Sand Castle’s have Keys!

Sandcastles have keys…


Yes – big and small!

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is to see an imagination open. After all, “Creativity is only limited by the imagination” (a famous guy said that)  Q: How do you unlock an imagination? A: With a key.

I have often said that communication is the key to success.  After all, without it, what have you got? A bunch of great ideas, skills and techniques, with no way to pass them on. If you have a key to communication, you can open minds anywhere.

When I teach people to make sandcastles and see the look on their face when I use a straw to blow away debris, or pull off a bucket to reveal a perfectly smooth block, I know that I have given them a key.  We spend most of our lessons laughing and joking while people relax, forget about work and phones, and get to be a family for a few hours.

I enjoy what I do. Every day I get to talk to people about what they do, soldiers, doctors, riggers, people in every form of business, social media and college, and of course,  moms. They all have one thing in common – they never thought they could make a perfect Sand ball or stack wet sand and build an awesome castle.

The keys are already in their pocket – my job is to make sure their vacation or field trip is somewhere they can use it. I hope that the experience will them keep ideas moving for a whole year so they can come back and say,” I watched your videos, and I want to build this!” (It’s amazing what they ask for!)

One of the greatest things to do is show a child how they can do something… When schools come to lessons they bring one thing in spades – enthusiasm. When I was small I loved to learn to make and fix things and I have always been an enthusiastic. I love to see what I felt myself and it’s cool to be able to pass that on! I think that showing someone how to use their hands to make anything is something we are missing these days…(but that’s for another blog!)


So like I said, keys come in two sizes big and small…and every sandcastle has one.

Family Beach memories last forever

Question:  Do “beach people” have vacation memories that are stronger than others?

When you talk to people about their favorite family vacations, the beach will always come up. Its where the whole family can be together and have fun doing the simple stuff. In the homes of people who vacation at the beach annually there is always pictures on the wall showing happy faces.

Dad can relax and you can all “pile on” to get him under the waves! Mom can have the umbrella and cocktail that make her happy and the kids can go crazy, make sandcastles, meet new friends and learn about what makes them happy.

Family vacations are important – I should know – as i didn’t take as many as I should have, and i think both me and my children (3 boys – Men now) regret it. I grew up in the UK after leaving Australia as a boy and trips to the coast were rare as i lived on a farm and there was always a lot to do.

Our school trips provided a small and ugly taste of the beach as we went to some of the worst in Wales..but it was still fun (ish!)

The beach provides a place where all barriers are removed.

There are no desks, no positions, no rank –  just sun, sea and sand! This makes everyone more relaxed and gives people a chance to deal with everyone else in a much more relaxed environment.

Building Sandcastles has been happening on beaches since Time began…yes amoeba did castles in the primordial soup! (well, we can speculate, and, then discuss this later)

Building a sandcastle isn’t something just for children. Its for everyone. From the youngest, who is busy eating the materials, to Granny and Grandad who are thrilled at being able to teach the grandchildren how materials work and how to bring those amazing ideas to life! While the youngsters do all the shoveling! some youngsters only want a shovel to dig the biggest hole in the world…if they are happy – let ’em rip.

You wouldn’t believe how many Grandparents want to beat the “other” grandparents when it comes to beach activities. Imagine my surprise when i was asked by one couple to teach them something the other couple had not seen a week earlier! America is built on competition and if you really want to inspire another generation just take them to a real Sandcastle competition where they can see the pro’s in action  –  Sandcastledays in the first week in October on South Padre island in Texas.

But its all in fun and with YouTube tutorials its been made easier with the mighty cell phone – and the cell phone? We have a cure for that!

But what else does building a sandcastle do for you and your family?

It brings you to the best beach in Texas with lots of great things to do and gives you the opportunity to build with some of the best sand in the USA as well as meeting people who have a similar agenda – to have fun in the sun.

During our lessons we discuss all manner of things including science, physics, chemistry, history and the environment. Some kids look at me and say…”Andy, you know were on vacation right?” Yes I do, but unless you understand the way things work how will you get any better at them?

Whether you are an Astronaut or a “Sandgineer” you need to understand what materials are necessary to make the best result possible. We don’t deal with space – we deal with making sure their is NO SPACE between our sand crystals and this makes for a much stronger sandcastle.

So what can building a sand castle do for you and your family? Well, we hope we can inspire the next set of Astronauts!

See you on the beach!