How to Build a Sand Castle
Building a sandcastle is a time-honored summer tradition. Constructing one can be a fun group activity at the beach or a great way to while away the time in the backyard sandbox. Professional sandcastle builders make it look easy, but it takes a lot of skill to make a genuinely great one. Follow the how-to instructions below to make your piece of beach real estate.
1. Find good sand. Believe it or not, the quality of the sand is essential when making a castle. The best sand is not the type you’d find on a flawless white beach; what you want is dirtier, heavier sand.
2. Have water handy. Even if you’re in the backyard and not on the beach, you’re going to want to keep some water nearby. You can’t make any sturdy stand structure without wet sand.
3. Create a strong base. Get all of that dirty sand wet and start making a base for your castle to stand upon. It shouldn’t be too wet, but if it’s too dry, it will just dissolve. Pile up some wet sand, then get ready to make a foundation.
4. Practice run. Before you make the main structure of your castle, it’s a good idea to make a few smaller pieces. Use a small bucket or even a sizeable Duplo-type block to test out the sand, make sure it’s the perfect mix of wet and dry, and be sure it’s going to stand up once you take the mold away.
5. Start building. Fill up with wet sand, whatever mold you’ve chosen to use as the main castle building. Level it off, and slowly turn it upside down on top of the base you’ve created. SLOWLY pull the mold off the sand. This point is crucial: if you move too fast, you risk losing some sand and upsetting the structure.
6. If you’re happy with the start of the castle, add more sand structures around it with differently sized molds, following the how-to steps above. If you have people helping, this is a great activity for them.
7. Last but not least, make sure to dig a moat around your castle. You don’t want any invaders ruining your hard work. Add flags (sticks of wood), minarets (more sticks), and maybe a dragon or two.
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