Hints & Tips for Sandpits

Hints & Tips for Sandpits

Hints & Tips for Sandpits
Please note that safety standards dictate that a sandpit cover cannot be air tight so you should expect some rain to reach the play sand (damp sand can be shaped more easily).


  • Sandpit covers cannot provide an airtight seal in case a child is trapped underneath so you should expect some rainwater to enter the sandpit.
  • Use only ‘Play Sand’ since this is non-staining and has been washed and filtered especially.


  • Plastic sandpits are brighter, lighter and generally easier to re-locate.
  • Timber sandpits look more natural and tend to be larger.


  • ‘Lean in’ sandpits are smaller and some are available on portable frames making them ideal for Nursery groups (e.g. tp Toys)
  • ‘Sit in’ sandpits are larger and static (e.g. All Out Play)
  • Roof sandpits provide more cover for year round use (e.g. Home Front and All Out Play)


  • Read the instructions don’t just look at the diagrams!
  • Assemble the sandpit first, then lay the membrane in the bottom
  • Add play sand
  • Finally, fit the cover (essential for stopping pets & leaves but will let some rainwater in)


  • All of our wooden sandpits use pressure treated timbers so they are maintenance free
  • When locating your sandpit under trees remember that sap, aphids and leaf fall can make extra work

Cracks & Splits (Shakes) in Wood


Roundwood sandpits use young wood which is much more prone to shakes but provided a shake does not exceed 3% of the circumference or continues through to the centre of the timber then the structure will not be affected.  Square timber will be less prone to shakes but here you should look out for the timber grade and finish.

A lower grade timber will be cheaper but usually have a higher knot count, a wider grain and a rougher finish.  A higher-grade timber will be more expensive but have a low knot count, a tight grain and a smoother finish.

These are natural features of any timber and will vary in size depending on ambient temperature and humidity.


Since July 2004 timber products have had to be pressure treated with a non-toxic, water based solution (e.g. Tanalith E). This has been in use for more than 10 years and is an EU approved alternative to the older arsenic based preservatives, which have been banned from use in domestic and residential applications.

The current preservatives can sometimes leave a light green stain on new timbers, this will fade with time.  A light mould can sometimes develop as the preservative dries in storage, we try to avoid this by storing on ventilated racks but it is harmless and can be brushed off.