How to Tidy Away a Sand Pit for Winter
How to prepare a sand pit for winter
When the last of the warmer weather goes and it’s too cold for little hands to play in the sandpit, store it away properly for the winter and you will be so glad when, come next spring, you can re-use everything next time around.
Follow this five-stage cleaning process for storing away the sandpit and the sand pit toys and prolong the life and play value of your set.
Even preserve your sand when you think it is passed its best by sifting it and drying it out, it’s surprising how well it revives. Plus save yourself the annual spring trip to the DIY store for fresh playsand.
Don’t be tempted to leave the toys in the sand as they can go rusty or pickup mould or algae if they have water within them.
Remove all the toys; check them over for broken parts, dispose of any loose pieces or toys that are past their use.
Wash toys in a soapy bath or shower, some of them may be suitable to put through the dishwasher just check the label or manufacturer information.
Then store the toys in a clean dry place for the winter or use one of our innovative sandpit toy storage ideas.
Using a small hand rake, rake over the sand to remove debris, locate missing toy parts and find and remove anything sharp.
If you want to return your sand to its former glory, sift through the sand with a colander, break up any hard sand and dispose of any stones, leaves, sticks or rubbish so that you’re left with only soft sand.
Include your children in this task, they’ll love helping out and you can turn it into a fun treasure hunt as you sift through the sand to find any hidden toys or treasure!
On a sunny day dry out the sand by turning it over at intervals so that even the bottom sand dries out.
Then, using a mixture of white vinegar and water, spray over the sand and mix through, allowing the sand to dry out fully each time, before turning over and repeating this sequence several times.
If the smell of white vinegar puts you off, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the mix.
This will get rid of mould and bacteria and keep your sand fresh until next year, store the sand in strong sacks if you are moving the sandpit into storage for the winter, use fairly small sacks so they are not too heavy to move once filled.
Check and repair
Once the sand is removed from the sandpit, check over the sandpit for any damage that may have occurred that you couldn’t see with the sand in it.
If the sand pit is wooden, smooth over the sides with sandpaper to remove any sharp splinters. Repair any holes or cracks and then wash or wipe down the sandpit with soapy water or toy safe anti-bacterial spray, hose down with clean water then let the sandpit dry out fully before storing away.
You could treat wooden sandpit’s at this point with a weatherproof topcoat if you want to avoid having to do it in the spring.
Use a lid
If you don’t have space to store your sandpit under cover for the winter, or if it is fixed in location then invest in a lid or cover for your sandpit.
Ensure your sand pit lid or cover is watertight, fits securely and is tethered securely to the sandpit or the ground using ties or clasps and can withstand the winter weather.
If your sandpit is moveable and depending on the size and shape of your sandpit you may be able to stand it up on its side to store securely against a wall.
Whether you have a permanent sand pit or a moveable one, looking after it well and preparing it and storing it properly over the winter will ensure it provides ample fun and playtime year after year.
Treat your sandpit as you would outdoor furniture, cleaning it and treating it when it needs, saving yourself time and money having to replace it after a winter exposed to the elements.
This way your sandpit stays as hassle-free as it should be and maximizes the fun for all the family.
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