World Tour – European Castles

While studying Germany and France we looked online at webshots and saw some amazing pictures of castles.
When we began to study the United Kingdom, we decided that this was the time to really dig into the history of castles:  how they were built, who built them, who lived in them, what they looked like, and what castle life was like.
We started out by reading a few good books for background information:
  • The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The Best Book of Knights and Castles by Deborah Jane Murrell
  • Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures:  Medieval Castle by Joanna Cole


Of course, now that we knew all about castles, we had to build our own.
We hit up a local grocery store for some boxes and completely lucked out.  They let us take as many as we wanted – and they had really big paper towel cartons that hadn’t been broken down yet!
After getting them home, the kids carried them down to the back yard.
And soon the assembly began!
My Big Helper was much more interested in the construction than the little guy, and she developed a plan for how to build it.  We broke out a knife, and after she drew the lines for the cuts and for the drawbridge, I started cutting.
We lined up the boxes and used heavy tape to cover the seams, inside and out.
Then they used smaller boxes that we had been saving to construct different things inside – beds, bathtubs, etc.  They both got really excited about planning the interior layout!
Next, the kids decided to embellish their castle with paint.  We broke out some ancient clothes we didn’t mind staining and a few old buckets of paint leftover from various household projects.
My Little Man didn’t stick with painting in one place for long …
My Big Helper got a bit more creative and used both colors to paint doors, window panes, and decorations on the drawbridge.  
The whole thing never did get painted, but they had a blast – and they were so creative!  We had loads of fun learning about castles – and the whole project was completely free, too.
Who knew you could have so much fun with some old cardboard??
Do your kids play with old boxes?  What do they do with them?

What are your thoughts?

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