• creative thinking
• problem solving
• fine motor
Materials• pictures of different castle types (see children’s books, travel books or brochures, and online resources)
• chart paper
• drawing paper and pencils
• sand, glue, and glitter mixture
• several large cardboard boxes
• assortment of geometric shapes to build the castle (cardboard cones, tubes, and egg crates)
• utility knife (to be used by an adult)
• construction paper, fabric scraps, craft sticks, colored foil, child
• scissors, glue, masking tape, duct tape, string, markers, tempera paint, and paint brushes
Set Up and PrepareIn Advance:
Collect pictures of castles from magazines and old picture books and glue them onto separate sheets of oaktag paper.
Write the heading “Castles” on a sheet of chart paper. Ask your child to share what he knows about castles and record his comments. Show him pictures of different types of castles and encourage him to notice the differences and similarities. Explain that he will design and build his own castle.
Keep photos of castles available for your child to use as a visual resource. Engage him in a discussion about what he would like his castle to look like. Pass out crayons and paper and invite him to draw his own castle.
Provide a variety of art materials for your child to use to construct and decorate his castle. He can paint a textured surface on the boxes by using a mixture of sand, glue, and glitter. Otherwise, he can use tempera paint to make a colorful castle. Use the utility knife to carefully cut out the windows, doors, or decorative shapes your child may want to include in his design.
Celebrate the completion of the castle project with a royal breakfast celebration! Invite your child to make crowns before the event and suggest he dress up for the occasion. Invite family members to stop by to have breakfast and to see check out the castle.
Remember: Your child’s original ideas may change or evolve as he builds. Additionally, conflicts may arise that may require the support of an adult.
Lesson ExtensionsHouse of Cards. Work with your child to make a “house of cards” using a deck of playing cards or holiday greeting cards.
Curriculum Connection: LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
The Coolest Castle. Invite your child to write individual stories about his castle. Ask him to imagine what it would be like to live in his castle. What would he do? What type of clothes would he wear? Invite him to share his stories during the breakfast celebration.
Castle on Viola Street
by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
(HarperCollins, 2001; $17)
Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medieval Castle
by Joanna Cole
(Scholastic, 2003; $16)
Super Sand Castle Saturday
by Stuart J. Murphy
(HarperCollins, 1999; $5)