I love a big project - This kind of complicated cooperative project takes lots of time and organization, but the lessons it provides are well worth it... over two weeks children build a big castle from card board boxes. To keep control and ensure a satisfactory result it must be a cooperative effort between adults and children.

 The first step is to collect smallish boxes for each two children (one side cut off), assorted packaging, egg crates and tubes. Big box building stores are good resources for interesting shapes, especially the light bulb department. One large sheet  for a base keeps it all together and portable. The teacher paints all boxes white inside and outside creating a blank canvas.

Below - kids paint the outside of all the boxes and base gray. Then with crayons they draw stones on the outside walls and the base. 

 Together we stack the boxes and decide where each tower or chamber or stable will go. Each room faces outside (doll house style) leaving a courtyard in the middle with a way in. After school the teachers hot glue the boxes in place.

     Then the children are assigned a partner and a chamber to decorate. The class has been studying castles so they are aware of the various rooms and parts of a castle. 
They have been building castles with wooden blocks and drawing castles and everyone who lives there.

They plan the room and add torn paper stones to the walls, fire places and in the stable hay on the floor. We have discussed tapestries and their uses as decoration and insulation. Tapestries were drawn using figures from DRAW! Castles and Dragons. They worked on their rooms with great purpose and enthusiasm.

When the building was complete it was furnished with doll house furniture from our blocks corner. And the figures from our block play move in. Pennants with each builder's name flew from the towers and a week of imaginative play in the castle they built ensued...

                      Finally, our castle spent two weeks on display in the school library.
                                                      All in all a great success!

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