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How Much Sand Is Needed for Turtle Sandbox? (Answered)

Children have always been keen on playing in the sand whether it be digging, building, sifting, or just simply making a mess. Sandboxes are amazing tools that aid children’s development as well as give them the freedom to have fun outdoors.

The turtle sandbox is a variant that comes with its own protective lid and molded seats, which makes it a popular choice among parents who are concerned about keeping the sandbox clean for their kids.

If you’ve already got your turtle sandbox, all that’s left to do now is fill it with sand. We’ll walk you through how you can calculate the amount of sand and everything else you’ll need to fill your sandbox before the next playdate comes around. Read ahead find out more.

How much sand is needed for a turtle sandbox?

The amount of sand needed for a turtle sandbox depends on its particular dimensions. Medium-sized sandboxes such as the one from Little Tikes require 50 pounds of sand for an inch of depth. It can hold up to 150 pounds of sand with a depth of 3 inches.

Cubic feet of sand:

The first step towards figuring out how much sand you’ll need to fill up the sandbox is to measure its dimensions. Since turtle sandboxes come in a circular shape, measure the diameter from one end of the sandbox to the other.

Next, divide it by 2 to find the radius. Once you’ve got it, all you need to do now is calculate the volume of sand you’ll require based on how deep you want it to be.

The volume= (3.14 x r2 x depth)

For example, a sandbox with a diameter of 4 feet that needs to be filled 1 inch deep requires,

(3.14 x 22 x 1/12) = 1.04 cubic feet of sand

Pounds of sand:

1 cubic foot of sand weighs approximately 100 pounds. So, you’ll need about 104 pounds of sand to fill up a turtle sandbox that has a 4 feet diameter of up to an inch.

The weight of the sand may differ based on what kind of sand you use. Play sand is the most common type of sand used in sandboxes and it usually comes in fifty-pound bags. 

Bags of sand:

Each bag holds about 0.5 cubic feet of sand and you’ll need at least 2 bags to fill it up with an inch of sand.

When measuring the dimensions of your turtle sandbox, make sure to measure it from the inside as opposed to from the outside as it can skew the results of your calculation. 

Some manufacturers only mention the dimensions of the entire sandbox which includes the plastic exterior as well.

When it comes to choosing the depth of the sandbox, you need to take your child’s age into account. Children aged 1-2 years should have at least an inch of sand to play around with.

On the other hand, 3-year-old children prefer the sandbox to be a bit deeper. It’s recommended to have 2 inches of sand for children in that age range.

Children aged 4 years or more should have at least 3 inches of sand to play around with. This ensures that your kids can play in the sandbox and be creative without making a huge mess all around it.

How big is the turtle sandbox? How deep should the sand be in a sandbox?

You’ll find that not all sandboxes come in the same size. Because there are several sizes of sandboxes out in the market, they vary in terms of how much sand it takes to fill them.

Here are some of the different dimensions of the most common sandboxes:


This sandbox is the smallest variant of the turtle sandbox and is 39.00” L x 43.50” W x 7.75” H.


The medium-sized turtle sandbox is very similar to the small one in terms of length and width. However, it has more depth than its smaller counterpart. The dimensions are 38.75″L x 43.25″W x 12.00″H


Last but not least, the large sandbox holds almost twice as much sand as the small one. This option is 47″W x 47.5″L x 16″H in terms of size.

Regardless of the length and width of the sandbox, it’s generally recommended to not fill it up too much as that increases the chances of sand falling out when the kids are playing.

Depending on the age of your child, the sand in the turtle sandbox should be anywhere from 1 to 3 inches deep.

The recommended amount of sand needed for Little Tikes green turtle sandbox:

The Little Tikes green turtle box is the face of turtle-shaped sandboxes in the market. Its wide range appeal comes from the fact that it has an impressive design that is both functional and popular with kids.

It has a dimension of 38.75 L x 43.25 W x 12.00 H. However, bear in mind that these dimensions include the plastic exterior as well. Measure the insides with tape. 

In order to calculate the exact amount of sand you’ll need; you can use the following formula to measure its volume:

(3.14 x r2 x depth)

The recommended amount of sand that it can hold up to is 150 pounds. We’ve created this chart to give you an idea of how much sand you’ll need to fill the sandbox based on your child’s age:

Age Amount of Sand Depth
1-250 Pounds1”
3100 Pounds2”
4+150 Pounds3”

What kind of sand should I use for a sandbox?

When it comes to choosing a type of sand to fill up your sandbox with, you should look for one that is non-toxic and a silica-free mix to ensure that your kids remain safe when playing. You can also choose sand based on factors such as differences in colors, moldability, texture, etc.

Here are a few things that you should pay attention to when choosing the type of sand:


There are three types of sand that are commonly used in sandboxes. These are natural sand, processed sand, and kinetic sand. The cost can vary from type to type.


Natural sand tends to be more coarse than processed sand. Kinetic sand has the softest texture of the three which makes it easier to mold, shape, and cut without water.


You can find sand in an assortment of colors based on what you’re looking for. This mainly comes down to personal preference.

Is all-purpose sand safe for sandbox?

All-purpose sand is usually washed and sifted several times to reduce dust levels. As a result, the sand is coarser than your typical play sand in terms of texture. It’s generally not recommended to let kids play with regular all-purpose sand in the sandbox.

Difference between play sand and regular sand: 

Play sand on the other hand is much finer than all-purpose sand and it’s also tested more rigorously for chemicals. Not only are the grains much finer than regular sand, but it’s also less likely to contain anything that could harm your child. 

This is why play sand is generally recommended more for use in sandboxes compared to regular sand.

Where to buy sand for the turtle sandbox?

You can find play sand in bags of fifty pounds in most toy stores. Besides the obvious option, you can also find them in home improvement stores. Most supermarkets have a home improvement section that usually features play sand.

If you’re out of options, you can always order it online. However, you might need to pay additional delivery charges for it in that case.

What can I use instead of sand in a sandbox?

When it comes to filling up your sandbox, sand isn’t the only option at your disposal. Here are some of your alternatives if you want to fill up your sandbox with something else:

Round Gravel or Pebbles:

Small pebbles and pea gravel are great options if you want to avoid bacteria growth or mold. Bear in mind that the rocks need to be rounded so they have no jagged edges.

Crumb Rubber:

If you’ve got a bit more money to spend on your sandbox, you might consider investing in crumb rubber. It helps break falls but comes at a higher cost.

Can you put water in a sandbox? Can you use the turtle sandbox as a pool?

You can easily turn your turtle sandbox into a little kiddie pool for your child to splash around in. Filling it up with water and draining it is quite an easy process.

However, make sure to dry it properly before filling it up with sand again so it doesn’t get moldy.

Final Thoughts

To sum it up, the recommended amount of sand required to fill a medium-sized turtle sandbox up to an inch is 50 pounds. Depending on the dimensions of your particular sandbox, the amount of sand needed to fill it up is the same as its total volume which is equal to (3.14 x r2 x depth) in cubic feet.