For those of us lucky enough to grow up near a shore, we were most likely given a little plastic pail with it’s accompanying shovel and left to figure out how to make a sand castle.
If you were like me, you put sand and water into said pail, turned it over onto the beach and banged the bottom hoping a little pail-shaped block of sand would remain standing when we lifted the pail off. It was a joyous thing when it worked. Mostly, however, we came to expect that some of the sand would break off and remain in the pail. And even if we did get that little pile of sand to stand, then what? That plastic shovel wasn’t much of a carving tool, so we were left to try to get more little pail piles to stand or go play in the water.
Today, I see many kids at the beach with a new take on the conical pail – the “castle”, or “turrets-on-the-bottom,” pail. Despite the change in molding, the technique most children use remains the same: water, sand, turn over, bang, lift, wash…rinse…repeat…and wait to see what remains standing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
The science is against us in this method as there is no air to allow the wet, compacted sand to slip out of the form easily. Whatever form you use should be open on both ends. This allows for you to easily slip the form off and have a standing pile of sand. I didn’t learn about this simple trick until I was almost 50 years old!
I know it sounds simple, but time and time again, I notice many newcomers run into this same issue. I, myself, was guilty of over-packing my pails for a long time. I didn’t actually learn about this simple trick until I was almost 50 years old! Now I’ve made it my mission to pass along this and many other simple tricks and tips to sandcastle up and comers, so that everyone has a chance to build the beautiful sand sculptures they see in their mind’s eye.
Whenever I am providing my sand sculpting lessons and folks see how easy it is to make sand “stand up,” there is always a shared look of amazement across their faces. Especially those of us of a certain age who feel slighted for not having been shown this earlier in our lives.
Don’t wait until you’re 50 years old to master the art of the sand. Give me a call or use my contact form to reach out to me and set up an appointment for a family sand sculpting lesson! That way you, too, can learn the easy secrets of making sand “stand up,” how to carve and shape sand into beautiful designs and sculptures, and much, much more!