In October of 2005 Family Fun had a reader submit an idea for a portable sandbox. The dad, Bob Tomecek, had four kids, two of which were involved in sports. He and his wife always had difficulty watching the games because the little ones were bored. His solution allowed the little ones to play so he and his wife could cheer on their siblings.

Here’s how you can regain sanity at outings involving your kids and the great outdoors. You just need to purchase a plastic container with a tight fitting lid, Sterilite makes a great plastic tote with a handle, pictured above. For sand you have a couple of options, you can purchase white playground sand from the home improvement store (a 50 lb. bag will most likely last you a whole year) or you can get fancy like some moms and buy colored sand (much more expensive). As I’m sure you can imagine the sand does not stay in the box forever so you will need to fill your container back up every so often. Last, you just need to get a few small toys; shovels, trucks, empty plastic bottles, and spoons. Depending on your container size, you can keep it in your trunk for the entire soccer season. Not only would it be great for sporting events, but outdoor concerts, camping and even dining at outdoor restaurants (just make sure your kiddo doesn’t dump the whole container out).

You can make a larger version for your home with an under-the-bed storage container. This version will allow your kids to play on rainy days in your basement or garage. It will also guarantee poop-free sand from your neighborhood cats.

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