So, you want to build a snowman? That may be difficult in Florida, but not impossible. Why not try a sandcastle instead?

In many areas of the country, the final school bell has chimed to let students know their summer vacation has arrived. For thousands of families with school-aged children, the extended break poses a new challenge: How to cure summer boredom.
If you’ve already exhausted’s list of 101 summer activities for kids, and have checked off every item on our summer bucket list for teens, might we provide another suggestion? A family trip to the beach!

There are many activities at the beach well suited for every family member, and sandcastles are a great example. Particularly enjoyable for the little ones, sandcastles combine creativity and architectural design elements. It’s an activity that is both fun and intellectually stimulating!

Sand castle on the beach

Ready to build a sandcastle? For those who may have been snoozing through childhood, we have provided a refresher course.

7 easy steps to building an awesome sandcastle:

1. Gather

As is the case with any project, it is helpful to gather the right supplies ahead of time to assist you in your efforts. We suggest a pale and shovel for starters, but there are thousands of options out there if you’re ready to take your craftsmanship to the next level.

2. Stencil

Use a shovel to outline the area on which you plan to build your masterpiece. It doesn’t have to be perfect (mistakes build character!), but stencil the shape to start depicting the outline of your castle in the sand.

3. Dig 

The more sand the bigger castle… or so they say! Start by shoveling the sand that surrounds your initial outline and pile the sand on the middle ground. Don’t worry about padding it down quite yet. You’ll have plenty of time to smooth it over.

4. Water

Using a pail or bucket, gather water from the ocean and toss it over your growing pile of sand to dampen the foundation. Then, using the outside of a shovel or your hands, gently mold the castle to the desired height and width.

5. Build

Fill your bucket three-quarters up with sand. Pour in a bit of water and flip the bucket on top of your chosen location. Gently tap the sides of the bucket, then remove the bucket. Refine the edges with your hands or shovel.

Sand Castle Palace

6. Carve

Whether you’re building a snowman, sand shark or royal castle for your kingdom, a bit of carving will be required. Take your time – patience is key! Add details to ensure your masterpiece is a success – driftwood and seashells make great additions as well.

7. Smile

It’s important to remember that a masterpiece made of sand is not permanent, so remind your kids to smile through the process. If you’re sandcastle gets trampled or knocked over by a wave, simply laugh it off! Having trouble wiping away the tears? Try this: Challenge your kids by asking them if they think they can build an even better one.


A 2012 survey found that 52 percent of survey respondents worldwide are expected to visit the beach for a vacation this summer. We’re not surprised by the findings. With endless opportunities for enjoyment and plethora of beaches from which to choose, families with children of all ages can enjoy a trip to the sea.

Have you built a sandcastle recently? We’d love to see your pictures and learn your tips! We invite you to share your ideas with us in the comments below.