The 7 Best Sandboxes of 2019

Find the right fit for your backyard

green-turtle-sandbox
Courtesy of Target.
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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Step2 Play and Store Sandbox With Cover at Amazon

“Large enough to accommodate multiple kids and has molded seats.”

Best Budget: Little Tikes Green Turtle Sandbox at Target

“It’s affordable but doesn’t have the bells and whistles of expensive models.”

Best for Toddlers: Step2 Crabbie Sand Table at Amazon

“Small enough to be appropriate for tiny hands.”

Best with Cover: Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox at Amazon

“This covered option keeps your sandbox in good condition.”

Best Elevated: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table at Amazon

“There’s no crouching down or sitting in the sand with this elevated sandbox.”

Best with Water: Step2 Dino Dig Sand & Water Table at Walmart

“This indoor/outdoor table is two-sided so it has water and sand.”

Best Splurge: KidKraft Pirate Sandboat at Walmart

“Shaped like a pirate ship, and perfect for imaginative play.”

  • 01 of 07

    Best Overall: Step2 Play and Store Sandbox With Cover

    Though relatively simple, this sandbox has a variety of features that make it a top-rated product. Perhaps most importantly, this play area is large enough for a group of kids to play comfortably together, making it the perfect accompaniment to playdates or backyard family barbecues. Four molded seats, one in each corner, also make it a more comfortable spot for kids to play—they can sit, rather than crouch down.

    Parents love the fact that this sandbox has a cover that fits securely over the top of the play area to keep animals, bugs, dirt, and debris from contaminating the sand when it’s not in use. It also provides the necessary protection from adverse weather conditions, including rain and wind. If there’s any downside, it’s that although the lid snaps on tightly, it doesn’t have added security in the event of very high winds. Some ingenious parents have solved this problem for you though: just add luggage straps or bungee cords!

  • 02 of 07

    Best Budget: Little Tikes Green Turtle Sandbox

    green-turtle-sandbox
    Courtesy of Target.

    So you want a sandbox, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles of more expensive models? This particular sandbox is a perennial favorite because it's affordable, but gets the job done.

    Kids love that the Green Turtle Sandbox is large enough to move around or accommodate multiple friends. And two molded seats (the turtle’s “arms”) provide a comfortable place to perch while digging in the sand. While the sandbox doesn’t come with any extra toys or features, there are plenty of beach toys and outdoor toys that you can purchase to use alongside it.

    Parents love that the green color blends in with their landscaping, and appreciate the fact that it comes with a snap-on lid to keep things clean and contained when the kids aren’t playing. "Great price...the plastic is durable and has a nice appearance," wrote one online reviewer. "It has a cover to keep out pests and the green matches our swing set."

  • 03 of 07

    Best for Toddlers: Step2 Crabbie Sand Table

    The youngest set doesn’t need anything fancy. In fact, a sandbox that’s too big may be overwhelming and overstimulating for children under the age of two. If you're looking for a sandbox that's the perfect size for toddlers, this low-profile table is large enough to provide plenty of entertainment but small enough to be appropriate for tiny hands.

    The red, "crabbie" design of this table will delight youngsters even though it doesn't have any frills. Even so, many parents find it’s plenty to keep kids busy for quite some time. At such a young age, kids are just looking for a small place to explore and get their hands dirty. Another big advantage is that this sandbox is small enough to be portable. Even filled to capacity with sand, it weighs just 35 pounds. You can clean it out and move it indoors for the winter, or store it in the shed until it gets warmer out.

    It comes with two pails, two shovels, and a lid for storage when not in use.

  • 04 of 07

    Best with Cover: Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox

    If possible, it’s a good idea to keep your sandbox covered when it’s not being used. This not only helps keep animals and bugs out of your kids’ play area, but it also ensures the sand stays free of dirt and debris. It also helps protect your sandbox in the event of inclement weather—there’s nothing like a good rainstorm or heavy winds to put a damper on playtime.

    For a good covered option, we love the Little Tikes Big Digger Sandbox because it comes with a cover that does so much more than keep the sandbox in good condition. In fact, it doubles as an additional play area. When the sandbox is covered, kids can use the lid as a track for the included dump truck. When the sandbox is open, the lid connects to the side to create a fun ramp. The durable plastic construction will hold up against rough play, and the included accessories (rake, shovel, sifter, sand cup, and two characters) are a huge bonus.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Best Elevated: Step2 Naturally Playful Sand Table

    A raised sandbox has many advantages over the more common ground-level varieties. Kids can walk right up to elevated sandboxes—there’s no crouching down or sitting in the sand, which many parents find makes cleanup easier (no sand in their pants!). Raised boxes are also preferable for many pet parents since dogs and cats won’t accidentally wander in to do their business.

    This particular sandbox is an ideal height for toddlers of all ages and sizes, plus its rectangular shape means it can accommodate a group of up to four kids at a time. It also comes with a cover that secures tightly to the base via a set of bungee cords to keep the kids play area clean. As an added bonus, the cover doubles as a racetrack for trucks, cars, and other toys—a great way to easily switch gears if kids become restless.

  • 06 of 07

    Best with Water: Step2 Dino Dig Sand & Water Table

    dino-water-table
    Courtesy of Target.

    Kids love playing in the water and sand, so bring the beach to them with this interactive two-sided table. Plus, a dinosaur-themed table is a perfect way to encourage sensory development and creative play.

    The elevated indoor/outdoor table has a small sandbox on one side and a larger water basin on the other. There’s enough fun to be had on both sides of the table, as both areas come complete with added entertainment features. Kids can dig for dino bones in the sand or pour water into the top of the volcano and watch it rush down into the pond below. And because of its tapered rectangular shape, this table is great for a big family—it can comfortably accommodate four children at play.

    "My children love playing in the water...it's pure fun!" said one online reviewer. "The table is a nice height, and deep enough to bury toys." For a fun and educational sandbox that includes water, this fits the bill.

  • 07 of 07

    Best Splurge: KidKraft Pirate Sandboat

    kid-kraft-pirate-sandboat
    Courtesy of Walmart.

    If you have the extra money to invest in a large sandbox, the KidKraft Pirate Sandboat rivals a full-size play-set and is perfect for imaginative play. As the name suggests, the sandbox is shaped like a pirate ship and constructed from weather-resistant wood. A pirate flag and pirate-themed artwork adorn the ship and make it feel authentic. Kids will love pretending they’re sailing the seven seas while digging in the sand!

    The boat is large enough to fit several children, so if you have more than one youngster at home you won't have to worry about them fighting for their turn. In addition to the ample room, parents love the bright blue canopy that provides ample protection from the sun on blue sky days. The one downside? Every kid in the neighborhood will want to be at your house on sunny afternoons!