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Sandbox or a gravel pit?

Posted by rosieo z6/7 NC (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 16:49

I'm almost done constructing a sandbox for my 5 year old. At the last minute I'm seeing that some parents are filling sandboxes with pea gravel and making gravel pits instead.

So I'm wondering if that is actually a better choice. Sand is awfully messy when they track it in. Pea gravel isn't going to cling to their clothes and fill their shoes, spilling out all over the floor when they take off their shoes and clothes. We also have 3 barn cats and I'm worried they'll use it as a litter box.

On the other hand, is it as much fun to play with? My boy loves to play in sand but I've never seen a gravel pit in real life. I don't know if it would be as pleasant to play in as sand. I was never a little boy and I preferred staying clean, so I'm really out of my element here, lol.

We're also cobbling together a mud pie kitchen for him so I could just give him a tub of sand for that. But he needs a place to dig and run his trucks.

Anybody have any experience or opinions on sandboxes vs gravel pits? Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Sandbox or a gravel pit?

Hi Rosioe,

well, it s not an easy question really. In an ideal playground setting there should be the possibility for the child to create a landscape, not just mudpies. Therefore I always try to include a sandhill, a gravel pit, big stones (not to heavy-the child should be able to move them), wood (stems and planks) additionally I would grow a den for example from salix. If possible a watersource is fantastic!

That takes a lot of space, I know. However, it really encourages much more crative play! Also it s going to serve your child much longer than a pit. I know playgrounds like this being visited by teens (not to smoke or anything, to play and build really). Generally I would definitly cut down on open gras area (which as playingfield is overrated) to realise such a project.

Now I dont know how much space you have or how willingly you are to change your plans. If you put a gun to my head asking gravel or sand - i think i d go for sand! And if you can make it at least a tigny hill. And put a pot full of gavel next to it.

Furthermore, I promise you your cats will use the sandbox as a litterbox. you can teach your son to throw out stuff that dosnt belong there with a shovel. Or you need to couver the sand ALL the time!

All the best and happy playing!

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