I do want to share something that popped up in our house that seems to be fascinating my kids.
My daughter got a website link from a friend called thisissand.com. It's basically a large sand art machine you can play with online. It's refreshingly simple and best of all, not messy at all! The gallery can be found here if you need some inspiration.
If you are looking for a different kind of art-oriented activity to try in between watching the Olympics and playing at the beach this summer, this could just be the ticket. I found some examples online, but my kids are definitely not this good. Watching the sand falling and changing the colors as it does is mesmerizing.
Incidentally, if you Google "sand art" and look up the pictures displayed, you will see an amazing array of art done with sand. There is beach sand art, Buddist sand painting, and the more garden variety that most Americans have seen in the bottles. Check it out!