How Much Sand For Sandbox: Turtle, Crabbie, Step 2, And More
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How Much Sand For A Sandbox: Turtle, Crabbie and Other Shapes

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Sandboxes are a great toy for kids. Mine love it. No doubt it is messy for us parents, but they do offer many great play options and opportunities for development and active outdoor play, but getting the box is only the first step. Next, you need to know how much sand to get to fill it to a reasonable level.

how much sand in sandbox
Getting a sandbox is step 1, working out how much sand you need is step 2!

It’s entirely possible to calculate the amount you need, but it can be a little more complicated for some shapes of the sandbox. So I’m going to take you through how to do it and give you some quick answers for the most popular sandboxes.

How Much Sand Do I Need For A Sandbox?

The amount of sand you’ll need for your sandbox will depend on the size of the sandbox and how deep you want to fill it. Good depths for a sandbox are 1-3 inches. That will give enough sand for your kids to build castles. But, it shouldn’t be so much that the sand overflows all the time and gets everywhere.

amount of sand for sandbox
The right amount of sand depends on how deep you want the sand to go

Once you’ve decided how deep you want the sand to be, you’ll need to take some measurements. You need to know the length and width of the sandbox.

How Do I Calculate How Much Sand I Need

The exact calculation will depend on the shape of your sandbox. We’ll start with square and rectangular, then have a look at some of the other popular shapes. But you don’t have to be terribly accurate. Since you buy sand in bags, you’re very unlikely to be able to buy the exact right amount. You’re just looking to get to the nearest whole number of bags.

  • Step 1 

Convert all of your lengths into feet. So whatever the number of inches is divide by 12 to get the number of feet. Use these values for Step 2.

  • Step 2

Multiply the length of your sandbox by the width and the depth of sand you want. This will be in cubic feet if you use your distances in feet.

  • Step 3

Play sand mostly comes in bags of 50lbs. 50lbs of sand will fill about 0.55 cubic feet of space. So, to find your number of bags, you need to divide your answer from step 2 by 0.55.

How Much Sand for 4 x 4 Sandbox

sand for sandbox
The amount of sand also depends on the shape of the sandbox

As an example, I’m going to go through the steps for a 4×4 sandpit. If you have different sizes, you can replace the numbers with yours if you need to. I’m going to do it for 1-inch and 3-inch depth so you can find a reasonable range of bags.

  • Step 1 

Convert measurements to feet

Length = 4  Width = 4  1 inch depth = 1/12  or   3 inch depth = 1/4

  • Step 2

1 Inch Depth

  • 4 x 4 x 1/12 = 4/3 cubic feet

3 Inch Depth

  • 4 x 4 x ¼ = 4 cubic feet
  • Step 3

1 Inch Depth

  • 4/3 0.55 = 2.4- 3 bags of sand needed

3 Inch Depth 

  • 4  0.55 = 7.2 – 8 bags of sand needed

How Much Sand Do I Need To Fill My Step 2 Sandbox?

Step2 Crabbie Sandbox

The step 2 crabbie sandbox is one of the most popular sandboxes in the US. So if that’s the sandbox you have, you’re in luck because we have done the math for you.

Sand DepthPounds of SandNumber of Bags
1 Inch752
2 Inches1503
3 Inches2255

How Many Bags of Sand for Turtle Sandbox

Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox

If you have the slightly smaller turtle sandbox, then you’ll need a little less sand.

Sand DepthPounds of SandNumber of Bags
1 Inch501
2 Inches1002
3 Inches1503

What About Circular Sandboxes?

how much sand for circular sandbox
For circular sandboxes, you start by measuring its diameter

For circular sandboxes, the steps are a bit different. You need to measure the diameter of your sandbox. To get the volume, you need to first divide the diameter by 2 to get the radius. Then multiply this by 𝝅2. Then take this and multiply this by your desired depth in feet. You can then use this number in step 3 to calculate the number of bags of play sand you need.

Sandbox Sand Calculator

If you have an awkwardly shaped sandbox and need some help doing the calculation yourself, you can find a pretty good one here. The calculator will give you the required amount in pounds, and you’ll need your measurements in inches. The calculator is accurate even if you don’t use this company’s brand of sand.

Does The Type Of Sand Affect How Much You Need?

how much sand for silica free sandbox
You can follow the same calculations for silica-free and organic sands for sandbox

If you are worried about the quality of the sand, you might have looked around for alternatives so that you have the best sand for your sandbox. This might have led you to other options like silica-free sand or organic sand. Fortunately, it doesn’t matter which you choose. The calculations will remain the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a 50lb bag of sand cover?

A 50lb bag of sand will fill about ½ a cubic foot of space. This is probably not enough sand for most sandboxes. Even most of the smaller-sized ones will require at least two bags of sand to give you a reasonable depth throughout.

How often should you change the sand in a sandbox?

It’s best to aim to change the sand in your sandbox once a year. If you don’t have a cover and it gets a lot of use, you might want to do it more frequently. It’s worth checking the condition of your sand on a weekly/monthly basis. If there is any discoloration or plant growth, it is probably time to change it out.

Does cinnamon really keep bugs out of your sandbox?

If you live in an area with many ants, it might be worth adding some cinnamon to your play sand. It’s a natural bug repellant and can deter them from making a home in your child’s sandpit. Unfortunately, if there are already ants present, it won’t get rid of them. You’ll need to change the sand.

To add cinnamon to your new sand, you sprinkle it in liberally and give it all a good mix-up.

Last update on 2021-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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