Sunday, October 13, 2013

Building Sandcastles

There isn’t one person out there that doesn’t have a memory of a childhood beach vacation where they built sandcastles. That is, unless you’ve never been to the beach and if you haven’t, you are so missing out on a great time!

It is believed that the ancient Egyptians built sand sculptures. They did this to create a model for the actual building they were going to construct. Although there is no actual documentation on this, it sounds pretty realistic as Egypt is predominantly sand!
You really don’t need a lot of things to build a sandcastle or sand sculpture. Buckets or pails of various sizes will be necessary to form a base for your castle. Smaller cups from Solo cup size to medicine dosing cups can also be helpful if you wish to make your castle a little more interesting. Plastic forks, knives, spoons, toothpicks and dental floss are useful if you want to make some elaborate designs on your sand creation. A small shovel will be needed to get the sand into your bucket and will prove important if you are planning to surround your castle with a moat!

Dry sand will never hold the shape of your container. It is essential to add water to the sand. Professional sand sculptors suggest mixing eight parts of sand with one part of water for best holding power. Be careful that the consistency is right because if it is too wet, you will create a landslide on your sand sculpture.
Most people just get to the beach and start building their sandcastles all willy-nilly. Why not do a little planning the day before your trip to the beach? Kids especially are going toe enjoy this because all kids love drawing and they will go to sleep that night dreaming about sandcastles.

Although professionals spend weeks or months designing what they will build, the average beachgoers won’t need to dedicate that much time to planning. Just grab a piece of scrap paper and start drawing a design. Don’t go crazy your first time out. Keep it simple so you will be able to successfully build your castle. Too many details will potentially lead to failure.
The key to building sandcastles is patience. Start with the base. This will be created by using the larger containers. Once your base has been set, you can begin to add other levels and tiers in your design. Be very careful to put levels on slowly so your entire castle doesn’t tumble down!

Once you have the tiers added, you can begin to create designs on your sandcastle. The spoon is perfect for making gingerbread style designs on your castle. Do not push the spoon into the sand too far or you will cause sand to erode. The knife can be used to create straight lines. Using the fork, you can trail across your work for a neo-classic style look. The toothpick is awesome for doing any freestyle type of embellishments such as swirls, zigzags, circles or anything you can imagine. Professional sand sculptors use toothpicks to sign their names to their work.

It doesn’t matter how detailed or elaborate your sandcastle is, the important thing is that you have a great time building it!


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