I made the mistake of having a mould of a castle in the sandpit. It's like having a blackline master in your play! It has given Chook the impression that this is how sandcastles are made and should look. And if it hasn't...it will!
Time for some planned play! Making sandcastles using only your hands, spade (optional) and found objects. The picture book Grandpa and Thomas written by Pamela Allen inspired me. Lovely story of a boy and his grandpa sharing time together. Together they make the coolest sandcastle and when it gets washed away by the sea, it's time to go home.
I invited Chook to build a sandcastle with me. I started digging with my hands and making a pile of sand. I talked about what I was doing and encouraged him to join in. We patted the sand flat around the mound. We put shells all over the sand castle.
The following day he wanted to do it again. This time we used a spade and created a bigger mound.
The next day I was caught up with the twins and I noticed he was in the sandpit, using the castle mould! It is so hard for him to use and even though he compacted the sand in the mould, when he went to flip it over it started pouring out before he got it over. A few more sessions of 'free form' sandbuilding, I think!