Indoor Sandbox

One of the things Emily misses the most about Spring and Summer is playing outside in her sandbox. I created an indoor version that was a big hit for both of my girls. You might already have an inflatable pool (most likely it is hanging out in the garage for the winter). We brought ours inside and Mark used the air compressor to blow it up quickly….

Instead of sand, we used oatmeal. Lots and LOTS of oatmeal! I love using the oatmeal instead of sand because I did not have to worry about Clara eating it, and it is much easier to clean up. You can find large containers of oatmeal at the dollar store or places like Big Lots. This pool used about $14 worth of oatmeal to fill it up.
The girls played in here for several hours, and we will use the empty containers for future projects. When they were finished we dumped all the play oatmeal into a large plastic bin (to use for more projects) and deflated the pool.
It was great to see them enjoying this so much! Just a few shovels, funnels, and cups kept them very entertained.


  1. Infant Bibliophile says

    What a fun idea! If he wasn’t allergic to oatmeal (well, wheat, but oatmeal isn’t considered safe unless it’s a special “gluten free” one and that would be WAY too expensive!), we’d totally be trying this.

  2. Elephantschild says

    We have a large under-bed storage box filled with about 15 pounds of dry rice which I bought at Sam’s Club for about $10. It sits out on our covered front porch all summer. Spilled rice gets swept into the garden (no dead birds yet!). In the winter, I haul it down to the basement laundry area. The dry rice smells good and is soothing to dig in with your hands.

    My daughter is now 6 and she still hasn’t out-grown it!

  3. They look like they’re having a great time! Good job.

  4. Wow, I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I Love your idea. My children liked a lot to play in the sand box at school and I always think to make one in my house but never do it. This is a great idea!!! but so bad is late for me and my children they now have 18,16,12, and 10 years, but probably I will use this in the future, so bad I didn`t knew about this before.
    Ana Isabel (Quito. Ecuador)

  6. Oh wah, no comment from Mark.
    Every time I think about doing one of these I remember the mess I cleaned up in my crafting room from a small sandwich tub of that, and I change my mind quickly.