How To Build A Sandpit

Project Overview

A sand pit is a great way to provide your children with a play area that you can monitor whilst they enjoy hours of activities. It is also a step-by-step project you can complete together with your children.


Always keep tools and materials away from children.
Read the instructions before beginning your project.
Do not burn treated timber off cuts as they contain chemicals which can be harmful when burnt.
Some Treated Pine Sleepers are treated with a wood preservative called CCA which contains chemicals that are not suitable for high contact applications. CCA Sleepers should not be used for this project
Wear an approved dust mask when cutting, planing or sanding timber AS/NZS1716.


Treated Pine Sleepers (ACQ, Tan E, Micropro or Microshades) or Hardwood Sleepers
Washed Sand
Galvanised nails or spikes
Perforated drainage pipe or tiles
Wooden pegs
Rocks, stones or coarse gravel


Shovel or hoe
Circular saw
Measuring tape
Spirit level

Step by Step Instructions

1 Choose your site
2 Excavation
3 Lay out your sleepers
4 Filling the pit
  • Step 1. Choose your site

    Choose the site for your sand pit, taking into consideration trees and weather conditions, in particular exposure to the sun. Don't build near a fruit tree such as a plum tree or you will have another job, cleaning the sand pit of rotten fruit.
  • Step 2. Excavation

    ExcavatePrepare the groundOnce the size and position of the pit is determined, start to excavate the selected area to about 200mm below the grass or finished sand level (see Fig 2). You can use the top layer of grass to repair bare spots in the lawn, or stack it upsidedown in the compost. Dig out the dark-coloured top soil and add to compost or scatter in the garden. Prepare a flat bed for the sand to sit on (see Fig 3). If your subsoil is clay or hard pan you may face drainage problems. To overcome this install a perforated drainage pipe, drain tile or a deep hole in the middle of the pit and then cover with crushed rock, stones or coarse gravel and replace soil.
  • Step 3. Lay out your sleepers

    Lay out your timber sleepers once they have been cut to your chosen measurements. It's a good idea to get some help from a friend to lay out the sleepers as they are heavy (see Fig 4). Check that they are a suitable length, level and then fasten together using galvanised nails or spikes. If they are raised well above ground level, use 50x50mm pegs every half a metre to hold the panels in place.

  • Step 4. Filling the pit

    Fill the pit with sand. Bunnings sells washed sand in 15L bags. You may choose to lay a weed mat to reduce weed growth.

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