In this guide we’ll take a look at the best kids sandpits for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, features, build quality and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Kids Sandpit?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
A classic favourite for the little ones!
This Little Tikes Turtle Kids Sandpit is a firm favourite. The sweet turtle design makes a great sandpit: the shell acts as a lid cover and the flippers double as little seats. It can hold 68 kg of sand which is plenty to play with. It’s extremely versatile and could be used as a sandpit, ball pit, water trough or pond!
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Kids Sandpit Reviews
Little Tikes Turtle Kids Sandpit Review
This classic Little Tikes Turtle Kids Sandpit remains ones of the best kids sandpits around.
It’s colourful and fun without being a shapeless plastic eyesore in the garden.
The turtle shell acts as a lid, keeping the sand clean and dry when not in use, and the front flippers create two little seats for children to sit on whilst playing.
It’s a good size, holding 68 kg of sand, and provides a lot of area in which to play.
It’s reasonable easy to manoeuvre, though quite heavy when filled, so you can even shuffle it as the shade moves.
This versatile sand pit for toddlers can also be used as a ball pit or filled with water on hot, sunny days. In fact, it will even work as a pond, so you can watch your little ones discover wildlife or raise tadpoles!
So, a definite 10/10 for versatility. It’s also great value, durable and a classic old favourite.
KidKraft Pirate Boat Kids Sandpit Review
This KidKraft Pirate Boat Kids Sandpit is an imaginative structure that will provide hours of entertainment for little pirates.
This sand pit for toddlers provides plenty of play opportunities – even without the sand! It is suitable for several children to play in at once and includes a sunshade to protect from the sun.
The wooden ‘boat’ structure is really unique and fun, plus extremely well made. A clear plastic liner is included, which goes underneath the sand, keeping it in place and stopping insects and animals from getting in.
There are also a couple of storage compartments which are handy to keep sandpit toys in. It also features a steering wheel, seat and of course, a pirate flag.
It comes with a net cover to protect the sand from animals when not in use.
The boat is relatively easy to construct, with clear instructions, though it might take a while to put everything together. It comes completely disassembled.
This has to be on of the best sandpits around for kids and toddlers with big imaginations. Who doesn’t want their very own pirate ship!
Colourful Kids Sandpit With Sunshade Review
This Colourful Kids Sandpit With Sunshade comes with two bench seats and a sunshade. It’s a comfortable, multipurpose item for the garden.
The seats and canopy fold down over the sandpit when not in use, protecting the sand and keeping it dry.
This children’s sandpit is made of durable wood that has been protected with colourful red, yellow, green and blue stains for years of use.
The cheery blue striped canopy gives this product a nice beachside feel. It also comes with a ground sheet to keep the sand protected from underneath.
It’s a little tricky to put together, but comes with all fixings and predrilled holes for screws.
You could even put a table in the middle and use this as a picnic area for kids if you wanted. Plus, it could also be used with other toys to provide a shady place to play in sunny weather.
The only criticism I could make is that the bottom is not built in. This makes it near impossible to move the sandpit around – you’ll have to choose one location and stick to it!
This is a sturdy, practical sandpit that kids will really enjoy. I personally really like the large sunshade which keeps everyone protected from the sun. Plus, the benches which make it a great picnic area!
The clever design means the whole thing packs down quite small and the sand is protected from animals and kept dry.
With its large built-in sunshade, this has to be the best sandpit for keeping your children out of the sun whilst they play!
Hexagonal Wooden Kids Sandpit Review
This Hexagonal Wooden Kids Sandpit is probably the most attractive and unassuming option on this list.
Its hexagonal design, made of nice smooth wood, is classic and understated, blending in well with the garden. Yet, simultaneously, it’s fun and practical!
The ledge around the edge makes a comfortable bench for children to sit on whilst they play.
You can fill it with 30 kg of sand to achieve a depth of around 10 cm. It’s not the biggest sandpit, measuring 1.5 m in diameter, but this does mean you need less sand to create a deep play area.
Plus, it’s compact and easy to fit into the space you have available.
The sandpit comes with a weatherproof cover to keep the sand clean. It also has a geo-textile base sheet; this prevents weeds and creepy crawlies getting into the sand, allowing drainage at the same time.
The weatherproof cover is a little flimsy, but you can buy a wooden lid as an additional extra.
This sandpit is made from good quality sustainable wood that is treated with child and pet safe preservatives. It easily slots together, so assembly is nothing to be feared!
This is a simple yet attractive sandpit for toddlers and young children that provides good value and durability.
Kids Table Sandpit Review
This Kids Table Sandpit is perfect for toddlers and small children; it’s set at the perfect height for them to play standing up.
As you can see, it’s a little different to the standard sandpit, given that it’s mounted on sturdy legs.
This created a more dynamic set-up for playing, and is also less messy than a traditional sandpit – children don’t get so much sand on their clothes!
You could even use it indoors. Or for water, instead of sand, if you so wish!
It is made of sturdy plastic and has a lid that is secured with elastic ties to keep the sand dry and clean. When the lid is in place, it doubles as a place to play with toy cars – there are roadways moulded into the plastic!
The set includes 2 shovels, a pot and a scoop so you just need to add sand for hours of fun. It can hold 18.2 kg of sand.
This is a good quality sand pit for toddlers that offers a versatile range of fun play activities.
If you are looking for something compact and versatile for your garden, this is one of the best sandpit tables around.
Picnic Table And Kids Sandpit Review
This cleverly designed Picnic Table And Kids Sandpit features two built-in trays in which you can put sand and/or water.
When the lid is on, and the trays are hidden, it simply resembles a classic picnic table, suitable for many play activities.
In fact, this would also make a wonderful art and crafts table, with room to store drawing supplies in the trays.
The picnic bench provides seating for up to four children, up to about six years old. It makes a nice feature in the garden and can be painted or stained to a colour of your choice.
This kids sandpit is constructed from FSC approved timber and the trays are made from thick, durable plastic.
It’s a little tricky to put together, but the instructions are relatively clear, and the fittings were bagged and labelled to prevent mix ups.
Once constructed it looks nice and seems durable. It is really only suitable for preschool children though.
Don’t be fooled into thinking tha it’s the size of a standard picnic bench – it has been adapted to suit the little ones! The seat is 27.5 cm off the ground, and the full height of the table is 49.5 cm.
All in all, this makes a lovely sand pit for toddlers, offering an attractive and practical addition to the garden.
It’s great value, considering the versatility of the design, and would be great for arts and crafts as well as sand.
Things to Know Before Buying a Kid’s Sandpit
A garden sandpit is the next best thing to a day at the beach.
Children love them; it allows them to get a bit messy, be creative and practice their motor skills and coordination. Sand is also a great sensory play experience, too.
There are a huge range of sandpits on the market, suitable for a range of garden sizes and children’s ages. So, let’s make sure you’re getting the best sandpit for your little ones! The following tips should help you to make an informed decision:
First of all, starting with the very basics: sandpits provide one more fun activity that you can entertain your kids with. They’re just as good to be played with when your child has friends round as when they’re playing alone, and they’re also a great item to have if you run a childminding business!
They’re also ideal for creating what I like to call ‘contained mess‘. The sand usually (more or less) stays within the sandpit, or at least outside, meaning that playing in a sandpit requires less tidying up and preparation than indoor activities.
Playing in a sandpit with a friend is a great way for children to develop social skills and learn how to play and share with others.
What’s more, sand is so versatile that it offers kids the chance to be very creative and imaginative. It’s always great to find activities that encourage children to play and be inventive!
Some of the sandpits in my reviews below are not only limited to being used as sandpits; they can be extremely versatile, multifunctional items to have in the garden. You can find sandpits that double up as picnic areas with benches and shaded canopies, as well as themed play areas and paddling pools.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to the design of your sandpit.
Sand tables may not be what you immediately think of when you think ‘sandpit’. But they are often extremely popular with children!
As the name suggests, these sandpits stand on table legs, positioning them at standing height for your child. They can be used both indoors and out and are easy to cover and tuck away when not in use. When covered, they usually act as a standard table, suitable for drawing on or playing other games.
Sand tables are compact, versatile, and may make playtime more dynamic compared with sitting in a sand pit. They’re generally less messy than floor sandpits as well. However, the height is not generally adjustable, meaning your child may grow out of it quickly; you may not get as many years use from a table sandpit as a standard ground-level model.
A ground level sandpit is great if your child loves sitting in the sand – they will get to enjoy the feeling of the sand between their toes! However, this does tend to mean they end up covered…!
These sandpits are great to allow children to have a fully immersive sandpit experience; they’ll likely play in a ground-level sandpit for longer periods than a sand table. You will need to buy more sand than with a sand table, and will likely find that the sand gets spreads far and wide…!
Ground-level sandpits are really only suitable for use outdoors, so there will be rainy days in the summer when they’re out of action.
Be warned – if ground-level sandpits are not well covered, they can be used as litter boxes by wildlife and local cats. Make sure to protect yours!
Gone are the days when sandpits were purely sandpits – now they can be turtles, pirate ships, racing cars, fairy-tale castles, you name it!
If there’s a particular theme that you think will really inspire your child, you can likely find a sandpit to match it.
Themed sandpits tend to be a bit larger, particularly if we’re talking about castles, ships and cars, so they’re a bit more of a commitment in the garden. They’re also more of a financial commitment too.
However, these sandpits will often be extra enchanting and inspiring for children. Plus, and you can find some themed options which are entertaining even when they’re not filled with sand – acting as a play area or hangout spot.
The best sandpits are versatile and offer opportunities for many different kinds of play.
Sandpits that double as tables can of course be used simply as tables when not in use. Although, if they have a game or raised design on their lid, this may not be possible.
Some sand tables have a section for water too. Or can be used interchangeable as a paddling pool. This is a great option – though it can get messy, of course!
Sandpits are generally easy to fit into small corners of the garden, but I still recommend measuring how much space you have available.
If you have more than one child, a larger sandpit will give them more room to play, especially if they like to sit in the sand.
Large sandpits can be very heavy once filled, so it’s not practical to move them around. Therefore, you’ll want to choose a shady spot where you can easily keep an eye on the little ones. Ideally, it should be close to a water source, so you can sprinkle the sand with water when it gets too dusty.
If you’re slightly short on space in your garden, buying a compact, multi-functional sandpit could be a great choice. This way, you can be sure to get the most use out of it even when it’s not filled with sand. Sandpits that double as tables could be a great option, for example.
That said, if you buy a more compact option, like the Little Tikes Turtle Kids Sandpit, you’ll easily be able to pack it away when not in use. Bigger wooden-structure sandpits might not offer such flexibility.
You should pack the sandpit away when it’s not in use during the summer months – even if this means leaving the structure out but storing the sand. Leaving the sand out for too long will risk it getting damp and eventually mouldy.
You should still ensure that the sandpit has a good waterproof cover to protect the sand from rain in the summer. This will also give you a bit of leeway; you won’t have to gather up the sand as soon as the weather turns bad.
You will need to change the sand at least every year.
Smaller sandpits are easier to clean out and store during winter. Larger wooden sandpits aren’t so easy to pack away.
If you are leaving wood outside, you should make sure that it has been sufficiently weatherproofed. If the sandpit is made from pressure-treated wood, it will be protected from the weather and insects for a few years. In general, you should make a habit of treating wood every few years to stop it from rotting.
If you opt for a plastic sandpit, try to find one which protected against UV. If it’s not, the sun will cause it to fade and crack.
Children often love to play in sand for hours at a time, so it is important you make sure they are protected from the sun. You can either choose a sand pit that is portable enough to move around into the shade, or buy one with a shade canopy.
Some shade canopies have a UV protection rating which is excellent. Bear in mind you will still need to keep an eye on little ones and adjust the canopy as the sun moves around the garden.
Wooden sandpits are more pleasing to the adult eye. They also tend to offer more options in terms of theme and structure shape.
However, wooden sandpits don’t come with a built-in base. The sand will need to be placed on a plastic ground sheet.
They tend to require more initial assembly than plastic models.
Wooden sandpits won’t be able to be taken down over winter; therefore, you’ll need to treat the wood every couple of years to stop it from rotting.
Plastic models are usually more colourful than wooden ones, and may be friendlier for younger kids. If you’re looking for something super easy to set up, a plastic sandpit is generally a better option.
They are also more affordable and easier to clean.
Some sandpits come with accessories included. These might include: buckets, spades, storage compartments and accessories related to the theme of the sandpit.
Look out for these if you want to get an all-in-one lot and not have to worry about buying them separately!
Kid’s Sandpit FAQs
Most DIY shops and large toy shops sell special play sand, and this is the best choice. It is often cheaper to buy it in bulk. You should never use builder’s sand as it can contain additives and preservatives that could be dangerous for your child’s health. In addition, builders’ sand can stain clothes. You can use also use kiln dried sand, but this is quite fine so doesn’t make the best sandcastles!
Sandpits are great fun but they shouldn’t be used by very young children. I don’t recommend buying a sandpit for a child under 1 year old.
Change the sand in your sandpit at least once a year and ensure the sandpit is kept clean and dry. Sift through the sand at least once a week to remove debris and foreign objects.
If it’s not regularly washed by rainwater, you should occasionally wash the sand with tap water, leaving it to dry naturally before covering it. Keep it covered when not in use.
Yes, your sandpit does need drainage. The sandpit needs to drain naturally to prevent it from becoming waterlogged in rainy weather. It should also be covered when not in use.