes provide fun ways for your kids to play that they can enjoy in your backyard, front yard, or patio without going to the beach. In addition to playing, your kids benefit from better creativity and enhanced motor skill development.

They get to explore their imaginations, senses, and even the essence of Mother Nature. What’s more, your kids exercise through the interactive playtime and enjoy the fresh air outdoors. When shopping for the best sandbox, there are certain factors that come into play; the first is the design and type of sandbox you want for you child.

We hope this guide will help you make an informed buying decision.
Price
Sandboxes are priced differently depending on size, capacity, brand, design, materials used, and built-in features, among other factors. A cheap sandbox is probably made of cheap materials, hence it won’t last. Although high-quality sandboxes can be a bit pricey, they’re a good investment for your kids’ development. Choose the right product to support many years of play in your backyard.

Ensure the sandbox you choose is age-appropriate for your child and comes with features they’ll definitely use. Invest in a popular brand that’s been tested by many and is well-loved. The price range of sandboxes can run from $10 to $500; whereas a brand like Calico Critters has sandboxes priced as low as $14, Outward Play retails some designs for as much as $400. This means that you can find a good sandbox within your budget to keep your kids busy outdoors.
Features
Whether you want an outdoor sandbox or one that can be used indoors as well, there are many on the market to choose from. Sandboxes are built with various features to support different functionalities. Whether your kids want to sail in the backyard or swim in the front yard this summer, there’s a sandbox out there to suit their undying needs. All you have to do is pick the right features; that will see them use their sandbox for many years to come.

Here are a few important features to look out for:
  • Sandbox and pool in one or just a sandbox
  • Type or fun designs – themes, cartoons, animals, boxes
  • Materials – choose between wood and plastic sandboxes
  • Capacity to accommodate at least one kid
  • Accessories such as covers, toys, canopies, etc.
  • Size/Weight – for portability opt for lightweight sandboxes
The best sandboxes support outdoor use as they’re given all-weather finishes and come in fun designs to get your kids excited about using them.
Construction and Design
2-in-1 Function

When shopping for a sandbox, consider those that double as baby pools for a bath in the hot sun outdoors. Sandboxes with baby pools are usually designed for versatile use. Your kids can alternate between the pool and the sandbox during playtime as they deem fit. Some 2-in-1 designs are also built with umbrellas or canopies for protection from the sun.

Fun Designs

Sandboxes come in various designs kids love such as boats, animal shapes, and simple rectangular boxes. Other than fun shapes, sandboxes also come in various themes. Whereas some come pre-assembled and ready for use, others are packed with covers for protection when not in use.

Sandboxes can also be high or low. Whereas the low variations usually come in the form of boxes or boats, the raised types are built to resemble tables. With the latter types of sandboxes, your kids don’t need to kneel, squat, or sit when playing because the sandboxes are almost waist-length high.

Materials

Sandboxes can be made of wood or plastic. Whereas wooden sandboxes are water-resistant, attractive, strong, and durable, plastic variants are more fragile. Portable sandboxes are standalone and lightweight for easy transportation. However, fixed sandboxes can come with swings for increased functionality.

You can easily fill plastic sandboxes with water to double as swimming pools for your little munchkins. If you’re looking for a less expensive sandbox, you might want to opt for plastic variations as they’re cheaper than wooden options on the market.

Size/Weight and Capacity

Sandboxes are built in varying sizes and weights. Choose lightweight sandboxes if you want one you can use on the go; portable sandboxes also come with little to no accessories that might render them heavy, such as swings. Opt for large sandboxes with high capacities to accommodate as many children as possible, though the converse is also true for these; they might come with heavy accessories.

Accessories

Some sandboxes come built with canopies to offer your kids protection from the sun while playing. For sandboxes without this feature, consider placing them under trees for prolonged playtime under the shade. Some sandboxes also come with toys such as buckets and shovels for playing in the sand.

Also decide whether your kids would love seating options in their sandbox. Some designs are built with seating benches on the edge or molded seats to enable your kids to play while seated. Also consider lids, rakes, slides, balls, etc.

Outdoor Placement

Before buying a sandbox, ensure that you have enough leveled ground in your backyard or patio to accommodate one. This is because sandboxes come in flat designs for placement on flat surfaces; this also ensures the stability of the sandbox while in use for safety reasons.
Performance and Ease of Use
Whichever features you look for in your sandbox, ensure they support fun and convenient use. A good outdoor sandbox is spacious enough to allow many kids to play at once and come in fun designs and/or themes to keep your children excited and enthusiastic about using their interactive toy. It’s important for your sandbox to come pre-assembled or support easy setup.

Sandboxes are also all-weather for outdoor use and come with a cover or lid to protect the sand from getting damp in wet weather.

What is the Best Sandbox?

Choose a sandbox of the right color, design, theme, capacity, material, and size, and carefully consider any other features it comes with. A large sandbox can be used by many playmates. The right material ensures it’s weatherproof and can last many years. Also, ensure you choose a sandbox ideal for your kid’s age. Find out if one of our recommended sandboxes is what you need.
Our Top Choice
The Step2 Play and Store Sandbox is designed for play and storage with four seats where your kids can sit while playing and has a large capacity (up to 200 lbs) to accommodate as many accessories and toys as possible. The Step2 Naturally Playful Sandbox comes fully assembled ready for use with storage capacity of up to 200 lbs. With four cornerstones your kids can use as seats while playing, this sandbox is pet and weather proof. Opt for it if you want a sandbox in a different design and a realistic boulder texture and sandstone color (comes at a slightly higher cost).
Step2 Play and Store Sandbox with 4 Molded in Seats 

Step2 Sandbox 830200


Features
Step2 has two subsidiaries and is a top American manufacturer of toys for toddlers and pre-school children. It’s also the largest rotational plastic molder worldwide. Its mission is to become a leader in designing innovative products for children that promote creativity and foster family. The company designs kids’ toys, and furniture, among other products.

The Step2 Play and Store Sandbox comes in a fun contemporary design cover and has sufficient space to accommodate at least four kids playing with each other. It features four molded seats for comfortable seating while playing. The lid doesn’t just offer protection from critters, but is also weather-proof and protects toys under storage.

Made in the USA, this durable plastic sandbox comes in natural colors and outdoor textures to blend into your patio or backyard for an improved appeal. What’s more, it comes fully assembled, ready for use out of its shipping package. It’s ideal for kids aged 2 to 8 years.

Here are a few other Step2 sandboxes to consider:
  • Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table
  • Step2 Naturally Playful Summertime Play Center
  • Step2 Splash and Scoop Bay
  • Step2 Crabbie Sand Table
  • Step2 Crabbie Sandbox
Best Value
The Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox is an interactive construction site-themed sandbox with an excavator that actually digs into the sand and loads the dump truck. It’s ideal for your 3 to 5 year olds. The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox features a detailed and molded bottom to promote digging. Opt for this sandbox if you want a turtle-themed option with molded seats and a removable lid.
Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox - Features Molded in Ramps & Roadways

Little Tikes Sandbox 624520M


Features
Little Tikes has a large portfolio of toy categories. The brand designs safe and premium toys for use by kids of different ages. Whereas some support active play, Little Tykes is aimed at wholesome development with improved motor skills - wagons and ride-ons, furniture, baby toys, climbers and slides, trampolines, swings, etc. What’s more, it manufactures both indoor and outdoor toys.

The Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox features a sand area with molded roadways and ramps. The truck ramp is versatile for use as a working surface and lid to protect the sand from dampness. The excavator actually works to dig up sand and load it onto the truck. This sandbox comes with various accessories such as a sand cup, sand sifter, rake, shovel, two characters and a dump truck.

Here are a few other Little Tikes sandboxes to consider:
  • Little Tikes Sea Turtle Sandbox
  • Mga Little Tikes Turtle Sandpit
  • Little Tikes Turtle Round Sandbox, Kids Sandbox
  • Little Tikes Big Digger 4’ Rectangular Sandbox with Cover, Sandboxes & Sand Toys
  • Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sandbox
The Outward Play Playfort Sandpit is a large rectangular wooden sandbox with a canopy. It’s designed to accommodate many playmates with a canopy to offer shade and protection from the sun’s UV rays. The Outward Play Explorer Boat Sandbox also comes with built-in storage and a canopy for UV protection. It’s colorful, treated for durability in high temperature areas and resistant to stains, insect damage and wood rot. Opt for it if you want a sandbox in the design of a boat with a steering wheel that comes at a cheaper cost.
Outward Play Playfort Activity Sandbox with Canopy

Outward Play Sandbox outward_playfort


Features
With Outward Play, every single day is an adventure. It manufactures the products you need to get your kids away from the screen for active playing outside. The products don’t just support recreation and fun, but allow your kids to be who they are and allow you to join them without feeling silly. It designs high quality trampolines, cubby houses, swing sets, and slides for outdoor fun.

The Outward Play Playfort Sandpit is made of wood and features a canopy for protection from the sun. It comes with two storage trays for holding toys, a sandpit and seating surfaces along each side of the sandbox. The wood is treated to withstand high temperatures for prolonged use. It’s also resistant to insect damages, stains and rot.

The internal ground sheet supports water drainage and offers protection from the growth of weeds inside the sandbox. Since it comes partially assembled, it’ll take you only 45 minutes to set it up ready for play. It’s ideal for 3 to 10 year olds.

Here are a few other Outward Play sandboxes to look out for:
  • Outward Play Spot Square Backyard Sandbox Frame
  • Outward Play Strongbox Covered Convertible Sandbox with Two Bench Seats
  • Outward Play Joey Sandbox with Canopy
This sandbox comes in multiple colors and since it’s weather-proof for outside use, you can just let it stay outdoors.
The KidKraft Pirate Sandbox is built with enough storage for keeping toys and other accessories, and a canopy to protect your kids from the sun. What’s more, it has a large capacity to allow your kids to play with friends. Do you prefer an activity sandbox for your kids? Opt for the KidKraft Activity Sandbox Toy. This sandbox comes with four plastic hooks, storage for hanging toys, and a chalkboard. Made from samu wood, this sandbox is large enough to accommodate many kids at once.
KidKraft Pirate Sandboat Sandbox with Shade Canopy

KidKraft Sandbox 00128


Features
With humble beginnings as a startup company, KidKraft has grown into a leading global brand in the industry. The company is popular for its award-winning play kitchens and dollhouses. KidKraft has a presence in at least 90 countries worldwide. With its top-quality products ranging from trains to furniture, the company has a broad selection of large, attractive sandboxes. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

The KidKraft Pirate Sandbox is built with a canopy for shelter and two compartments for keeping toy accessories such as shovels and buckets. The colorful, pirate-themed boat is made of wood and comes with a clear plastic liner that’s placed in the sandbox before adding sand.

Designed in the form of a pirate boat, this sandbox comes with a steering wheel to support interactive play. Its sturdy construction supports prolonged use and many children can play in the sandbox at once. The sandbox comes with instructions for easy assembly.

Here are a few other KidKraft sandboxes you might like:
  • KidKraft Outdoor Sandbox – canopy, kids, children
  • KidKraft Backyard Espresso Sandbox
  • KidKraft Cabana Sandbox – white and oatmeal stripes
  • KidKraft Backyard Sandbox
This wooden sandbox comes in a pirate theme and a colorful finish your kids will love.
The Be Good Company A Day at the Beach Sandbox is a Zen garden desktop beach. It is designed to bring the beach to your home or office for a serene and peaceful environment all year long with a decorative touch. Your kids would also love this sandbox for great beach play times in your backyard or indoors. The Be Good Company Big Builder Little Sandbox is designed to bring an aesthetic construction site into your home or office. Opt for this sandbox if you want a touch of a construction site indoors or you’re looking for a more masculine fun toy for your 4 to 7-year old boys to take their creativity and imagination a notch higher.
Be Good Company A Day at the Beach Executive Sandbox

Be Good Company Sandbox 21010


Features
The Be Good Company develops games and puzzles, sandboxes, toys and merchandising systems to support fun development in both kids and adults. Although the company manufactures high quality products mainly for recreational purposes, many of them have an aesthetic appeal, and hence can be used indoors (home or office setting) for decorative reasons. The company has a large selection of cartoon themed sandboxes your kids will love.

The Be Good Company A Day at the Beach Sandbox is designed for play and decorative purposes. Made of hardwood for durability and a natural touch, it comes fully accessorized for a sunny day at the beach. It features a grooming rake, pearl white sand, a shovel, a star fish, mini sea shells, a beach chair, yellow sand pail, an umbrella with a stand and a sand castle. It’s ideal for ages 14 and up.

Here are a few other Be Good Company sandboxes to consider:
  • Be Good Company KwikSand – Brick Builder
  • Be Good Company KwikSand Toy – Mermaid’s Treasure
  • Be Good Company Grow It Snow Day Sandbox Playset
  • Be Good Company Critter Dalmatian Sandbox Play Set
  • Be Good Company MLS Play Tray – Fairy Magic
When your kids aren’t playing with this sandbox, set it up indoors for a beautiful beach look; it can also act as a centerpiece in your home to capture the attention of your visitors.

Get the Best Sandbox of 2018!

Whether you want a sandbox for outdoor or indoor use, or one for decorating your interior space, there’s one out there for you. We hope with our review of five of the top sandboxes, you’ll be in a position to pick the right toy to meet your needs. In case you need something different, you can check out our other toy reviews.

Our Top Choice
Step2 Play and Store Sandbox
Best Value
Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox
Outward Play Playfort Sandpit
KidKraft Pirate Sandbox
Be Good Company A Day at the Beach Sandbox