A school project, such as building a castle, is one of the more enjoyable educational activities for kids. It is also an opportunity for parents to spend time with their children, helping them to build something of which they can be proud when they present it in class. A castle project can be a modelling splendour or a simple re-creation of a medieval structure, but remember that you are just here to help. The project was assigned to your kids and they will enjoy it only if they build it on their own.
Choose the type of castle you are going to build. Many Internet sites have pictures and information on the most famous castles of the world, such as "Castles of the World." Browse the website with your kids and let them decide the type of the castle you are going to build. Explain to them which castles are possible to create with your materials.
Create the outside walls of your castle. Cut off the upper side of the box and adjust the height of the side walls. This is a risky task, and it should be done by the parent.
Cut off the door, but not entirely. If its a double door, leave the side of each part untouched and bend them to create a functioning door. If it's a single one, do the same with its bottom side.
Create the bastions. Depending on the type of the castle you chose, cut off successive squares from the tip of the side walls, or open small holes where you will attach the cannons. Make cannons by taking thin cardboard, rolling it and placing it through the holes.
Build the observation towers. Most castles have four observation towers, each on every corner. Take your spare topside pieces of the cardboard you cut off earlier. Bend them to create a tall, four-sided wall that is 1 1/2 times taller than the castle's walls but does not exceed one-sixth of the castle's width and length. Create the same bastions as with the rest of the walls or include windows instead of cannon holes.
Use felt to create "grass" inside the castle. Apply it on the bottom of the cardboard box, leaving a few paths to paint later, as pedestrians' roads.
Create structures, which will be later placed inside the castle, like the monarch's dorms, a flea market and the soldiers' barracks. Use thin cardboard to make a two-story house for the head of the castle and simpler buildings for the other residents. Include the royal coat of arms for the former and distinguishing elements for the rest, like shields and swords in barracks.
Paint the whole structure, starting from the walls. Pale grey or dark brown will be just fine for the exterior. Use a black marker to create the bricks. Don't make them symmetrical and include a few cracks, to make it look more realistic. For the pedestrians' roads inside the castle, use pale grey paint and again don't forget to create cracks. Paint the castle's structures separately and place them inside afterward.
Add small details to make your structure more impressive. For example, if you want your castle to be English, find a tiny, paper St. George's flag -- adopted in the 16th century, hence historically accurate -- in party stores and place it on your castle's entrance or above the monarch's residence.