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Building Our First Sandbox (Rockbox)


We’ve got a small dirt patch in our back yard that has been the perfect space for plants and succulents that need indirect light as it’s mostly shaded by a large magnolia tree. Our little guy has now discovered this area and has created his own dirt play area with no encouragement from us.


We love that he enjoys playing in the dirt but we now go through a lot more changes of clothes. Our son loves the beach and sand but that is also very messy and we were inspired by Young House Love and their rockbox project so we decided to make one ourselves.

Two .5 cu ft of pea gravel
One cut to fit piece of redwood
DuPont weed free fabric

1. Clear and Level
We first smoothed out the area and removed any stickers, rocks and dirt clumps. We didn’t have to dig deep as the sides were raised from the concrete surrounding.

2. Fabric
Lay out the weed free fabric and cut to fit. You can stake it down but make sure nothing can be pulled up by little fingers.

3. Place Redwood Border
We only used the redwood on one side and we cut it and jammed it in place. It serves as a natural border for the rocks and the play area.

4. Wash pea gravel
We wanted to make sure the gravel was free of any extra minerals and dirt so we washed it in our wheelbarrow then waited fot it to dry.

5. Spread gravel
We could have used three bags but two works for now. We spread the gravel as evenly as possible.

6. Start Playing!!!
We loaded up the rockbox with all the sandbox and dirt toys and our little guy knew what to do.

We know he’s going to outgrow this very soon and ideally we would have a top on it, but for now this is an easy solution for creating an outdoor play space.

Have you built your own sandbox or rockbox? We’d love to see it.

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