I grew up, for the most part, in eastern Canada, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and it's beaches. Every summer we'd go to the Halifax area to visit relatives and spend time at the beach practically in their back yard - the Dingle Tower park. When we weren't in the water, we were on the sand with pails and toy shovels building sand castles.
My poor land-locked little grandkids out here on the Prairies don't have opportunities for 'real' sand castle building, complete with incoming tides to fill moats and eventually wash away their creations. They're missing one of the joys of my childhood summers.
The other day I had three of the grandkids for the afternoon and, as usual, they wanted to go to the lovely playground/park across the street. When we got there, we met a young mother and her daughter who had brought pails and shovels and various dishes of assorted shapes who invited my guys to build sand castles with them. With no ocean or lake within many many miles, this enterprising young woman took advantage of the previous night's thunderstorms and unearthed some perfectly damp sand needed for the castle shapes to hold together. The kids had a great time. I love having a playground whose base is beach sand, rather than recycled tires. It's very well cared for, clean and litter free.
Do sand castles figure in your summer plans? I'd love to go back home for a visit and to walk on the ocean beaches, but it looks like I'll have to be content this year with the sandy playground. *sigh*