Summer is almost here, and I am sure you plan on spending at least a few days down at the beach. Why not learn how to build a sandcastle that will keep your kids occupied for a a large portion of the day?
A few weeks back we went to the beach and stumbled on a professional sandcastle builder working on this masterpiece for a boy, asking a girl to marry him. Of course we sat and watched, for about 2 hours to be exact. It was amazing, and the builders were nice enough to give us some great tips. I am going to pass them on to all of you OC Family readers.
The first thing the builders told us was that it is important to have the right tools so you don’t get frustrated. We spent the next day after school roaming the isles of Lowe’s searching for tools that were similar to the professional’s arsenal at the castle building construction site, on a budget of course.
All of the following items were purchased at Lowe’s by me.
A large bucket to store everything in, and to transport water back and forth, you will need lots of water.
Smaller sized plastic buckets that we cut the bottoms off of with a razor blade.
Putty knives for carving walls, roofs, and stairs.
Paint brushes to brush away loose sand off larger areas.
Vinal tubing to blow into windows or small holes to get rid of loose sand.
And then we made one last stop at Michael’s for these specific tools for carving details in our castle.
Our tools in the sand….
First lesson is consistency. Dry sand does not stick to itself. There is probably a great science lesson here, we skipped that whole lesson, and just went with it. Your sand has to be wet and HARD PACKED!!!!!
Step 1: We made a huge pile of sand, close enough to the water to get more, but far enough away to avoid the rising tide destroying our castle. We kept pouring water on our pile, and simultaneously stomping on on the pile to make it hard packed. Our pile was about 2 feet tall with a moat (where we got a lot of the sand).
Step 2: We placed our BOTTOMLESS buckets of various sizes onto the mound of packed sand and packed them with wet sand. We poured a little water on top of these to be sure they were wet, and did some pounding with our fists and shovels.
Step 3: Once we made sure they were wet and firm, we slipped off the bottomless buckets one at a time and began our carving.
You can even Pile smaller sizes on top of the larger ones, but I recommend taking off the buckets slowly as you are ready to carve. The smaller putty spatula works great for carving stairs into your pile of packed sand.
Step 5: Using your oil paint palette knives, carve windows and doors into your towers. We found the best results when you carve a small portion at a time and brush or blow the excess sand away. When you are done, adorn with mermaids and drink umbrellas (optional).
Well this is actually not our castle right here, but we used it for inspiration.