Who would have thought playing in sand perfects artistic, math, and science skills? Making a sandcastle is one of the quintessential beach activities. To build an impressive structure, you need a little planning and a few tools. Here is a short guide and reading list to help with the construction.
Gather your Supplies
Of course, a bucket and a shovel are the classic tools for sandcastle building, but experts also suggest putty knives, spoons, spatulas, pencils, and brushes. You can use a variety of items to create the perfect details.
Location is key when building a beachfront property. Hard-packed sand is ideal for construction, but the tide can wash away all your hard work in an instant. Take a look around, assess whether the tide is coming in or headed out before mapping out your location.
Mix the Perfect Construction Sand
The ratio is very important – one part sand to one part water. Dry sand will crumble, and a soupy mixture will never hold its shape. One expert suggests digging a well in the sand to be able to pull water out and mix the perfect sand.
Start the Build
It is helpful to plan your design and make sure that the base structure is sound enough to carry the weight of the castle. Mix up a big pile of sand to create a large mound and begin building your base. Fill your buckets with sand to turn over and create towers. Use your tools to shape the walls, cut out the windows and decorative details, or add a bit of texture.
Now that you are done enjoy your castle. You never know when it will be washed away!
If you can’t get to the beach or a sandbox, here is a reading list that will sharpen your building and critical thinking skills.
The Fort on Fourth Street
When a young child decides to build a fort in the backyard, Grandpa comes forward to help. But they can’t do it alone—they get help from the six simple machines: lever, pulley, inclined plane, wheel and axle, screw, and wedge. Told in cumulative rhyme, similar to The House That Jack Built, readers follow the building process to completion and discover the surprise reason it was built.
Newton and Me
While at play with his dog, Newton, a young boy discovers the laws of force and motion in his everyday activities. Told in rhyme, Lynne Mayer’s Newton and Me follows these best friends on an adventure as they apply physics to throwing a ball, pulling a wagon, riding a bike, and much more. They will realize that Newton’s Laws of Motion describe experiences they have every day, and they will recognize how forces affect the objects around them. The “For Creative Minds” educational section includes: Force and Motion Fun Facts, Matching Forces, Who Was Newton?, and Newton’s Laws of Motion (2 of 3). Additional teaching activities and interactive quizzes are available on the Arbordale Publishing website.
Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant
How much does an elephant weigh? How do you know? How would you know if you didn’t have a modern scale? Six-year-old Cao Chong, the most famous child prodigy in Chinese history, faced just this problem! Chong watches as the prime minister’s most trusted and learned advisors debate different methods. The principle of buoyancy and a little bit of creative thinking help this boy come up with a solution.