The kids and I have been spending a lot of time lately building sand castles.

In addition to my job as everdayMOM, I also have a home business selling a line of educational products, called Discovery Toys. We have a fantastic sand castle building set in our line right now and the children and I take seriously our job of thoroughly testing our toys.

We especially love the enormous sand pit at our local park district, which gives the opportunity to really test our skills at building large creations.

One thing we are learning is that building a sand castle is a lot like life. It takes hard work and perseverance, but if you stick with it, the results can be amazing.

Now our sand castle set isn’t your average dollar store find. The main castle has detailed sides, roof and doors. The set also has a tower where the princesses are often held hostage. And it has molds to make brick sides and stair cases.

As we mix our sand each day to make our creations, I’m always surprised at how the sand has to be just the right consistency. We have to pour in the water and mold the main castle several times before we can find a mixture that isn’t too dry, causing it to crumble, or too wet, preventing it from releasing from the mold.

We mix and pound the sand, then bang the sides of the mold and hope for the best. If we didn’t take our work so seriously (and if a couple of us weren’t such perfectionists), I always think we would give up and declare the sand castle set a dud.

But we always stick with it, no matter how hot the sun, until we release a nearly perfect castle from the mold. Then we stand back and admire our work for a few minutes before marching toy knights, guards and dinosaurs (we have a dragon shortage at our house) all over it.

I love these moments working together for a common goal. And we’re learning some lessons this summer about science, not to mention teamwork, determination and perseverance that the kids would never find in a textbook.

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