Make your own indoor sandbox to combat the dreary weather blues

Guest post by Sarabeth
Photos by Sarabeth.

My nineteen-month-old children can’t actually say that they’re bored yet, but it’s pretty easy to tell when they are. This week the city of Toronto has been a giant slushy and the minions haven’t made it outside much: at daycare or at home. Even prison inmates get yard time, and after more than a day without outdoor play, someone’s going to get shanked in their cell… err, crib.

For my fellow math nerds, I’ve created a handy dandy formula to calculate the percentage of boredom and frustration experienced on rainy/snowy/cold days:

(Number of Temper Tantrums in a 3 hour period X 3) + the number of children in your house sick or teething + (Number of fights over toys X 4) + (Incidents of hitting each other, you, anything breakable, or a pet X 5) + (the number of days housebound X 10) / The number of aspirin or drinks you have consumed

This is how the formula worked out for me last night: (9 X 3) + 2 + (5 X 4) + (6 X 5) + (2 X 20)/ 1. That’s a total of 119% boredom/frustration. So clearly, either my formula is flawed, or I need to start drinking more.

Tonight, after another day of sleet, I decided that I’d find an activity to bring a little bit of summer into an otherwise crummy winter day. I did some on line research to look for some activities that were appropriate for toddlers and came across the Indoor Sandbox at Family Education.

What you need:

  • A large cardboard box, baby bathtub or other shallow large volume container (I cut down a diaper box to make mine)
  • Sand (you can use uncooked rice, rice cereal, bird seed, cedar chips, shredded newspaper, puffed wheat or even real sand or potting soil) — I used half a bag of rolled oats
  • Spoons, funnels, scoops cups, toy cars and things to play with in the Sand Box
  • A sheet or tarp to put on the floor to help with clean up

How you do it

It took me around five minutes to set everything up — including cutting the box top down to a sandbox appropriate level, and another five minutes to clean up everything. In fact, I even repacked and labelled the oats to use again (we’ll see how disgusting they get before I throw them out!). The activity was exactly what we needed — I got over 30 minutes to myself to make dinner and tidy the kitchen, and my kids had over 30 minutes to bliss out in the sandbox.

Comments on Make your own indoor sandbox to combat the dreary weather blues

  1. You can also use white flour—it’s great for pretending that it snowed! My brother and I spent hours having matchbox cars deal with the snow emergency. My mother kept this flour in a canister (labelled ‘play flour’) and we’d spread it out on a small table in the kitchen.

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