My mom is in Ireland right now on business and staying in castles, nice eh? Well since telling my son that he has been pretending to be in a castle in Ireland too. So today we made a shape castle out of all different shapes. We couldn’t pass up the glitter either , although looking at my floor sorta wish I did. Getting down on all fours with a dust buster and a 34 week belly is well, not fun! Decide for yourself!
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 different colors of construction paper, scissors, glue, markers and glitter .
- Start by cutting out large rectangles and triangles , as well as some small squares for the castle. You can use any shapes you want but these were simple for me to cut out and simple for my son to use to build.
- Cut out some shapes to use as windows, doors and flags in a contrasting color.
- Invite your little castle builder to come and decorate the background. Clouds, flowers, whatever they choose. My son made rain, because I had shown him pictures of me in Ireland and it was raining, and he was making his castle in Ireland as well.
- Next add glue
- Add your main castle pieces. Remember to ask and talk about the shapes. Today my question was if he turned the shape around would it still be the same shape. He had to think about that for a second.
- Add your triangles.
- Add the small squares.
- Add more glue for the windows and doors.
- Add the contrasting shapes. My son didn’t want the flags, or all the shapes I cut so they went into my scrap bin.
- Next up glitter, add the glue first ( we took turns adding glue).
- Add the glitter. Immediately regret it when you watch your child rub the super fine glitter into their PJs, and hair. Send them onto the back porch to shake off.
- Let dry. I always let the glue dry before shaking the excess glitter off your shape castle.
Princess Books to read with Shape Castle Activity
The Princess and the Pizza by Mary Jane and Herb Auch is really a cute re telling of the classic Princess and the Pea. They have modernized it and made it a little more feminist in the process, exactly my kind of book. The text is a little long for toddlers but my son sat through about half before wanting to go back and look at the illustration of the horse on the first page. The message is sweet, saying that a woman doesn’t need a man or marriage to attain her goals! Beware though it will make you crave pizza!
Princess Smartypants by Brenda Cole is the antithesis of the classic beautiful frail princess stories, but it still ends with happily ever after. Princess Smartypants does her own thing and doesn’t understand why her family is so obsessed with finding her a husband. She bends to their wishes but still does things her way. I think this is a great message about happiness and confidence for girls and balances out some of the other princess stories. She was happy just the way she is and didn’t need a spouse to feel complete.
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch is one of my very favorite books. Some parents have shared their dislike of Elizabeth’s outburst at the end calling Ronald a bum but I think not only is it justified, he treated her horribly, but people say things when they are angry and you can easily use it to teach your child about anger. I think it’s a wonderful story about a princess taking things into her own hands and saving herself and the prince! My kind of fairytale.
TaderDoodles (Lisa B) says
I LOVE the castle 🙂 We might have to make those today, IF the girls help my big fat preggo self do some chores again. Without the glitter though. I think I’ll skip that, because you’re absolutely right. Getting down on the floor at our stage is not fun in the slightest !
**Hope your mom is having fun! even if it is work… (totally jealous)**
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I think your son would really like “In the Castle” by Anna Milbourne. We just did a castle unit here, and daughter enjoyed this book a lot. I wish I thought about shape castle – great idea. We read #1 and #3 on the list. Anna liked The Princess and The Pizza, but illustrations were “not mine”.
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Lisa Summerhays says
I totally forgot about The Paperbag Princess! I must get it for my daughter. Thanks for all the great ideas. Love your site!
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I love your castle! 🙂 I made a cute castle w/ my preschoolers one time – Use a couple blocks (wooden, foam whatever) in various shapes, dip them in brown paint mixed with a bit of glue & use them as stampers to stamp out the shape of your castle, then while still wet, sprinkle on sand to make it a sand castle! Add a couple of flags and you’re all set! They were adorable! 🙂
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I love that!! So smart- I bet they were adorable.
Can’t seem to get my email working correctly! However, I want you to know I absolutely love this blog. That’s why I want you to have the “Sweat Blog” award. Visit my blog and check out my latest post to receive it!
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Oh Crystal thank you, that’s so sweet!
Angie Bryant says
If you wanted to make it beach relate you could use sandpaper instead of construction paper…very cute idea. thanks for sharing.
Another awesome varriation! I did a snad castle with glue and sand on my other blog on FamilyEducation.com but I love the idea of sand paper! Great for kids who need more of a sensory experience too!
Just in the middle of this right now with three kids ages 3, 3.5 and 4. I thought they’d find this fun and interesting but they are having so much trouble with it. Maybe it’s expectations to get it “right” which I am trying to explain they can’t get it right or wrong, but their castles definitely don’t look like castles and a couple of them are upset about this. Anyway, I think my 5 year old would be more into this kind of craft. I think it’s a fantastic idea but for whatever reason it’s not working out at my house today. 🙁
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Oh no 🙁
If they want to make it look like a castle and you aren’t infringing on their creativity, you could trace the pieces and give them a guide, so they match the pieces up instead .
This activity has been stretched out over 3 days, with my Princess/ fairy tale / castle obsessed 3yr old doing a bit each day before having to stop to dance or something else urgent. Great idea and nice to extend my little one’s obsession. Great book recommendations also, i love the Paper Bag Princess especially.
Isn’t Elizabeth a great character?? She is brave, determined and independent. Greatp
change from the too common helpless victimized princess.