Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the playground equipment. For other meanings of the word, see sandbox (disambiguation). For the Wikipedia sandbox for editing experiments see Wikipedia:Sandbox.
A sandbox (US) or sandpit (UK/AUS) is a low, wide container or shallow depression filled with sand in which children can play. Sandboxes are often found on playgrounds but — unlike most playground equipment — are easy enough to construct that they often occur in back yards of homes, as well. Sandboxes encourage children's imaginations as they build small cities or sandcastles; use toy trucks, shovels, and buckets to move the sand around; dig holes and bury things; in other words, the sand provides a medium in which children can pretend to explore, construct, and destruct the world in three dimensions. This is central to metaphorical uses of the word (see sandbox (disambiguation)).
Boxes of various shapes are often constructed from planks, logs, or other large wooden frames that allow children easy access to the sand and also provide a convenient place to sit. Nevertheless, small sandboxes are also available for purchase. These are usually made from plastic and are often shaped like an animal or other familiar object. They also sometimes have lids, to cover the sand when children aren't using it, thereby preventing passing cats from using the play area as a litterbox. Having lids also prevents the sand in outdoor sandboxes from getting wet when it rains, although some dampness is often desirable as it helps the sand hold together. Prefabricated sandboxes may also be used indoors, especially in day cares. Rather than sand, other materials are often used such as oatmeal which is guaranteed to be non-toxic for very young children and light enough to easily vacuum.
Sandpits can have a solid bottom or they can be built directly onto the soil. The latter allows free draining (which is useful if the top is open) but can lead to some contamination of the sand with soil if the children dig down to it.
The sand gets dirty over time and is generally eventually replaced. The old sand can be discarded or it can be used for other things (for example, mixed into concrete). Some parents use ordinary building sand to fill sandboxes, while others use special sandbox sand. Building sand is far cheaper but often contains materials such as clay that can stain clothes, since it is not washed. It will also contain a mixture of grain sizes and colors, and hence be less appealing to the eye.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details