28. Castles in the Sand

sandcastleYou may snicker at the thought of building castles in the sand as something special to do on the Outer Banks but you might be surprised.  Sand castle building is certainly something that can be enjoyed by the whole family and can become an amazing project. Read on to discover more!

Sand castles can vary from a youngster scooping up a bucket of sand and turning it upside down to ornate designs that challenge the imagination. World wide competitions have pushed this art to extremes.

Gather your tools, which come mainly from the kitchen, and you’re off to a good start! Bring a shovel for scooping and packing, different size buckets for shaping towers, a two-by-two stick for tapping out air, a paint stirrer for sketching and smoothing, straws for blowing excess sand away, measuring spoons or a melon-baller  for making windows, an offset spatula and plastic knife for carving, and larger buckets for hauling water and building.

Draw an outline in the sand to show all your “construction workers” where the castle will stand. Shovel sand from outside the lines into the middle to make a mound. Pack the sides of the mound with the shovel to the height desired and leave a big bowl in the top to hold water.

Fill the bowl with water to moisten the mound. Let the kids jump in the bowl to tamp the sand. Add more water, then more jumping and tamping, until the bottom of the bowl is even with the top of the pile or everyone falls over in a giggling heap.

Here’s where everyone can add their creative touch! Use the various size buckets to make towers on the top of the mound. Then sculpt the towers and the base section with the tools you brought to make windows, doors, walls, etc. You are limited only by your imagination.

Sand castle building is a great way to spend time creating something unique with your own hands from your own design! Make sure you have a camera to save the creation for your book of family memories before the tide sweeps it away!