Val’s Crafty Corner — Simple Sand Structures

Ambassador Badge 2013This idea for crafty fun is brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen.

Enjoy crafting with your kids!

When we visit the beach, my kids love playing in the sand and can spend an entire afternoon building huge sand structures and sculptures! On those days when a trip to the beach isn’t possible, they’ve found a great way to keep themselves entertained by making simple sand structures in the sandbox. They are quick and easy for even little sand architects to build!

To make your own, you will need a simple sand mold (we adore the Seaside Sidekicks Brick Building Sand Toy, pictured below) because it comes with its own trowel, is very easy to use, and it’s super cute too! For our simple sand structures, we made flags to add as a finishing touch to each one, and the various colors made it easy for the kids to distinguish one building from another, or for decorating sand cakes too. We wrapped some colored electrical tape around some swizzle sticks to form the flags, and then trimmed the tape with scissors. So simple, they were done in less than a minute!


Next, it’s time to build your sand structures! You will need some sand that is slightly wet. Once I demonstrated to the kids how to fill the sand brick mold, then flip it over to make buildings or …. whatever else they wanted to make, they quickly caught on and ran with the concept to make many different sand structures!


Decorate with your flags however you would like! My youngest thought it was great fun to place ALL of the flags into a single brick of sand!


As they continue to play, your kids may discover more interesting ways to decorate and enhance their structures. It didn’t take long for my oldest to experiment with pieces from the Speck Seahorse Sand Ice Cream Set to form a simple turret roof!


Using the tip of the trowel to form simple doorways is great practice for developing fine-motor skills too. You can even dig out moats and fill them with water!


Building sand structures with the kids is such a great way to teach them about patience (there are no short cuts here), architecture, balance, form, and the relationship between cause and effect. It’s also a LOT of FUN!

Quick Tip — sprinkle baby powder or corn starch on skin that has sand on it, brush it off and the sand is instantly removed. Great for the beach or sandbox!

Valerie Deneen is the author of Inner Child Fun, where she inspires parents to spend more quality time with their kids, and less money doing it. Inner Child Fun celebrates simple pleasures for all ages—with more than 1,000 frugal and creative projects sure to bring out the “kid” in you too! Follow Valerie on Twitter or say “Hi” on Facebook.


This post was created for our Summer Fun Calendar series. Click for more info.

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