Sandpits are a fantastic and flexible learning tool for young children. They are a lot of fun, but many parents don’t realise that they require care and maintenance in order to keep them safe and hygienic for kids. Also, correct sandpit maintenance ensures that your sandpit stays in good condition for longer, meaning you get more hours of play, and more value for your money. There are 3 easy things to remember to get the most out of your sandpit, and to prevent any nasties from ruining the fun.
Keep it Dry
When first installing a sandpit, ensure that it has sufficient drainage and is positioned well, so that dampness won’t be an issue.
When the sand does get wet – either by rain or by rinsing with water – rake it and let it dry in the sun to air out the sand. One good tip is to give your sandpit a quick rake before each use. This airs out the sand to prevent dampness, and also has the added benefit of allowing you to check for any foreign or dangerous objects before play.
Cover it Up
When not in use, they should be completely covered to prevent contamination by any unwanted objects or animal waste. Plastic covers should not be used as they do not allow the sand to breathe and can encourage prolonged dampness. Instead, cover your sandpit with a mesh material or fine chicken wire. This is enough to prevent pets using it as a litterbox, while still allowing air and the occasional bout of rain to filter through.
Disinfect When Needed
If there is an accident in the sandpit (such as a child or pet going to the toilet, or contamination by an unsanitary object), or if your sandpit has just become gradually dirty over time, you will need to disinfect your sandpit. Remove the sand in the immediate area of the contamination and dispose of it in a plastic bag. Then, disinfect the rest of the sandpit by using a mild detergent diluted in water: fill a watering can with this disinfectant solution and spray it evenly over the sandpit, then rake and allow the sand to dry in the sun.
Lastly, once finished playing in the sandpit, ensure that children wash their hands thoroughly with water and soap.