How to Build the Perfect Sandcastle

daveCamping Activities

Stopping at the beach on your camping trip? Besides relaxing by the water, one way to spend your beach day is playing in the sand. Follow these steps to build the perfect sandcastle.

What you’ll need:

  • Shovels
  • Small and large buckets
  • Pencil
  • Shells/feathers/driftwood pieces found on the beach


Use wet sand

In order for sand to form into the perfect castle including towers and moats, it must be wet enough to stick together. If you don’t add enough water, your towers will come crashing down before they’re even finished. A good way to make sure your sand has the water it needs is to gather water in multiple buckets and have them ready when you start building.

On the other hand, adding too much water will cause your castle to slip out of place. The key here is to form the perfect ratio of sand to water, mainly through trial and error. Once you get the perfect consistency of sand, you can start building.


Build a foundation

Dry sand is very loose and can be a shaky ground for your castle. Before you start building your sandcastle,  make sure it has a sturdy foundation to rest on. You can do this by tracing out a circle and digging a passage around where your castle will stand. Then, add water to the sand in the middle and pack it together until it’s stable.

Make sure your foundation is flat enough for your castle to stand tall. You may want to smooth it out with your shovel or your hands. After the groundwork is laid out, it’s time to start building!


Add towers

The main part of your castle is the towers which stand will stand the tallest. To begin, start filling your buckets with the sand-water mixture. You can use buckets of different shapes and sizes to give your castle a more varied look. Place your buckets upside down on the foundation to build up your castle empire. You can put them as close together or as far apart as you want.

After your castle is done, you can use a small shovel or a pencil to carve in some details. For example, you can add windows to the towers or give your castle a made-of-rocks appearance.


Add other elements

Other parts of the castle include walls, bridges, stairs, and rivers or moats. Walls and stairs can be made be sculpting sand in the shape you want, then using a shovel or pencil to add detail.

To make a river, use your shovel to carve out a passage surrounding your castle. Although it may dry up fast, you can pour water in the passage to keep your river realistic.


Be resourceful

Items you find on the beach such as shells, feathers, pieces of wood, and rocks can all be used to add a special finishing touch to your castle. A feather may be a flag or a shell may be a pathway to your fortress. The most important part of your sandcastle experience is to have fun!

If you feel up for a challenge, get inspired by theses images from the annual American Sandsculpting Championship held each year in Fort Myers.