Sand Castles or $1,000,000

May 24, 2010

Post image for Sand Castles or $1,000,000

It’s May:  warm weather, fun in the sun and maybe a trip to the beach.  Last May, Jeannine and I did something that would make most people scratch their head and ask,  “Do you two honestly love kids that much?”  We packed up one uncle, five kids ages 2, 5, 7, 8, and 11, and a twenty-something and drove 13  hours to arrive at our destination, Fort Morgan, Alabama.


Our accommodations were in a wonderful family friendly condo:  three bedrooms, three bathrooms, large kitchen/ family area and an outside balcony which overlooked the ocean and pool area.  One of our best days was spent down at the beach from around 10:30 am to 4 pm, creating a sand castle.


In the beginning there was a beach, 10:30 am.


What are you doing?


I’m making a sand castle.

sand-castels 4-web

Let me help!

I can help too.

Excuse me! Pardon me! Excuse me! Pardon Me!

Wow, it’s really coming along.

Hey guys, look at this cool bridge I’m building.

I don’t know about you guys, but my work here is done.

Gently, gently.

Hey Grandma, you want to help?

No, I’m great.  I’ve got my beach chair, bottled water, cover-up, hat, glasses, plenty of sunscreen, ice cold Dr. Pepper and a good book.  I’ll just stay put.

Hey, where did everybody go?

Almost done.

Let’s finish this.

Good thing we found these sticks.

The finishing touches.

The End, 4:00 pm.

It’s just amazing how five kids without any TV, computer games, iPods, etc. can take a flat beach, a couple of shovels and pails and entertain themselves all day without little to no adult instruction or prompting.  There was not one cross word and they spent the day building, thinking, using large and small motor skills, not to mention laughing, smiling, and feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

The drive to the Alabama beach and then back home was long and exhausting but I wouldn’t trade that day on the beach reading and watching my five favorite kids building a sand castle for $1,000,000.

What is your million dollar moment with a bunch of kids?

Life with Joyce

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Debi May 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

Wow! This is inspiring! Last week I was lucky enough to accompany my 5 1/2 year old on his first school field trip — to a great nature park. The kids were in awe of everything they saw & touched. They made up games on the spot, had theories for why things looked or felt like they did and were genuinely engaged the entire day. I kept thinking how grateful I was to have been there.

maryanne May 25, 2010 at 1:07 pm

What an amazing sand castle – and what a fun day for your grandkids!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama May 25, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Love it!! We went to Orlando last fall and my then 23 month old had a BLAST playing in the sand. Honestly, I think my husband had almost as much fun building castles as our son did ;)

And something fun we’ve done with a large group of toddlers/preschoolers recently was to

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama May 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm

oops – I hit submit accidentally – I’ll finish that last thought here:

And something fun we’ve done with a large group of toddlers/preschoolers recently was to get big pieces of construction paper, trace the kids’ bodies on the paper, and then decorate them with markers, pom poms, ribbon, etc. Then we all sang “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” The kids had fun looking at “themselves” on the paper. May 25, 2010 at 5:03 pm

What a wonderful day! Its been ages since we sent more than an hour or two at the beach. you have inspired me to plan a whole day there…..its just a shame its winter here.

Thanks for visiting my blog :-)

Amanda May 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I don’t know if I have a million dollar moment, but today as we were finishing our painting project and packing up to go home one of the kids kept saying, “no, not yet. ” It makes me happy inside when I know they are not ready to go home, because they are having fun creating and using their imagination!!

Mason (aka Grandson #3) May 25, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Grandma, I had a lot of fun this day, but my million dollar moment with you was the first time you took me to your river.

Catherine May 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm

What an amazing sandcastle!

Tracy May 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

definitely worth more than a million dollars. I wish we were near an ocean! What a great memory

Kelly Be A Fun Mum May 30, 2010 at 1:11 am

Goodness, I’m so jealous! What a beautiful beach and those little houses are amazing!

Christie - Childhood 101 May 30, 2010 at 5:28 am

What a wonderful memory, exactly what childhood is about :) I think that may well be one of the most fantastic sandcastles I have ever seen.

Marthese May 31, 2010 at 5:52 am

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

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