The term "sand art" can refer to several different types of artistic crafts created with sand, such as that found at the beach. One type is made up of jars or bottles filled with colored sand, which can be layered to create a beautiful appearance. This is a fun and simple activity for children. People who have a jar of beach sand can use food coloring or special paint powder to change the color of the sand. Several piles of sand in different colors can be created and then layered on top of each other to create the work or art. If the artist puts the layered colored sand in a beautiful bottle, it can be a lovely keepsake or ornamental accessory.
Another type of sand art refers to the paintings that are traditional in Native American culture. In this form of art, beach sand is separated into various piles and dyed in various colors. Then, glue is carefully placed on a sheet of paper and one color of sand is poured over it. After a few seconds, the artist flips the paper over and shakes it to remove the excess sand: it should stick only where he or she previously placed the glue. The glue and sand process are repeated with the other colors, leaving a multicolored design behind. In Native American culture, these paintings can be very intricate and beautiful, though most amateurs will probably not be able to match that level without a lot of practice.
The final type is created by making sculptures out of damp sand. The most primitive form of this variety of sand art would be the sand castles made by children at the beach, using molds to shape the sculpture. Sand sculptures can be far more ornate than this and can use tools and dyes to help complete the sculptures. Many are as large as a person, or even larger, and feature beautiful designs. In many countries throughout the world, there are sand sculpture contests that will award a prize to the contestant who has created the best sand art.