While attending an outdoor event, our 18 month year old daughter was quickly enticed by a sandbox. She took a very keen liking to the process of shoveling sand into the bucket and nothing was going to tear her away from that little sandbox…ok well nothing except for mom and dad when it was time to go.

Needless to say, most toddlers don’t typically transition smoothly. She screamed like I had just cut her off from her new best friend in the world. Luckily the meltdown only lasted about 10 seconds, along with the feeling of being the worlds worst mother moment. Yes, I know, I’m not really, but it does feel like for a split second when your child is crying with tears in their eyes looking at you with those big sad eyes. I’m happy to report we both moved on from that moment quick enough 🙂 .

Prior to this I had been looking for a water and sand table on Craigslist and in the store to see what I could find. I didn’t find much that struck me that was worth the money for something she’d only get a couple of months use out of.  So, my creative energy forced me to come up with a cheap solution that would serve the same purpose.

First I thought of a baby pool because those are on clearance now. That left the problem of no top on it which is not safe with all the critters crawling in and out of it. So, clearly I needed something a lot more hygienic.  Not to mention they are a little rough around the edges.

That left sandboxes with tops, which can be quite pricy, even used I wasn’t too happy with pricing and driving all over Timbuktu. If you are lucky to find one that is reasonable at a store, you usually have to order them or travel far enough to find them in stock, especially by early September. They take up even more room. We definitely don’t have the room to store a huge sandbox and who wants to be hundreds of pounds of sand to fill it in? Plus, major downside is look old quick  as they have a tendency to fade in the sun over time. Than you are stuck with a huge sandbox you are trying to sell a couple years later or sooner.

So, I figured out a more economical way to achieve the same goal. I needed a container of sorts that I could easily empty out each season and/or even reuse the container for other purposes depending on how well she stuck with this. Than after thinking about what container would be shallow and big enough for at least two toddlers to play happily that included a cover – it dawned on me.

An UNDER THE BED STORAGE BOX! I thought it was pretty brilliant and super cheap. $19 works for me. I’m sure I could have found it for even cheaper but I wasn’t about to hunt at multiple stores or try and dig up a coupon with just 3 in stock. Bags of sand are just a $3 to $4 per 50 lb bag this project was in the perfect price range. It only involved driving to two of our local stores to pick up the goods. We ended up choosing a Sterilite 74 qt clear under the bed storage container with locking lid.

Bonus: We scored on a bag of sand castle building toys at Kmart for what we thought was $7 but after checking out we high-fived each other as the cashier rang it up for just $3! Sweet!

The result: A very happy toddler and mama 🙂

container sand box

Not to bad right?

Happy Monday!