- 1 large sandbox or boxed-off area in your backyard
- beach sand (enough to fill the box or area plus some extra)
- 1 pool or baby pool (size-appropriate for everyone)
- beach towel for each person
- cooler with drinks and lunches
- sunglasses for each person
- sunscreen or sunblock lotion
Creating Your Backyard Beach
Step1: Forming Your Backyard Beach Shore
To make your beach shore, you will need to fill your sandbox or boxed-off area with beach sand. Beach sand can be bought at retail stores that sell gardening supplies. It is also sold at many home improvement warehouses, such as Home Depot. If your city has neither of these, you may want to ask someone at a local hardware or garden store. It can also be purchased from gravel and rock manufacturers as well as from playground manufacturers. Beach sand is readily accessible.
Keep in mind that in order to create the full effect, you are going to need a large amount. You will want to fill a space that when full, the whole family can spread out onto comfortably. When filling your area, make sure to get the beach sand as high up as possible. You want your surface to rise at least 2 feet from the ground. The reason for this will be elaborated on further in the water section. If you cannot find something that is this high, you can purchase a second baby pool that is 2 feet high and fill it with the sand. Save enough beach sand to line the entire bottom of the water pool 2 inches high. Line the pool bottom with sand before filling it with water.
Step 2: Creating Your Backyard Ocean
The pool will serve as your ocean. It should be placed directly in front of your shore. It is helpful to get a square or rectangle-shaped pool, but not necessary. The square or rectangle-shaped pool will align better with the shore and create the best mock beach. The sides of your pool should be 2 feet high to match the height of the shore. Most standard baby and family pools are 2 feet high. After aligning your "ocean" as best as possible to the "shore", you will need to fill the bottom 2 inches full of sand. Pack it tight. You may need to add a small amount of water to make it firm. Once that is done, fill the pool with water to the desired fill line. If any sand is clouding the water, let it settle before swimming.
Step 3: Setting Up For the Day At Your Backyard Beach
A day at the beach usually consists of playing in the sand, sun bathing, swimming, and eating packaged lunches. For the full effect, pack your cooler with everything you'll need and put it in the sand. Lay out all your beach toys in the sand. Do not forget anything in the house. Do not use the house for anything but a restroom. Lay out your towels on the sand as you would at the beach. Spend the day playing in the sand, lounging in the sand, swimming, and doing what you would normally do at the beach.
Maintaining Your Backyard Beach
If you enjoyed using your backyard beach, you will want to utilize it more often. If you bought a pool and sandbox with a cover, this will be easy. If not, there is still hope.
The first step in maintenance is to get a toy sand sifter or kitchen strainer and sift out all the grass and other large residue. Once this is done, put a small amount of chlorine in your pool to disinfect the germs. If your family cannot tolerate chlorine, vinegar is an alternative. It will likely take an entire gallon of vinegar. Pour it in the pool and let it sit for at least a few hours before swimming in it again.
Repeat this after each day of swimming. Cover the pool and sandbox after cleaning and adding the disinfectants mentioned above. If you don't have covers, tarps also work well because you can cover the areas. Then with sticks or stakes, you can secure the corners to the ground. This will keep out leaves and other debris.
The water will likely need to be refilled at times because as people play in it, some will naturally get lost. Evaporation also takes some water. Remember that whenever you have to refill your water, you will also need to add more vinegar or chlorine. Always check the labels on the chlorine for proper amounts. For the vinegar, if you can smell it very strongly, you have used too much.
The sandbox in your backyard beach may need to be sifted through for debris to keep it clean. Always keep it covered when it is not in use. This will keep neighborhood animals, as well as your own, from using it as a restroom or digging it up.
*Note that this content is for informational purposes only. Please check with your health provider and use your own discretion when it comes to health, safety, and sanitary practices.