In One Big Family, author Marc Harshman and illustrator Sara Palacios evoke all the joys of summer vacation and family togetherness. The activity below — perfect for looking back on a summer full of fun — can help children remember and treasure great memories from their own family vacations.


  • Paper board
  • White school glue
  • Photo safe glue stick
  • Scissors
  • 2 binder rings
  • Sand
  • Paint brush
  • 2 paper plates
  • One-hole punch
  • Sand castle template
  • Decorative paper, stickers, and other scrapbooking accessories
  • Pictures from a family vacation or summer fun

Step 1: Print and cut out the sand castle templates.

Step 2: Lay the templates on top of the paper board and trace around them.

Step 3: Cut out the sandcastle shapes from the paper board.


Step 4: Mark the places where you would like the binder rings to go, then use a one-hole punch to punch a hole through each page, making sure that when the pages are stacked on top of one another the holes line up.

Step 5: Stack the pages on top of one another in the proper order and mark the parts of the sand castle that are showing.

Step 6: Using your pencil marks as a guide, spread glue onto the areas of each page to which you will apply sand. Set the glued page on top of a paper plate, then sprinkle sand evenly onto the glued surface until it is well covered. Pick up the page and tap it gently to get the loose sand to fall onto the paper plate. (I find it easiest to use two paper plates for this, so that excess sand from one page can be collected and used for another page.) Repeat this process with the remaining pages.

Step 7: Use your photographs, decorative paper, stickers, and other embellishments to decorate each page as desired.

Step 8: Once the pages have all been decorated to your liking and the glue is dry, feed the binder rings and though the holes you made earlier and fasten them shut.

Note: This activity can get messy, so be sure to have napkins and/or paper towels handy.