Playing in the sand must be one of the oldest, and most ecologically pure, games in existence. But building the perfect sandcastle or creation does not always come naturally—there is an art and a science to it. According to a professional sand sculptor, the first step is determining whether the sand is good enough: "Make a footprint near the water's edge, if it doesn't dissolve quickly the sand is good." Then you have to pick the best location: a spot where the tide has just gone out so the sand is moist, and the castle won't get washed away immediately. The mixture of sand and water is important too. "You should be able to roll a handful into a ball and throw it into the air without it breaking up".
Making a platform of sand is a clever move so that you don't have to bend over all the time. And don't forget your bucket--good for making solid shapes, and your shovel—for the windows and details. Then stand back and admire.