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St Nicholas CE Primary School

How to build an amazing sandcastle!

How to build an amazing sandcastle!

You Will Need:

  • Paper and pencil for castle design
  • Spades and/or shovels
  • Buckets
  • Carving tools from your kitchen (straws, spatula)
  • Castle decorations
  • Sand
  • Water


1: Design Your Sand Castle

To make the best structure possible, involve your family in every step of the process.

Start with a design session at home before you head to the beach.


2: Gather the Right Tools

Before you head to the beach, select the right tools. It can make your life so much easier once you start to build your sand castle.

The right tools will make all the difference. 

The most important tool is a lightweight shovel. Shovels with wooden handles are great, because they are less likely to crack under the strain. However, for little hands, go with a traditional plastic spade.  In addition, you’ll need at least two buckets: one to carry water and another to mix the sand and water.


3: Create Your Sand Castle Decorations

This part of the building process is an adventure in itself! Start gathering decorations before you leave home and continue once you’re at the beach. Since you have your design, discuss what sorts of things you want to include in, on and around your sand castle.

Make a list. For example, if you want a flag for the castle, what materials do you need to construct it? Do you need seashells or rocks to decorate your archways and bridges? Let your imaginations run wild as you explore your home and then the beach for things to use. Check out my 'how to make a pinwheel' activity too!



4: Build Your Sand Castle

Once you have your design, tools and decorations, it’s time to build your sand castle, so head out to the beach or other sand-filled location.

When you get there find a good place to start building. Ideally, build your sand castle in a place that has easy access to water but not too close to the sea!

Once you choose your location, build a large, flat base, so your castle will be stable and secure

Mix your sand with lots and lots of water for the best composition. Pour the water into the sand, stir until it’s fully saturated, then let it drain and pat and mold the sand into the shape you want.

Water is the key to successful sand castle building. Most sand castle experts recommend you use one part water to one part sand. Always keep your sand wet and allow it to drain before compressing and sculpting.

After you have your base, build your towers.

Finally, connect the towers with walls, doorways and arches.

Once you have your basic structure, bring out your carving tools and start carving out the details for your castle.

Here are some carving basics:

  • Start at the top so that any loose sand doesn’t spoil carving you’ve already done.
  • Use a paintbrush or straw to brush or blow away unwanted sand.
  • Go slowly as you carve, since it’s not that easy to replace the sand if you make a mistake.

Carving allows you to create the design touches that’ll really make your sand castle detailed and unique.

Smooth out the exterior of the castle and carve out brick designs or tunnels. Also add doors, windows and staircases. Carve your names into the castle and/or decorate the walls with drawings.


Watch this video to find out more sandcastle building tips!

How to build the ultimate sandcastle!

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