Using that little plastic shovel to scoop wet sand into a bucket. Packing it down firmly like brown sugar in a baking recipe. Turning the bucket over, shaking it, and out slide the beginnings of a beach sandcastle. That’s if you’re doing it the “regular way.” Unfortunately, that way is destined to crumble quickly.

Want to become a sand master, all while having fun and bonding with family, friends, and co-workers from an experience that will last? Take a sand sculpture lesson in Destin Fort Walton Beach!

The trick is scientific

The snow-colored sand on our beaches is not only beautiful, but it’s also perfect for what the professionals at Beach Sand Sculptures call “granular engineering.”

Water molecules grab tightly to each other. They don’t want to separate. This creates “surface tension.” That tension holds the sand together. When you shake wet sand out of the bucket, you break the bond.

Your lesson includes all the tips to maintain the bond—from mixing the right amount of water with sand, using cylinder forms, and only making light “taps.”

The rest is magic

In two hours, while enjoying the beach sunshine and fresh Gulf breezes, owners Rick and Capri Mungeam, will come and teach you how to make a 3.5-foot showpiece castle, complete with watchtowers and winding staircases. Smartphones will get put down, except for maybe snapping a pic or two of your masterpiece.

Children, parents, and grandparents all start at the same learning level and succeed. It wows other people on the beach, who come to gape and take pictures.

With the Okaloosa Island, Florida, sand dunes in the background, carve the date in the sand in front of your castle and pose for pictures to remember a uniquely good time forever.

The same experience can be had for company team building. Instead of sandcastles, though, employees maybe build the company logo for some “sandvertising.”

Incorporate a little friendly rivalry, offering rewards for leadership, brainstorming, delegation, communication, and execution.

With your newfound knowledge, the creative possibilities are endless on the area’s blank canvas of beaches. This is particularly fun with the white sand instead of snow. You can make Christmas trees and “sandmen” instead of snowmen.

While you’ll probably want a professional to do it perfectly—because you’ll be a little nervous—sand sculptures also are used for marriage proposals, scattered with red rose petals, or wedding pictures. They’ll eventually be reclaimed by the waves, but symbolic of a marriage that can roll with the tides.

Rick, a former architect, is a professional competitor who’s been invited to the Siesta Key Crystal Classic, an international sand sculpting festival.

The family has become “people who know how to build cool sandcastles,” Capri Mungeam said. “It changes everything for life when they go to the beach.”