11 answers

Sand Alternative for Sandbox

Does anyone have an alternative to sand. I had heard there was sometihng else you could use but can't remember what it was. Anyone use something else that works? Thanks!

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All good choices. We've used the rice inside in a small tub and have gravel outside. Another fun indoor (or keep it some place dry) alternative is shredded paper. My guy loves it.

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When I was little my nursery school had a box with salt in it. We didn't sit in it but stood and it was at waist height, fairly large. I loved it.

deer corn works well (as long as you don't live in an area populated by deer).

Are you thinking of ground up rubber tires or tennis shoe bottoms? That's what they have at the Children's Museum in Richmond. My son LOVES it and we can mulch the garden with it when he outgrows it. If you get rubber tires, make SURE that the mulch was run through a magnet to get the metal out, I've heard bad things about cutting hands for the cheaper stuff where that wasn't done. My husband had a hard time finding it on line until he searched for "playground mulch." My friend used pea gravel instead and calls it a "rock box." Good luck.

btw, we like the rubber because we use my son's pool in the basement in the winter filled with the rubber and it vacuums up well and he has something fun to do inside. I think some of the other things would not vacuum as well. Then we store the rubber in bags and fill the pool with water outside for summer.

All good choices. We've used the rice inside in a small tub and have gravel outside. Another fun indoor (or keep it some place dry) alternative is shredded paper. My guy loves it.

We got the kids moon sand. They love it, and it won't dry out. You can put one of those fisherprice or playschool tables that hold sand wherever you want to, and fill it up. It won't dry out. You can relax a little about the mess (it sticks to itself) If is get in the carpet, it comes up pretty easy, washes off hands, clothing and tables well. Ant the cat won't want to use it for a litter box, because it feels damp.

Rice works well - Have fun!

Rice is fantastic for the "sandbox". It's not as messy, doesn't stick to anything, and too small for choking. The kids love the sound it makes when it pours and it moves just like sand.

most of your responses have been rice, which is great for an inside sandbox, but if you are looking for a great outside sandbox alternative, try aquarium rocks. The little rocks work great, you can get them in a TON of colors, and the colors won't run if they get wet. You can also buy it in pretty large quantities. There isn't much in the way of clean up either. Have fun!

I work for an early childhood program and we use a large plastic container-with lid- and fill it with rice and beans. The kids love it and it can even be played with in rain and cold weather-we simply spread a flat sheet on the floor and let them have fun! Sand toys work great with it to.

Most important is if you do get sand make sure you have a tight cover or every neighborhood cat will use it as a litter box!!! EEEWWW!! I got pea gravel for my little guy. He can't build sand castles but it works really good with Tonka Toys and as a nurse you know boys have Tonka in their DNA. He would play for hours with the neighborhood kids. Depending on how much you need, you can get bags at Lowes. We did a large area under our deck so I bought 1/2 ton at The Stone Center in Manassas. It was $115. And being under the deck he is in the shade. It also drains better that sand after it get wet. Hope this helps!!

We call ours a bean bath. I just buy a bunch of bags of beans and put in them in the box and Noah has a blast.
Also I have heard people using oatmeal. If your kids mouth everything, oatmeal is a great alternative because it is safe to eat. However, oatmeal can be a bit pricey.
Hope this helps.

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