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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Sandbox Etiquette
Heidi 12:26 PM 11-01-2011
so, I just created a lovely outdoor playspace for my kiddos.

Using materials I already had (a large curvy log & some plastic edging), I made an area to use as a sandbox. I got free sand from my neighbors empty lot (we live in a sandy area).

The rest of the play yard will be wood chips that are being delivered tommorow.

I am wondering what your rules are for sand play? Do you let the kids bring other toys in or sand toys out? I know some of you do an emergent curriculum, and I see the yard as one big sensory experience. But, I don't necessarily want the sand full of woodchips or all the sand out of the box. Even though it's free, hauling it over in a wheelbarrow nearly killed me (hey, I'm 47).

It's getting too cold now, but I've also thought about water, and I've seen people who have "mud kitchens', which look like a blast. I'm thinking in the afternoon, though, after nap...lol...parents can take that home....

My sis does dc, and only opens her sandbox in the pm for that reason..no sand in the beds

Rules in general...limit # of kids? throwing sand? digging till China?
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SilverSabre25 12:29 PM 11-01-2011
No sand outside the box, no bothering other people's buildings/creations, no throwing sand, no digging in such a way that you flick sand all over other people. Your shoes stay on unless I tell you they can come off (which is only in the summer and only when I feel like dealing with it, lol)
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Country Kids 12:33 PM 11-01-2011
Real quick, will you be able to cover it somehow to keep out cats and critters? That is the only thing I don't like about natural sand areas for kids to play in.

For mine there can only be 1 or two. We have special toys just for the sand area and the basic rules-no throwing sand, eating it, putting it in clothes and hair.
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MarinaVanessa 12:33 PM 11-01-2011
I have specific toys that are allowed for sand box use. They are used for that and only that. We keep them in a hard plastic bag for sand and water toys and the bag is kept in our utility closet in the backyard.

When the kids want to play with the sand toys they'll ask and I'll get it out of the closet and they will play with the toys. Near the end of outdoor play I give them a 5 minute then a 2 minute warning and once their time is up it's time to clean up the toys in the back. All of the toys including the sand toys get put away and the sand toys go back into the untility closet (we also keep the balls, riding toys etc in there to keep them from becoming damaged due to weather).

I also set sandbox rules. No throwing sand, dumping sand on someone, flicking sand, sand stays in the sandbox, can't destroy other peoples buildings/structures etc. Anyone that can't play well with the toys or the sand box gets banned from the sandbox for the duration of this outdoor play.
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Heidi 12:37 PM 11-01-2011
no, can't cover it, although it is in a fenced area, and there is so much sand in the neighborhood for the cats & racoons to choose from. Also, I have a shih tzu that patrols regularly...lol
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daycare 12:40 PM 11-01-2011
one word of caution..

if you have your sandbox near cement, it will turn the cement into an ice skating rink...

#1 rule as others have stated...sand stays in the sandbox.

Oh and make sure you get a good cover to keep out the neighbor hood cats or it will become one big sand box
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Meyou 12:42 PM 11-01-2011
My sandbox is small so the rules are:

Hands in, feet out.
Only sand toys in the sandbox.
Sand stays in the sandbox.
ONLY sand in the sandbox.
Don't touch anyone's castle.
If your hand isn't on a toy it isn't yours to claim.

That's all I can think of. I don't limit numbers but they don't get a second chance if they break a sandbox rule. They're out for the rest of the day.
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Heidi 12:42 PM 11-01-2011
ok...I will figure out a cover. got it!
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Country Kids 12:44 PM 11-01-2011
Yes, make sure you figure out a cover because I think in my state they have to be covered anyway for regulation purposes. So, before you get in trouble from your state cover that baby up!
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Heidi 12:46 PM 11-01-2011
Country, are you in WI? I don't remember if it's in our regs here...I better check!
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Country Kids 12:54 PM 11-01-2011
No, I'm not in WI but did live there for about 3 years as a child! Kenosha in fact-my dad was in the Navy and stationed there.

Anyway, I can't find it per say in our regs but it is my book for my state but its one of those gray areas! I actually was talking to my CCR&R lady one day about sunblock and having it labeled with childrens names and locked up. She said thats not a rule and I said you better double check that. She did and was very surprised to find out that yes sunblock has to be labeled, locked up and permission has to be on file to use it.

A learning experience that day was just because it is not in the book doesn't mean it isn't a rule!
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SilverSabre25 12:56 PM 11-01-2011
You can use a tarp for a cover, and put hooks around the outside edge of the sandbox to hook the tarp over (most have grommets aka holes, IME). Or figure out something with bungees.
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daycare 01:01 PM 11-01-2011
this is what I have and it has worked great......it does collect a little bit of rain, but other than that it does it job keeping the cats out and other wanted items...
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hoopinglady 04:14 PM 11-01-2011
I have two small sandboxes. I let them take it wherever they want and use whatever toys they want.

I used to try to have them keep it in the sandbox to conserve the sand but it was a losing battle. I saw that it was something that they really wanted/needed to do (toting it around the yard) so I let it go. It's cheap. when it's gone, it's gone and it does last a good long time.

I teach them not to throw it.

One of my sandboxes is in the mud kitchen area and when it's nice out I have water in a water table there and they have big fun.

I just brush them off really well before going into the house and if they are really bad strip them down and change them.

I still always have sand everywhere though but it sweeps up..no biggie, imo. Sand falls out of my dryer's lint filter every time too, lol.

I cover with tarps, weighted with bricks.

As far as number of kids, they work it out. In that regard, having two is nice. If babies are getting in the way, I can give them their own place to play.
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Solandia 04:00 AM 11-02-2011
I made our sandbox, it is 8" deep, 4x6'. It takes a ton of sand. The kids love it. I only by the white play sand (more expensive), but it is cleaner --- i dont have the seats/knees in pants getting dirty from rubbed in dirt in the sand. I used to have a cover for it (a tarp, and hooks on the sandbox), but it ripped out the hooks a long time ago in the wind. The kids would trip over it when it was covered. Instead, I put recycled rubber mats- 24"x24" over top...they are heavy, meant for a gym floor or the garage. Simple, effective, and the kids can take them on & off, step on top, use as pretend stepping stones.


No throwing sand, sand stays in the sandbox. Otherwise, play rules are the same inside as outside.
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SilverSabre25 05:09 AM 11-02-2011
Originally Posted by Solandia:
Instead, I put recycled rubber mats- 24"x24" over top...they are heavy, meant for a gym floor or the garage.
Oooh, cool! Can you post a link to something similar? I bet they're expensive, but it sounds nice!
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Solandia 08:45 AM 11-02-2011
Originally Posted by SilverSabre25:
Oooh, cool! Can you post a link to something similar? I bet they're expensive, but it sounds nice!
I had bought them at Menards probably 5 or 6 years ago...they are 24"x24" rubber floor tiles. They have been outside the majority of the time...they get thrown around, used at "heat pads" for my flower garden to warm up the soil early spring, or on the back patio in the winter (the kids will throw snow on them to melt it). They do get very hot in the summer in direct sunlight, so I don't let the kids play barefoot on them.

I cannot remember why I had bought them in the first place, I *think* for the garage under the car or under the lawn mower. I got like a dozen of them, and they were rather pricey at the time...$8-12 each or something.

This is what they look like:
http://www****bberflooringdirect.com...oor-tiles.html

Anyway...the link is exactly what you think it should be. It got filtered out. LOL rubber flooring direct , no spaces
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SilverSabre25 08:50 AM 11-02-2011
Originally Posted by Solandia:
I had bought them at Menards probably 5 or 6 years ago...they are 24"x24" rubber floor tiles. They have been outside the majority of the time...they get thrown around, used at "heat pads" for my flower garden to warm up the soil early spring, or on the back patio in the winter (the kids will throw snow on them to melt it). They do get very hot in the summer in direct sunlight, so I don't let the kids play barefoot on them.

I cannot remember why I had bought them in the first place, I *think* for the garage under the car or under the lawn mower. I got like a dozen of them, and they were rather pricey at the time...$8-12 each or something.

This is what they look like:
http://www****bberflooringdirect.com...oor-tiles.html

Anyway...the link is exactly what you think it should be. It got filtered out. LOL rubber flooring direct , no spaces
cool! I don't think that's too bad a price, actually; I was expecting something much higher.
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Tags:etiquette, manners, sand box, sandbox etiquette
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