DIY: Toddler “Dirt” Pit / Sandbox Alternative

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Louisiana is quite literally being flooded away right now. Our home is, very fortunately, not in a badly hit zone, but we are still being trapped inside all weekend by the constant showers. Which means, cabin fever. And cabin fever + small children means hell.

Luckily, I just happened to finish this little DIY project for Hudson last weekend and it has turned out to be the perfect lifesaver for a rainy day. Heres, how it came to fruition…

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Right outside our balcony door there is a large opening under the railing that is just big enough for a baby or dog to crawl under. And it opens to a 12 foot drop off, leading right down to a hard cement floor. For the last three years, this opening has driven me crazy with worry. We tried covering it with plants and other odds and ends but nothing felt secure enough. So this weekend I finally put my mind to it and used all of my handy man prowess to build…. A BOX! Ha. It was quite easily one of the most simple carpentry projects there is. Four sides and a bottom. But, I was still extremely proud of myself. After all, there was an electric saw involved. And screws. And measurements. And Stains. And Paints. You get the point. I’m basically a DIY Genius, is what I’m getting at here.

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We just happened to have a lot of excess wood lying around from past projects. So, I measured that pesky opening in the stair rail and cut the wooden boards down to make a rectangular box that would cover it perfectly. Screwed all of the pieces together. Covered the holes with some wood putty. And Stained and Painted some cute stripes on it. Finally I sealed it with a polyurethane spray to protect it from the elements.

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My original plan was to make it into a flower bed. But, I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is. And I knew my son would inevitably dig in the dirt and ruin it anyway. So, with that in mind, I decided to scratch the live plants idea and fill it with rubber mulch. It’s fairly inexpensive, relatively un-messy (compared to actual dirt) and perfect for your truck obsessed little ones to plow and dig in for hours of fun.

Hudson and Holland have both used it daily since we introduced them to it and I no longer worry about impending doom from falling off of the balcony. It’s a win win! This idea is also a wonderful alternative to a sand box, in my opinion! Let me know if you give it a try!

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