Sand Castle Building
Sand castle building is one of the most exciting things to do for children as well as adults. Any day on the beach is incomplete without these pieces of art on the sand and no matter who we are and what we do, we've all built these little sand castles at some time or another, during our days on the beach. While recreational sand castle building is still quite popular around the world, a whole new dimension has been thrown into the hobby with the introduction of professional competitions and more.
Today, sand castle building is considered an art-form where the process of building a structure from sand has taken mammoth proportions, both in terms of size and also in terms of detail. The contribution of specialists in the hobby has ensured that sand castles are a lot more beautiful to look at. That has brought in more people and a simple look at different kinds of sand castles is enough to bring families out onto the beach.
Introducing Children to Sand Castle building
The world of sand castle building is fascinating to a child as they see their hard work go into creating some incredible structures out of nothing but sand & water. This process is simple and doesn't require much equipment either. A simple plastic pail and spade will do the job for a child. These are enough to collect the sand while the water needed to harden it is available in plenty, from the ocean.
If you are looking to add details to your castle, then you can bring along a few tools to give it different shapes or you can simply buy containers in different shapes and use them for the project. Not only does sand castle building aid your child's creative senses, it also helps develop motor skills, improve hand-eye coordination and gives them a sense of accomplishment as they go about planning and building their sand castles. Moreover, it's a great way for families to spend time together, building these sand structures and having fun out there.
Building the Sand Castle
There are two ways of building a sand castle - the first is to use wet sand, place it in a container to give it shape and place it on the ground before carving some design into it. The alternative is to make a sand castle by dripping sand and water down onto the ground.
When building sand castles by the traditional technique, you need to pack down sand as hard as possible and the sand needs to be quite wet when you're doing this. As long as you have everything clumped together and wet, there aren't too many things that can go wrong. Make sure you drain out any excess water though, because that can cause a vacuum and make it hard to get your packed sand out of the pail or bucket. This is why professional sand sculptors always make their own customized equipment for sand castle building, the kinds that help drain water out easily.
Once you've packed the sand it and poured plenty of water into it, pack it down and you are all set to go. To get your regular supply for water, you can consider digging a hole near your castle location so that you don't need to keep making those long trips to the water and back. Keep at it until you have a semblance of some structure out there, waiting for you to start the carving process and add more detail to it.
The drip-technique involves creating a thick mix of sand and water and holding it in your fist while allowing the sand-water mix to slowly drip and fall to the ground. That mix will keep piling up and if its thick enough, it will allow you to add shape to your sand castle. This form of sand castle building is more natural and unconventional, giving your hobby a whole new dimension.
Alternately, you can use the hand-plopping technique as well, ensuring that you don't need tools or pails to do the job. You can just use hands to mix sand & water before picking it up with your hands and just shaping it as you go along. This format is more similar to sculpting with clay but requires a lot of work and practice before you can get it right.
Sand castles can be as elaborate or simple as you want them to be and in terms of a hobby, it is rather restricted to those who live near beaches. Local parks, with sand pits, may not allow you to bring in the kind of water needed to pack the sand in so you might end up with nothing but dry sand. However, if you happen to live near a beach and are interested in sand castle building, then you have a whole world of opportunities waiting ahead for you.