Last week, while spending time on the beach and building sandcastles with my kids, I realized that though the molding kits are tailor-made for the task, there's a more economical and ecological way to create sand art — using gadgets collected from the kitchen. When wooden spoons and spatulas have worn out their culinary welcome, they make perfect utensils for writing in the sand and carving out details on sediment sculptures. Tie a napkin to their handles and they are flags ready to adorn a fort. To see castle-concocting ideas, read more.

In the same vein, melon ballers and ice cream scoopers are just the right size to scoop wet sand into palace gates and wall and building ornamentation. Strainers become sifters, and old plastic cups, Tupperware containers, and bowls are molds in the making. The same goes for measuring cups, cupcake tins, and cookie cutters. To ensure safe play, stick to wooden, stainless steel, plastic, melamine, and silicone wares, and leave glass and ceramic items in the cabinet.

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