The Year of the Garden: The Sandpit!

Sand pit

For those of you that follow my blog you will know that 2016 is the Year of the Garden for us.

I have been desperate for a usuable garden for years and something always gets in the way, so this year we were determined to make sure it happened.

So far we have demolished the huge, rotten shed, built a new one in its places and decorated it like a beach hut. We also have a wildlife area for Isaac with a sunken bowl full of water and a bug hotel. We have also seen fairies move in and create their own garden, which Eliza tends to on a daily basis, excited by each new change they make and got a new wooden swing set for the kids to play on.

Year of the Garden

Finally at the beginning of the month we had a patio laid in a dead space between the kitchen and the extension, so we can now sit outside and watch the kids play without sinking into the mud. We celebrated having this space with a barbecue and cannot wait to use it more often in the summer.


Having the swing set is great, but it does mean that I am called to push the kids quite regularly, especially by Sebby who would be on there morning to night given half the chance, so I wanted something else that he could play with. He loves his sand and water table, but it is only a small one and add Eliza and Isaac into the mix and there is no room to play.

Now we have the patio and somewhere to sit, we decided to build our very own garden sandpit next to it, so all the children can play outside this summer and enjoy the outdoors. Last week we headed to our local Wickes to get the equipment we needed as they have a great range of products available online and in store for building a sandpit, including the Wickes Powagrip Garden Digging Spade. In hinsdight. I wish I had chosen their one hour click and collect service as trying to find everything on our list proved a bit of a challenge on our own.


We used 3 x 1.8 meter jumbo sleepers as our frame, cutting one in half so we have a rectangular shape measuring 1.8m x 0.9m. We then sealed the ends we cut with wood sealant before putting the sleepers into position and checking we were happy with their layout marking their position into the ground on the outside perimeter of the sleeper using a spade. You then take them away and remove the turf, stones and any roots.

Building a Sandpit

We popped the sleepers back into position to check that the ground was level, before removing them again and measuring out enough weed fabric to cover the entire base of the sandpit. We then used large nails to secure this into the soil.

Build a sandpit

The next step was to secure the sleepers together. The instructions advised to do this in position, but we found it easier to do on the patio, leaning it against the wall as the pressure helped secure it together. Hubby then sanded the ends to ensure there were no rough edges that the kids could get caught on.

Once the sleepers were back in position we found that there were a few small gaps under them where the ground was not quite even, so we put another layer of weed fabric over the top and stapled it to the sleepers themselves. It was then time to add the sand……….six bags and counting as it still needs a couple more but its worth it as the kids adore it.


Our next job is to put a small picket fence between the sandpit and the patio which we are painting to match the shed which will separate the into two individual areas and to build a sandpit cover, although we are making do with a sheet of tarpaulin for now.

For more information, help, advice and ‘how to guides’ visit

Disclosure: I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have received Wickes vouchers to purchase the equipment to build our sandpit write but have full editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.


26 thoughts on “The Year of the Garden: The Sandpit!

  1. I would love a big, flat garden. Ours is so sloped and it really prevents us from having equipment. The sandpit looks fab! x

  2. Sonia says:

    We really need to sort our garden out! Yours looks fab x
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  3. That click and collect service sounds awesome – I can never find stuff at a DIY superstore.
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  4. Jenni says:

    We need to get our garden sorted, it’s all stones and flags so we want to make it toddler friendly x
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  5. Your sandpit looks awesome! I used to love playing in sandpits when I was younger it was a lot of fun.
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…Honey My Hair Fell OutMy Profile

  6. laura dove says:

    Your sandpit looks fab and the kids look to be enjoying it. We got a sandpit last year and it was the worst thing we ever bought! My kids weren’t content in playing in it OUTSIDE, they wanted to bring it INSIDE too! I had sand everywhere, I have no idea how I held on to my sanity until the sand ran out! Now it’s a water tray!!
    laura dove recently posted…For Joseph, on your 10th birthday.My Profile

  7. Your garden is looking amazing now, I bet you are loving having this weather to really make the most of it. The sandpit is great, so simple to build but looks brilliant and will give hours of fun for the children. We are still slowly working on our garden but we have had a few unexpected house bills to contend with which keep stopping us in our tracks 🙁
    Sabina @MummyMatters recently posted…BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer Adventure #2 Hamerton Zoo PLUS GiveawayMy Profile

  8. Anosa says:

    Oh wow, I am loving your patio and garden so beautiful. You’ve got to love wickes.
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  9. That’s brilliant – it’s amazing how simple it is to make and great that you’ve put the time in to do it. x
    Cass@frugalfamily recently posted…Are my children ‘well trained’?My Profile

  10. Nazrin Miah says:

    Love seeing a project being done from start to finish, and you guys all did an incredible jobs! You must be so proud you made that yourself! You should feel a massive sense of achievement!
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  11. I am so impressed with how you made this. I think it’s a great addition to the garden
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  12. Louise says:

    Brill photos – you have been so busy on your garden but it is worth it all! x

  13. Fi Ni Neachtain says:

    A sandpit is a must in a garden for little ones. We have one and my eldest loves it. It’s great that you went so far as to build your own 🙂

  14. Mina says:

    The Sandpit looks great..I bet your kids went crazy with the sandpit..Beautiful pictures!!

  15. Wow- an amazing super duper sandpit- bet they love it!

  16. Keely says:

    Great project, I bet your kids will really enjoy playing in it during the summer!
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  17. That sandpit looks amazing. As does the rest of your garden.
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  18. You’ve done and awesome job.
    The garden is looking amazing and love your beach Hut shed.
    Clare aka Emmy’s Mummy recently posted…The BFG Movie Review – A red carpet experienceMy Profile

  19. T would’ve loved that sandpit if she was younger. I bet she’d enjoy that too now. Your garden looks fab after the renovation 🙂
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  20. You’re doing so well with your garden! Just think, now they have a sandpit you can plonk them in there whilst you enjoy a glass of vino from your chair in the sun, watching them!!!
    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill recently posted…Carnival CountdownMy Profile

  21. Anne says:

    I’m still trying to get my other half to paint the shed after seeing yours! Your garden is coming along lovely and the sandpit is great. I bet the kids have loads of fun in their over the holiday.
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  22. Rachel says:

    Now this is so cool, I always wanted a sand pit (still do secretly) but what a great idea to build a purpose built one x
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  23. Jen Walshaw says:

    I LOVE your sandpit idea and just how amazingly well the garden is coming on. You have put a lot of hours in.
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Capturing those special moments with a Sony Xperia XMy Profile

  24. anna nuttall says:

    Very lovely picture Kara, I bet your kids went crazy with the sandpits. xx
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  25. Jo Wiggins says:

    What a great idea, I bet the kids love it x

  26. gill says:

    Fantastic photos and sandpit xx Your kids look like they having loads of fun x

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