18 December 2012

Building a sandpit

I am married to a wonderful man and I don't say it enough. I think it often but it's not the same. We make a very sound team and between the two of us, we can do just about anything we need to.  It's easy living with someone who knows what is right, and does it. It gives me strength to see him work doing daily chores and extra projects. It makes me feel secure when he gathers up the climbing frames from all over the garden, the ones that have held tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, then cleans them up to hang along the back garden fence, waiting until they're needed next year. Seeing that happen every year shows me that the garden will go on as ever, that there will be another season and we need to slowly prepare for it.


All along the fence, reinforcing steel from the climbing frames, recycled year after year, and now ready for next season.

But it's not only the practical and necessary he takes care of, he is the maker of gifts too. A few weeks ago I showed him a segment of the Better Homes and Gardens TV program, where there was a sandpit being made. He watched it a few times, going back and forward over particular bits, then he downloaded the plans and set to work on one for Jamie and Alex.

For the first week he worked steadily every day when he had time for it. Slowly it came together and then we planned the colours and where it would sit.








And then it was finished and just had to be moved to its place in the garden. The sandpit has two bench seats that the boys can sit on and when it's not in use, the seats fold over and cover the sandpit entirely. No cats! Just clean sand all the time. A market umbrella provides shade. The black weed mat keeps the sand in while allowing rain to drain away. It's such a good idea.

Moving it was definitely a two man job. We had to wait a few days for Jens to come over to help move it into the garden.



And then it was in place. Now to attach the top and fill the pit with sand from the landscaper.




Jens took over and filled the sand pit. It's a fine thing to have strong sons who have a work ethic that matches their father's.

So now we just have to wait for two little boys called Alex and Jamie to come along and have fun in there. I love how sandpits help stimulate creative play. There are no directions, no packaging, no right way, just some buckets, little spades and time. That's all that's needed. Thanks Opa!

The pattern and directions for making the sandpit are here.


48 comments:

  1. That is absolutely fantastic! He did such a great job with it!!!

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  2. Great. I loev the pictures. Is it so warm over there? I hope you'll enjoy soon. To see children playing in it is so cool!

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    1. Ima, yesterday it was 40C, today the forecast is for 33C. :- )

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  3. I love it! Well done Opa! I also love the colours and I do hope you are going to send a pic off to BHG for their segment on what viewers have made themselves - I love that part of the show. I bet you will inspire a whole lot more blog followers to build one now!

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  4. Well done Hanno! The children will love it.

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  5. That has to be one of the most beautiful and practical sand pits I have ever seen. Our son J loved his and we definitely needed a cover to keep out the cats. Well done Hanno.

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  6. Well done to Hanno - it looks wonderful. The boys will be so excited. What awesome grandparents you both are, making room for your little people.

    I too have a hard working husband. I try not to take him for granted :) He's planning a fort for the children that he hopes to build over the Christmas break while he's on holidays.

    I look forward to seeing pictures of the boys in their new sandpit. x

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    1. They're worth their weigh in gold, aren't they Rachael. What a great Christmas project. I'm sure your children will love playing in a fort.

      Marry Christmas to you and your fmaily.

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  7. I'm going to tell Craig about Hannos method of hanging the climbing frames on the back fence. That would save a lot of time too. Craig uses lots of stakes and baling twine and while it is a method that can be packed up and used every year, it is a little more awkward for storage, and we do have plenty of fence line it could hang on as a lot of our plantings are deciduous.
    It is so great to see Hanno back to working with his TWO hands again. It makes you feel doubly blessed to have a handy husband and how lucky he was this year.
    I can't wait to have grandchildren and your idea has given me pause for thought with future plans for the garden. The childrens sand pit is long gone but the cubby house remains and I think I should factor in some space for a sandpit a few years down the track.

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    1. Tanya, grandchildren give you the reason to just keep chugging along. And yes, I do feel very lucky to still have Hanno here. It was a close call.

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  8. I love how your yard changes according to your grand children , Rhonda - it shows us that we are always evolving no matter what age we are. That is the most beautiful sand pit I have ever seen, I will have to show David this post and see if I can inspire him to build one for the farm stay!

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    1. Thanks Kim. Yes, the grandkids give us the best reason to keep going and moving forward. The sandpit would be great on the farm and it's so solid, it will last for years.

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  9. Looks fantastic! Isn't it amazing what you can make yourself, and it will last forever too :) We don't have room for a sandpit but in a similar vein I often give my daughter a couple of bowls of water, plastic spoons, and cups and away she goes!

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  10. What a great sand pit the children will love it, good idea to cover it cats are always a problem.
    Merle....

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  11. Hi Rhonda & Hanno
    what a great sandpit, a Job well done Hanno. The boys are going to have hours of fun in the sandpit. I am glad to see that Hanno's hand is better.
    wishing you both and your family a wonderful christmas and all the best for a healthy and happy 2013.
    Lors

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  12. Wow, that is beautiful! Very impressive. What a great Opa those boys have :)
    -Jaime

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  13. Well done, Hanno! That is the nicest sandbox (US terminology there) I believe I've ever seen! I'm sure your labor will be repaid many times over with the pleasure it will bring for years to come :)

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  14. I saw that segment on BHG and thought what a fantastic design! Hanno has done a wonderful job! The little ones will love it (and I suspect Grandma and Grandpa might have a little play too!)It will last a long time - long after thay grow up not like the stuff you buy for the same purpose. Merry Christmas to you, Hanno and your family Rhonda, I will wave as we drive past on our way south for Christmas with our family. Much love and thanks for all you do, Julia in Bowen xxxx

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  15. Great job, you should send Better Homes and gardens some pics of the sand pit as they show viewers projects on the TV show

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  16. Now THAT's a sandpit! Jamie and Alex are going to adore that.

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  17. That's a great looking sandpit! Hanno did a fantastic job!

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  18. Stunning! What a wonderful way to enjoy time with the grandkids too :)

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  19. I am so glad you appreciate how well you and Hanno work together and all that he does. I lost my beloved Bill 2-1/2 years ago and he was just like Hanno -- so handy to have around and I miss all the little things he used to take care of for me. And there are a lot of big things he did too. I wish you both a long and happy life together. - Joanne

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    1. Thanks Joanna. I'm sorry to hear about Bill. You must miss him so much. I hope you have a lovely Christmas.

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  20. My DH is so very handy around the house, especially mechanically. He keeps our vehicles running smoothly and if I have a problem with my car I know he's only a phone call away :) He has saved us thousands of dollars over our 44 years of marriage.

    I can't wait to see pictures of Alex and Jamie playing in their new sandpit.

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  21. What a beautiful sandbox! It looks so professional and I know the two little guys are going to spend many an hour playing in it.

    One of the first projects my husband and I made for our first grandson was a sandbox. "Papa" did the woodworking and "Nana" stitched a canvas cover that we fitted over two side poles to shade the sandbox when it was raised up. When it was slid all the way down, it protected the sandbox from the kitties. Seven grandchildren used that sandbox and there was no end to the fun we had watching them build sandcastles and run their little trucks on make believe roads.

    Goodness, how wonderful to have a handyman for a husband. Just like you, I think about how much I appreciate what Jimmie does for our whole family, but I don't tell him enough. I think I'll go tell him right now how much I love and appreciate him!! Thanks for the reminder.

    Diane in North Carolina

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  22. What a beautiful job he did, and what fun they will have! I have one of those husbands, too, and yes - they are a great blessing!

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  23. Wow that looks great Rhonda! Well done Hanno.
    I also have a very handy husband and it is wonderful. Yes I must also remember to let mine know how much I love and appreciate him more often.

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  24. Oh I saw that on the show and thought what a great idea it was. Hanno did a great job. Looking at and talking about the good in our husbands gives both us and them a great feeling deep down in our souls. Thanks for reminding me to do it more often.

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  25. A job well done and full of love. Wonderful and inspiring! So glad Hanno's hand is healed.

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  26. Wow, what a wonderful job he has done...best type of presents...made with love ones!! They are going to have so much fun. Great idea how the lid turns into seats.

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  27. My husband was inspired to build that misting tunnel for the kids this Christmas so (despite my general aversion to commercial TV) I say yay Better Homes and Gardens! So much inspiration. What a wonderful job done and I couldn't agree more with you about it being the most creative and raw form of play, all imagination and creativity. We often go to the op shop to get little old pots, pans, bowls and such to use in the sandpit too. Merry Christmas and a happy new year :)

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  28. Isn't that the cutest thing! Beautifully done.

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  29. Beautiful job Hanno. A sandpit is a wonderful thing with many many years of play available to the users. Our grandsons still love the one grandad made them here and one grandson now has one at his own house as well.

    Rhonda you touched on men with the work ethic and what a blessing they are. I so agree. My husband and our son are both hard workers and the family benefits from their hard physical work.

    I also think about hard working men when I see men working on road building and house building in our hot Queensland summers. Unlike many others I am happy to sit at a stop/go person with a grandson in the back seat of the car and watch the heavy machinery. We have wonderful talks about "the working men " as my little grandson calls them. Others may get upset about traffic holdups but I thank heaven we have men willing to do this hard work to improve all our lives.

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  30. oh that is just so cool! If we are ever blessed with grand babies, I'm going to have my hubby build one of these!

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  31. Well done Hanno! Rhonda thanks for sharing this great story. Your grandsons will get many years of wonderful, imaginative play out of this gift. My own boys are 7 and almost 9 and still regularly play in the sandpit their father made them when they were toddlers. The games have changed over the years from cooking to construction to making tracks for their "four wheel drive" cars and everything in between but I can tell you one thing.....I never tire of listening to their creative chatter as they play! Best wishes to you and your family this festive season. Karyn from Brisbane.

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  32. I built the sandpit for our children and my husband came to watch! I played in the sandpit with the children at times. Sand will inevitably get all over the surrounding area. It just does! Sand sticks to legs and clothes are comes inside the house. Toys get lost in the sand. Use a cover. Allow the sand to be washed by the rain sometimes. The experiences are really valuable for the child's development.

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  33. That sandbox is beautiful and harkens back to a gentler way of of life for children. Your little boys are so fortunate to have you both as their grandparents.

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  34. Hanno is pretty handy, isn't he?! :) My daughter loves her sand box. I think I read somewhere that sprinkling coffee grounds in it will keep the bugs out?? I think it was coffee grounds (fresh, not used)...
    - Kristin

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  35. The sand box is the most popular toy in the back yard. The kids just love it. I keep lots of cottage cheese containers, butter containers, and of coarse buckets and shovels. I like to put a bit of water on the sand from time to time to let the kids make sand building different. Their trucks and tractor toys are in the sand box too.
    Those grandsons are going to get hours of pleasure from that sand box. Your husband did a beautiful job. Love the colors.

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  36. That is the cleverest sandpit I have ever seen! Good work Hanno! I love the photo of Hanno sitting in the finished sandbox - his smile says "I may not be five years old anymore, but I still think this is the awesomest thing in the yard!" Grandparents are such handy folks (my Papa (Grandpa) made a sandbox/climbing structure for my younger cousins in his yard).

    Thank you for sharing the plans! Can't wait to see the kids in there :)

    Best to all of you,
    Mandi

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  37. I loved your last few lines...
    "So now we just have to wait for two little boys called Alex and Jamie to come along and have fun in there. I love how sandpits help stimulate creative play. There are no directions, no packaging, no right way, just some buckets, little spades and time. That's all that's needed. Thanks Opa!"

    That is so true.

    I remember finding my 2 year old son with his Grammy on the porch with a hose and all the pots, pans, and Tupperware filled to the brim with water. He had such a fun time stirring, sloshing, dumping, and refilling. They spent the entire afternoon out there. It makes me smile to think about it. Thank you.

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  38. Sandpits are the set, my three literally spent half their life in theirs! XxBrenda

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  39. Now, that's one beautiful sandpit! Far more special and beautiful than anything you could possibly buy. What lucky little boys to have such clever and caring grandparents. It will be such a pleasure to watch them enjoying it.

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  40. I keep trying to comment, but it won't let me on my mobile devices! Odd. Anyway, I wanted to say, "well done!" to Hanno on doing such a fabulous job on the sandpit. It's stunning. That was the sort of thing my Dad would do, he loved making things and was always good at fixing things. I don't think our generation does that so much. Oooh yes, and also, you probably know this, but if you add cinnamon to the sand, it apparently keeps the bugs away (thank you Pinterest!).

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  41. Great idea for staking the vegie garden. In regards to the sandpit...It is amazing. I am now watching a re-watching the clip. Oh I wish I had the tools/knowledge/ability to build one for our son.

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  42. Well its official, I need my own Hanno!.
    I think Hubbys middle name should have been "Gunna" , beacuse he's Gunna do it... one day.
    This sandpit is fantastic, I'm sure the Grandbabies will love it. xo

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  43. This is really a marvellous structure and I bet the wee ones will just love it!

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