Sandcastle Fun Co. Provides Safe, Affordable Programming
New local company offers flexible classes and parties for young kids
During the coronavirus pandemic, University of the Arts graduates Jason Corn and Billy Sander noticed that local parents were looking for safe, flexible and affordable educational programming for their children. To address this need, they founded the Sandcastle Fun Co., an entertainment and education company geared towards ages 1-5 that offers outdoor movement, music and sports classes in Rittenhouse Square as well as mobile parties. A signature element of the Sandcastle Fun Co. is their custom-built Fun Cruiser, a pushcart containing all of their props and equipment that can be brought anywhere.
Corn and Sander are committed to continuing to offer safe and affordable programming for local families even as the end of the pandemic is in sight. We asked them about the origins of the company, what makes their programs unique and their exciting plans for the future.
What made you decide to start the Sandcastle Fun Co.?
Jason Corn: My experience in outdoor children’s programming began as a sleep-away camp counselor. It was here that I realized the power of a unique (and affordable) outside learning environment. Unique and high quality children’s programming should be affordable and accessible to everybody — no matter what their zip code is. It is our sincere belief that in our new post-COVID world, parents should not have to choose between concern over their child’s health by going to an overpriced brick and mortar establishment, and their child’s participation in high quality, entertaining programming.
Billy Sander: Ever since high school I have been involved in children’s educational entertainment and have always found so much joy in entertaining children. When the pandemic began, I saw the desire and appeal to do classes in a coronavirus-safe, outside environment. The societal norm of entertaining inside a building is becoming less and less appealing. In an environment without walls, you can create and imagine anything without limits. I’ve always thought of the imagination like sand on the beach; all it takes is enough sand to build a castle, and the will to build it.
What new things does the company offer to Philadelphia families that the city doesn’t already have?
JC: The main thing we offer is choice. Our business model is aimed at giving parents maximum flexibility in deciding how often and when to attend classes. By offering our three different class packs of non-expiring class credits, we aim to fit into families’ lives a lot more easily. If someone buys a three class pack with us and decides not to come for a month or two, those credits will still be there.
The second thing that differentiates us from other companies is the aspect of being a fully mobile company. There are no walls to limit what we are capable of. Over the next few months, we will be rolling out new initiatives that will give families more autonomy in choosing their relationship with us. We have the ability to be anywhere quickly and still be able to keep our prices reasonable. What’s unique about Sandcastle Fun Co. is that all we have to rely on is our abilities as children’s entertainers.
Can you tell me about your idea behind creating the Fun Cruiser and what props and equipment it holds?
BS: We wanted a unique and fun way to present all of our programming. The idea for the Fun Cruiser came from the need to be adaptable. We came up with the idea of the pushcart when we realized that it was the quickest and smoothest solution, not only to have the capacity to do all of our classes at once, but to be able to adapt all our activities at any given time.
We’ve been able to condense the logistics of a brick and mortar into three drawers, a cabinet and two storage compartments. The top of the Fun Cruiser holds all of our music equipment, the middle drawers hold all of our movement equipment and the front container and bottom compartment hold equipment for our sports classes. As we expand our business, we will be designing more Fun Cruisers to enhance the specific programs that they are being utilized for.
In addition to the three classes on your website, is there anything else that the Sandcastle Fun Co. plans to offer?
JC: Yes! First, we are available for entertainment at birthday parties and events! We also plan to add more classes, and eventually expand the age range we cater to. Our next goal is to add infant classes. Eventually we want to increase the age range we serve to add older kid classes as well. (As two theater majors, we were thinking of a theatre class to begin with!) We also plan to roll out a lot of online content in the fall that focuses on children’s music, in addition to other at home activities.
Is there anything else that you want to mention about the company?
BS: We believe in what we are doing and we are not going to stop. We want to change the way people have fun. We want to make educational entertainment accessible to all, and show everyone that if you never give up on your dreams and goals, and don’t let walls limit your imaginative power, you can do and create anything — whether it be an invention, a business, or even a sandcastle.