Our wooden swing set has a built in sandbox underneath. We have never filled it with sand though. It has dirt in it that the children play in sometimes, but since it doesn't have a cover and I have killed both a black widow and a snake in it in the past, I didn't want it filled with sand, uncovered and have something burrow into it that I couldn't see. Then there's the ants. If you don't live in the south, and don't have to deal with fire ants, I can't even begin to tell you what a pain they really are. They sting, and it hurts! They build ant mounds and several attack you at once if you happen to step in or disturb one. Since they are not natural to the area, there really is nothing to keep the population under control. We keep the area around the house treated as best we can, but they still are a pain. I have known people whose children have gotten into their sandboxes to play and the children have been attacked by ants and ended up in the ER.
But the children love to play in the sand. So, we bought a small turtle sandbox from Walmart the other day ($21) with a lid. Since we treat the area around the house, we should be able to keep the ants out of it. Plus we have a concrete patio around the back of the house that we put the sandbox on, and we will have to make sure it stays covered.
Nick and Alex got it out of the van for the children Wednesday morning and set it up and filled it with sand. The children have played, and played, and played, and played with it. They have been having so much fun! They have done a really good job keeping it covered too. It was well worth the $21 plus $10 in sand toys and $15 in sand.
I had several cute pictures of Nick and Alex setting it up for them and filling it with sand, but my camera is missing! We have torn the house apart trying to find it, but have been unsuccessful. This picture is one I took with the iPad. It doesn't take fabulous pictures, but the outdoor ones usually turn out ok. I really hope my camera turns up soon!