We read an exciting fantasy book this month called Tuesdays at the Castle. It’s about a castle with feelings that grows and shifts on its own and the potential takeover of the kingdom from other lands when the king and queen go missing. Heirs Rolf, Lilah, and Celie work to find their parents, learn about the castle, and stop the takeover before life as they know it is ruined.
Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own-magically inventing, moving, and even completely getting rid of some of its rooms. Good thing Princess Celie takes the time to map out these never-ending changes. Because when the castle is ambushed and Celie’s parents and oldest brother go missing, it’s up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom. A great new series that readers will devour!
We started our time by summarizing and discussing the story. The girls seemed most interested in what kind of castle they would have, or what kind of rooms they would want a castle to make for them, if they had a magical castle like Castle Glower.
We moved from there to talk about the Glower coat of arms and the flag.
After we looked at pictures of real, medieval heraldic symbols, I asked the girls to design their own flag – not necessarily using the strict 14th-century code, but a combination of symbols and colors that were representative of their family. I love how my Big Helper thought her flag needed a bee!
Next, we moved on to designing castles. Since Castle Glower adds and subtracts rooms at will, as well as making life decisions and interacting with the royal family, I asked the girls to think about what special features they might want in their own living castle. They worked together in pairs to come up with a design …
and then they began to build. Because icing can take so long to dry – and because I don’t know how to make the real, official kind of gingerbread icing – we used a combination of hot glue and icing to construct our castles. Each girl brought supplies, and we had enough for each team to have a full box of graham crackers and their own tub of icing.
This was a bigger-than-usual project, and it required a lot of time, so we didn’t cook or bake anything. Instead, because there were graham crackers everywhere, I made a simple chocolate ganache and poured some into dipping cups for each girl. They dipped and licked and snacked (and then washed their hands, because it is flu season, after all) while they were working.
After construction was finished, the girls decorated with an assortment of candy.
In the end, each team designed a completely unique graham-cracker castle. They were interesting sizes, shapes, and made use of different candies. I loved seeing what they came up with!
There was a lot of learning happening here, too – think creative candy uses, structural engineering, and more – so you’ll see another post soon about some of these objectives and how this team carried them out.
I asked the girls to dress like Princess Celie, because Celie is an especially fun princess, and so I had to get a group shot of the royalty.
So that’s how we partied with Tuesdays at the Castle. What are your kids reading this month?
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