Build your private kingdom in the sand -- how long can your sand castle withstand the tides? Find out with this "Building Sand Castles" activity.
Sandcastles are fun. You can make them as small and simple or as large and complex as you like. If you start your castle soon after high tide, you will have all day before the tide returns to sweep your work away.
What You'll Need:
- Digging tools (stick, small shovel, big metal spoons)
- Pails of many sizes
- Plastic food containers of various sizes
- Beach debris
Step 1: Find a place on wet sand near the high-tide mark and begin. Mark the size of your castle. Use a stick to draw a ring in the sand.
Step 2: With shovels, spoons, or other digging equipment, dig a moat around the castle and pile the sand in the middle of your circle.
Step 3: Wet the sand with sea water until it can stick together. Pat it down firmly, then use your digging tools to carve it.
Step 4: Cut away paths and courtyards. The remaining high mounds will form your towers. Leave a wall around the castle on the inside of the moat.
Step 5: Sculpt towers and chimneys, using buckets and plastic containers as molds. Fill the container with damp sand, pack it down, turn it over, and slap the sides until the molded sand comes out.
Step 5: Gather up shells, sticks, kelp, or other debris and construct castle inhabitants. Bulbs of kelp can be the heads of knights and maidens. Driftwood sticks tied together can be horses. Colored pebbles and beach glass (check for sharp edges) might be jewels in a treasure house.
By the time the tide rolls in, your castle should resist the waves unless it is submerged completely. Return the next day and see if your castle survived.
Keep reading to learn about the fascinating creatures you can discover on the beach.