Sandcastle Rooflines


Recycle plastic containers into an Art Nouveau sandcastle that gleams in the light. Build your masterpiece in the celebrated architectural style of Antonio Gaudi—or invent your own unique construction.


1. Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926), a Spanish architect born in Barcelona, had a unique vision. Although his first buildings were based upon Gothic architecture (Gothic revival), his style eventually became more fluid and organic. His later work, which is classified as Art Nouveau, combines many styles and shapes. Because of its relationship to natural forms, his architecture is often compared to dragons or sandcastles.

2. Gaudi was also very interested in ornamentation, and covered the outer walls of some of his buildings with mosaics made from broken tiles, glass, and pebbles. Texture and color were very important to him. His designs were works of art, and often too expensive to be completed.

3. Like Gaudi, you can recycle materials to create your own imaginary construction. Gather a variety of plastic recycled containers. Arrange them to look like an interesting building. On a sheet of firm cardboard or a small section of plywood, use flattened balls of Crayola® Model Magic to position the containers near each other. Place Crayola School Glue on the flat surface before you apply the Model Magic. Press the containers into the Model Magic to form an armature for your castle.

4. Add details to the surface of your containers with small balls of Model Magic and glue. Press pieces of Model Magic close together—when it is fresh from the pack, it sticks to itself!

5. Add architectural details such as fancy cornices or a thatched roof. Texture them with the ends of Crayola Paint Brushes or other tools. Air-dry your construction at least 24 hours.

6. Fill any spaces with Model Magic details. Use plastic gemstones, aquarium gravel, pebbles, tiles, or other decorative craft items to create a mosaic effect. Glue these pieces to the surface.

7. Fill in the areas that you textured by applying Crayola Watercolor Paint with a Paint Brush. Dilute the paint with water so it mixes on the building for an interesting, colorful effect. Air-dry the paint.

8. Add sparkling touches with Crayola Glitter Glue. Air-dry the castle.

9. Create plants and shrubs to landscape the area around the Sandcastle. Cut these from construction paper and glue them in place.

10. Add a walkway, steps, and outside ornamentation with Model Magic®. Fill in surrounding areas with colorful gravel or other recycled, colorful materials.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Glitter Glue— WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD—Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. Not for use on skin.

Crayola Modeling Materials including Crayola Model Magic®, and Model Magic Fusion™, Crayola Air-Dry Clay, and Crayola Dough—

  • Keep away from open flames. Do not use to make candleholders, hot plates, trivets, or other similar objects that will be used or placed near fire and other heat sources.
  • Do not put in an oven, microwave, or kiln.
  • Do not make into vessels/containers that will hold unpackaged food.
  • The use of modeling material to make items that look like food is discouraged for children younger than age 5 to avoid their confusion with real food.
  • Unless sealed with a water-resistant glaze, do not make projects exposed to or immersed in water, such as boats or outdoor bird feeders. They would disintegrate when exposed to moisture.
  • Crayola Dough—contains gluten (wheat flour) as an ingredient.
  • Crayola Air-Dry Clay, Crayola Model Magic and Model Magic Fusion are gluten-free. However, they are produced on the same machinery as Crayola Dough which does contain gluten. Although the machines are cleaned prior to the start of each production run, there is a slight possibility that trace amounts of gluten from Crayola Dough may be present in the other modeling compound products. For information regarding specific ingredients or allergic concerns, please call our Consumer Affairs department at 1-800-272-9652 weekdays between 9 AM and 4 PM Eastern Standard Time.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.

Recycled Containers—Must be clean and safe. Do not use containers that contained bleach or other harmful chemicals (for example, household cleaners, dishwasher or laundry detergents). Do not use recycled metal cans that have sharp edges (for example, lids removed by household can openers).

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Compare Gaudi’s architecture to Frank Lloyd Wright’s style. How are they similar? How are they different? Create an example of Gaudi’s style of construction that is similar to Wright’s "Falling Water" or other buildings.
  • Nature is the inspiration for many artists. Research several different artists and architects, and find the relation to nature in their work.
  • Use recycled plastic bottles as armatures upon which to build other sculptures, fanciful or realistic.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Share on Facebook


crayola supplies
  • Washable Watercolors
  • Watercolor Brushes with Plastic Handle
  • Model Magic®
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Glitter Glue
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • paper towels
  • textured items, such as sandpaper, screen, paper doilies, rubber sink mat
  • container(s) of water
  • decorative craft items
  • recycled plastic containers
  • aquarium gravel (optional)



  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children research the architecture of Antonio Gaudi.

  • Children combine, texture, and paint recycled containers to construct a detailed castle.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards