8 best sandpits for children and toddlers

04 June 2020

best sandpit

With summer just around the corner, transform your back garden into a tropical paradise for your children with one of these top sandpits, as recommended by other parents.

In need of something that'll bring the beach straight to your door this year? A sandpit is one of the best outdoor toys for the spring and summer months, and one that'll hopefully keep your kids entertained (and imaginations running wild) for hours on end.

But how do you know which sandpit to buy? And is there really so much to consider before purchasing what's essentially a box with some sand in it?

You probably won't be surprised to know that sandpits have come a long way since the days of yore and are now appearing on the market in a whole host of shapes and sizes, ranging from turtles to pirate ships to classic-looking picnic benches – and, well, the little explorer in us couldn't be happier.

So to help you find the right sandpit for all your outdoor needs, we've collated a list of the products that come most highly recommended on the Mumsnet forums and across the web, including bestseller lists and other expert review sites.

And the verdict is in. Here are the best sandpits for kids and toddlers.

1. Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox

1. Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox

Somewhat iconic in the world of sandpits, the Little Tikes Turtle is a favourite among parents and children alike.

With a bright green exterior and interior, and moulded-in detail on the bottom to encourage some serious digging, the Turtle is a spacious play area – but not so spacious that it will take up your entire garden.

And why stop with sand? This lovely little sandbox can be used as a ball pit as well.

Key features

  • Turtle shell functions as a removable lid
  • Holds 68kg of sand
  • Two seats moulded in

Need to know

  • Age range: 12 months to 6 years
  • Dimensions: 30.5 × 96.5 × 109.5cm
  • RRP: £49.99

What parents say

“It's hard to fault our Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox.”

“The Little Tikes Turtle sandpit is good. It's cheap, has a lid and is easy to move around the garden to stop you getting patchy grass.”

Buy now from Argos

2. KidKraft Pirate Sandboat

2. KidKraft Pirate Sandboat

Do you have a wannabe swashbuckler in your household? Introducing the KidKraft Pirate Sandboat, a pirate-themed sandpit that's ideal for any outdoor adventure.

It features a canopy to keep children protected from the sun as they play and a mesh cover to keep the sandbox dry in wet weather.

Suitable for children aged three upwards, the Sandboat is so cool we reckon adults may well want to get involved in the fun too.

Key features

  • Storage space for buckets and spades
  • Mesh cover to protect the sandpit when not in use
  • Sun canopy
  • Made of weather-resistant wood

Need to know

  • Age range: 3+
  • Dimensions: 199.4 × 112.4 × 151.1cm
  • RRP: £224.78

What parents say

“Very tempted by the gorgeous wooden boat sandpit. It has a canopy and a wheel for them to play with.”

Buy now from Cuckooland

3. Plum Junior Wooden Sandpit

3. Plum Junior Wooden Sandpit

When it comes to trampolines, sandpits and other forms of outdoor play equipment for children, Plum always seems to come up trumps.

The Junior Wooden Sandpit is a fuss-free, conservatively-sized option that's sure to suit any garden.

While we think it's best for toddlers and younger children due to its size, this sandpit can be used from 18 months onwards.

Key features

  • Made from natural wood
  • Fairly compact in size
  • Pre-painted in a teal wood wash and a whitewash trim finish

Need to know

  • Age range: 18 months+
  • Dimensions: 14 × 90 × 90cm
  • RRP: £39.99

What parents say

“Having looked long and hard at suitable sandpits, we ended up with a combination – a Plum Wooden Sand and Water Table, which gets used throughout the year, and the basic Plum with a wooden square frame.”

Buy now from JD Williams

4. TP Toys Deluxe Picnic Table Sandpit

4. TP Toys Deluxe Picnic Table Sandpit

Why settle for just a sandpit when you can combine it with actual garden furniture?

A picnic table and sand play area, TP Toys' Picnic Table Sandpit offers the best of both worlds. It's ideal for family picnics, but also for painting, general craft activities and water play.

Key features

  • Made from FSC-certified timber
  • Generously sized to seat four children
  • Two robust play bowls
  • Comes with its own weather cover

Need to know

  • Age range: 2+
  • Dimensions: 110 × 91 × 48cm
  • RRP: £119.99

What parents say

“We now have a sand table that also doubles up as a picnic table.”

Buy now from Amazon

5. TP Ahoy Wooden Play Boat Sand and Water Pit

5. TP Ahoy Wooden Play Boat Sand and Water Pit

Brave the high seas (aka the garden) with this multi-activity wooden play boat from TP.

Whether it's for sand play, water-based fun or arts and crafts, this boat features a hidden sandpit that can be revealed and covered when needed, a craft play area with a removal splash bowl and blackboard, and a storage box to keep all those buckets and spades safely tucked away.

For those particularly sunny days, you can rest assured that they are out of harm's way thanks to the boat's UV-resistant sun canopy.

Key features

  • Holds 79kg of sand
  • Made from FSC-certified European pine
  • UV-resistant sun shade
  • Two play modes
  • Sandbox and craft play area
  • Spacious storage box
  • Captain's wheel with compass detailing

Need to know

  • Age range: 2+
  • Dimensions: 118 × 92 × 180cm (smaller in compact mode)
  • RRP: £179.99

What parents say

“We've got the TP one. DS1 got it four years ago and he still plays with it.”

Buy now from Argos

6. Early Learning Centre My First Sand and Water Table

6. Early Learning Centre My First Sand and Water Table

For toddlers and younger children, Early Learning Centre's My First Sand and Water Table is more than ideal according to Mumsnet users.

Perfect in height for curious little ones, simply detach the legs to use this product as a water run and sandpit.

It also comes with a lid to keep everything protected outdoors, and three sand and water toys – a rake, scoop and boat – for children to enjoy.

Key features

  • Slots around its sides for storing toys
  • Detachable legs
  • Protective lid
  • Three toys included

Need to know

  • Age range: 12 months to 5 years
  • Dimensions: 34.5 × 46.5 × 68.5cm
  • RRP: £34.99

What parents say

“We have the ELC one too. You have to have the same thing in both sides else it all gets a bit messy, but I think DS likes that some days it's water and some days it's sand. He loves the wheels and funnels you can buy for it too.”

“We have the ELC table one. It is split into two halves, and comes with a lid and lots of toys as well. It also only takes one bag of sand to fill it, so it's not too bad to replenish the sand each year.”

Buy now from Amazon

7. Chad Valley Hippo Sandpit

7. Chad Valley Hippo Sandpit

While we wouldn't exactly call this a subtle addition to an understated family garden, we love the Chad Valley Hippo Sandpit for its vibrant aesthetic, 60-litre capacity and budget price.

Ideal for children aged 12 months onwards, the Hippo Sandpit can be used as a sand, water or ball pit depending on the mood.

When it's ready to store away for the night, simply pop the hippo lid safely on top.

Key features

  • 60-litre capacity
  • Lid included for protection against the elements
  • Weighs just 3.2kg

Need to know

  • Age range: 12 months+
  • Dimensions: 71 × 34cm
  • RRP: £20
Buy now from Argos

8. deAO Sand and Water Play Table

8. deAO Sand and Water Play Table

If you're after a sand and water table with lots of accompanying accessories, the deAO Sand and Water Play Table is one to consider.

With a double compartment and a whole host of toys, including a water and sand mill, funnel and moulds, this little contraption will keep toddlers entertained for hours on end.

Good news for parents – it's compact enough to be stored away out of sight too.

Key features

  • Double compartment
  • Lid
  • Lots of assorted accessories included
  • Detachable legs
  • Bright design

Need to know

  • Age range: 3+ (due to small accessories)
  • Dimensions: 42 × 40 × 60cm
  • RRP: £48
Buy now from Amazon

The verdict: best sandpit

The Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox receives top marks from parents for its budget-friendly price tag and its ability to keep children busy for hours, which is why we're recommending it as our favourite sandpit to buy this year.

For toddlers wanting to explore the world of sand and water play, the ELC My First Sand and Water Table is also an excellent choice.

Where to buy sandpit sand

Most sandpits won't come complete with children's play sand, so you'll need to buy that separately.

You'll find affordable sand on trusted retailers such as: Buy play sand now

Why you should trust us

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