Today's break time is Fantastic Sand Castles. Most of these, if you have the time and inclination, can be built by the sand castle do-it-yourselfer.
Click to enlarge photos.
A tip on building fantastic sand castles yourself, next trip out to the beach, courtesy of Sand Castle Central:
First - a few words about "what makes sand stand." The secret to throwing sand up in the air and convincing it to stay there long enough to be carved into something spectacular is compaction. There are three ways to compact sand: "softpack" is the most intuitive: pack and pat moist sand into a mound that roughly resembles the shape you are envisioning. "Handstacking" will help you reach greater heights in altitude while letting water and gravity do the compacting for you. But if you want to "go big", then you will want to give forms a try. Serious sand sculptors usually use a combination of these three methods.
One more tip from Sand Castle Central, this one about a tool you'll need:
You will definitely need a shovel and you might do your back a favor and consider your options carefully. That fold-up army surplus number might look inviting, but short handled shovels are no fun if you plan on moving a lot of sand.
We like long-handled shovels with small scoops. Our local Walmart carries a line called "Real Tools for Kids" that are just about perfect for a day's excursion to the beach.
For more pics and sand castle building tips and tricks, try the folks over Sand Castle Central.
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