Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The old boat sand pit or as it's being called on Pinterest, the sand box!


After writing the guest post for Carolyn I have received numerous emails asking about the boat sand pit/box.  The photo I posted of the boat is apparently very popular on Pinterest...



Before I even had children I had daydreamed about creating a play area that involved an old wooden boat.  As a child I adored many books that involved boats:

 "there is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats" (Ratty, The Wind in the Willows) or sailing to the end of the earth with Reepicheep and Prince Caspian in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (my favourite of all the Narnia series), or  playing pirates with the Walker and Blackett children in Swallows and Amazons and who wouldn't have wanted to run row away to The Secret Island?  One of Enid Blytons' first and possibly best books.

This early love stemming from children's books combined with my love for anything vintage and nautical and well, it is just simply something that I have always wanted to do.



So where did we get the boat from? Well, my aunt (technically my ex-aunt but she is still very much part of our family) and her husband live on the water.  Their garden is lovely green rolling lawns that wind down to a private sandy beach. After storms all sorts of debris washes up onto their little beach and they are then responsible for disposing of it. Often they find old tenders (or small row boats) washed up.  Naturally as soon as I wanted one there were none to be found.  However, the universe provided, one washed up on a nearby beach after a storm and remained unclaimed.  After waiting several weeks for an owner to materialise we nabbed it.  It was definitely not sea worthy anymore, so perfect to be re-purposed into a sand pit for my little pirates.  If you don't have access to a beach where boats might randomly wash up, try ebay and also the tip.  I have often seen old boats at our local tip, we do live near the sea though.




Do they play in it often?  In winter, yes.  In summer, not so much.  We have a pool though and in summer they spend a lot of time in the water.  In winter though they use it a lot.  Not just as a general sandpit for digging, trucks and the construction of elaborate waterways and dams. But also to play pirates and sailing around the world type imaginative games.







It is unique and I adore it.  I find the standard sanitised backyard play items available for children these days so boring.  An old boat, surrounded by sand, in a ring of old sandstone pavers truly is an enchanting and wondrous place for a child (or childlike grown ups!).

22 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more Emma,
    I love this sandpit, it's sooooo much better than anything you can buy at the shops!!! ;o)
    Tania xx

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  2. My kids would love this- great for their imaginations!

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  3. Its completely lovely. They sure are lucky little pirates.
    Carolyn

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  4. How fabulous - feeding their imaginitis with such a such a wonderful prop in the garden and no doubt memorable stories at night before bed! Rx

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  5. Just new to your blog and love it ! Gosh when you mentioned The Secret island by Enid Blyton that sure took me back. It was the first Enid Blyton book I ever read as a small child (apart from Noddy) and started me on a life long love affair with her books and reading in general.

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    1. Hi Lyn, Glad you love the blog! Do your write one I couldn't access your profile to check if you did? I would love to come and visit yours if you do. The Secret Island was possibly my favourite Enid Blyton ever but very few people seem to have read it. Most people are more familiar with the Faraway Tree series and of course the Famous Five/Adventure/Mystery and Secret Seven series. Emma x

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  6. Love your sandpit boat very very much. We have a tip shop here in Briz and I saw several boats like this last time we went. I have never read The Secret Island, will try and find a copy. I was a hard core Famous Five fan though. Roboboy and I have just finished The Naughty Amelia Jane books and are onto The Wishing Chair. melx

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    1. Oh I was obsessed with the Famous Five as well! So obsessed that I have an almost complete collection of first editions with dust jackets. x

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  7. it's fantastic!! pinning right now.
    x

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  8. I had dreams of a boat for playtime in the yard too after seeing a similar idea in blogland, not as a sand pit as you've cleverly thought of, more just as a fun piece for imaginative play. However, I love your idea even more, as it provides more scope for play. You have such great ideas Emma and I loved seeing more photos... x

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  9. Sharing this to Face Book
    Carolyn

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  10. That is amazing! No wonder it is so popular on Pinterest!
    Baby C has access to sand pit at child care and so I thought that we wouldn't bother at home...but now I am inspired and want to see what we can come up with!

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    1. Love to see what you do come up with! x

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  11. Oh Em. *Sigh*. What a winner. I must show this to Mr PB. And what a score for you - well done! J x

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  12. Wow. I'm not sure whether to show these pictures to my 4-year-old or not, he might die of envy (we're having a pirate-themed birthday party in a few weeks). Also, I just read your profile and am so glad to find another blogger who loves the 1950s AND Enid Blyton (although, given my name I probably didn't need to tell you that. Oh well. Thanks for visiting, by the way :)

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  13. Hi Emma, Thanks for visting me at my blog! I'm so happy you did as now I have found yours. I absolutely love your sand boat! It's so cool, my boys would love it! Looking forward to following you :) Jo x

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  14. That boat sandpit is so very cool and perfect to let little ones imaginations run wild. I really love it and such a simple but clever idea. xx

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  15. Just showed my boys your sandpit and they have fallen in love and asked for one at our new place when we move. Need to show it to dad now, I think he would want it too.

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  16. Hi Engracia, Let me know when you move and I will keep an eye out at Kimbriki for you. I see old boats there quite a lot! x

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  17. I am seriously in love with this boat sandpit!! Great job! We are having a pirate party at our house on Sunday - can we change location to your place??

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  18. Hi Emma

    I am also an Aussie Mum running a blog, chictoshore.com.au. I am writing a blog entitled "Boat in the Backyard" and would love to feature your boat sand pit in it. I just wanted to check you were happy for me to use one of your photos, I would obviously refer our readers back to your site.

    Thanks
    Melanie

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