Monday, May 18, 2009


About a week and a half ago, our nature group went on a wonderful Nature Day to the beach! We have a member who builds sand castles - and she offered to teach us! We had at least a dozen families attend this wonderful event.

Above is the castle Ms. Dawn built before we arrived. She would teach us the basics of building towers, building arches, building "balls" (I'm not sure what to call them, but they are on the tops of the towers), and carving.

Ms. Dawn first demonstrated how to build using the dribble method. Basically, you get some really wet sand and just dribble it out of your fingers. The water in our gulf is REALLY dirty looking, but Ms Dawn said all of the silt helps to act as a glue and is great for sandcastling!

Next, she showed us how to build a tower. You start by picking out your location (it helps to know when high & low tides are!) and digging a hole -with a big yard shovel! Then, she uses what is called the pancake method. Basically, you have a trench and then a big hole where you mix sand and water like pancake batter. Then, you use your hands and drop "pancakes" - one on top of the other. That's how you build your tower!

Here's Alexandra with her little shovel and pail. I borrowed a big shovel to start our sandcastle. Oh, and we mixed in seaweed with the sand to make it stronger!

Alexandra and I went with some friends, Mrs R and her daughter HorseRider. The girls and I built the center tower in this photo, and that's almost all we did. Then, the girls were off to play in the water! Mrs R added the balls to each tower. I carved the door and I think we both helped carve the sides of the tower. (You use things like kitchen knives to carve!) Then, I added the stairs.
Mrs R really enjoyed herself and carved this neat face on the side of our castle. She worked for several hours on our castle. I walked around talking to the moms and looking at all of the neat critters the kids were finding - fish, shrimp, even a live clam!

Here's a photo of Alexandra playing in the water.

And, this is a castle that a family spent several hours building. The dad really got into this and had a lot of fun. I think he has a new hobby!
Unfortunately, I was afraid of ruining my camera so I took my daughter's instead (since it would be cheaper to replace). Well, for some reason, it wouldn't take any photos! (Though it is working fine now.) So, I've gotten some photos from my friends -but they emailed them and they are smaller than usual. I hope to get some full-sized photos soon.


Dana said...

Oh, what a fun day! Your sandcastle turned out great!

PS I'm praying that you find your first nest discovery really soon!

live4evermom said...

Looks like a blast!


Rhonda said...

Great sandcastles! Those arches are something I know that I could not have made. They would have collapsed on me every time.

Robin said...

That is so cool! I've always wanted to learn how they do that. Great post!

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