Since we live in a rural area, with lots of room to romp and play, one of my pet peeves is how to keep at least of modecom of cleanliness around our otherwise empty nest. After the top had been left off of our nice, neat plastic sandbox and the garden kitties had decided we had somehow supplied them with a deluxe outdoor litter-box, I decided it was time for a change. We dumped the sand (the cats might as well take it over) and thoroughly washed the sandbox. The freshly clean sandbox was then placed on the porch, right beside my swing. Next my daughter purchased some brightly colored glass 'jewels' which we scattered throughout. After providing shovels, sieves, and buckets we had a jewel mine for the grands! Fortunately there is something of interest for both boys and girls. Eventually, I also purchased small trucks, graders and excavators and, voila, there was a new favorite spot for playtime!
During extremely hot weather, when we don't want to venture to the larger pool, I also fill the sandbox with a few inches of water...not enough to require hair-drying (except for Rachel, the resident 'mermaid') but a great way to cool off and enjoy a bit of water.
When playtime is over I simply replace the lid, and the toys along with the treasure of jewels, disappear into a neutral hiding place. Repurposing also makes me feel really smart and frugal!