How much playground sand do I need?

At 12” deep, you will need 3.7 cubic yards (100 cubic ft) of sand for each 100 square feet of the playground, or around 100 lbs/1 sq ft. If you get it at $30/Ton, you can expect to pay around $1.5 per square ft.

The amount of sand you need for your playground depends on a few different factors. First, how big is your playground? If you have a large sandbox with plenty of room for kids to build castles and dig for pirate treasure, you’ll need less sand than if you have a smaller area that’s more designed for climbing equipment and sliding boards. Also, think about how much maintenance your playground will need; it’s important to have enough sand on hand to keep it well-stocked and not let it run short. If you’re not sure how much sand you’ll need, a good rule of thumb is 100 pounds per square foot.

Playground Sand Safety Considerations

National Safety Council recommends that all playgrounds be filled with loose fill such as sand that is a minimum depth of 12 inches around any equipment that has a six-foot drop or fall zone.

How much sand do I need for sandbox?

If you are building a sandbox, you can get away with using much less sand because the area is not necessarily meant to cushion falls. For infants and toddlers, you can use as little as 2-3 inches of sand, 4-6 inches for preschoolers and 8+ inches for older kids.

Playground sand cleaning

Sometimes you can get away with cleaning the sand. You can rake the sand to get the debris on the top loose, but you might miss deeper buried objects. Sifting the sand is much better, but also more time consuming.

Sanitizing the sand

It is very easy for the sand to get contaminated, either from mold, fungus, vegetation and dirt, food or other stinky materials. The sand can be sanitized naturally with a vinegar solution or more throughly with a bleach solution. If using a bleach mixture, please make sure you observe all safety precautions, including protective clothing and a safe draining spot and let the cleaned and rinsed sand dry before use. You might have to repeat the sanitizing process a couple of times.

After you have cleaned the sand, you can mix in cinnamon to keep the bugs away and buy a cover to keep it clean for longer.

Playground sand weight

The weight of the sand varies a lot as it depends on its courseness and how dry it is. As a rule of thumb, 1 cubic yard of playground sand weighs around 2700 lbs.

Other Considerations

Sand in playgrounds should be topped every 12-24 months or as needed, if too much is being spilled over.

You should always buy safe playground sand and not other types of sand as they might produce dust and even be toxic (such as sand that contains crystalline silica).