Sand castles are so much fun to make. I recently came across this way from Smmart ideas to make sand castles harden once they are dry so you can keep your creation a while longer.
You begin mixing together equal parts of corn starch and water (I used 1 1/2 cups of each) over low heat in a pan that you don't mind getting scratched up a bit. Then I slowly added sand to the mixture while constantly stirring until the mixture became thick enough that the sand was moldable. I think I used about 6 cups of sand. I wish I would have made a bigger batch, I just didn't have enough corn starch on hand to do it.
Then I took the sand outside along with some plates, cups, cookie cutters and fun beads to let the kids begin with their creations.
Maisy started out just spooning sand onto her plate and patting it down. I think she wanted to make a sandy base, but I had to have her start all over again because there just wasn't enough of the sand mixture to allow her to do it that way.
I really had to help Mina figure out what to do. She is so used to playing in the sand box, but this idea was new to her. I think she would have known what to do in the sand box, but with this set up she needed a little more direction. I ended up making the tiny castles for her and she had a ball just decorating them.
Mina's creation before she just decided to squash it flat...
Yep, she just wanted to remind me that it's about the process - not the end product.
This is Lou's creation complete with party picks, beads, tiny sea shells and Hello Kitty charms.
Maisy was pretty excited about her sand castle - it looks a lot like her sister's. I can't wait to see what kinds of things Maisy will create once Lou is back in school. She likes to mimic her older sister quite a bit, but she takes on such a different role when she is the oldest child at home.
We left the castles outside overnight to dry and in the morning they were hard as a rock. Once the sand was dry the decorations didn't stick so well to the sand, but nothing a little glue won't fix. I think we will do this again next summer with a larger batch of sand. It would be a really fun activity to do on vacation or with sand that is brought home from a vacation also.