A Disney cruise to the Caribbean would be incomplete without a stop at Disney’s own port of call, Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. Pronounced Castaway Key, this tiny island is solely owned by Disney and is accessed only by passengers and Cast Members aboard the Disney Cruise Line fleet. At only 3.1 miles long by 2.2 miles wide, the majority of the island was intentionally left undeveloped, maintaining the secluded, natural setting unspoiled by civilization.
The breathtaking beauty of the island’s pristine sand and turquoise waters was enough to satisfy this traveler when I visited last month. However, if my family had been with me, we would have taken advantage of many of the island amenities.
There’s a family beach where parents and children can soak in the tropics together. Biking, billiards, and beach games; Character greetings, souvenir shops, and parasailing; glass-bottom boat tours, offshore snorkeling, and parasailing, and many more activities are available to fill a shoretime stint. Of course, you may prefer to relax in a palm-shaded hammock and watch the kids play and splash at the Pelican Plunge.
For those traveling sans children, hop on the tram or take a stroll along the airstrip over to the adults-only beach. Enjoy the quiet ambiance or hike a trail into the lush vegetation to the island’s observation deck. Just don’t get so relaxed that you miss the ship’s call to return!
Today it is a commonly known fact that glass is made from molten sand. Before humans discovered the secret of glassmaking, though, nature was the world’s only source of this versatile product. Early man was incapable of producing a high enough heat to melt sand. However, natural lightning strikes and volcanoes zapped sand and rock into tubules and other beautiful specimen.
Modern equipment allows people to produce glass with few inexpensive ingredients: sand, soda ash, and lime. This is done by melting the mixture in large furnaces at high temperatures until it reaches a liquid consistency. The glass is then run through several refining and shaping processes before it is allowed to cool and set.
View this video to see the process:
As it is very dangerous and inadvisable and probably nearly impossible to make your own glass at home, have your children make sand art in glass jars. You can purchase inexpensive kits and containers at your local craft store, or color your own sand and using materials you have on hand.
To color your own sand, pour equal amounts of sand into 4 plastic zipper storage bags. Drip food coloring into each one and knead to mix color evenly. Pour sand onto 4 separate paper plates and allow to dry. Then funnel colored sand into decorative jars by layering colors as you choose. Poke a pencil or skewer into the sand to produce dips or control the wavy designs. Once full, seal your jar with a cap and a dab of Superglue. These make beautiful and unique birthday or Christmas gifts, btw!
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Art
SKILL LEVEL: All
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Think outside the textbook with this veteran homeschooling author & editor, and learn while you play!