castle final

We have been very big on storytelling recently, and Cakie is just discovering the world of fairy tales with awe and wonder. She is particularly keen on “Sleeping Beauty” and “Jack and the Beanstalk,” so we turned a box into a castle storytelling box! As with previous DIY projects, this was a collaborative effort, with me taking direction from her but stepping in to do the difficult parts, as this is something we hope to use as a toy and tool, not really a piece of art.


  • cardboard box
  • scissors
  • ribbon
  • paint and paintbrush
  • glitter (optional)
  • additional props, i.e., dolls, horses, books, wands, etc. (optional)


  1. castle 2Cut crenellations (the open spaces, alternating with toothlike higher projections, along the top of a castle wall), windows and a simple flap for a drawbridge out of your cardboard box.

  2. Punch holes in the edge of the drawbridge and above it, then thread some ribbon through, creating a simple pulley to open and close it. This was great as a discussion point and for experimentation.castle 4

  3. Paint your castle and let it dry. Add glitter—we did!

  4. castle 3Round up small dolls, horses, trees, etc. around your house to start storytelling.

After we read "Jack and the Beanstalk," she was fascinated with imaginative play for hours. Hopefully she will continue to enjoy it and be castle 1able to use it as a story box for telling many other fairy tales and nursery rhymes. This activity is good for: working collaboratively, independent play, storytelling, developing storybook language and creative and imaginative development.

Anna Ranson is a mother of three young girls and a teacher with specialisms in early years education and art, living in London, United Kingdom. She writes about creative play and learning activities on her award-winning blog The Imagination Tree, with over 500 ideas listed for babies to school age children.

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