Model castles teach kids and adults alike about the architecture, history, politics and cultures surrounding a particular castle. The model can be used as a school project or just a hands-on approach to learning at home. Because castles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and textures, kids can often construct a castle with materials already found at home.
Cardboard and paper
A child can construct a single cardboard box into a castle using just the box, scissors, paints and two short strings. To make this castle, remove the top flaps and cut into the top of the box to resemble a castle's roof. Cut a small hole in the shape of a drawbridge and then attach two strings so the drawbridge can be lowered and lifted. For more advanced kids, try Storm the Castle's project. This model requires three cardboard cereal boxes, two paper towel tubes or four toilet paper tubes, glue, scissors and the printed model from the website. It's a more complicated castle with walls, towers, turrets, a gatehouse and flags, but is historically based on the castles of medieval times.
For a sweeter model, construct a castle made primarily of sugar cubes. Cardboard is used as the base of the castle and the sugar cubes, especially when painted grey, represent bricks. Paint the sugar cubes whichever colour is preferred, with grey or brown being the most realistic. Netmums suggests covering with grey felt or using the natural white sugar cubes to produce a fairy castle effect. Using a photograph as a model or just building freehand, stack the sugar cubes to mimic a real castle. Toothpicks and small triangles of paper can be added to the top as flags.
According to Roadside America, one of the largest model castles is in Nantucket, Connecticut. The builder used 396,000 lolly sticks to create a castle that stands 2.7 metres (9 feet tall), 3.6 metres (12 feet) wide and 4.8 metres (16 feet) deep. Castle enthusiasts don't have to compete for a world record to construct a craft stick model. Start with a piece of cardboard or wood as a base. If the design has a moat or foliage, it's easier to avoid messes and paint the base before laying down the foundation. After the base is ready, use the sticks to construct a castle. Depending on the size, kids can stack lolly sticks horizontally or vertically. For areas smaller or more detailed than the stick, cut the stick to the needed size and smooth the edges with sandpaper.