What is a Sand Shovel?

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  • Written By: Kathy R
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2019
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A sand shovel is a simple tool that uses leverage to help a person move sand from one location to another. It typically features a handle and a scoop similar to that of a spoon. This scoop may be round or square. Sand is usually moved when someone presses the scoop into sand and applies force to the handle, this downward motion combines with the force of gravity, causing the sand to push back with equal force and rise up onto the scoop.

A common type of sand shovel is the children's shovel. Kids' sand shovels come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Many shovels like this are made of brightly colored plastic, and may come with a bucket. These tools may have a scoop that is flat, rounded or pointed in the middle like a spade. Kids' shovels often have square handles so that very young children can use them without difficulty.

Kids use these shovels to dig for fun or to put sand into molds, which can come in many shapes, such as castle turrets. Some children also use a sand shovel to pick things out of sand, such as seashells, instead of scooping up the sand itself. Using tools like this can be a good way for young children to develop their hand-eye coordination.


In previous years, a child’s sand shovel was often made of metal. Modern plastic shovels are considered by many people to be safer, because risks of injuries, such as cuts, are lower. People looking for old, metal children's shovels may find them at used or vintage toy shops. There are some toy companies that still make metal children's sand shovels.

There are also large plastic children’s sand shovels. These are often about the size of the average adult work shovel, and styled like the type used for heavy digging. Many children like to use these tools for playing on a larger scale, such as digging a large hole or burying someone in the sand.

There are also sand shovels made for adults. This type of tool is often sturdy, to lift heavy shovelfuls of sand, and is similar in appearance to a snow shovel. Rather than using them for fun and play, adults typically use them for construction-related work, because sand is often used in building projects. A sand shovel is also used to transport sand to a desired location, such as into sandbags or wheelbarrows.


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