4 Cover Ideas for Your Backyard Sandbox

Backyard sandboxes are a favorite play space for kids, but as such, they can get dirty. Keeping your backyard sandbox clean ensures your kids' safety. Here are 4 budget-friendly sandbox cover ideas to efficiently protect the play area from insects, animals, pine needles, leaves, or natural debris.

A backyard sandbox can provide hours of fun for kids and adults alike, but it is essential to take precautions to keep everyone safe. Covering a sandbox offers protection from insects, animals, and potential injuries that may occur while playing on the sand.

So, what are some of the ways you can cover your backyard sandbox? Sandbox covers come in varying styles and sizes. Common sandbox cover ideas include mesh sandbox covers, solid covers for sandboxes, customized sandbox covers, and much more. Whatever you choose to use a sandbox cover will finally boil down to the size of your sandbox and your preference.

This blog post will discuss some ideas for covers that you might want to use when covering your backyard sandbox. We’ll also talk about why it’s essential (and how!) to cover your backyard sandbox with a protective cover.

So, let us get started.

Sandbox Safety

Before we dive deep into discussing sandbox covers, it is vital to highlight why backyard sandboxes need covers.

By covering your sandbox, you are protecting yourself and your kids from potential injuries or an infestation of insects that may be present in your backyard. Without a cover on top of the sandbox, children can potentially fall into gaps between boards which can cause them harm.

Boys playing on the sandbox.
Covering the sandbox is the easiest way to protect the play area from insects and animals.

You need to keep in mind that children aren’t the only ones who love playing with sand. Insects and animals also love to take up residence in a sandbox and can be harmful if left to turn the sandbox into their home.

Therefore, covering your backyard sandbox will prevent these little critters from crawling into the sand and potentially causing harm to your children during playtime.

The best way to keep your kids safe from harm is to cover your sandbox. In fact, it is the only quick and easy way to protect your little ones.

Sandbox Cover Ideas

There are many different styles of covers that you can use on your backyard sandboxes, depending on the size, shape, and material used. Here are some of the standard cover options you can choose from.

1. Mesh Sandboxes

Mesh covers for sandboxes typically come with two layers, one mesh on top of the other. The mesh on top is water-resistant while still being breathable for your sandbox to stay cool during hot summer days.

Mesh vinyl is perhaps the most popular option because it doesn’t allow water to pool on its top, creating a breeding site for mosquitos. This type of sandbox cover is also designed to keep pine needles, leaves, grass, and other natural debris out of the sand

A Mesh Vinyl.
Mesh vinyl is one of the best materials to use as a sandbox cover.

It means that your kids can play and stay safe throughout the playtime. Some of the pros of using mesh covers include:

  • These are easily removable, allowing you to remove and store them away when not in use.
  • Mesh vinyl is easy to clean and maintain because it allows water through its mesh top layer.
  • It can be customized to fit your sandbox perfectly based on the shape of your box.

Some of the cons of mesh covers include:

  • It may not protect your sandbox from sharp objects like the corners of chairs.
  • They are quite heavy and bulky when used, making it difficult to remove them after playtime.

2. Solid Covers

If you are looking for something a bit more solid, consider covers that come with thick plastic. These types of covers should be strong enough to withstand wind gusts and other harsh weather conditions.

Solid covers typically have slats in the front so kids can still see out into your backyard while playing.

Some of the pros of using this type of cover include:

  • It is durable and will last for a long time.
  • You can easily remove it to play with your kids after their homework has been completed!
  • They are easy to clean as well since you can hose them down or simply brush off the dirt that accumulates on top.

Some of the cons of using this type of cover include:

  • The low-quality version cannot prevent rainwater from draining into your sandbox.
  • They could get very hot in the summer heat, potentially burning children’s feet if they are not careful.

3. Collapsible Sandbox Covers

If you are looking for something easy to store away when not in use, consider collapsible sandbox covers. You can easily fold up these lightweight pieces and put them away during the off-season for your sandbox.

Collapsible sandbox covers are mainly made of mesh vinyl, making them easy to clean and maintain between uses.

Some of the pros of using collapsible covers include:

  • They are quick and easy to store away for off-season use.
  • Collapsible covers typically have slats in front, allowing children to see outside into your backyard while playing.
  • You can customize the cover to fit your sandbox perfectly, no matter the shape or size.
  • They are easy to clean as you simply need to wipe them down with a damp cloth or hose it off completely, depending on what the cover is made of.

Some of the cons of using this type of cover include:

  • They are often not suitable for use in very high winds, especially if you live in an area that experiences a lot of windstorms.

4. Customized Sandbox Cover Ideas

If none of the above options suit your needs, you can always consider making a customized cover for your sandbox.

You need to make sure that it is made out of mesh, so water does not pool on top and create a mosquito breeding site.

The color should ideally be black or dark green as well since these are the colors that absorb less heat from the sun and don’t get dirty quickly.

A toys on the sandbox.
Custom covers are usually less expensive than pre-made options, especially more solid types like plastic.

Some of the pros of using a customized cover include:

  • The material is easy to find at most home improvement stores or online retailers.
  • Custom covers are usually less expensive than pre-made options, especially more solid types like plastic since they typically have slats on the front so kids can see outside while playing.
  • They will also allow water to drain through, preventing the buildup of puddles.

Some of the cons of using a customized cover include:

  • It can be challenging to find materials that are easy to clean as well as maintain since kids will be playing with the sand inside your backyard sandbox every day. If you cannot easily hose off or wipe down the cover, stains may build up over time.
  • Custom covers can be pretty heavy and bulky when in use, making them difficult to remove after playtime is over.
  • It does not provide as much protection from sharp objects like chair corners or other things that might poke holes through your mesh material.

Solid Covers vs. Mesh Cover Comparison Chart

There is no clear winner between solid and mesh covers when it comes to choosing which one will be best for your backyard sandbox.

Solid covers are far better in protecting against sharp objects like the corners of chairs, but mesh vinyl is typically cheaper and easier to clean between uses.

Mesh top covers can provide children with lots of ventilation during hot summer days, while solid covers will keep them cooler when they play outdoors on a hot day.

Mesh top covers are lightweight and easy to fold up for storage, but solid covers can withstand harsh weather conditions.

So, if you are stuck choosing between the two, sit down and evaluate your needs critically to establish the best option for you.

A kid coming out the sandbox.
You should choose the sandbox cover type based on your needs and preferences.

How Often Should You Clean Your Backyard Sandbox Sand

Covering your backyard sandbox doesn’t mean that you don’t have to clean it regularly.

In fact, you need to keep the sandbox covered but also wipe down the cover with a damp cloth or hose it off completely in between uses so that sand is not kicked onto your mesh top and dry up there, creating moldy odor problems.

A toy on the sandbox.
Your sandbox requires regular cleaning, even if you have used a cover to protect it.

You should also take time to check the sand and get rid of any unwanted items that might have blown into your sandbox over time.

Always remove any small objects like rocks, twigs, or leaves as they can be challenging to pick out of wet sand, and children may accidentally swallow them without realizing it, which could result in an emergency trip to the doctor.

Be sure to put away toys after playtime is done for the day and thoroughly clean them as well with a mild soap solution, so they do not get moldy or rusty.

The Bottom Line

The main reason why you should cover your sandbox is to prevent dirt from entering the sand. If you leave a sandbox uncovered, it will become dirty over time, and children may accidentally ingest some of that dirt when they play with their toys or eat snacks in there.

Some people prefer not to have covers for their backyard sandboxes which is okay. However, sandboxes that are left uncovered may become dirty over time, potentially exposing children to harmful substances like bacteria or chemicals in the sand.

It is essential to find a cover for your sandbox that works best with your family’s needs and preferences since every yard will be different depending on how much space you have to work with and what type of sandbox you have.

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