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August 6, 2022  |  Baby & Kids

Everything you need to build next-level sandcastles with your kids

Building sandcastles is the quintessential beach activity for kids of all ages and a cherished pastime for many adults. Kids run back and forth from the water to the beach, gathering their beach toys and dumping buckets of sand. But, while it’s fun to watch the little ones attempt their masterpiece, nothing’s better than hearing them ask for help building the ultimate sandcastle. 

Most adults have years of experience building sandcastles with a realistic tower and maybe even a moat. These skills honed from your own childhood and the right supplies are sure to impress the kids in your household today. 

How to build a sandcastle

Design your masterpiece

If you have a bit of a drive to get to the beach, start designing your sandcastle. Ask everyone about their favorite part of a castle and try to incorporate each element. Figure out if it will be a single structure or multiple buildings. Does everyone have their own job, or is everyone helping with all the components? Once you iron out the details, you’ll be able to get started as soon as you arrive.

Find the perfect location

There’s nothing worse than a wave knocking down your nearly finished sandcastle. So, before starting on your sandcastle, be sure to pick the perfect location. Find somewhere far enough away from waves, so you don’t have to worry about the water destroying your castle, but close enough that you’re not transporting water too far. Also, keep the weather in mind. If it’s too hot and sunny, you can set up a beach tent or beach umbrella over your location to avoid sunburns.  

Create the foundation

The foundation or base of your sandcastle is the most crucial component, as it will support the entire structure. To build a solid foundation, you want to build up a mound of sand as tall as you want your castle. The key is to ensure your sand is saturated with water and that it’s tightly packed. So, add sand, dump water, pack it down and repeat until you reach your desired height. 

Start from the top

Now it’s time to start carving out your basic structure with a plastic knife or putty knife. The key to this step is to start from the top since the sand will fall on everything below. A paintbrush makes a great tool if sand falls on a tight area. Also, carve away the sand in thin layers. You can always take away more sand, but it’s hard to add.

Add details

Once you have the main structure, it’s time to start adding details, such as stairs, the tower roof, windows or a brick pattern. During this final step, opt for smaller tools, such as a tiny paintbrush or the thinnest putty knife.

Products you need to build next-level sandcastles

Hape Beach Essential Sand Toy Set

Hape Beach Essential Sand Toy Set

This set includes a smoother tool, a shaper tool and a digging paw, which are all ideal for perfecting any sandcastle. All pieces are made from high-quality plastic free of bisphenol A, polyvinyl chloride and phthalates. With an included mesh carrying bag, it will be a breeze to carry to the beach and clean up after a day of building.

Sold by Amazon

 

Matty's Toy Stop 16.5 inch Wooden Mini Sand Shovels

Matty's Toy Stop 16.5" Wooden Mini Sand Shovels

A ton of sand is the most important part of a sandcastle, and these shovels will help you gather more sand faster. It has four shovels in unique colors, so there won’t be a fight over sharing. The 16.5-inch length is perfect for the beach, and the wooden handle is durable enough to handle big building jobs.

Sold by Amazon

 

Mac Sports Heavy Duty Collapsible Beach Wagon

Mac Sports Heavy Duty Collapsible Beach Wagon

Getting to the beach with all your supplies and kids may be the most challenging part of the day. With this beach wagon, you’ll be able to effortlessly transport your sandcastle building supplies and refreshments for the day or anything else up to 150 pounds. Plus, it folds up small when you’re done for convenient storage.

Sold by Amazon

 

Top Race Collapsible Bucket

Top Race Collapsible Bucket

Since kids can't haul huge buckets of water back and forth, these half-gallon pails are perfect for allowing the little one to enjoy the sandcastle building. They are collapsible and can be folded into three unique sizes or about 1 inch thick for storage. They’re also dishwasher-safe and able to be used for multiple purposes.

Sold by Amazon

 

Hape Beach Toy Hand Digger

Hape Beach Toy Hand Digger

Building sandcastles is about having fun and getting dirty, and this hand digger is the perfect way for kids to enjoy themselves. The deep scoop is great for digging deep holes or transporting water and can be used by kids as young as 1 year old. It’s made of child-safe materials and a nontoxic finish.

Sold by Amazon

 

Home Depot 5-Gallon Bucket

Home Depot 5-Gallon Bucket

Whether you’re transporting water, sand or your castle sculpting tools, a 5-gallon bucket makes every task effortless. It is made of durable .70 mil plastic and has a plastic grip over the steel wire for comfortable handling.

Sold by Home Depot

 

Anvil Plastic Putty Knife

Anvil Plastic Putty Knife Set

While plastic putty knives aren’t something you usually see on the beach, they're actually the perfect tool for taking the details of your sandcastle to the next level or smoothing out walls. It includes three sizes, including 1.5-inch, 3-inch and 6-inch widths. While it’s made of durable plastic, the top is slightly flexible.

Sold by Home Depot

 

Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

Pro Grade Paintbrush Set

If you’ve ever seen a professional sandcastle competition, you’ve probably noticed an array of supplies, including a paintbrush. A paintbrush is versatile and ideal for brushing off extra sand or adding a smooth finish to your castle. This set comes in five sizes to tackle any job.

Sold by Amazon


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Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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