This part of the building process is an adventure in itself! Start gathering decorations before you leave home and continue once you’re at the beach. Since you have your design, discuss what sorts of things you want to include in, on and around your sand castle.
Make a list. For example, if you want a flag for the castle, what materials do you need to construct it? Do you need seashells or rocks to decorate your archways and bridges? Let your imaginations run wild as you explore your home and then the beach for hardware and décor.
Give your kids a small cardboard or plastic box so they can collect interesting materials for the sand castle. Lollipop sticks, interesting stones, feathers, sticks and shiny gems are all great ideas!
Another option is to create a scavenger hunt with items for your kids to find throughout your home. You can also gather the items at home and have your kids hunt for them, along with natural items, once you get to the beach.
Remember, if you bring lots of accessories to decorate your sand castle to the beach, take them home with you when you leave.
Once you have your design, tools and decorations, it’s time to build your sand castle, so head out to the beach or other sand-filled location.
When you get there, scout out the perfect location. Ideally, build your sand castle in a place that has easy access to water, but is far enough away from any encroaching tide.
Once you choose your location, build a large, flat base, so your castle will be stable and secure. A full-sized garden spade is useful for this step.)
Mix your sand with lots and lots of water for the best composition. Pour the water into the sand, stir until it’s fully saturated, then let it drain and pat and mold the sand into the shape you want.
Water is the key to successful sand castle building. Most sand castle experts recommend you use one part water to one part sand. Always keep your sand wet and allow it to drain before compressing and sculpting.
After you have your base, build your towers.
Finally, connect the towers with walls, doorways and arches.
Once you have your basic structure, bring out your carving tools and start carving out the details for your castle.
Here are some carving basics:
Carving allows you to create the design touches that’ll really make your sand castle detailed and unique.
Smooth out the exterior of the castle and carve out brick designs or tunnels. Also add doors, windows and staircases. Carve your names into the castle and/or decorate the walls with drawings.
If you want, carve out a smooth slide around your castle. Then drop a small ball into it and watch it roll down and around your creation!
When your castle shape is to your liking, add the decorations. Then admire your masterpiece.
The most important thing to remember when you construct your castle is that perfection is overrated.
Just have fun! And take photos so those memories last a little longer.
Some Final Thoughts…
The perfect sand castle lies not in how grand it looks or how expertly you carve the exterior walls, it’s in the fun you had with your kids throughout the building process.
Yes, you want your kids to have the most awesome sand castle ever! However, remember that imagination can smooth over any cracks in walls or wonky towers. Make it a team effort and you can’t go wrong.