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Sandcastle Building: A Vacation Tradition

A Cape Cod sandcastle masterpiece!

When was the last time you built a sandcastle? Cape Cod beaches are a great place to get creative. All you need is a bit of time and imagination. Mother nature provides everything else that’s necessary. If you want to get fancy you can use plastic forms to build blocks, turrets.

Don’t limit your sand structures to castles. A quick web search for “sandcastles” reveals amazingly artistic and sometimes eye-popping results straight from imaginations that know no bounds.

There are several tried-and-true sandcastle-building basics you’ll need to know before you get started:

Build on a day that’s a bit cool, overcast and not too windy. Hot, dry, sunny and windy weather will make it more difficult to keep your creation damp.

Work just above the high-tide line. That’s where the sand will have the proper amount of moisture and there will be less chance of the tide coming in and claiming it before it’s finished.

If you want to be really scientific about building a sandcastle, plan to:

Use eight parts sand to one part water if you want to be really scientific in your approach. That will yield a consistency that holds its shape.

Keep a hand spray bottle nearby as you work. Mist the structure frequently to keep it moist as you continue to work.

Amazon.com lists several books about making sandcastles. These received the best reviews:

Sandcastles Made Simple: Step-by-Step Instructions, Tips and Tricks for Building Sensational Sand Creations by Lucinda Wierenga.

Sandcastles for Everyone: How to Sculpt Castles, People and Animals at the Beach, Lake and Sandbox by Todd Vander Pluym.

If video how-tos are more to your liking, head over to YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of options to view.

Building sandcastles is a Cape Cod vacation tradition the entire family can enjoy.

We’d love to see photos of your masterpieces!

(Photograph: redbookmag.com, photo by Robin Lehr)

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