Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Concoctions For Play: Permanent Sandcastle Clay

Permanent Sandcastle Clay

Last week I made some beachy moonsand, but this week I am going to show you how to make permanent sandcastles.

For enough sand clay for one castle, you will need:
1 cup sand
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon alum
3/4 cup water

Mix the sand, cornstarch and alum together thoroughly. You can mix them right in the saucepan you will use to cook the clay in. Add the water and stir the mixture until it is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved. Cook the clay over medium heat, stirring occasionally. The clay should start to thicken within a minute or two. Stir more vigorously, being sure to scrape the mixture from the sides and bottom of the pan. Cook the mixture until it thickens to the consistency of play dough. Remove the clay from the pan and soak or wash your pan or it will harden on it. Once the clay is cool enough to touch, you can start sculpting.

We used items we collected at the beach to decorate them.
One was made with a shell candle in the middle.

The clay may take up to a week to dry completely.
The clay is fragile when it dries so it is better to make thick, heavy structures rather than thin ones.

Source: Family Fun.


  1. Cool! I think I'll try this! Bethany loves sand!

  2. Great concoction. I love these series. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love this!! Thank you. :)

  4. I will have to try this.The boys will love it.

  5. This is great! Can you prepare the clay ahead of time? Would it keep in a ziplock bag?

    1. I am not sure because we haven't done that, but I would think that it would.

  6. I'm trying to think what Jeff's reaction would be to my cooking sand in our pots..... Probably not good, he had a roommate dye cloth in his new pots and not wash them out properly, so he was cooking oddly colored food for weeks.

    1. It won't hurt your pot if you wash it out right away. I also keep an old pot for such things.

  7. Anonymous22.8.13

    You said it is fragile when it dries. I was wondering if this is a structure that would last any time (like air dried clay) or whether it is something that would be thrown after play?
    No matter the answer, it looks like fun to play with!

    1. It depends. If you have younger children who handle them a lot, then probably not. If you are talking about older children who can handle things gently, then the will last, especially if the structure is thick. Thin pieces tend to break off.


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