Building Forever Sand Castles

I plan for summer vacation all year by clipping fun projects from my Family Fun magazine and storing them for later, let's call it Family Fun Summer.

Making sand castles and playing with Play Doh has always appealed to my kids and when I saw this recipe for sand dough, I knew it would be a blast! If you've ever made cooked play dough, it is the same recipe using sand in place of flour.


2 cups sand
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups hot water

(For my sanity, I prefer to pre-measure ingredients before beginning any cooking projects with my two younger kiddos.)

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan, then add water. (Actually sitting on top of the counter to do so is totally optional.)

Stir until combined. (Fight with your brother because he got to stir for one millisecond longer than you.)

Place the pan over medium heat and stir until it begins to form a ball in the center of the pan. It will be difficult to stir and hold together well. (Scream at your mom to "Let ME do it!" when she tries to assist with the hard stirring in a hot pan part, because she doesn't have time for an emergency room run that day.)

Let it cool for a few minutes, (Ask repeatedly if it's cool yet. Ideally, you should ask this every 30 seconds.) Now it's time to build your sand castle!

The dough has a nice texture and dries to look just like sand! (Show daddy when he gets home, show the neighbor that stops by, yell the news to the mailman as he makes a delivery.)

**Tips: Let your pan soak to loosen the sandy clay from the sides and bottom. Do NOT rinse this down the drain! The sand will settle in the low areas of your pipes and could cause problems later. After soaking, use a spoon to scrap all the bits loose then dump it in the yard or flower bed.

Place a plastic tablecloth or place mats down for the kids to play on. This clay is abrasive and could scratch your table.

Give the kids a scrap piece of wood or cardboard to build the castles onto. They will cry if you attempt to move their beautiful castles to eat dinner and they fall apart.

Tomorrow will be YOUR chance to share a tutorial with ME! Come on back and I will try to round up a prize for your great ideas...see you then!



  1. I saw that! But decided it would be too messy for my kids! :)

  2. I don't know what I love more---the cute sand castles or the fact that someone else's kids act the same way my boys do!

  3. We're leaving for the beach Friday and I'm taking everything I need to do this with the kids! What a great activity and momento!!

  4. Wow Jennifer, what an amazing idea! We have just one week of our holidays left...if we have time I may give it a try xx

  5. Is it wrong that I want to do this myself, when the kids aren't around?!

    Best part of living by the coast in California. Endless supply of sand!

  6. awesome project!

    I love Family Fun Magazine - I do a lot of planning from there as well!


  7. Hiiiilarious! The sand project looks like fun but your commentary was more entertaining :-P

  8. S-weet! What a good idea. I like how you wrote from the kids' perspective. ;)

    I'm glad to find your site!

  9. I saw these in the mag too and thought they were a must do this summer! Your boy's turned out GREAT!

  10. I'm a fan of Constant Complainer's Blog and found your blog through his.

    My sister is an elementary school teacher and has used your above recipe several times for her students an they always have fun!

    You have a very sweet blog.

  11. I just came across your blog, while googling pics for sand dough for a camp coop that I am doing, and I just have to say I LOVE your blog! I love your witty explanations and photographs. :)


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