|Facing The Waves |
Originally uploaded by LaserGuided
Building Sandcastles is Serious Business
What drives kids to build sand castles? According to my Bean "it's just fun to do." But there is more to it than that. Kids can create something three dimensional, which gives them a great sense of accomplishment. Plus, it's easy to fix or redesign if a mistake is made.
Kids naturally gravitate to building things with sand, so not much instruction is required. But if you really want to make one that will last, there are some basics you need to know.
Tools You Will Need
- Sturdy shovels and rakes (not those flimsy plastic ones)
- Different size and shaped buckets and containers
- A spray bottle to keep the sand moist as you work
- Sticks, plastic knives or a chisel to draw detail like windows and doors
- Items to use as decoration like shells, leaves, stones, grass, etc.
Tips for Building Sandcastles ( thanks to Creative Kids at Home)
- Use wet sand, but not too wet. If you are mixing dry sand and water, try using 8 parts sand to 1 part water. You need just enough water to "glue" the sand together, but not too much.
- Don't start too close to the water's edge.
- Push or shovel all the dry sand out of the way. Start building on a large flat area of damp sand.
- If you are using a bucket to shape blocks for your castle or sculpture, be sure to tap and jiggle it a few times before you pack down the sand. It will help to release trapped air that can ruin the mold. Pack the sand down and completely fill the bucket before you turn it over to un-mold it.
- To build a tall tower, use the "pancake" method. Use wet sand to make the first level of the tower. It should look like a pancake about one inch thick. Make sure the is large enough. Continue making and stacking pancakes until your tower is the height you want.
- Carefully shape and draw on the sides of your sculpture using sticks, pointed rocks or even the edge of a trowel.
- Make walls by using wet handfuls of sand. Using both hands, scoop up as much wet sand as you can hold, gently press your hands together to squeeze out excess water and place the resulting sand clump where it's needed to create your wall. Continue stacking clumps until your wall is complete. High walls need to be thick at the base and should narrow as they rise higher.
- Arches start out as a wall, but then you tunnel through them to create an arch. After your wall is built, gently tunnel your way through at the base. Then enlarge and shape the opening into the form of an arch by shaving off thin layers of excess sand. Plastic knives, butter knives, or putty knives all make ideal shaping tools.
Be sure to check back tomorrow. To celebrate being half way through the Challenge, I'll be featuring activities from other families participating in the Challenge!