I remember vividly my first beach trip with a toddler. We had traveled for almost 24 hours to get to the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. I was terribly nauseous with morning sickness (all day sickness for me) and exhausted from chasing a two year old, who had recently given up naps, around four different airports.
This trip was also the first time I realized that my days of relaxing in a hammock and reading a book on the beach to “decompress” were over. My son was irresistibly drawn to the crashing waves that would inevitably knock him flat on his face, and he simply loved to make a game of hiding his Thomas trains in the sand. Thank goodness for my enterprising husband. Not one to sit around much himself, he started something that would become a beach trip tradition; he began to build a sandcastle around our son. To my absolute delight, this sandcastle managed to keep this active toddler entertained and occupied for hours on end. In the years to come, as my husband made improvements to the sandcastle design, these castles also became a refuge from the waves and an excellent source of shade.
Should you be interested in starting your own beach castle tradition, here is, according to my husband, how you make an awesome sandcastle.
1. Location. Location. Location. You want to be close enough to the waves that they occasionally create some screeches of excitement, but not so close that they wipe out your castle/fortification with “an act of God”.
2. It’s all about the base. Extra time should be spent on building a wide and solid foundation so that the castle can withstand a little battering.
3. Get dirty. Better than any sand shovel are your two hands for molding and shaping a great castle (and you can just jump in the water to wash off after).
4. Be courteous and fill in large holes when you are done (kids love smashing down a castle just as much as building one). You don’t need some tipsy tourist breaking their leg in its remnants while off on an evening stroll.
Here are just a few of our creations.[slideshow_deploy id=’14409′]
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