Things to Make - Sandcasting with Plaster of Paris

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At the beach, I was excited to try out sandcasting with the kids, which I discovered through the Artful Parent . Unfortunately, our first attempt started off as a giant fail. The holes were uneven, the plaster didn't form the right shapes. Ugh. Yet even with all of this going against us, once the plaster dried P loved her oddly shaped, quirky souvenir. Loved it enough to keep making more. And more. Eventually we got the hang of it. We even managed to make a heart. Coolness.

Here's the scoop:

1. Dig a hole at the beach and fill it with seashells and/or other beautiful beach finds. We found that digging in wet sand gives you much more control over the shape and design of your finished product. We also learned that sharp edges tend to break off, so no starfish designs. Instead stick with rounded sides.

2. Mix two parts plaster of paris (available here) with one part water (we used ocean water). We used old yogurt buckets to mix the plaster, lots of stuff from the recycling bin should work. I learned the hard way that the ratios are pretty important, otherwise souvenirs start to crumble (poor F, sorry honey). Pour into the hole.

3. Wait about twenty to thirty minutes and dig out your homemade beach souvenir.

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So we're not exactly the best hole diggers. We're more or less plateau people.

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As noted above, our first try looked like a giant fail. Just sort of a mess.

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Round 1 completed. No real shape or design, but still sort of cool. We made a ton more, but I stopped photographing. And, truthfully, things went better once I put the camera down and participated more.

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T didn't really decorate the hole. He just wanted to pour the liquid and make a superhero castle.

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