Big Adventures for Tiny Humans, No. 4
We're at another playground and I watch as my curious toddler wanders off into the nearby sandpit. It's not intended as a sandbox, but what child can resist the expanse of a beach volleyball court in the middle of a park? It's the biggest sandbox, second only to the beach itself.
We haven't brought any sand toys, but this does not deter her - she wanders up to other children, eager to use the colorful scooping and shape-forming devices their parents have wisely hauled from the car. She watches as the toy owners play with their things and then tentatively reaches for one that's not being used. She looks up to see if I've noticed. It's ok! Ask if you can use it!
She scoops and dumps, scoops and dumps, oblivious to her friends on the teeter-totter and the sand toy-owning children now on the slides. Sand, it seems, is the very best entertainment.
It's this image - her complete fascination and creativity - that I hold onto when we decide to remove the cracked, swing-bearing beam from our home play set and replace it with a large sandbox of our own. A small beam on the other side of the slide is enough to hold a single swing; that will do for us.
When we made plans with our contractor to complete a few other house projects, we included sandbox construction on his list. The bigger, the better - use the whole footprint where the swings used to be!
Carpentry complete, I order a mountain of play sand, and we spend the weekend toting all that sand from the driveway into the sandbox. We screw bolts along the exterior sides of the box, attach small bungees to the edges of a tarp, devise pvc pipes to stand in the sand and pitch the cover, and then practice securing the tarp along each side.
Sunday afternoon rolls around, the clouds have finally broken, and the sand is all in its place. When I hear the first moans that mean nap time is over, for once I'm excited.
Good afternoon! How did you sleep?
Who wants to play in the sandbox?
ME! It's ready?!I
We sit in lawn chairs watching as the scooping commences. Eventually, Mom, come in sand? Yes. She's delighted with this addition to our yard, and none of us think about the old beam that used to hold swings.