We have been very big on storytelling recently and Cakie is just discovering the world of fairy tales with awe and wonder. She is particularly keen on Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Beanstalk, so what better to turn this box into than a castle story-telling box?! As with previous DIY projects, this was a collaborative effort with me taking direction from her but stepping in to do the difficult parts, as this is something we hope to use as a toy and tool, not really a piece of art work.
So, I started off by cutting turrets, windows and a simple flap for a drawbridge.
She helped me thread some black ribbon through some holes in the door and above it, creating a simple pulley to open and close it. This was great as a discussion point and for experimentation.
I tore apart another piece of the box to reveal the ridged section inside. I cut this and stuck it onto some wooden blocks to fashion simple print-making tools. Cakie used these to dip into paint and print stones/bricks all over the castle walls. (We painted it in emulsion first- a Farrow & Ball tester pot no less!)
When it was dry they both went to town smothering the walls (and insides) with heaps of confetti glue. If you don’t own any of this stuff, you need it. It made the walls sparkly and shiny, perfect for adding a bit of magic.
And we did a round up of all little people, horses and trees etc that we could find to add to start story telling. The magic wand came in very handy for turning me into a frog with.
Together we reenacted Jack and the Beanstalk and then she was away. Independently retelling parts of the story, getting the little people to “Fee Fi Fo Fum” all over the place, climbing trees that became beanstalks and shrieking with delight as she discovered gold coins hidden in a pot. Hopefully she will continue to enjoy it and be able to use it as a story box for telling many other fairy tales and nursery rhymes too.
rachelle | tinkerlab says
Anna, this is simply awesome! Just look at Cakie in the box — could she be any happier?! It’s a great reminder of how engaged children can be with simple materials. Our wooden dollhouse is mostly a dust collector, and I wonder if we’d use it more if we whipped one up out of cardboard and glitter. Thanks for being part of the fun!
Oh I LOVE the drawstring on your castle!! How cool! Brilliant!! Makes our castle look a little wibbly wobbly 🙂
Love making stuff out boxes. We have one permanent box in the corner, that serves as a hide-hole! 🙂
Michelle Willow says
I have forwarded two blog awards to your blog as I find it both really inspiring and fabulous: http://willowatsquidoo.blogspot.com/2011/05/couple-awards-to-share-fabulous.html
Kate @ An Amazing Child says
I’ve said it before but I really really can’t wait for imaginative play to kick in……this is so great. I know J would love it. When we move in next week we will have sooooo many cardboard boxes and I am definitely keeping some for just this reason. Love it.
Melissa @ The Chocolate Muffin Tree says
This is wonderful and I Love the pics!!! I need to get more boxes to play with…especially big appliance boxes!
This is superb! I love the drawbridge!
Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan says
what a beautiful play space! And so much more gratifying than a store bought castle. I imagine Cakie has a great sense of pride as she moves the people around her castles.
This is such a fun way to use a box! I can see lots of play happening going forward with the castle which makes it all worthwhile!
Anna @ The Imagination Tree says
Thank you Michelle, that is so sweet of you 🙂
Rose @ Walnut Acre says
Seeing this makes me want to play 🙂
ಪುಟ್ಟಿಯ ಅಮ್ಮ/Putti Amma says
Super like this.. Love the draw string bridge, how celever! Love the pic with ur DD inside the box:)
I really need to go find some Big boxes..
Wowzers! This is fabulous! I have a little Princess here who would love a pad like this to explore 🙂
Rashmie @ MommyLabs says
So much imaginative play here! I love the draw string bridge, too! And, your daughter’s pic inside the box is so adorable. The unadulterated happiness on her face is a joy to watch..!
Raising a Happy Child says
Your castle looks amazing. My husband made daughter a very beautiful castle of wood following my less than stellar attempt at cardboard castle. It’s such a great way to act out the stories.
Esther J Pragasam says
The castle is simply awesome! I loved the way you used the wooden blocks to print and the ribbon door!
This is great,I’m so doing this!
Anna @ The Imagination Tree says
Thanks everyone for such lovely comments!
Messy Kids says
I love your castle! My daughter would love something like that. Maybe with our next box….
cathy @ NurtureStore says
My four-year-old has just seen this and said ‘can we make one soon?’ 🙂 Thanks for sharing with the Play Academy
And….. Thank you for sharing on Kids Crafts Party!
This turned out so well! It’s totally going on our craft to-list! Thanks for the inspiration.
That will certainly come in handy for a number of topics in class! Thank you for linking to the Resource Centre!
Wow! This DIY project is very enjoyable to do. So creative, crafty and child friendly.
Thanks for sharing,
Angela @ Outnumbered.be says
Thank you for the wonderful idea. This was one of the first creative projects we did and our kids 4 and 2,5 loved it!
We did not have the glitter you recommend, but we did use some leftover stickers and some corn starch (fisherTip) as we ended up having some balcony we had to decorate 😉
You can find our story here(in English and Dutch): http://www.outnumbered.be/craft-creativity/creative-kids-activity-castle-out-of-a-carton-box/
Thank you again for the inspiration
andrea miller says
Kids are performing great creativity and great imagination, i can say after see this post that they may be a great craftsman. the craft’s image you have added in this post it has very nice look. I want to say thanks for sharing this great post.
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David Williams says
Couldn’t agree more, the energy of the kids is pretty inspirational, I will have to try something like this myself when I get a chance.
What a fantastic castle. Kids can make it and then have fun playing with their creation. I love encouraging kids in creating their own things. Great post.
This was fun to do :3