Building sand castles with my brothers is one of my favorite memories of childhood. There is something spiritual about building a sand castle that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s a lot like any other art form. Creating something from nothing is a magical experience no matter what medium you choose – especially when done outdoors.
The best part about building a sand castle is that the reward doesn’t come from how extravagant it is – the experience of building it is always the same. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, how big it is, or how long it takes to build it. The only thing that matters is getting outside and connecting. Connecting with nature, connecting with family and friends, and most importantly connecting with God.
All you have to do is look at my daughter in the photo below to see something special taking place. This was her first sand castle, and I didn’t want to blow it by telling her how to do it, or that it needed to be bigger, or that she needed to do anything other than what she choose to create on her own.
All I did was demonstrate how to use the few sand toys we had, not that you need any at all. My brothers and I created sand castles with our bare hands and the things we found on the beach to decorate them with.
After I built a few castles silently as she watched, she knocked them down just like any kid would do. Once they were gone she wanted more so I told her it was her turn, and that’s when the magic began.
Get Outside & Connect Activity Week # 29 – Build a Sand Castle
This weeks Get Outside & Connect activity is to build a sandcastle. You can build one at the beach, playground, or sandbox. If you go to a playground make sure you bring water if there is no bathroom or water fountain to get water from. Don’t forget a bucket for the water, other sand toys, and objects to decorate with if that interests you.
Allow your children to make one as simple or complex as they choose. Often this depends on the age(s) of your child(ren) and how much experience they have with building sand castles. Making one for them doesn’t allow them to get creative. Do your best to guide them towards their own creation.
Keep first experiences simple and open to free play. Sometimes our little ones can get hurt or feel like they are not good enough if we are not careful about what we say or do. The goal is to show them how to do it, and then let them build one in their own way. If they don’t make one, don’t force it. Just try again another day.
Older child(ren) may want to learn how to make a more complex castle. Below I have provided some links to some amazing tutorials on how to build sandcastles if you want to make things a bit more interesting.
- How to Build a Sandcastle from Martha Stewart
- Build the Best Sandcastle with Tips from the Pro’s by Robin Lehr on Redbook
- Secrets of Super Sandcastles by Sarah W. Caron on SheKnows
- How to Build a Sandcastle by Teresa Coppens on Hubpages
Building sand castles is a wonderful activity for kids. It provides a valuable sensory experience, and the opportunity to get creative. Build one today!
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the power of the imagination, learning through play, making this world a greener place to live, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…