Going to the beach is always great fun for all the family, and there are so many things to take part in whilst you are there. But one of the most popular activities to do when on the beach is to build a sandcastle, and this isn’t just an activity for the kids.
Although building sandcastles with your children is excellent for bonding and interacting with them, there is also the option to build a sandcastle of your very own. But whoever is joining in, one of the most crucial things is that you have a good idea about what exactly, you are going to build.
In this article, we are going to be looking at some fun and exciting new ideas for those who are new to the world of sandcastle building. If you are looking for inspiration, then you have come to the right place.
Building Your Sandcastle
The best place to begin is with the very basics, so we will start simple and take a look at how to build a basic, but impressive sandcastle that can be done by the whole family.
Before you begin you will need to make sure that you have the correct equipment, here is a list of what you will need.
- Small bucket
- A stick of any description
- Measuring spoons
- Large bucket for carrying water
- Plastic utensils for carving
Now you have all of your things, you can get started on your castle. This is a great one to get the kids involved with as it is easy but also looks amazing when it is finished. Just follow these simple steps.
Begin by using your stick to mark out in the sand where you want your castle to stand.
Now start digging outside of the marked out space and pile the sand up within it. You will want to make the pile about as high as you envisage the castle being.
Once you have your sandpile, begin patting away at the sides with a shovel to create the walls. Pack the walls with sand and you should end up with a ‘bowl-like structure.
Now it is time to fill the structure with water but don’t forget to pour some around the outer edges as this will stop it from becoming weak and collapsing.
Now it’s time for the kids to have some real fun. Have them jump in the water to really pack the sand down at the bottom whilst you keep adding more water and more sand until it rises to the top.
The sand/water combo should be quite solid by this point and you can now fill a large bucket with more sand and use it to create a ‘tower’ on the top (this can be done using the traditional, basic method you learned as a kid-fill, turn upside down, tap and remove the bucket.)
Now comes the real exciting part-designing your castle to make it unique. Use the smaller buckets to add turrets and additional towers, you can do as many as you wish.
You can then use your measuring spoons plastic utensils to carve out windows and bricks, or whatever design takes your fancy.
Tips For Building A Great Sandcastle
We have all been there trying to build a sandcastle but it just keeps falling down and things keep going wrong, so we give up and reach for the beach ball instead. But with a few easy hints and tips, building a sandcastle doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.
Work as a team -This is especially important if you are building a larger castle. Allocate tasks to each person, and make sure that everyone knows how, when and what to do, you will see your castle taking shape in no time at all.
Pre-plan your design -If you know beforehand, the type of sandcastle you want to build, you can spend more time attending to the actual building once at the beach rather than spending ages mulling over the design. The day before going to the beach, have the kids get out their pens and paper and get creative!
Decorate!-Another great way to get ready for building your sandcastle, and another wonderful family activity, is to seek out decorations for your sandcastle, perhaps turn it into some sort of scavenger hunt.
You might use leaves, twigs, shells, flags and anything else that you can imagine there is no limit to what you can create.
Carve with caution -When it comes to the carving part of the build, you should always begin at the top, this way falling sand will not damage any lower carvings that have already been made.
Using the correct tools is also important, you can use the plastic utensils that we discussed earlier as well as things like straws for blowing away sand, a melon baller for making windows, paintbrushes for removing sand or a spatula to create notches and ledges the key is to be delicate and to take your time.
Sand to water ratio -If you use too much water, the sand will turn to mush, however using too little will cause the sand not to stick properly, therefore it is important that you use just the right amount of water.
A good tip is to use equal parts but err on the side of caution and use more sand, you can always add more water should you need to.
Sandcastle Designs For Beginners
Now that you are fully armed with your newfound sandcastle knowledge, we can take a look at some interesting designs that you are going to love to try.
How about building an animal rather than a castle? There are many popular designs such as crabs, fish, mermaids and many more. Simple build your sand pile and then shape and carve until your creature comes to life.
See how big you can go in just one day, can you build a sandcastle that the whole family can fit inside?
A great project is to build a sand village. Begin with your castle and then start to create smaller buildings around it.
Do you have a message that you would like to share with the world? ‘Save our oceans’ or ‘Keep the beach clean’ might be popular messages that you can carve intricately into your sandcastle design.
Have you considered adding a moat to your castle? Simple dig a stream around the entire perimeter of the castle and fill it with water. Just remember to make sure that you leave a bank to support the castle as this will stop the structure from slipping into the moat.
Give your castle a theme. You could create a princess castle, a wizard’s castle or a royal castle. Let your imagination run wild and carve out a castle that passers-by won’t forget in a hurry.
Just Keep Building Sandcastles
There are so many great sandcastle designs that you could come up with, and no two sandcastles are ever the same. Building your first castle can feel like a real accomplishment, especially when the love and craft of the family have gone into its creation.
Why not step up your game next time you’re at the beach and try building your own unique sandcastle.
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