Young children are often fascinated by castles, which makes this topic one of the most popular. The castle theme can fit well with larger themes on royalty, history or fairy tales, or can be taught on its own. This article contains several great castle storybooks, and brilliant preschool castle crafts which your children are sure to love.
Introduce the topic by reading See Inside Castles by Katie Daynes and David Hancock. This is a reference book with large colorful pictures, which gives the children a good idea of what the inside of a castle looks like. In The Castle by Anna Milbourne and Benji Davies is a great picture book showing what another castle looks like, and Life In A Castle by Tango Books is an amazing carousel book, which has intricate details. It is quite fragile, but most young children find it fascinating.
Ask the children what they know about castles, and who lives in them. Some children may have visited castles, or seen them on TV or in films. Allow the children to imagine what their castle would look like, and assess the children on their participation and imagination.
Children will love making these preschool castle craft hats! This craft is from my own classroom experience.
- Large sheet of colored paper
- Crepe paper
You may find it easier to do this craft with one or two children at a time. Allow the child to choose a color of paper, and wrap the paper into a cone shape around the top of their head. Hold in place as you remove the hat, and staple. Tape strips of crepe paper into the hole at the top of the hat, and allow the child to decorate the hat gluing on ribbons, jewels and sequins.
Knight's Helmets –
- Colored posterboard
- Safety scissors
- Hole punch
Hold the colored posterboard in front of the child’s head, and mark where the mouth and eye holes need to be cut using a pen. Cut these out, and cover the card with foil. Punch a hole at either side of the mask, and tie with string or ribbon to hold it in place around the child's face.
Allow the children to decide which hat they wish to wear, and do not presume all girls will be princesses and all boys will be knights.
Making a shield and attaching the family crest is a great way to encourage children to get creative and imaginative. This craft is from my own classroom experience.
- Paints/crayons/magazines and glue
- Strips of fabric or cardboard.
Give each child a piece of posterboard cut into a shield shape. Tell them about family crests, and how these display the important parts of a family, such as pets, jobs and hobbies. Allow the children to decorate the shields in any way possible. You could allow painting, coloring or cut-out magazine pictures and allow them to glue these on. You could also use different fabrics.
Once the shields are decorated and dry, attach a strip of fabric or cardboard to the back using a stapler or strong glue, and allow the children to play with their shields. You can get a great classroom photograph of the children with their hats and shields.
Have A Feast
Purchase table covers, plastic goblets and paper plates. These are available cheaply from party stores. Allow groups of children to decorate the goblets and table covers, and allow to dry.
Help each child to dress-up into their preschool castle craft makes, and have a royal feast. Ask the children what they think princesses and knights eat, and what they do inside the castle. Allow their imaginations to run wild while you enjoy a class picnic.
Other castle related classroom activities could include putting blocks into an open area, and encouraging groups of children to build castles and forts, and reading castle-themed books for literacy.
You could also display photographs of any local castles, or arrange a trip to see a castle.
Conclude the topic by discussing what the children have learned about castles, and if they would like to live in a castle. Ask which of the preschool castle crafts they liked the best, and allow them to remain dressed up while you read castle-related stories, such as Castles by Mick Inkpen, and My Knight's Castle, a fun peep-through book by Rebecca Finn.