No matter which beach you choose to settle into while you're staying at a Gulf Shores area rental, the pristine white sand is perfect for building castles and sculptures. Whether you've had training as an artist or have never touched a artist's tool in your life, you may want to try your hand at sand art. Around the world, artists are experimenting with sand as a medium, and many even consider it to be more fulfilling than more permanent material like clay and metal.

"It's performance art," Wilfred Stijger, a sand and ice sculptor told The Virginian-Pilot during a sand art competition. "Not meant to last. You can forgive mistakes in sand that you could not forgive in stone."

While you're walking along the northern Gulf Coast beaches, you may find a number of sand sculptures that look as though they took hours, maybe even days, to construct. Some of these incredible figures and scenes look almost like models, and artists often use airbrushing techniques to make their work look even more realistic.

Do you want to learn how to make your own sand art? You and your kids can get creative by following these simple steps:

Get the proper tools

Join the sand art trend in Gulf Shores, AlabamaYou'll need more than just a few tiny plastic buckets and shovels to create a more elaborate design. Bring along smaller tools like brushes and little chisels that will make it possible for you to add a special touch to each of your sculptures. Make sure you show your kids how to use each tool properly, because who knows, they might be the next Michelangelo!

Be creative

The sky's the limit with each of your designs, and you shouldn't hold anything back, especially since all of your materials are free! You don't have to stick to the typical castle model. In fact, you can think way outside of the box and build a dragon or a turtle or an entire miniature city - whatever tickles your fancy.