Sandcastle SOSSummer is coming and this is a great resource if you happen to be catching some rays with your youth.

Sandcastles is a team building activity designed to be done on the beach. This activity is based on the idea that Jesus Christ is our foundation from 1 Corinthians 3:5-10, but could also fit with the section from the sermon on the mount from Matthew 7:24-27.

This team building activity could be done in conjunction with a retreat or Bible study based upon either of these Bible studies.

Here’s another addition to our team building resources that we have at Steal Our Stuff. If you have never led a team building activity before, make sure you check out our first post “Tie the Rope” that has lots of great direction on how to prepare and lead team building activities.


You Need: A couple of sandcastle building tools and a beach with 3 locations (a spot with good sand for building sandcastles, a spot in the area where the breakers will disrupt any serious sandcastle building, and a spot on the rocks or sidewalk, but movable rocks are best)

The Set-Up: Scout out your locations beforehand so you will know where you want your groups to build their castles. You could even mark the locations with flags. After you have your flags, break up into three groups, (Line Ups is a great resource for this) and assign the locations and sandcastle building tools to your three groups. (For added fun, and to make all the youth feel like the team building activity is a competition, which good ones never are, assign the locations and tools as rewards for some kind of game.)

The Challenge: Review the locations and tools that each group has out loud. Tell the youth that their goal is to build the best sandcastle that they can in 5 minutes. Start the timer immediately after you tell them the goal. Teams might think they are competing against one another, or choose to work together to build one tower, but make sure that you don’t specifically tell them that it’s an option. Make sure to leave to goal open enough so either outcome could happen.

The Debrief: The debrief should always be pointed questions that cause your group to think. That being said, the point that you as the facilitator will want to make is that the only foundation we have as Christians is Christ, we might use different tools and materials on that foundation, but our faith rests on Christ. Ask questions that lead that way, use the scripture verses from above, and let the students figure it out on their own. The questions that you use will always be different depending on your group and how they respond to the activity. However, make sure to use open questions to get students talking. Key questions to use are as follows.

  • How do you feel you did in this challenge?
  • Who seemed to act as a leader(or encourager, or an antagonist) in this challenge? (Ask that person) Why do you think you took that role?
  • What do you think you can learn from this challenge? Why
  • How do you think this applies to your relationship with God? Why? What can you learn for the future through this challenge?

We pray this helps your group grow together as you use this and other team building activities. Remember to follow us on twitter @StealOurStuff and like us on Facebook. If you have something you want to let other people steal, send it to


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