Fairy tales delight imaginations as much today as they did in years past. Nearly every child listens to stories of dragons, castles, and magic with wonder. Fortunately, the adventures of kings, queens, knights, and princesses fit perfectly with fort building and imaginative play. With plenty of royal fanfare, let’s get your kids started creating a magical castle fort! Thanks to Fort Magic kit, you may have a theme of “happily ever after” for an afternoon filled with fun forts and castles.
Magical Castle Fort Design
Fort design represents the starting point of all building. After all, how do we get to the pomp and pageantry without building the castle first? Traditional or contemporary, real or imagined, your kids are free to engage their STEM skills to design any castle they dream up in their heads. Books or the Internet offer inspiration as needed, but your kids probably already have an idea on what fort design works best for them. Once your kids put the basic shape in place, browse some ideas for fort exteriors.
— Cover the castle in old sheets or butcher paper to draw or paint stone on the outside walls.
— If handy with a needle, follow a simple pattern to make a customized castle fort cover.
— Remember the drawbridge! A large piece of cardboard with a woodgrain pattern drawn onto it serves this purpose well. Add string to create authentic door-raising power.
— Add moats of blue fabric encircling the fort.
— Create cardboard turrets as well as towers made from paper towel or toilet paper tubes. Tape all of these to the fort’s exterior for added detail.
— Use dollar store flags as part of your decorations. Make your own out of cloth or paper with straws or sticks for handles. Mount these on the outside your fort to give it a personal flair.
Once the fort exterior looks regal and fortified, move to the indoor decor.
— Drape a chair in red fabric for a throne and lay a red carpet in front of it. You may need two of each if a king and queen rule together.
— Set up a princess vanity with plenty of the soon-to-be ruler’s favorite color tulle, a brush, play makeup and other toiletries to prepare for the ball.
— Create shoe box-rubber band harps, mandolins, and other musical instruments to entertain all who attend the royal ball or to gently soothe the princess before bed.
— Design a family crest and mount it on a prominent interior wall of the castle fort. The entire family can join in on this project.
— Include a long table for feasts. Assist kids in the kitchen to create royal fare or use plastic food for pretend dining.
— Place a circular table inside the castle fort to dramatize the days when the Knights of the Roundtable protected the land.
Now that the scene is set, the adventures begin!
Bringing Fairy Tales to Life
Reading or telling your own fairy tales ignites a child’s imagination. The magical castle fort becomes a perfect setting for enacting these stories while spurring creativity and so much more. As your children begin to engage in imaginative play, have materials at the ready for them to use. For the trappings of costumes, consider a list of supplies.
— Flowy materials, gauzy scarves, sheers or lace curtains to use just about everywhere.
— Bridesmaids’ dresses fit for a queen that you pull from the back of the closet
— Paper cones, tulle, and ribbon to create princess hats.
— Costume jewelry to drape around crowns, necks, and waists.
— Beads and string for a DIY jewelry activity perfect for little princesses.
— Cardboard and glitter to design magnificent crowns.
— Old high heels or ballet flats bedazzled with glitter to become princess shoes.
— Tinfoil or heavy cardboard for a young knight’s armor.
— Cardboard for shields and swords.
— Silver masks to protect knights in the heat of battle.
Remember to think up ideas for horses and dragons as well. You can throw in an evil neighboring king or army should the story need one.
Adding the to Magic
Thinking of the tradition and pageantry of medieval days, there is plenty to spur even more imaginative play. To get started, encourage your kids to do several things.
— Learn a few magic tricks to entertain at princess balls or in the castle courtyard.
— Practice their comedy and gymnastic flips to perform jester antics before the king.
— Set up knighting ceremonies with all their solemnity and honor.
— Hold a princess ball with a few quickly taught ballroom dancing steps.
— Rescue and feed the underprivileged in their village.
Do you need more learning experiences for your castle fort? Read with your child the history of royalty. Hunt down pictures of real life castles, both medieval and contemporary. Talk about the responsibilities of holding the throne. Discuss the character qualities needed to lead in this way.
Do you have enough ideas to get started? Are you ready to stop reading so you can get to building and playing? I am sure your kids are eager as well! So, go forth.
How do you create fairytale experiences with your children through fort building and imagination? Share your ideas with us below!
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Play At Home Mom Blog: This super-amazing blog is definitely one of our favorites. Loaded with fun ideas for DIY playtime, with an always-present educational spin.
The Artful Parent Blog: One of our absolute favorite creative blogs for children and families. The Artful Parent blog is filled with simple ideas to fill your family’s life with art and creativity. A must see blog for sure.
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