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Publication numberUS3447256 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 3, 1969
Filing dateJul 20, 1967
Priority dateDec 6, 1966
Also published asDE1621735A1
Publication numberUS 3447256 A, US 3447256A, US-A-3447256, US3447256 A, US3447256A
InventorsCompton Asa B
Original AssigneeKms Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sand game and apparatus therefor
US 3447256 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 3, 1969 A. B. COMPTON 3,447,256

SAND GAME AND APPARATUS THEREFOR Filed July 20, 1967 7 Sheet INVENT OR A54 3. COMPTON ATTORNEYS June 3, 1969 A. B. COMPTON SAND GAME AND APPARATUS THEREFOR Sheet 2 orz Filed July 20, 1967 INVENTOR I ASA 5- COMPTOA/ ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,447,256 SAND GAME AND APPARATUS THEREFOR Asa B. Compton, Spencerville, Md., assignor, by mesne assignments, to KMS Industrial, Inc., Ann Arbor, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 599,588,

Dec. 6, 1966. This application July 20, 1967, Ser.

Int. Cl. A6311 33/00; A63f 9/00 US. Cl. 46-1 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 599,588, filed Dec. 6, 1966, entitled, Sand Sculpturing Game, now abandoned.

Background The building of sand into structures has long been a favorite pastime at the seashore for children and also for adults. Devices for liquid suspensions of undissolved particles onto special support materials to produce ornamental effects and structures are known, eg in pastry decorating. Applications of sand slurries t-o absorbent bases such as special and relatively expensive support blocks, of small scale and limited application have been known. In decoration of cakes and pastries there is no rapid removal of the liquid to facilitate design application. Construction of analogous designs much more rapidly and on a considerably larger scale with very inexpensive materials is a feature of the present invention.

The present invention is designed to afford amusement and develop skills by facilitating production, especially by young and inexperienced operators, of either artistic or artless structures or designs, to produce structures as small and simple or as large, complex and artistic as may be desired, with a minimum of apparatus and at very low cost. By mixing up a paste or slurry of selected sand or equivalent particulate material and water or equivalent liquid, drawing it into a syringe or squeeze bottle, or the like, and extruding it to form designs, structures, simulated objects in nature, etc., an endless variety of forms of any desired size may be produced. By extruding the slurry onto any suitable, absorbent, porous or capillary surface, most of the liquid in the extruded or dispensed paste or slurry is drawn away as fast as the material is deposited, having the sand in semidry, semi-wet condition, so that it builds up interesting structures as odd, grotesque or artistic as the operator may desire. Deformable supplemental structure supporting elements such as wires are preferably included. Natural sand surfaces in or along bodies of water and other places may be used. Special bases of sand, or other earthly materials, or of fibrous materials, e.g. paper, having suitable capillary properties, may be used to receive the deposits of the slurried material and remove the liquid therefrom by rapid absorption. While natural or colored sand is a preferred building or ornamenting material, other particulate materials, preferably insoluble in the liquid used, e.g. water, including wettable organic or inorganic particles may be used.


Preferred embodiment According to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, an aqueous slurry or paste is made up of fine grained insoluble particles, preferably a colored sand, or analogous particulate material, capable of being wet to a fair degree and suspended in water with a semistability against immediate separation by gravity. A very coarse sand which settles quickly to the bottom of a water menstruum is not suitable, nor is a fine clay or silt which may remain suspended for a long time. Stability of such insoluble particulate materials is largely a function of their particle size. Particles which are partially or completely soluble, such as fine salt, farinaceous materials, sugars, and the like sometimes can be used. Inorganic and completely insoluble particulate materials are usually preferred because they do not vary as much in viscosity of suspension and do not produce solutions which will penetrate and eventually clog absorbent surfaces. Children playing with such suspensions in a home, for example, cannot cause as much damage by spilling simple sand slurries as if the slurries contained sugars, starches, etc.

Particle sizes for the suspended materials are not critical as long as the suspensions are semi-stable; that is, the solids should be rapidly separable as the liquid is drawn away. The liquid itself must be rapidly withdrawable by capillary action of the supporting base. This will be further explained below.

According to the present invention it is not necessary to use expensive special supporting bases. Bases of tightly coiled kraft paper, paper toweling, and the like, or any analogous fibrous materials having good capillary action and wettability to draw off the liquid rapidly, are very satisfactory. A mass of loose or even of packed and fairly fine sand, a natural sand deposit which is not too wet, forms a satisfactory base with the desired type of capillarity. Of course a sand base too highly saturated with water or of particles too coarse may not withdraw the liquid from the suspension fast enough to form the desired deposits. Also, if there is too much fine clay or silt present, the requisite capillarity or capillary effect will not be obtained.

In general, the qualities required are:

(1) The particulate material must be suspendable mo- 'mentarily in a liquid, preferably in water, but it should not form such a stable suspension that the liquid cannot be rapidly (i.e. at least half the water in one or two seconds) withdrawn from the deposited paste or slurry. In general, this requires average particle sizes between about 0.001 and 0.02 inch, preferably not larger than 0.01.

(2) The absorbent base must have sufficient porosity or capillarity and also sufiicient liquid absorbing capacity to take up the Water from the deposited material, as indicated above.

The present invention thus makes it possible, if desired, to use instead of a solid specially prepared base, among others, an ordinary sand base on which to build the structure. However, a solid base of compacted organic or inorganic particulate, fibrous or other material may be used if desired.

According to one aspect of the present invention a mass of loose sand is laid out, either flat or contoured as desired, and thereupon decorations, designs or structures of various ornamental or functional types and shapes are built, as described hereinafter. This is accomplished by the simple extrusion onto the base of a suspension or slurry of fine sand or equivalent materials named above. The extruded sand may be nncolored, or of a single color, or very desirably of several different colors. The colors,

if color is used, may be pastel, or bright, and/or fluorescent. The design or structure formed by controlled extrusion of a thin stream of the suspend-ed material which quickly sets up on the supporting base. The principle involved is that capillary attraction in the porous base will draw the liquid out of the applied slurry rapidly enough for the suspended particles of the slurry to set up firmly and quickly so that the design dries out to a substantial extent, though not entirely, and does not melt down or run. This base may be a sand box, sand pile, beach, or other structure of porous character as recited above. In a manner somewhat analogous to the decorating of pastries, the extruded colored materials may be applied to the base to form all sorts of fanciful designs, either thin surface colorings or in 3-dimensional structures. Unlike pastry decorations, however, the applied material rapidly loses its plasticity, a major part of the liquid being removed by capillary action within a second or two of time, or less. The game does not require any particular skill and is highly entertaining to the very young and very unskilled, but it can be used, also, by accomplished artists, if desired. While referred to as a game, for convenience, the system has wide application for educational and instructional purposes. It furnishes an effective means for modeling landscapes or other construction projects, and the like. It is highly suitable for making visual aids and for physical representations, demonstration of proposed projects, etc.

The invention also includes further and specific auxiliary features, such as means for separating or parting colored sand from the base on which the decoration or structure is built or formed. Such a means may include a perforated member, or a foraminate plate or sheet element of suitable material and mechanical characteristics. This element may be employed for supporting the design or structure on the sand base. It is designed to allow capillary attraction to act through its perforations or foraminations or to operate through the element itself, if the latter is porous or has good capillary properties to draw most liquid out of the slurry and thus set up the structure. Use of such a foraminate or porous parting layer permits the whole decoration or design to be picked up bodily and removed from the sand base, thus avoiding undue mixing of the applied colored sand with the base material.

While reference has been made to sand in the base and in the slurry, and this is commonly the preferred material for the slurry especially, it will be understood that other loose or compact finely divided particulate material of suitable mechanical, capillary, and surface active properties may be used. Some grades of sawdust, for example, can be used in lieu of or mixed with the sand, either in base or slurry. The granular or particulate material so used should be quite finely divided to give fine capillary channels and should be capable of being wetted readily by the liquid which is used to form the slurry or suspension.

A particularly suitable base quite different from the inorganic particulate bases mentioned above is a block or coil of fiber made up of tightly wound or coiled kraft paper, paper toweling or the like. Woven or unwoven textile materials which are wettable may be similarly formed into suitable bases.

Another optional but highly desirable feature is the use of supplementary supports of sticks or readily deformable wire or equivalent stock to give a backbone or structural reinforcement to structures which otherwise may not be self-supporting. This will be explained below in greater detail.

The preferred liquid for suspending the particulates is water, but other liquids can be used if desired. It is sometimes desirable to add to the water, or equivalent, a small amount of a viscosity improver, wetting agent capillary modifier and/ or bonding agent to control or modify the capillary flow. A suitable capillary flow which removes the liquid in effective fashion quite rapidly and sets up the applied material is essential. The particles applied should retain enough liquid or hinder to stabilize or strengthen the applied structures or decorations formed by extrusion onto the base enough that they will not collapse too soon.

The applied material, which may be quite ornamental, e.g. a colored sand, or equivalent, may be of only a single color contrasting with the base sand or other base material, or separate quantities may be provided in several different colors. Whatever particulate material is used is stirred up with the liquid, at single color being used at one time, to for-m a slurry or suspension of rather thin paste consistency and having modest stability or semi-stability. This slurry is then drawn by suction or otherwise is placed into a suitable syringe, dispenser, or extruding device, such as a squeeze bottle, an eye dropper, or a syringe or equivalent dispensing device. For use on sand bases, e.g. along beaches, etc. a larger dispenser or squeezer is particularly preferred. In a manner quite analoguous to decorating pastry or pottery, the material is extruded onto the base. Desirably, as applied to most bases, it is not viscous to a substantial degree but is merely a liquid fairly well loaded with suspended particles. Reliance is had almost entirely on rapid capillary action to draw the liquid quite quickly out of the extruded or dispensed material so that the solids therein will set up and assume the desired form quickly. Enough liquid stays with the solids to preferably hold the particles together to a reasonable degree. Because of this characteristic the applied design or product, either an original or copied design, drawings, structural formations, copy of a model, building or any other two or three dimensional object may be made rapidly. By extruding drop-wise or continuously a thin stream of slurry, designs build up quickly, artistically by those who are skilled, or crudely by others. The unskilled can quickly learn how to make pleasing or highly amusing if not artistic diagrams, structures, reproduction of natural and man-made objects, etc. These may be artistic or crude, imaginative, bizarre, ugly or fantastic, affording amusement as well as satisfaction to the user. The invention is particularly useful to help develop manual skills in children.

The invention will be more fully understood by referring to the drawings in which FIGURE 1 shows a simple arrangement, in plan, of the various components and elements which make up the game in one of its preferred and simpler forms.

FIGURE 2 shows a sectional view taken substantially along the line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 shows a mold which can be used with the materials of FIGURES 1 and 2 for further designs.

, FIGURE 4 shows a perforate or foraminate parting sheet bearing preprinted designs.

FIGURE 5 shows a mold for use in forming more complex structures, using the capillary active base material to facilitate rapid setting up of the filler.

FIGURE 6 shows a modification wherein the absorbent base is made up of tightly coiled paper or equivalent.

FIGURE 7 is a transverse sectional View taken substantially along the line 77 of FIG. 6.

FIGURE 8 shows a perspective view of the game.

FIGURE 9 shows a modification using a wire frame work for stabilizing the art structure.

FIGURE 10 is .a perspective view of a large scale dispenser modification using a wire or analogous framework or a sand base, with an inset illustration of a figure or character produced by this method.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, one form of the game structure, for convenient use indoors, for example, is shOWn in FIGURES 1 and 2. It preferably com-' prises a multi-cell tray 11 which may be made of appropriate material such as metal, coated fiber, or plastic in extruded or molded form. The tray itself is desirably waterproof or substantially so. The tray can be made of waxed or enameled paper or of thin metal, if desired, but moldable or extrudable synthetic resins are usually preferred for several reasons. The tray 11, as shown, comprises a relatively large compartment 13, .adapted to be filled with an absorbent base material of high capillary activity, shown here as a fine grained sand, Without other filler. Some other filler can be tolerated, but preferably a clean crystallinesand of fine mesh of the order of 0.02 inch to 0.001 inch particle size, or sand passing a sieve of about 25 to 150 wires per inch, is used. It is not desired, however, to limit the particle size of the sand since its capillary activity and capacity to hold water are more important, as will presently be explained. Also, other particulate materials which are readily wetted and have good capillary properties can be used, e.g. some grades of sawdust or rock dust, crushed ceramics, brick, refractories, abrasives, etc. of natural or synthetic origin.

A plurality of other compartments are indicated at 15, 17, 18 and 19, respectively. These each are suitable for holding relatively smaller amounts of colored sand or equivalent. A colored sand, or alternative materials already mentioned, are very durable materials for use with the invention, especially in small scale embodiments for indoor use. Where colored sand is used, for example, it is preferably of more or less the same particle size and capillary properties, wetting characteristics, etc., as the above described absorbent base sand in compartment 13. This colored sand, however, is preferably supplied in several separate containers or compartments in diiferent colors. Thus the sand in tray 13 might be a red or pink, that in compartment 17 may be green or yellow, etc., and that in compartment 19 may be blue, purple, etc. Various ways are known, especially by firms supplying sand and gravel for ornamental aquaria, etc. for coloring the sand satisfactorily. The coloring should not be hydrophobic in nature, at least after it has dried out, but should be one that is readily wettable by water, assuming that water is to be used as the slurry or sand suspending liquid. The colors may be pastel, bright, or mixed, as preferred, and may include fiuorescents if desired. A very satisfactory method of coloring sand and analogous particles employs self-hardening enamels or inorganic pigments suspended in suitable carriers or binders. The coloring processes and materials used for coloring form no part of the present invention, being well known in the art. As long as the sand or other particles which are to be slurried and dispensed in liquid or semi-liquid form can be readily wetted by the liquid suspending medium, this is all that is required.

An extruding device, e.g. a syringe, dropper or dispenser, indicated at 21, is employed for sucking up a slurry of the colored sand and extruding or dispensing it as a thin stream, or in droplets, at a controllable rate. The dispenser is aimed and squeezed to form the pattern, design, decoration or structure which is to be made on the surface of the absorbent base mass in compartment 13. Dispenser 21, in this case, fits in a compartment 22 in tray 11, when not in use. This dispenser may be conveniently a plastic squeeze bottle of a type widely used for dispensing medicines and other materials in small quantities, or it can be a more conventional dropper, syringe, pump or other known type of dispensing device. The precise nature or design of this dispenser device 21 is not important as long as it can be used to draw in a quantity of the slurried sand or other particles from a stirred-up supply thereof, e.g. as contained in a suitable receptacle such as compartment 31. The user then extrudes or drips the slurry at a controllable rate in a thin stream or in discontinuous increments suitable for forming the desired decoration or design. For fine line designs, the dispenser should have a thin nozzle or outlet but the slurry should flow without excessive separation of liquid from the solid particles. With a little practice the rate and continuity or discontinuity of dispensing can be controlled so that the capillary action in the supporting base draws out the liquid at about the same rate that the design is deposited thereon.

As an additional feature, overlying the absorbent base mass i.e. the sand in tray 13, there is optionally provided a foraminous membrane 27, which either is perforated extensively as indicated at 28, or is of highly porous or capillary nature. This membrane is selected or perforated so as to permit the sand or analogous material in the absorbent mass below to make capillary contact through the membrane with the decorative material, e.g. colored sand which is extruded on top of it. It will be understood that the purpose of the numerous perforations, forminations or other capillary connections in the partition layer is to facilitate the capillary withdrawal at a rapid rate from the decorative material of the suspending liquid at a rapid rate. The liquid should be removed rapidly enough that the suspended particles quickly form a solid structure. By this procedure the applied particle, e.g. of decorative material, will partially dry very quickly. The desired design or structure can be built up rapidly by repeated application in multiple layers to form structures of substantial height and complexity.

The capillary action should be such in any case that the major quantity of moisture in the slurry is withdrawn almost immediately, i.e. within one or two seconds or less, but the residual moisture content should be enough to continue to bind the sand at least for a few minutes and thus prevent crumbling. The design preferably remains slightly damp for a while, affording just enough cohesion between the sand granules to maintain the desired structure. Because of this property of cohesion the decoration may be built up to substantial height if desired, as shown in element 29, FIGURE 2. Structures in three dimensions such as animals, buildings, fortifications, fences, flowers, etc. may be delineated and be built up to substantial height, as much as several inches in some cases. With a little practice one can form substantial wall structures and provide them with openings, e.g. as doors and windows in simulated buildings, extruding the sand slurry from the dispenser in such a way as to gradually build and bridge over the necessary archways or other supports to leave openings.

The perforated or foraminous parting layer 27, described above, may be thin and flexible or it may be a relatively stifi sheet. It is not always essential. The form shown in FIGURE 1 has numerous and closely spaced perforation 2 8. It may be made of any suitable material, such as a sheet of plastic, either thin and flexible or with some modest rigidity, or a sheet of Waxed paper or enameled paper, enameled cardboard, waxed cardboard, or a sheet or plate of metal such as aluminum, etc. A perforated sheet of enameled paper has been found to'be very satisfactory. However, a flexible cellulose tissue sheet which retains good wet strength but may be very thin, flexible, and highly porous, can be used. One good purpose for the parting sheet or device 27 is to make it possible to build up a design of considerable complexity, using various colors of sand, and then to remove the whole design from the surface of the base layer in compartment 13. The completed design can be picked up after the user is through with it, and the respective masses of colored sand can be separated rather easily and each returned to its respective receptacle 15, 17, 18 and 19. This is done, of course, when the applied decoration or structure is to be discarded, thus avoiding objectionable contamination of the base sand mass in tray 13.

It will be understood, of course, that as time goes on some of the colored sand particles will tend to get mixed into the base sand to some extent. In time, the base sand may need to be discarded, but it can readily be replaced with a small and inexpensive supply. A bag of similar, plain absorbent sand may be included in the original game package if desired.

In making up the materials for the game, so far as it has been described above, a package of the plain absorbent sand for the base in tray 13, weighing perhaps /2 lb. to 1 lb., or so, is provided. This is usually a cheap,

uncolored sand of rather fine grain and reasonably uniform particle size. Smaller packages of brightly colored sand are usually provided in the tray. The number of such packages may be varied widely. While four compartments for colored sand are shown in the drawing, it will be understood that the number of colors used or provided for may be fewer or much greater. The basic tray also contains the depression or receptacle 31 for mixing the slurry to be dispensed. Some or all of the compartments can be replaced or supplemented by separate containers, if desired.

In use, water or another liquid is placed in the receptacle 31 and a suitable small quantity of the colored sand is mixed into it, usually in amounts of l or 2 to several teaspoonsful. Larger quantities, of course, can be used. The sand and the water are simply stirred to form a thin, semi-stable slurry, or paste. Then the dispenser or squeezer 21 is squeezed to evacuate the air from it and is allowed by its own elastic tendency to expand to draw in a quantity of slurry from the receptacle 31. In this way the dispenser or squeezer becomes filled, or partly filled, with the sand slurry which resembles a thin homogenous colored mud. It is then dispensed in a small stream, or dropwise as may be preferred, to form the design. The user may move the nozzle along the desired path while squeezing the extruder so as to prepare a continuous design, much like in writing or drawing, or he may move it back and forth to form plural layers over the same area. Thus one can build a structure of substantial height, extruding the sand slurry more or less continuously. The moisture or liquid in the sand slurry, or most of it, is very rapidly absorbed by capillary action of the base sand in tray 13. The application of the slurry of colored sand is coordinated with the rate at which the capillary action draws out excess liquid. The slurry thus hardens and sets up almost instantly, though still damp. If a separator element such as membrane 27 is employed, as is frequently desirable, the capillary action is essentially the same because the sand below establishes capillary contact with the wet sand slurry, either by its own porosity and capillary action or through the multiple openings in the separating sheet 27.

It will be understood, of course, that the separator or parting layer 27 need not be used at all, in many cases, but it is frequently desirable for minimizing mixing of v colored sand into the base sand or where it may be desired to remove the design bodily, for example, to bake it to form a ceramic article and the like.

A design or structure may be formed as extensive in size and complexity as may be desired. The elements of a single color preferably are applied as the artist desires. Thereafter another batch of another color of sand is mixed up and the operation repeated. Several colors may be applied to a particular design, if desired, which may thus become attractive in multicolor and can be very interesting and ornamental, depending on the skill of the user.

As indicated above, it may be desirable in some cases to incorporate in the liquid a small amount of an agglutinant or binder aid such as mucilage, glue, syrup, sugar, sodium silicate, etc. or the like. Any material which will help the sand particles adhere together to a modest degree can be used. If used at all, such should be used sparingly to avoid gumming up the base material. It is usually not desirable to use a large quantity of this material in the case of games prepared for indoor use by children because the purpose of the game ordinarily will be to form temporary artistic pictures, structures or designs which can be destroyed and replaced at will. 01. course, the sand base can be discarded and replaced inexpensively if greater use of binder in the colored sand causes objectionable hardening or contamination.

Alternatively, molded designs can be prepared, even by those of very limited skill. Referring to FIGURE 3, there is shown a shallow mold 51 with a foraminate or perforate bottom 53.- This mold can be set on the base,

e.g. the sand in compartment '13, and filled with a sand slurry of selected color or colors, or of ceramic properties, etc. Capillary action through the foraminate bottom 53 to the base sand quickly draws out most of the liquid, leaving a molded mass of moist material to make up the design. This mold can then be lifted up and inverted onto another support. The mold is then carefully removed, to leave a design or object molded in the moist sand or other particulate material. The latter can contain a binder and can be baked or fired in a kiln to make ceramic objects, if desired. A binder also may be applied after the mold is removed from the absorbent base sand.

In FIGURE 4 there is shown a perforate or foraminous parting sheet 57 having preprinted designs 59, 61, thereon. These are used to help the inexperienced user, particularly in forming outlines, designs, buildings, walls, etc., until he gets sufficient experience to make his own original designs.

FIGURE 5 illustrates a modification which makes the invention adaptable to sculpture and related fine arts. An outer mold 71, preferably having two or more parts 73, 75, hinged together at 77 along a vertical axis, surrounds a core or inner model 79, of plaster, clay or the like. The mold 71 surrounds but does not contact the model, leaving a thin wall space 81 between the mold and the model. The arrangement is such that when the slurry is poured into the mold there is capillary connection to the base sand 83 for the lower edge of this Wall space. The user then pours sand slurry into the wall space 81; most of the liquid content is rapidly removed by the capillary action of the base leaving a moist sand wall. By providing an agglutinant or binder in the sand slurry, this wall member can be made self-supporting and on removal of the mold, it can be fired or baked, etc. This procedure may be varied in many ways. The core may be made of sand from a slurry poured into a suitable core mold (not shown), having its suspending liquid drawn off by capillary action of the base sand 83.

Referring now to FIGURES 6 and 7, a modification of a package is shown in which sand for the base is replaced by a highly satisfactory absorbent porous base member of fibrous material. This fibrous capillary base 101 can be made of various materials. As shown, it is a tightly coiled roll of water absorbent paper having a central core 103 and having one or more of its outer layers 105 secured adhesively to prevent unwinding. The adhesive used in the outer layers should be substantially water proof to prevent uncoiling. Such a roll may be formed by winding a narrow strip of paper of any suitable type, such as newsprint, toweling, crepe, kraft paper or any other paper that will absorb moisture rapidly by capillary action, onto a central core or mandrel. Some adhesive may be used intermittently or continuously if desired, but it should not destroy the essential capillary action. The core 103 may be either hollow or solid, but is preferably hollow to accommodate a cup 107. Rolls or coils 101 may be made also by slicing or cutting off sections from a wider roll of prewound or precoiled paper. Instead of paper, other porous absorbent materials (e.g. cotton or jute fabrics) may be used, as long as they take up the water (or other liquid) rapidly by capillary attraction. However, paper in coiled sections, preferably about /2 to 1 inch thick, is economical and very satisfactory for the purpose.

The package -100 comprises a plurality of compartments 109 and 110 for colored sand, a water container or basin 112 in which the sand and water slurry may be mixed conveniently, a shallow compartment 113 which contains a measuring or mixing spoon 114, and a compartment 115 containing a slurry dispenser 116. A group of slender annealed wires 11 7, which can readily be deformed without springing back, is included.

It will be understood that the absorbent coils of strip material 101, just described, will be used in lieu of the sand mass shown in compartment 13, FIGURES 1 and 2, or in place of the sand mass '83, FIGURE 5. The central core 103 is shown hollow to receive a small measuring cup 107, used to obtain proper proportions of sand and water for the slurry. Ordinarily the hollow core 103 will not be covered or used when the design is being applied to the base 101.

In FIGURE 8, a typical use of the game is illustrated. The squeeze bottle 116 is filled partially with a sand slurry mixed, for example, in basin 112, FIG. 6, by combining suitable proportions of sand and water and stirring them well. Proportions may vary somewhat with the fineness and quality of the sand used. Ordinarily about one part, e.g. one cupful as measured with the little cup 107, FIG. 7, of water and one cup of sand, i.e. equal parts by volume, is suitable but proportions can be changed readily by adding more or less water to get a slurry of optimum flow and drying properties. The slurry is dispensed in droplets, or in small squirts at first by squeezing the bottle 116. With a little practice, one can dispense the slurry almost continuously in a small stream. The capillary action of the base takes up the water very rapidly, leaving just enough to hold the sand together and build up the desired design. By changing the color of the sand used, very attractive designs and decorations can be made. Thus the castle 120 and the trees 121 can be built up of green sand, the draw bridge 122 and the road 123 of red sand, etc.

Referring to FIGURE 9, a tall structure, e.g. the outline figure 125 of a man, is formed in wire, using the soft deformable wires 117 mentioned above. The wire legs 126, 127 have their lower ends 128, 129 pushed into the supporting base 101 so that the figure will stand up. Arms 130, body 131 and head 132 are skeletoned by the wire, or given a backbone so that a sand structure may be built up around them. Starting at the bottom the operator dispenses the slurry from dispenser nozzle 133 in small increments 134 around each of the wires to build up a self-supporting structure. This may be made as tall as desired, within the limitations of wire stiffness and sand weight, etc. As described above, the highly absorbent capillary base material draws out most of the water immediately, leaving the sand in a stable, moist but solid condition. The structure will remain intact, even after it is quite fully dried, but of course it will readily crumble upon being shaken or flexed to any substantial extent.

Referring now to FIGURE a larger scale application of the game, i.e. of its most important elements is shown. This comprises a base mass of sand 201 which may be a natural sand mass, e.g. along the sea shore, or enclosed in a sand box frame of any suitable type. The frame, of course, is not shown and is not indispensable. A container, not shown but like compartment 112, FIGURE 6, should be provided for preparing and holding a slurry of fine sand and water. Several kinds or colors of sand may be used, if desired. A large squeeze type dispenser, called for convenience a super-sand squeezer, is shown at 207. The latter comprises a large plastic collapsible bulb or receptacle portion 209 having a mouth portion 210, preferably threaded, to which is removably secured a tapered nozzle 211. The tip of this nozzle has a fairly small opening, to 7 inch in diameter being a convenient range.

In use, one takes the dispenser 207, removes the nozzle 211 by unscrewing it, and fills the bulb portion 209 with the premixed sand slurry, e.g. from the container already mentioned. Then the nozzle is replaced and the user squeezes the bulb portion 209 to extrude the slurry of sand either in increments or in a relatively thin and preferably more or less continuous stream. As fast as the extruded slurry contacts the sand base 201, or contacts other sand already contacting the base, the liquid, or some 80 to 90% or so of it, is quickly drawn oil? by capillary action. The sand is still moist enough, however, that built up structures are formed.

By using a wire skeleton 217 of an animal, for example, supported by pushing leg portions 218, 219 into the sand base, an animal character 220 in three dimensions is formed. It may be built in increments 221, 222, as shown or it will be more streamlined if built up by continuous deposit of sand. The operation is on a larger scale than shown in FIGURE 9, but generally similar to those previously described in connection with FIGURE 9 and also with FIGURES l to 8. Obviously the sand applied with the Super sand squeezer may be of various colors, etc., as in the case of the examples previously described. Not all parts of the figure need be supported by wire. For example, the ears 225 do not require a wire skeleton.

It will be understood from the foregoing, that various amusing, entertaining, instructive or artistic designs, figures, models, etc., may be made by utilizing the capillary action of fine sand or other absorbent materials to remove surplus and control residual liquid content of the deposited materials. Various colors of deposited materials may be used side by side or superimposed, or criss crossed, etc., to make an unlimited variety of designs and structures. The completed designs may be allowed to stand or may be broken down and replaced soon. They may be sprayed or impregnated before, during or after formation with a suitable coating or binder material to make them more stable. In appropriate cases, they may be hardened, baked, fired, etc., to make permanent objects of artistic or utilitarian value.

In most cases the design or structure probably will be left standing only briefly. Where colored sands are used and are not to be wasted, the designs or applied structures may be broken down with some care and the various sands retrieved and returned to their respective containers, e.g. 109 and 110, FIGURE 6. By use of the partition layer 27, as in FIGURE 4, which can be also be used in connection with the sand base of FIGURE 10, this can be facilitated. By colored sand, it is intended to include use of any natural sands of distinctive shades or colors which contrast with that of the base material.

What is claimed is:

1. A toy kit which comprises in combination, a base consisting of a porous mass of highly capillary material selected from the group which consists of sand and fibrous material having capacity for absorbing liquid, a mass of fine granular material having an appearance contrasting with said base material, compartment means holding said base material and said granular material, means for mixing said granular material with a liquid to form a slurry and means for dispensing a controlled thin stream of said slurry onto said base to form a design thereon.

2. A toy kit according to claim 1 wherein the base material is a porous fibrous material.

3. A toy kit according to claim 1 wherein the base material is a mass of fine sand.

4. A toy kit according to claim 1 wherein the fine granular material is a distinctively colored fine sand.

5. A toy kit according to claim 1 wherein plural compartments are provided for fine granular material of different appearances.

6. A toy kit according to claim 1 which includes de formable skeleton means for supporting the dispensed slurry.

7. A toy kit according to claim 1 which includes a partition layer afi'ording capillary communication between the applied granular material and the absorbent base material while substantially separating physically said applied granular material from said base material.

8. A toy kit according to claim 1 wherein the means for dispensing comprises an elastic squeeze dispenser.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,210,354 12/1916 Noyes 46-1 LOUIS G. MANCENE, Primary Examiner.

CHARLES R. WENTZEL, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1210354 *Apr 6, 1916Dec 26, 1916Muriel V NoyesSand toy.
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3859897 *May 30, 1972Jan 14, 1975Higa James ZTool kit and method for making paper sculpture articles
US5108336 *Mar 11, 1991Apr 28, 1992Philip RosierSand play shovel with sculpture mold
US5213505 *Jun 24, 1991May 25, 1993Laipply Thomas CVariable color matrix device
US5730293 *Oct 4, 1995Mar 24, 1998Kelly; Michael J.Product and kit for sculpting treated sand and method therefor
US5772247 *Apr 25, 1996Jun 30, 1998International Book Marketing Ltd.Art kit in book form
US7371144 *Feb 1, 2006May 13, 2008Patrick Clay BegienSand sculpture kit and a method for creating and decorating a sand sculpture
US20050098471 *Nov 7, 2003May 12, 2005Klundt Kalvin K.Freehand granule dispenser and kit with adhesive work surface
US20050100869 *Jul 8, 2004May 12, 2005Michael KellySubstrate and kit for creating hobby craft item, including craft item produced therefrom
US20110177479 *Mar 11, 2009Jul 21, 2011Maura B. KingKing digs diggin history
CN102309857A *Jul 4, 2011Jan 11, 2012宁波大学Paper tree manufacturing method
DE102010048700B3 *Oct 19, 2010Feb 2, 2012Charlie-Kao Industry Co., Ltd.Toy set for use by children in e.g. urban kinder garden for learning ideas of planting Christmas tree, has tree body made of endless-fibrous blotting paper, where crystals are formed on body after appropriate time
U.S. Classification446/70, 434/84, 273/459
International ClassificationB44C3/00, A63H33/00, B44C3/04, A63H33/22, A63H33/32
Cooperative ClassificationB44C3/04, A63H33/22, A63H33/32, A63H33/001
European ClassificationA63H33/00B, B44C3/04, A63H33/32, A63H33/22