Stoke Bishop School in Bristol wanted to improve the play offering and have a big open space where the children could access loose materials and be able to manipulate sand. Sand is a great safety surface as well as being playful, there is a space allowed in the design for a climbing structure to be added at a later date.
A refurbished and painted 20 foot shipping container with a roller shutter door fitted to one end was placed alongside the sand pit for play equipment storage and we added a chalkboard and a deck platform as a stage.
We excavated the sand pit to a depth of 30 cm and used the spoil to create mounds that we turfed to retain the sand pit on the playing field side. Along the tarmac edge we installed a raised timber log edging that is good for sitting and balancing as well as retaining the sand.
Sandpits are often very social spaces and no matter the age or development level of the child, sand offers an opportunity to explore and experiment in a safe and inviting environment.