Last week, we got a personal lesson in sand castle building from Sandman Matt Long, star of The Travel Channel’s hit show, Sand Masters. The Golden Inn, of Avalon, NJ, hosted Sandman Matt and our blogging bunch for a day filled of sun, surf, and tons…. tons, and tons of sand!
The number one lesson we learned? Like so many projects in life, it all comes down to having the right tools.
And patience, I suppose.
Here are some tips for sand castles we learned from Sandman Matt Long.
Tips for Amazing Sand Castles
Wet the Sand!
Wet sand packs the best. If you think your sand is to wet, wet it some more! Depending on what beach you are on, each sand type will have its own saturation point. You can’t wet the sane enough, but you can have too little sand, so make it wet! Put your sand in your bucket, add water, swish it around with your hand to ensure everything gets wet, add more and repeat.
Pack It Tight
The tighter you pack your sand, the better you are. Pound the sand with your hand, flip flop- whatever you got! Get the kids into it and pack it tight.
Build it Big
When you build your base, think of the sculpture as something you will take away from… not add on. Start with a giant block that is wide and tall, and use your tools to take sand away – not add on.
Get The Right Tools
This is important! The right tools can help you really craft something special. Sandman Matt sells his own “Can You Dig It?” tools on his website, as well as a special, sand packing bucket that has a unique design to allow optimal sand packing/wetting (a 2-gallon bucket! Any parent who has been sent back and forth to the ocean for water will appreciate this!)
We were lucky to get a set of tools, and they really do make a difference. Sandman Matt has tips for using sand tools on his website here.
Work From the Top Down
Simple enough – you don’t want to mess up the work you’ve already done with falling sand. Work from the top down to avoid a sand disaster!
About the Golden Inn, Avalon NJ
When you have two kids under 5, staying in a hotel close to the beach is key. Okay, saying at a hotel ON the beach is key! We decided to make our visit a quick little overnight getaway to the Jersey shore and had a blast.
The Golden Inn is right on the beach, which means you never have to go far to build your sand castles. It has a gorgeous pool and pool bar right off the beach so you can easily split your day into sand/non-sand fun. The Golden Inn is less than a mile from Stone Harbor, which features cute shops and great food.
Staying in one hotel room with two little ones can be challenging, so we only made it a one-night stay. Hoping by next year, or the year after, the kiddos will be sleeping well on their own to stay a bit longer!
Check out the Golden Inn’s vacation packages and getaway weekends here.