A Family Who Builds a Sand Box Together….

…plays in the sand?
…spends a crazy amount of money on sand to fill it?
…should add some water too, to make a beach (Amelia’s idea)?
…goes to bed exhausted but satisfied?

All of the above (except the beach part)!

Artie and Amelia have been talking about building a sandbox for a while now and last weekend we finally got down to business. Saturday they went shopping for the supplies and Amelia picked out the paint color she wanted. Those of you who know her can guess the color she picked…

Sunday morning while Artie raked the driveway out of the front yard, Amelia and I started painting the boards. She of course was super-excited to be painting. Me, not so much, but I dressed her in her oldest play clothes and resolved not to care how much paint she got on herself.

4/22/13 Getting ready to paint!

4/22/13 Getting ready to paint!

She started off well until she discovered the fun of “mixing” the paint in the can with her paint brush. That pretty much ensured that every piece of clothing including her shoes and uncovered skin was covered with orange paint. Luckily, I had already resolved not to care. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good “after” picture of her, but the boards came out nice (and orange).

4/22/13 Painting her board.

4/22/13 Painting her board.

4/22/13 She was well covered in orange by the time she finished.

4/22/13 She was well covered in orange by the time she finished.

4/22/13 So independent and proud of it.

4/22/13 So independent and proud of it.

4/22/13 Finished boards

4/22/13 Finished boards

While we were waiting for everything to dry, we helped/watched Artie rake.

4/22/13 Raking the stone dust out of the yard and putting it back into the driveway.

4/22/13 Raking the stone dust out of the yard and putting it back into the driveway.

4/22/13 Gratuitous Katie shot.

4/22/13 Gratuitous Katie shot.

4/22/13 Separating the yard debris from the stone dust.

4/22/13 Separating the yard debris from the stone dust.

And then, after lunch we got started with the building by first laying out the boards where we thought we wanted the sandbox. Artie and Amelia began by nailing the boards together. Artie wanted the sandbox recessed into the ground 4-5″, so we had to move the sod and quite a bit of soil to make it fit. We put most of the sod just a few feet away to fill in a hole in the lawn that’s been bothering us since last year. The rest, as well as the soil and rocks went to the edge of the lawn, continuing our quest to extend the lawn.

4/22/13 Putting the boards together.

4/22/13 Putting the boards together.

4/22/13 Removing the sod and discovering lots of worms.

4/22/13 Removing the sod and discovering lots of worms.

4/22/13 Briefly considered filling it with water and making a toddler mud wrestling pit instead. Decided that a sand box is going to be messy enough.

4/22/13 Briefly considered filling it with water and making a toddler mud wrestling pit instead. Decided that a sand box is going to be messy enough.

After we had the sandbox recessed to Artie’s liking, leveled with the soil raked flat, Artie and Amelia had a quick wrestling match. Artie thought it would be fun to fill it with water at this point and make a mud-pit. I told him he could do the laundry from now on. So, we continued on, by laying out landscaping fabric. Artie stapled it to the edges of the sandbox to create a bottom. He got a free (damaged) bag of sand when he purchased the boards, so that went in.

4/22/13 Landscape lining down with our one bag of sand. Might need some more...

4/22/13 Landscape lining down with our one bag of sand. Might need some more…

By now it was late afternoon and we were all beat. Artie wanted to at least get enough sand to cover the bottom so that the fabric would be covered. Amelia insisted on going to buy sand, so we all went. Of course she fell asleep on the one and a half mile trip to Home Depot. We grabbed (which means Artie grabbed) 15 bags of sand to bring home and it covered the bottom of the 6′ x 6′ box with 2-3″.

4/22/13 We were chilly and tired but had to at least get some sand in the box, if only to keep the fabric down.

4/22/13 We were chilly and tired but had to at least get some sand in the box, if only to keep the fabric down.

4/22/13 Needs more sand, but it's done!

4/22/13 Needs more sand, but it’s done!

And then we were done! On Monday Artie picked up another 20 bags of sand and Amelia and I went shopping for some plastic sand toys. It’s really fun to look out in the back yard and see it glowing out there…the orange is so bright, especially this time of year. Amelia had fun playing yesterday until her hands got too cold. It looks like we’ll have warmer weather next week. Anyone want to come over and play?

4/23/13 Playing in her new sand box.

4/23/13 Playing in her new sand box.

4/24/13 Complete with added sand and new sand toys. Artie and I box smile when we look out at it, glowing there in the yard.

4/24/13 Complete with added sand and new sand toys. Artie and I box smile when we look out at it, glowing there in the yard.

We’ve also been talking about a tree house, but I’m guessing it’s going to be a little while in coming.

On a side note, see the big 10’x10′ green house in some of the above pictures? That’s my new project…to fill it. It looks like it was randomly placed there, crooked in the yard, but that spot gets the most sun during the day. I’m still working on a gardening post, but my plants are growing so quickly, that my procrastination can’t catch up. I have tomato seedlings inside our house that are growing at least 1-2″ a day and they really need to be transferred outside. The cooler outside air should slow them down I think.

Anyway, feel free to come and play in our new sandbox. It’s only a matter of time that Amelia realizes that there’s a water source (the stream) just 25 feet behind the sandbox, so we’ll have that beach she’s daydreaming about soon.

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