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Fairy Tale Castles Art Project

Castles are a sure thing in the art room. Every grade level loves to make castles and I often do a castle project with my fourth grade students. But this time, I wanted an easy, two-lesson project better suited for my second grade students. The castle project from Knights and Castles Things to Make and Do (Activity Books) was a great place to start. 

Instead of the 3-D castle illustrated in the book, I opted for a “flat” project. After a brief talk on castles and all the wonderful features they have, I demonstrated basic castle drawing techniques. We used white oil pastel on black paper to draw the castles. Then, using a household sponge cut into 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ pieces, children dipped damp sponges into silver metallic tempera paint and created the stones or bricks. You should encourage stamping right off the ends of the castles as the castle will be cut out later on (this solves the problem of fitting full sized bricks into small spaces, although you can also use the ends of the sponges). The book suggested using erasers dipped in paint for the creation of the bricks but I found that this didn’t work very well.  I also didn’t want to use my erasers in that manner. The sponges created an old-world effect that the children loved.

Once dry (usually the end of class one), children cut out their castles and began creating windows, doorways, flags and banners. I set out a tray of paper scraps, scissors and glue sticks and gave a few directions on how to cut out an arched window (fold paper in half), flags and banners.The children completed their castles at varying times, so to entertain the children who finished early, I set them to work painting the background. They really enjoyed the freedom to create their own signature castle. This was a very easy, successful, 2-lesson project that I would highly recommend!

 Second Grade Castles…

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  1. I so love this! My boys are a bit too young but I organize a local children’s art group, and I think some of the older kids would love this!


    January 5, 2012

  2. love it!


    January 5, 2012

  3. Patty,

    You took something that could get complicated and made it accessible for 2nd graders. These look awesome! I love sponge painting cuz the texture is so fun.

    Pat Stevens

    January 5, 2012

  4. These are adorable! Can’t wait to try them with my 1st graders when we do our fairy tale unit. Thanks for all of the great ideas.


    January 6, 2012

  5. What a great project! This is something I can do with both my children(5&8) which is not always easy to find, but much easier on me to coordinate.


    January 6, 2012

  6. Knights and Castles and things to make and do is a great resource! I found this book last year at my local library and used many ideas to inspire a whole unit on Knights and Castles to team up with my music teacher and the 5th grade play. Thanks for sharing your great lessons!


    January 9, 2012

  7. These are fantastic- the contrast of the silver paint on the black paper is striking and very effective for a castle. Can I ask what brand of black paper you use? I find it’s so difficult to find a really rich black paper as opposed to dark grey which most ‘black’ construction paper ends up being, in my experience.
    Thanks for sharing!


    January 9, 2012

    • Hi Julie, I use Dick Blick or Sax sulphite drawing paper. The black is most definitely black!


      January 9, 2012

  8. Hi Patty,
    tried this lesson with P.3/4 (age 7-8) here in Scotland, was a great success
    have you ever done clay castles?? Looking for tips.


    January 15, 2012

    • It’s funny you ask! I’m planning on trying some type of castle with my 5th graders. I’m not sure how it’ll work but I’ll be sure to post! Glad the castles worked for you. Just Love Scotland by the way. Drove all around 10 years ago. Loved the Island of Skye.


      January 15, 2012

  9. Hi Patty,

    I just started this project with my 2nd graders and am so happy with the results. Thanks for the great inspiration. I will make sure to link back to you if I post about it on my blog 🙂


    April 20, 2012

    • I just LOOOOOOve this site!! Thank you volumes for being!

      rosemary crespo storelee

      May 9, 2012

  10. I love your site! The castle idea is awesome and I will try it out with my younger students.


    July 25, 2012

  11. I have a lot of boys in my class that will love this one! Thanks!


    January 24, 2016

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