Project: Gravel Box

Project: Gravel Box

I built a gravel play box in the backyard over the three day weekend for the boys. I wanted them to play outside more, but quickly realized that there wasn’t much to do. I added a swingset for them last summer but it became clear that they needed another option. Since we’re constantly asking them to stay out of our mulch beds it made sense to give them somewhere to dig around in and play with their construction toys. I first thought I’d install a sandbox but people cautioned that this would be a mess and something they ultimately regretted putting in their backyard. I chose gravel instead.

The gravel box measures 10 X 10 feet and has roughly three inches of pea gravel spread throughout. I used brackets to secure the corners and then added some longer bolts to enforce the joints. I used lumber that I removed from our deck pergola to build out the frame so this saved some money. I have a few pieces left and I think I’ll cut those into 2 foot boards and fasten them at the corners for seating.

I used gardening mesh that was rated for the type of material I put on top of it. I stapled it to the frame but have now ordered landscaping spikes to fasten them better. It took me 18 bags of pea gravel because that looked like it would be easiest to play Tonka trucks in. I really wanted to find the same kind of material that Animal Kingdom uses for the “Boneyard” but couldn’t find it anywhere. I did rinse the pea gravel first in a wheel barrow and poured off the muddy water so it wouldn’t be so filthy. This did clean it up some.

Aesthetically speaking I’m glad I painted the frame black. It makes our yard look a little more “designed” that way. The plan is to build a play area over top of it so it’s covered from the sun and evened out better. I’ll also add more pea gravel. My initial math on how many bags I needed given the volume of stones I wanted was accurate, but I probably need to double the depth after watching them play in it more.

 

Gravel Box Project
Gravel Box Project
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