I made this castle with half the bottom of a shoebox, colorful scraps of cereal and ice cream boxes, construction paper, and tissue paper.
It is inhabited by a flying elf made from a cork. Last week the early primary group made the flying elves for a game. This week we made castles so that their elves have someplace to live.
My youngest son showed me how to make crenelations when he made his recycled castle last month. He cut snips and folded down every other merlin.
I cut and glued the shoebox halves onto cardboard bases in advance of the early primary art class. The towers are made with paper towel and toilet paper rolls. The children cut two inch slits into the cardboard tubes and slid the tubes onto the castle wall. The child who made this castle is showing how she created a brown hinged door. She discovered some feathers in the supply closet and soon everyone wanted to use feathers.
This child is placing some cardboard scraps on the side of her castle wall to make a building. We used glue and tape to hold everything together. You can see that some of the bases are shoe box lids.
We made roof tops with a circle of construction paper, which is easier to cut than the cardboard scraps which I used for my castle. Cut a slit into the center of the circle and overlap the ends until you like the shape of your roof. Staple or tape it together. Small children might need help with this step. If you have a circle template the young child can trace and cut out her own roof. A little rim of glue on the cardboard tube will help hold the roof in place.
It was fun to watch the children embellish their creations with flowers, grass, vines, cork trees,
lamps, rugs and furnishings.
This child celebrated England and Lithuania with some special flags.
He also made his construction into a flying castle by adding wings.
This castle building project was more successful than the cardboard architecture class I did with the older primary group a couple of weeks ago, because the children had a base upon which to build, (the half shoe box.) The older children had to build from the ground up and it was too difficult in some cases. In other cases, children were able to prevail over the considerable challenges with ingenuity and creativity, and I would still want those students to have the flexibility to create from the ground up in any shape, form or size they want. I wish I had remembered to take pictures of the the chalet, the castle, the apartment building, the church, and more! I was amazed. For those who had a struggle, the frustration slowed them down too much and I think I will have some prepared bases handy next time in case anyone wants or needs them. But having a defined structure to build upon can limit some of the creativity and individuality of what the children make... That's part of the balance, isn't it? On the one hand, to present challenges which give students the opportunity to solve problems creatively, which is one of the great rewards of doing art, and on the other hand to provide enough help to enable children to be successful without limiting self-expression.