Winter Castle Small World Craft and Pretend Play

Kids can make a winter castle for exciting small world adventures. This winter castle, made with everyday materials, provides a perfect opportunity for adding both STEAM and pretend play to your daily activities.

preschool small world play castle

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This winter activity is three play invitations in one: a craft, a science project, and a small world adventure.

There are endless possibilities for interpretation, imagination, and innovation with this winter castle activity.

The main ingredients are recyclables and everyday items from around the house or the craft cupboard. 

  • Kids can help choose materials, design the layout, and create stories around the characters who live in the castle. 

With open-ended early learning activities like this one, participation and engagement are more important than the outcome.


Winter castle craft and small world play

Assemble a variety of materials that inspire creativity and experimentation.

As they design and build a winter castle, kids will build their creative and cognitive skills.  


Supplies for a castle craft

Supplies for winter castle building activity


Any white or silver materials will give the castle its frosty, winter appearance.

  • large piece of solid foam for the base
  • white wrapping and tissue papers, glitter paper and foil
  • small white boxes
  • white building materials (baseboard trim, wall corner trim)
  • foam packaging
  • cotton batting, cotton cosmetic rounds, or cotton balls
  • cardboard tubes

 Other materials you have on hand can easily be used in place of, or added to, any of these items.

How to make a small world castle

Build your castle on a large piece of solid foam packaging, or on a large piece of cardboard.

Arrange and rearrange the pieces to create the effect you want. Here are a few suggestions you'll find in the tutorial.

  • Make individual rooms.
  • Build a staircase.
  • Construct a working drawbridge.

Your project will be limited only by your imagination and the items you have on hand for building the castle.


Winter castle craft and small world play


1. Define the space.

Outline the perimeter of the castle with pieces of solid foam packaging, wood trim, and pieces of cardboard.

  • Cover these pieces with shiny paper or foil.

Glue or tape these pieces in place to provide secure 'walls' for the castle.

Continue placing other items inside the castle walls to define rooms, stairs, windows or doors.

  • Doors: A piece of solid flexible foam packaging with a cutout resembles a door.

  • Rooms: Small cardboard boxes can be used for individual rooms. Cut an opening in each box for a doorway if preferred.


Homemade small world castle for kids pretend play


2.  Make corner towers.

Cover cardboard tubes with shiny or glittery papers

Make a small paper cone shape to place on the top of each tower.

  • We placed a piece of white plastic trim across the top of the corner wall. We added two winter flags made with aluminum foil. and a white bird figurine.

3. Add snow in and around the castle.

Place bits of fluffy throughout the castle as you build it.


Mini staircase in winter castle craft


2.  Build a staircase.

Outline the steps with a marker on a piece of solid flexible foam. Cut out the steps in one piece.

  • Alternately, cut several pieces of foam separately, in different sizes. Then glue the pieces together to form the staircase.


3.  Build a drawbridge.


use building material to make a small world drawbridge


Cut two pieces of corner bead (on the left) to the required length, to fit the door opening you have determined for the castle.

Glue the two pieces together (as shown on the right) in the required width, to fit the door opening.


drawbridge for winter castle craft and activity


Set the completed drawbridge in the door opening, allowing the front portion of the bridge to extend beyond the castle door.

Poke paper fasteners through the side holes at the base of the drawbridge portion inside the door frame, and then through the sides of the door frame.

Attach a length of narrow chain through a hole on each side of the outer end of the drawbridge.


Inside view of the construction of the drawbridge in the winter castle craft


On the inside, insert a paper fastener near the top of each side of the door opening.

  • This is where the chain will rest until it is needed to lower the drawbridge.

When you want to lower the drawbridge, release the chain and gently push the drawbridge down.


Back view of the winter castle kids activity

Build a small world castle with recyclables

Winter castle with drawbridge kids craft and activity

Winter castle STEAM activity for preschoolers

Continue decoration your castle and adding props until you get it just right!


Winter castle small world preschool STEAM activity


A winter castle is magical and inviting provides lots of hands-on learning!

Kids will love raising and lowering the drawbridge, and creating stories for their characters.

Winter castle STEAM activity for kids



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