Children love castles. Playing with them can stimulate not only their imaginations but also an interest in history. You can help your children create a styrofoam castle they can use with their knight figures and dolls. Styrofoam is easy to work with, is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased in a variety of shapes at the craft store. This castle is made of square protective walls with an inner square castle.
Make the castle's outer walls with the large, flat pieces of styrofoam. The back and sides have turrets made by carving squares out of the top edge of styrofoam as in the illustration. You can also carve windows in random spots. Round the tops or leave them square.
Make the front outer wall as in the illustration. The styrofoam wall has to be thick enough to support the two cones or "towers" on top. If you're working with thin styrofoam, join two pieces together to thicken the walls by inserting a toothpick between the two layers and pushing them together. Break the toothpick if necessary so it doesn't stick out the other side. Use several toothpicks to hold the two pieces of styrofoam together.
Leave a few inches of styrofoam along either end on the top front for the cone towers. In between, cut a turreted wall to match the back and sides. Carve an arched doorway in the centre.
Attach the cone towers to the ends using toothpicks. Make flags or banners with triangular paper flags taped to toothpicks. Have children design and colour the flags.
Join the front, sides and back with toothpicks. Again, secure them by making sure no sharp edges pierce through the styrofoam.
Take four pieces of styrofoam of equal sizes. Give all four sides of the castle a turreted look by carving squares out of the top edges as in the illustration.
For the front of the castle, carve an arched door as you did for the outer wall. For the three sides, make square windows.
Join the sides together using toothpicks. Push them firmly together. The open top allows for easy access to the castle.
Give your castle a solid bottom by attaching the outer walls and the inner castle to a sturdy piece of cardboard. Use straight pins to attach felt to the bottom of the styrofoam walls. Glue the felt to the cardboard. Decorate the courtyard with toy horses and knights. Use deep green facecloths as grass.
Tips and warnings
- Give your castle a solid bottom by attaching the outer walls and the inner castle to a sturdy piece of cardboard. Use straight pins to attach felt to the bottom of the styrofoam walls. Glue the felt to the cardboard. Decorate the courtyard with toy horses and knights. Use deep green facecloths as grass.