Treasure Sandboxes, Two Ways

Pan for Gold Sandbox (5)

After digging for dinos and enjoying a pretend day at the beach, it was time to turn our homemade sandbox into a gold mine! We played around with this idea in two ways, first as a diamond mine and then panning for gold.

For the diamond mine, I gave each of my kids a paper cup with a handle to collect any treasures they unearthed.

Diamond Mine Sandbox (1)

Ideally I would have used pipe cleaner handles, but we’re all out! Floral wire worked in a pinch; just make sure to twist any pointy ends safely away.

Diamond Mine Sandbox (3)

I buried four “gems” from our dress-up box in our container of sand and pebbles. Each kid got a shovel, and the digging began!

Diamond Mine Sandbox (2)

Veronika seemed unsure at first, until big brother Travis joined in. He loved searching for a glint of treasure.

Diamond Mine Sandbox (7)

Veronika preferred rinsing off the glittering finds in a little bowl of water on the side. This was simple but good fun in the sunshine (you’ll notice we’ve moved the sandbox outside).

Diamond Mine Sandbox (4)

For the second version, it was time to pan for gold. This time, I painted a few pebbles with gold metallic paint. Toddlers will love helping with this step!

Pan for Gold Sandbox (1)

Let dry completely.

Pan for Gold Sandbox (2)

In the afternoon, I buried the “gold” in the sandbox and set out sand sifters instead of shovels.

Pan for Gold Sandbox (3)

Ours are in fun animal shapes, though it would be more realistic if you have classic circular ones. Once again, we had a dish of water on the side to rinse off any gold nuggets the kids discovered.

Pan for Gold Sandbox (4)

Surprisingly, this didn’t hold their attention for long, but perhaps they were all mined out!

Diamond Mine Sandbox (5)

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