This summer, mums and dads across Britain will spend thousands of hours on their hands and knees - making sandcastles for their tots and toddlers.
And, as always, sometimes their sandcastles will slide perfectly formed from the bucket to stand briefly as works of parental art. But more often than not they'll get stuck halfway. Or just collapse.
To help parents everywhere be 'forever sandcastle heroes' to their children, Butlins has created a guide to making the perfect sandcastle - guaranteed to work on beaches and sandpits the world over come rain or shine.
The UK's favourite holiday company has teamed up with Sand Guru Mark Anderson and is offering masterclasses at its three beachside Resorts in Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness.
Creating everything from fairytale castles to replicas of lovable characters and entire buildings sculpted from sand, Mark has spent over 30 years on UK beaches honing his skills.
Butlins has created an expert ‘How to' video revealing the secret art of superb sandcastle making which can be found at www.butlins.com/about-butlins/press/sandcastle.aspx
The step-by-step guide developed by Mark guarantees perfect sandcastles every time:
SECRET TIP ONE - DAMP SAND!
If you are on the beach, start by scraping the dry top layer of sand away to get to the wetter layer underneath - this is the Rolls Royce of sand and perfect for castle creation. Don't worry if you can't make it to the beach. Sandpit lovers can mix two buckets of sand and a ¼ bucket of water to get the same effect.
SECRET TIP TWO - DRY BUCKET!
Make sure your bucket is completely dry, the best way to do this is to put dry sand into your bucket, swirl it around and tip it out again. Now you can be sure the sand won't stick and you're one step closer to perfect turrets!
SECRET TIP THREE - LAYER AND PAT!
Add the damp sand to the bucket. The trick is to add it layer by layer making sure you pat it down each time before adding the next. Overfill the bucket and finish with a hard pat!
SECRET TIP FOUR - TAP SIDE!
Now, make sure you have a nice flat spot ready to turn your bucket over, otherwise your castle could end up looking more leaning tower of Pisa!
Then (this is the exciting bit!) in one ultra-quick movement, turn your bucket upside down. The best kept secret in sandcastle making is to tap the bucket on the side, not the top (no matter what dad says)!
And there you have it – the perfect sandcastle!
SECRET DECORATING TIP - CENTRE FLAG!
Finally you can add some bling to your castle with a few finishing touches. But remember - don't be too heavy handed! If a flag is your decoration of choice, make sure you place it flag in the centre of your castle and not near the edge, otherwise you risk cracking the sand.
Mark Anderson will be bringing his sand sculpting genius to Butlins Resorts on 25th (Minehead), 26th (Skegness) and 31st (Bognor Regis) August. For more information on the sandcastle masterclasses visit www.butlins.com/about-butlins/press/sandcastle.aspx or Butlins guests can pick up a step by step guide from the Infunmation Point or nurseries on resort.
Sand Guru Mark Anderson said: "I spend every summer on the beach and year after year I see families making simple mistakes that result in a lack of sandcastle success. So I'm pleased to be able to teach families how to create their own mini masterpieces with the first ever sandcastle workshops at Butlins."
Mike Godolphin, Head of Entertainment at Butlins said: "Turning out a string of perfect sandcastles is simply one of the best things a parent can do for his or her toddler. We can make every dad and mum into a King or Queen of the Castle."
Boilerplate StatementsAbout Butlins!
Butlins has three beachside Resorts, Bognor Regis (West Sussex), Minehead (Somerset) and Skegness (Lincolnshire) and welcomes around 1.5m guests per year. Although it mainly offers family breaks it also offers around 50 Big Weekend breaks - music themed breaks for those aged 18+.
Butlins is part of Bourne Leisure Ltd which also owns Warner Leisure Hotels and Haven Holidays and was awarded the 2009 National Customer Service Award, 2009 Large Travel Operator of the Year in the British Travel Awards and the Top Call Centre in Travel Leisure and Entertainment Industry in the top 50 Call Centre Awards 2009.
Mark Anderson will be visiting three Butlins Resorts on the below dates:
Minehead Weds 25th Aug 11am - 12pm @ Beach Courts
Skegness Thurs 26th Aug 2pm - 3pm @ Beach Courts
Bognor Regis Tues 31st Aug 1pm - 2pm @ Shoreline Hotel Sandpit
For more information please visit www.butlins.com/about-butlins/press/sandcastle.aspx or Butlins guests can pick up a step by step guide from the Infunmation Point or nurseries on resort.
Mark Anderson - biography
Mark began working with sand at the age of 11 when he started running errands and making the tea for his grandfather, Fred Darrington - an expert sand sculptures and founder of Sculptures in Sand. Over the years he learnt how to mix the sand and water perfectly to bind it together ready for sand sculpting.
Mark now runs Sculptures in Sand and spends his year creating masterpieces. His work can be on Weymouth beach, in shopping centres, museums and events worldwide. Twice a year he takes part in the Sculture di Sabbia sand sculpture festival in Italy where experts from all over the world come to compete. Visit http://www.sculpturesinsand.com/