Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dig-a-holics

Growing up, my brothers and I always had a sandbox. We played in it for HOURS and HOURS when the weather was nice. My brothers spent more time in it though, because they were dig-a-holics like Blake. They had every type of truck and tractor under the sun and they played with them until they fell apart.

The sandbox was the place to be.

So I just assumed that when we had kids, we would build them a sandbox right away. But then I started hearing all the sandbox horror stories. Friends telling me how their sand became infested with bugs, how the neighbors cats were using it as their litter box, how the kids were tracking it into the house on their shoes (and in their shoes, and undies, and diapers, etc.)

Um...no thanks. I have enough mess to clean up in the house besides sand.

Eric was completely, 100% against sandboxes for all those reasons and more so when he finally thought he had convinced me not to get one, he was thrilled.

But you see...Blake has become a dig-a-holic and spends HOURS outside playing with his trucks and tractors. And when you don't have a sandbox for all your digging needs, this is what happens. You find the nearest mulch bed and dig the shit out of it. 


If you can believe it...this isn't even bad! I took this picture a day after I had swept all the mulch back into the bed. Usually you can't even see the patio because it is completely covered. 

Eric likes to think the mulch cleans up easier than sand. HA! Mulch is mixed with dirt which turns to MUD when it's wet. I also don't want to talk about how bad that stuff clogs up my Dyson when Blake tracks it through the kitchen.

Mulch sucks. And it is NO substitute for a sandbox.

So I'm in a bit of a situation here. I can see what this summer is going to be like. Mulch and mud ALL over my nice patio (and Blake's shoes, clothes, hands, etc.). Now I am not saying that sand will be mess free, but it has GOT to be less messy than this. Right?

Do any of you own a sandbox? Do you love having it or loathe the day you brought it home? I need advice because if I am going to convince Eric to go for this sandbox, I need some good hard evidence. I am convinced that if we just get a small sandbox that has a lid (to keep out cats. bugs, etc.) it won't cause as many problems. And if it is a box that can be moved around, and not a permanent fixture in our yard, we can take it away if things get out of control.

So come on friends...help a dig-a-holic out. Tell me how I keep this bugger happy all summer. Sandbox or Mulch bed?

13 comments:

  1. I loathe the day we brought ours home. We have the infamous green turtle sandbox. The sandy mess in shoes and diapers is bad enough. However, when it sticks to a sweaty scalp, it is a nightmare to wash out. I swear it glues itself to the scalp. You can dunk their heads under water and it isn't coming out. Actually, I think sweat is nature's glue for sand.

    Now having said all that, I recently read (probably on pinterest) to use baby powder to get sand off of sweaty kids. I haven't tried this little trick yet. I'm giving it one chance. If it doesn't work, the sandbox goes!

    I have contemplated a sand and water table...without the water...to appease my son's digging needs. I don't know if that would be any better or not, but at least he wouldn't be sitting in the sand and having it stuck between his toes.

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    1. Sweat and sand TOTALLY don't mix, Tricia. I hear ya there!! And I have given the whole water/sand table thing a thought or two, but Blake prefers sitting in the middle of the mulch and I know that even if I bought a sand table, he would either sit in the table, or go back to the mulch. Boo! But thanks for the advice...it really does help to know other's experiences :-)

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  2. We have the turtle sandbox as well. It is a place both my kids love to play in and have for two years. However, we have a no shoes rule. If it is warm, they cannot wear shoes while playing in the sandbox which resolves some of the tracking in the sand into the house. They have dumped sand on each other heads which ended with a pile of sand at the bottom of the bathtub. But to me, it is a great investment and sand is cheap when it all gets dumped outside the sandbox. And I see it as this is the phase of life I'm in. Sand, grass stains on knees, and Disney Jr on tv. In 10 years it will be video games, sassy attitudes, and jr high drama. To me, sweeping up sand is much easier than what is to come.

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    1. You are SO RIGHT Amber!!! This is just the phase of life we are in. Messy is the name of the game :-) And I am seriously DREADING the jr high years. Like...can't even think about them. We will need lots of wine in our fridge :-) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Hahaha 'you find the nearest mulch bed and dig the shit out of it.' I laughed out loud. Best phrase of the day. High five.

    As I don't have little kiddo's traipsing in and out of of the house COVERED in sand, I really can't offer my two cents as a Mommy. I can, however, confirm that in my Kindergarten class we've just got rid of the sand box as the children were throwing that shit in the air as if it were confetti. They would come back in the classroom and look as though they'd just spent the entire day rolling around the beach. No joke. In ears and everything. We recently switched to saw-dust (we put plastic insects inside for the kids to try and find/investigate) and I spent 20 minutes at the end of the day today trying to sweep 80% of that off the carpet. So, in a nut shell, kids will make a mess with just about anything you give them. But then again, that's what kids are meant to do. I know (because we're twins) how tempting it is to say a big fat NO NO NO to the sandbox idea, especially as it'll take donkeys years to clean up every single speck traipsed inside (because that's what us OCD freaks do, ya see) but then again, we only live once. You have fond memories of your sandbox as a child, as do I (totally used to spend the entire day with my Little Mermaid plastic molds creating an Ariel and Flounder masterpiece). If Blake is totally infatuated with digging with diggers, maybe it's time to indulge his love and give the sandbox a go - just see what happens. Ya never know, it might not be as bad as you think...then again, it could be worse. Haha

    I vote sandbox. Mulch beds are for boring weeds. Boo! Ha! It's totally up to you girlfriend, but I think it's okay every now and then to sacrifice your peace of mind for a bit of fun for the kiddos. Even if it is short lived, give the sandbox a go so that at least then you can say you gave it a go. Just think of how much Blake would enjoy it (and the creative learning that would take place! You'd be shocked what kids can get out of playing a sand box in terms of their development - sorry, had to get that in there. Ha!)xoxo

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    1. Haha! "They were throwing that shit in the air as if it were confetti". Now that made me laugh out loud. Haha! Two peas in a pod girl. But you are right...it is worth sacrificing a clean house and peace of mind for some kiddo fun. And Blake would seriously go ape shit over a sandbox if we brought one home. I don't know girlfriend...I am really thinking about getting one now. I will just explain to Eric that it is a learning and developmental activity :-)

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  4. Sandbox, all the way. Keep the lid on when you aren't using it and cats won't use it for a litter box or, in our case, get a dog to chase said cats away lol.

    Though I hate when they throw it up in the air, it keeps her happy.

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  5. We did some landscaping and asked them to leave a pile of dirt. End of story. The pile is halfway gone and has been the home of dumptrucks, GI-Joes, shovels, rakes and everything else you can imagine!

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  6. PS We do have a mini sandbox in the deck that he enjoyed until the dirt pile arrived. He hasn't played in the sandbox since he had dirt.

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  7. Go for it! You won't regret it. Hours of fun!!

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  8. I never really thought of the potential disasters that a sand box presents... Elaina's dad built one in their yard for her and all of the kids were having the TIME OF THEIR LIVES in there at her birthday party. She also got a trampoline for her birthday! Guess who is the most excited about THAT!? Oh, well maybe I'm not the MOST excited... but I'm damned excited! My tramp was my most coveted posession when I was a kid! ;)

    I mostly don't have much to contribute to this discussion... but kids are kids and kids are messy. It may be too inconvenient... but maybe there are "sandbox only" clothes and put it far out in the yard so by the time they make inside most has come off? And, strip at the door? Shit, this summer you can hose them off! Nickolai & Elaina play in a giant mound of dirt in Nick's backyard, they love it soo much!

    Plus, this means Blake will be distracted and you can call me! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

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  9. We had the turtle sandbox as well. I LOVED it and so did the kids. I'm a bit of a germaphobe, so I really liked that it had a lid. They couldn't wears their shoes in it, and sometimes I would make them strip in the garage and clean them up out there. Another thing we did is put a beach umbrella over it, so the kids would stay shaded. We didn't have a whole lot of trees. So, go for the sandbox! They'll love it! :)

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