Being a school governor or headmaster at a school is never easy. Especially when decisions have to be made about kids safety. So you could be fooled into thinking that selecting a new sandpit would be a welcome light relief as it can’t be that hard right? I mean what’s the harm in playing with sand?
Well. What’s in it? What came in it when it was first installed? What’s ended up in there since? How can you make sure that what goes in at the beginning is safe and what design decisions would you need to make sure that cats, foxes or similar animals can’t use the sandpit to make deposits.
First of all when it comes to the sand that goes into your sandpit, you need to ask your designer if the sand is pure sea-sand or some other form of purified sand of sandpit grade. Secondly, in order to stop animals like cats and foxes using the sandpit as a toilet, it needs to have a cover. The best covers are those that can be functional, light weight and safe to use. The cover or lid could also have alternative uses and for instance double as a stage when in the covering position or folded back as comfortable seating areas around the edge of the sandpit.
As a governor or head teacher you should also remember that the moment you put a lid on a sandpit, little fingers can get trapped. So you need to make sure the design is safe to open and close. Which means that big heavy lids should be avoided. Covers need to be lightweight or of a folding design that can cause no harm.
OK so now that you have taken care of some of the most basic safety issues surrounding a sandpit, how can you make it fun?
The kids love to build things in the sand so you need to make sure the sand stays wet. They can’t really build anything when the sand is all dried out. So you need a lid on this sandpit that lets some of the rainwater in to keep the sand wet. Which means that a slatted lid design is the best solution for your sandpit.
As for the lay out you can choose anything you want depending on budget and size. You could even let your schoolkids play in a sailboat sandpit. This design can even be used in history lessons about piracy or naval history for the younger age groups to really bring the subject to life.
Just make sure that your timber designer uses the best possible furniture grade timber in their design. This helps to avoid splinters and sharp corners can also be designed out of the final sandpit.
So is that it? Well if all you want is a box with a stage on it, then that’s your design. Only the decking you have to use on your lid would be too slippery if it was raining. The solution here is rather simple. Turf the lid like OutdoorPlaces do with GrasseDeck(TM). And you then get an all-weather outdoor stage as well.
And in sunny old England, all-weather outdoor play installations are a must!